The Mothers Manifesto

In the fall of 1965, the American Mothers Committee, Inc., concerned with the rising crime rate, parental and juvenile delinquency with attendant social problems, and in support of President Johnson's Crime Commission, enunciated a "Mothers Manifesto".

The Mothers Manifesto was a public declaration of intentions for these mothers who pledged:

TO support every local agency which enforces law in my community

TO  advise my Congressmen, Senators, Governors and Mayor of my deep concerns and urge their help...

TO  discourage drinking and smoking among our youth...

TO fight the sale and distribution of narcotics...

TO wage a vigorous campaign against the distribution by newsstands and other agencies of pornographic materials...

TO support all local organizations that are creating positive programs for youth...

TO  set an example to my children by abiding by traffic laws and similar rules...

TO  know where my children are and with whom...

TO encourage church and synagogue attendance by my family...

TO ask God's help, recognizing that through Divine guidance all things are possible.

Thousands of mothers across the nation signed this 10-point pledge.  They had a built in accessibility to root out these problems within their own homes.  They had an unprecedented opportunity to join ranks to put an end to parental and juvenile delinquency, riots, alcohol and narcotic addiction, pornography and general disregard of laws and law enforcement.

These mothers were of the opinion that we cannot blame the youth of today for the phenomena which confronted society.  They felt had parents been less selfish and more dedicated to their major responsibility of training their children by precept and example, society would not be faced with the current trends.

Of note was the fact that during 1966-68, Mrs. Bertha Holt of Creswell, Oregon, the 1966 American Mother of the Year, distributed over 5,000 copies of this Manifesto and over 3,500 signed pledges were returned to the American Mothers Committee headquarters.  In fact, signatures were received from over forty states.  President Johnson sent word to the American Mothers Committee of his personal appreciation of the project and its significance to America.  The list of mothers who signed the Manifesto was sent to the President and to the Chairman of the Crime Commission.

Despite these deep-seated, vexing problems, these women maintained that a large majority of our youth are great with larger potential than any previous generation.  Therefore, the subtle tide of "moral deterioration" as described by the former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, could not be allowed to corrode their futures.

Many of these same issues remain a challenge to mothers of today's children and future responsible citizens and are the basis for the current American Mother Pledge:

I Pledge...

TO ask God's help as a parent in today's world...

TO encourage honesty, integrity, patriotism and the application of moral values in every area of American life beginning in my own home...

TO enhance the spiritual foundation of my home by precept and example...

TO love, nurture and educate my children remembering the power and influence of a joyful home...

TO see opportunities to strengthen my family by working, playing, serving and praying together...

TO foster personal responsibility and respect in my home and community...

TO serve my family and community through personal development as an individual, parent and citizen...

TO support and promote positive programs for children and families...

TO wage a vigorous campaign against abuse and violence in all its forms...

TO remember that with God, all things are possible.