Lucy Keen Johnson from Georgia was billed as ‘the typical mother of 1935’ when she was recognized as the first Mother of the Year ® by the American Mothers Committee. The celebration was simple but celebrity-studded. There was a small luncheon and program over at CBS, followed by an informal reception before the evening NBC broadcast. At that time, the Motherhood Medal was presented to her by Sarah Delano Roosevelt, the President’s mother.
Lucy Keen attended Wesleyan Conservatory, the world’s oldest college for women. Soon after graduation, she married Fletcher M. Johnson, a young lawyer with five children. In 1914, at age 38, Lucy was left a widow with her five step children and a daughter of her own.
Lucy soon became the Dean of Women at Wesleyan College, her alma mater, while raising her children and “mothering” a sizable college community. Along with her career and family, Lucy always found time for the concerns of others. A loyal Methodist, she served in various capacities within her church and found time for community projects.
Sweet and grandmotherly, this women of refinement had successfully met the problems of raising a family alone and accepted for all mothers the plaudits of her country as the very first American Mother of the Year ®.