Moms Who Made a Difference

Every mom makes a difference in her own special way. While you're celebrating what motherhood means to you this Mother's Day, get inspired by these motivated moms who have made their mark in history.

Thomas Edison's mom refused to give up on him when his schoolteacher declared him to be mentally challenged. She homeschooled Thomas, helping to make him into the most significant inventor in American history.

You may know Truth as an abolitionist and civil-rights activist, but do you know she was the first black woman to successfully challenge a white man in court? Her five-year-old son had been illegally sold to a southern plantation, and Truth was determined to get him back — and did.

The first (and only!) female prime minister of India groomed both of her sons for political careers. Her eldest, Rajiv, became prime minister after her assassination in 1984. While in office, Indira Gandhi introduced improvements to agriculture known as the Green Revolution, while her son Rajiv brought India into the modern world with advances in technology and telecommunications.

Wife of second U.S. president John Adams, Abigail Adams was an abolitionist and fought for women's equal rights. Her son, John Quincy Adams, an eminent statesman and the sixth president, built up the U.S. highway system and established government funding for scientific research.

Ann Jarvis laid the groundwork for her daughter Anna's founding of the Mother's Day holiday that we now celebrate. She inspired the holiday by organizing Mother's Day Work Clubs, which taught childcare skills, and later Mothers' Friendship Day, where mothers gathered to encourage peace between ex-soldiers of the Civil War. Her daughter, Anna Jarvis — who ironically was never a mother herself — intended Mother's Day to honor all mothers and the sacrifices they made to bring up their children.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms who are making a difference!

Sources: | How Stuff Works | | Mental Floss

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