National View: Take a moment today to celebrate history's unsung mothers

From the column: "Whether possessing the hand that rocks the cradle brings you fame and fortune or not, Happy Mother’s Day to all."


Since you asked, my niece Claire is expecting her first baby in August. Her sister Emma is expecting her second child in October. I have faith that both young ladies will someday earn a spot in a hall of fame for mothers.

Alas, history is littered with mothers who DIDN’T receive proper recognition. Here are some particularly egregious examples:

The mother of “Washington Post” owner and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who once scolded him, “Democracy dies in darkness? It smells like something died in your room! Now get it cleaned up or receive same-day delivery of corporal punishment!”

Teddy Roosevelt’s mother, who offered, “If the riding is going to be rough, let Mama put a little talcum powder on your tushie. And stop carrying that big stick — you’ll put an eye out.”

Albert Einstein’s mother, who consoled, “No wonder the other children won’t play with you, Albert. It’s supposed to be ‘E-I-E-I-O,’ not whatever it is YOU’RE saying.”


Biblical strongman Samson’s mother, who fretted, “Why are you having a meltdown? All I said was that I put a lock of your hair in your baby book.”

Emperor Nero’s mother, who insisted, “No one remembers a fiddle player. That’s why your father and I are paying for kazoo lessons.”

Rock star Steven Tyler’s mother, who urged her little toddler, “Walk this way. Walk this way.” And, “No, not toward the toys in the attic.”

Bram Stoker’s mother, who put little Bram to bed with an admonition of “Try to think about something other than bedbugs biting.”

John James Audubon’s mother, who sighed, “This rebellious phase will end. Little Johnny will lose interest in the WILD LIFE.”

Louis Armstrong’s mother, who declared, “The saints may go marching in, but I’ll bet they have sense enough to leave their muddy shoes on the front porch.”

Dr. Seuss’s mother, who taunted him, “Oh, the places you won’t go — once I baby proof the house.”

Vladimir Putin’s mother, who gasped, “I just felt the baby kick — and flex his bare chest muscles.”


Alexander the Great’s mother, who growled, “No more worlds left to conquer? Well, there’s plenty of real estate behind your ears, young man! Get a wash rag!”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s mother, who opined that, “‘I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished’ packs more gravitas than ‘I see London, I see France’.”

Johann Gutenberg’s mother, who questioned, “And just how do you plan to get out of learning to write cursive?”

Ferdinand Magellan’s mother, who fumed, “Stop stalling. You don’t have to go all the way around the world just to answer a simple yes or no question.”

Orville and Wilbur Wright’s mother, who mused, “Keep on tinkering with your bike shop, but I wish you could invent some way to unload all those crates of peanut packets your father got stuck with.”

Confucius’s mother, who warned, “When I want YOUR advice, young man, I’ll — go to a Chinese restaurant.”

And Dr. Anthony Fauci’s mother, who fussed, “No, no, at this part of the game of peek-a-boo, you’re supposed to uncover your face!”

Whether possessing the hand that rocks the cradle brings you fame and fortune or not, Happy Mother’s Day to all.


Danny Tyree is a columnist nationally distributed by Cagle Cartoons. He can be reached at

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Danny Tyree

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