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100 Michigan PTA Facts
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#27.  What was reported by the Michigan PTA President, Mrs. E. W. Kiefer, at the National Congress in 1925?


“The youngest president of a local association, is a 19 year old young man teacher who is the president of an association of 76 members in a village of 250 inhabitants.”

“Among our associations the father is rapidly coming forward as an active and helpful factor.  There are 200 men presidents in Michigan – some being Council Presidents.”


#26. How many individual units did Michigan PTA have in 1925? How many members did we have in Michigan that year?


There were 752 affiliated PTAs in Michigan. There were 49, 190 members. There were also 13 Parochial School Associations, “and their interest in our work grows.”


#25. Continued, the aims and purposes of the National Congress of Mothers in 1906:

“To work for such probationary care in individual homes rather than institutions.

To rouse the whole community to a sense of its duty and responsibility to the blameless, dependent and neglected children, because there is no philanthropy which will so speedily reduce our taxes, reduce our prison expenses, reduce the expense of institutions for correction and reform.


The work of the Congress is civic work in its broadest and highest sense, and every man or woman, who is interested in the aims of the Congress, is cordially invited to become a member and aid in the organized effort for a higher, nobler national life, which can only be attained through the individual homes.”


#24. Continued, the aims and purposes of the National Congress of Mothers in 1906:


“To use systematic, earnest effort to this end, through the formation of Mothers’ Clubs in every Public School and elsewhere; the establishment of Kindergartens, and laws which will adequately care for neglected and dependent children, in the firm belief that united, concerted work for little children will pay better than any other philanthropic work that can be done.

To carry the mother-love and mother-thought into all that concerns or touches childhood in Home, School, Church, State or Legislation.


To interest men and women to co-operate in the work for purer, truer homes, in the belief that to accomplish the best results, men and women must work together.


#23. What were the “aims and purposes” of the National Congress of Mothers in 1906?


“To raise the standards of home life. To develop wiser, better-trained parenthood.

To give young people, ignorant of the proper care and training of children, opportunities to learn this, that they may better perform the duties of parenthood.

To bring into closer relations the home and the school, that parent and teacher may co-operate intelligently in the education of the child.

To surround the childhood of the whole world with that loving, wise care in the impressionable years of life, that will develop good citizens, instead of law-breakers and criminals.”


#22. What happened at the 1906 conference of the National Congress of Mothers?


The California Congress was planning to host the conference and the San Francisco earthquake happened.  The conference was postponed and was held in Los Angeles in 1907.


#21. What book was published by National Congress of Parents and Teachers in 1936?


Our Homes.  Edited by  Ada Hart Arlitt, PhD., Professor and Head of the Department of Child Care and Training, University of Cincinnati.

This book was written by professional friends of the National Congress “whose life work is along the lines in which we need wisdom. They have told us how to plan a home, how to accommodate its functions to family needs and how to make happy contacts with the community and its institutions and how to develop home life in a well-rounded manner.” This is taken from the forward by Mary Langworthy.


#20.  What was Founders Day also known as in the early years?

 The Child Welfare Campaign. 

“The National Congress of Mothers inaugurated an American Child Welfare Campaign with the purpose of arousing the whole country to a sense of its duty and responsibility to childhood.  To surround the childhood of the whole world with loving, wise care in the impressionable years of life will develop a higher type of citizenship in health, morals, and efficiency.  The future of America will depend upon the citizens in the making.  The Child Welfare Campaign had made February 17 an important day in the calendar of the Congress and of the parents of the nation by 1913.  The Founders of the Congress were remembered on that day, and work was carried out with which they would have been in sympathy.”


19.  Who was the originator of Founders’ Day for the National Congress of Mothers?

Mrs. David O. Mears was a devoted friend of Mrs. Alice Birney, a charter member of the National Congress of Mothers, and a member of the National Board.  Mary Grinnell Mears urged the Congress to honor the Founders.  The first Founders Day celebration took place in 1913.


18. What was a prominent advertisement in the National Congress of Mothers Magazine, November, 1906?


 “If your child’s health seems failing, and you cannot locate the cause, it’s pretty certain to be WORMS – perhaps not large enough to be seen with the naked eye, but destructive – dangerous, and often fatal.  The safe and sure remedy is JAYNE’S TONIC VERMIFUGE.  Ask your druggist for it.”


#17. What did the National Congress of Mothers in 1906 advise mothers whose children had grown do to benefit children? 

From The National Congress of Mothers Magazine, November, 1906: “There are many mothers’ circles, which include in their membership women whose children have grown to such an age that they have time to devote to improving the general conditions affecting children….

 No circle of parents, whether in city or country, can afford to be ignorant of national and state issues which affect the home, and can at least exert its influence in favor of every movement that will benefit the physical and moral tone of the community.”


#16.  Why was there concern about attending the National Congress of Mothers Conference in Los Angeles in 1906? 

The 1906 National Congress was scheduled to be held in Los Angeles, California in 1906.  People were concerned about attending because of the San Francisco earthquake in 1906.  The Congress was postponed and then held in Los Angeles in 1907.



# 15 Who was the first Michigan PTA President to become President of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers?

Mrs. J.K. Pettengill in 1937; she had been Michigan PTA President from 1928-1932. In addition, Mr. Victor Spathelf, State Chairman of Juvenile Protection, was a district representative for the National Congress.


#14 How was the 20th Anniversary of PTA celebrated in 1938?

All past presidents gathered at the convention held in Battle Creek. There were more than 80,000 members in Michigan PTA in 1938.


#13 What was the focus of President Mrs. William T. Sanders’ administration, 1935-1939?         

The outstanding trend was recognition that juvenile delinquency is a community responsibility, and that good programs of child protection can prevent it. Cooperation among all  social agencies occurred. Support was given to legislation affecting welfare and civil service in Michigan


#12 How was PTA promoted in the 1930's?

PTA week was celebrated in October simultaneously with the membership enrollment. There were Parent Education broadcasts by the University of Michigan, and at least seven Councils had their own broadcasts emphasizing parent-teacher work, parent-education, schools, and community projects.


#11 When did Michigan Parent Teacher Association establish a State Office?

In 1937, the State Office was established with Mrs. E. L. Church as office secretary.



#10 What year was the first time the annual convention had on thousand delegates?

In 1926, in Holland, there were 1,000 delegates.

The next year in Flint, the first Men's Breakfast was held.  The convention theme that year was "Trained Leadership, Informed Membership."


#9  What was the focus of the work of the Michigan Congress of Parents and Teachers in the first year?

Programs emphasizing health and recreation for every child and the Back to School drive took place.  There was a resolution adopted urging the legislature in Michigan to provide adequate health training in all the schools of the state.  They also approved a bill pending in Congress to create a department of education with its secretary a member of the President's cabinet.


#8  Who was the firs president of the Michigan Congress?

Mrs. Charles Stewart of Battle Creek was elected as the first president in 1918.  She served from 1918 to 1921.  The second convention was in Holland.  There were 3,000 members when the Congress was one year old.


#7  When was Michigan PTA formed?

The organizational meeting of the Michigan Congress in Battle Creek took place May 19, 1918. Shortly after the Michigan Congress formed, the Detroit Council formed on July 2 with six units in membership.


#6  Were there Councils formed before the Michigan Congress was formed?

Yes! The first "Council", under the name of Grand Rapids Federation of School Associations, was formed on November 14, 1913 to “secure united strength and cooperation in promoting the best interests of the child, home, and school" and to "work constructively for the moral and physical improvement of the school district.” In 1921, the “Federation” became the Grand Rapids Council of Parent-Teacher Associations and local groups adopted gradually the name “Parent Teacher Association.”

Holland Council was the second to be formed in 1914. Port Huron Council was formed in 1916 and Battle Creek formed in 1918.


#5  What was the first year the National Congress of Mothers came to Detroit?

1903. There was a close relationship between the State Congress and the National Congress. Miss Marsh of the State Congress was on the Board of Managers of the National Congress.


#4 Was there a predecessor to Michigan PTA?

The State Congress of Mothers was formed at the Hotel Cadillac, May 3 and 4,1898 and Miss Harriet Marsh was elected president. Miss Marsh formed the first mothers’ club in a public school and then attended the first National Congress of Mothers in 1897. She said it was a necessity to provide for the “welfare of the younger generation”. 


#3  Who was Miss Harriet Marsh?

Miss Marsh was principal of Hancock School in Detroit and was interested in having mothers understand new educational ideas. In 1894, Miss Marsh formed the first mothers’ club in a public school in Michigan, possibly the first in the United States.


#2  What were the beginnings of PTA in Michigan?

Michigan began its Mothers’ Clubs before the National Congress of Mothers was formed. Grand Rapids was the first Mothers’ Club and shortly after clubs formed in Battle Creek and Detroit. The original club, according to our records, was formed under the inspiration of Mrs. Lucretia Willard Treat of Chicago on July 25, 1891, through the Grand Rapids Kindergarten Association. Afterward, it became the Froebel Study Club, active in child welfare interests until 1953.


#1  What was the beginning of the Parent Teacher Association?

The first convocation of the National Congress of of Mothers was held on February 17, 1897, in Washington D.C. More than 2,000 people attended - mostly mothers, but also fathers, teachers laborers and legislators. Twenty years later, 37 chartered state congresses existed.


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