June 10, 2012

March 1910: The first Bahá’i magazine is published in English

In March, 1910, the first Bahá’i magazine was published in English. This was a small 20-page booklet bearing the name Baha’i News. It was edited by Albert R. Windust and Gertrude Buikema. The editorial page read, in part: “The need for a Baha’i News Service is apparent throughout the Occident. To meet this need this humble publication has stepped forth from nonexistence into the court of existence . . .“ This magazine was published nineteen times a year. During the course of the first year a Persian section was added, in order to make more useful the circulation of the magazine among believers.

The magazine prospered, for the second year it increased in size and was named Star of the West. During this year, the contents included not only news of Baha’i activities, photographs, the Persian section, and translations of Tablets from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, but also occasional articles on various aspects of the teachings appeared. Volume three is of special historical interest because it chronicles so much of the talks and incidents of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s visit to America. Slowly the Star of the West changed from a magazine designed primarily for Bahá’is to a magazine for the general public as well.

When the National Spiritual Assembly began to publish Baha’i News Letters for all the believers in December, 1924, it was no longer necessary to publish news in the magazine. The name was changed to Baha’i Magazine, with Star of the West as a sub-title. After a few years, however, the sub-title was dropped entirely.

In 1935 the Baha’i Magazine was combined with World Unity magazine to make the present World Order magazine. And in this we find discussions of the relation of the Baha’i Faith to all aspects of modern life and world problems. 
(The Baha’i World 1938-1940)