February 28, 2011

1923: First Baha'i Feast in New Zealand

The first Baha'i Feast in New Zealand was observed at the home of Miss Margaret Stevenson, 1923 (Star of the West, vol. 14, April 1923)

February 20, 2011

The largest gathering of Baha’is in the history of the Faith -- as of 1974

More than 10,000 Baha’is attended the First National Baha’i Conference of the Five Year Plan (1974-1979) in St. Louis, Missouri, USA during August 29-September 1, 1974…. The Hand of the Cause of God Amatu’l-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum attended as the representative of the Universal House of Justice. (Baha’i News, September 1974)

The Hand of the Cause of God Ruhiyyih Khanum being greeted by fellow Hands of the Cause, US National Spiritual Assembly members and the friends upon her arrival at the St. Louis airport.

A view of the arena of Kiel Auditorium during one session of the First US National Baha'i Conference of the Five Year Plan.

More than a thousand members of Local Spiritual Assemblies in the US attended a special afternoon seminar conducted for them by the National Spiritual Assembly.

February 14, 2011

May 1-3, 1970: First National Convention of the Baha'is of Malawi

The first National Convention of the Baha'is of Malawi, May 1-3, 1970. Hand of the Cause Paul Haney (second row center) represented the Universal House of Justice.

February 13, 2011

April 1967: First time a woman elected to LSA of Karachi, Pakistan, since its formation in 1929

History was made when for the first time a woman was elected to the Local Spiritual Assembly of Karachi, Pakistan since its formation thirthy-eight years ago. Mrs. Pervin Yazamaidi is shown in center. (Baha'i News, February 1968)

February 12, 2011

April 1970: First Baha'i National Convention of the Samoan Islands

First Baha'i National Convention of the Samoan Islands in front of the Haziratu'l-Quds, Apia, Western Samoa. Hand of the Cause Collis Featherstone is in the second row from the back, second to the right of the Greatest Name symbol. (Baha'i News, August 1970)

February 11, 2011

April 1970: First National Convention of the Baha'is of Ghana

First National Convention of the Baha'is of Ghana in Accra, Ghana, April 25-26, 1970 (Baha'i News, July 1970)

February 7, 2011

July 13, 1968: Legal Recognition Granted to NSA of Spain

It was with hearts overflowing with joy that the Baha'is of Spain received official notification on July 13, 1968 that the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Spain had been legally recognized and given registry number 2 in the Register of Non-Catholic Religious Associations in the Ministry of Justice. This recognition of the National Assembly carries with it the automatic legal recognition of all Local Spiritual Assemblies duly formed in accordance with the Statutes of the National Spiritual Assembly.

This represents the fulfillment of one of the goals of the Ten Year Global Crusade of our beloved Guardian which, in spite of continuous efforts and great expense beginning in 1954 had proved impossible of accomplishment. From 1954 through 1963, legalization proceedings went through various government levels and to the Supreme Court with continuous denials. This goal was then included in the Nine Year Plan.

In December, 1966 a new basic law of the land was approved by national referendum, and one provision of the new law provided for government protection of all religions. To implement this new concept, a Law on Religious Liberty was passed by the national Parliament on June 28, 1967.

February 4, 2011

March 12, 1923: The Guardian calls for the establishment of local and national Baha’i Funds

And as the progress and execution of spiritual activities is dependent and conditioned upon material means, it is of absolute necessity that immediately after the establishment of local as well as national Spiritual Assemblies, a Bahá’í Fund be established, to be placed under the exclusive control of the Spiritual Assembly. All donations and contributions should be offered to the Treasurer of the Assembly, for the express purpose of promoting the interests of the Cause, throughout that locality or country. It is the sacred obligation of every conscientious and faithful servant of Bahá’u’lláh who desires to see His Cause advance, to contribute freely and generously for the increase of that Fund. The members of the Spiritual Assembly will at their own discretion expend it to promote the Teaching Campaign, to help the needy, to establish educational Bahá’í institutions, to extend in every way possible their sphere of service. I cherish the hope that all the friends, realizing the necessity of this measure, will bestir themselves and contribute, however modestly at first, towards the speedy establishment and the increase of that Fund. 
(Excerpt from a letter written by Shoghi Effendi, dated March 12, 1923, to the Baha’is throughout America, Great Britain, Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, Japan and Australasia; ‘Baha’i Administration’ pp. 34-43) 
(To read the entire letter please visit Messages to the Baha’i World)

February 3, 2011

April 30 - May 2, 1967: First Baha'i National Convention in Sikkim

The historic first Baha'i National Convention in Gangtok, Sikkim, April 30 - May 2, 1967. 'Amatu'l-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum, special representative of the Universal House of Justice, is shown in second row, center. Of the 58 delegates 33 were present and fifty-four votes were cast. This tiny state situated in the Himalayan mountains had approximately 3000 believers in 1967 and 48 local spiritual assemblies. (adapted from Baha'i News January 1968 and March 1968)