June 30, 2011

First National Spiritual Assembly of Finland, April 1962

First National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Finland, elected April 1962. Left to right, seated: Mavlys Tulvenhumo, Gurun Opategaard (treasurer), Josephine Kruka, Sirkka Salmi (secretary), Greta Jankko. Standing: Maija Ravola (recording secretary), Mark Namdar (vice-chairman), Ghodrat Bidardel, K.H. Zalrhian (chairman) (Baha'i News, August 1962)

June 25, 2011

June 17, 1975: Excavation begins at site of Universal House of Justice Building

Joyfully announce commencement excavation site Universal House of Justice Building arc Mount Carmel. Contract removal forty thousand cubic meters rock and earth at cost approximately two hundred thousand dollars. Invite all believers contribute unstintingly building fund ensure uninterrupted progress historic undertaking.
Universal House of Justice
June 17, 1975
(Baha'i News, July 1975)

Work started on the construction of the Universal House of Justice Building in the heart of Mount Carmel. In the left background is the Archives Building and in the right background is the Shrine of the Bab.

June 19, 2011

As of 1966: The largest number of Baha’is ever to arise to pioneer beyond their homelands in any one year in the entire history of the Cause – was in 1965-1966

The Fiftieth Anniversary of the revelation by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, in March and April 1916, of the first Tablets of the Divine Plan, has witnessed the conclusion of a feat of pioneering unparalleled in the annals of the Cause. A year ago the call was raised for four-hundred-and-sixty-one pioneers to leave their homes within twelve months and scatter throughout the planet to broaden and strengthen the foundations of the world community of Bahá'u'lláh. There is every hope that with the exception of thirty-four posts whose settlement is dependent upon favourable circumstances all the pioneer goals will be filled by Ridvan or their settlement will be assured by firm commitments. The gratitude and admiration of the entire Bahá'í world go out to this noble band of dedicated believers who have so gloriously responded to the call. These pioneers, who have arisen for the specified goals, have been reinforced by a further forty-five believers who have settled in the goal territories, while sixty-nine more have left their homes to reside in twenty-six other countries already opened to the Faith. All told, in the course of the year, five-hundred-and-five Bahá'ís have arisen to pioneer beyond their homelands, the largest number ever to do so in any one year in the entire history of the Cause. 
(The Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 1966 message)

June 18, 2011

Bahamas National Haziratu'l-Quds Acquired, January, 1975

Negotiations for the acquisition of a building which is considered a landmark by Bahamian citizens were completed in Nassau at the end of January [1975], during a visit by Glenford Mitchell, Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States. The structure, built by a former prime minister of the country, will serve as the National Haziratu'l-Quds of the Bahamas. Ideally located in the heart of downtown Nassau, the building is situated on a spacious lot which also includes a number of smaller buildings. It is well-landscaped and attractive, with a covered archway leading along the side of the building from the front to the back area. The visit of Mr. Mitchell also provided an opportunity for extensive proclamation of the Faith, with a half-hour program taped by Carl Bethel, program director of the government-owned radio station, WZNS, and an hour-long visit with Leon Turnquest, editor of the Nasseu Guardian.(Baha’i News, February, 1975)

June 17, 2011

Chicago Temple Foundation Hall as it appeared in 1922-1930

Chicago Temple Foundation Hall as it appeared in 1922-1930 (Baha'i News, November, 1974)

June 13, 2011

In September/October, 1867, Bahá'u'lláh proclaimed His Message to the kings and rulers of the world -- "Never since the beginning of the world hath the Message been so openly proclaimed." (Baha’u’llah)

[Extract from a 1965 Ridvan message of the Universal House of Justice announcing plans for a befitting celebration of that historic event:]

The fourth challenge is to prepare national and local plans for the befitting celebration of the centenary of Bahá'u'lláh's proclamation of His Message in September/October, 1867, to the kings and rulers of the world, celebrations to be followed during the remainder of the Nine Year Plan by a sustained and well-planned programme of proclamation of that same Message to the generality of mankind.

A review of the historic proclamation by Bahá'u'lláh, as described by Shoghi Effendi in God Passes By, reveals that its "opening notes" were "sounded during the latter part of Bahá'u'lláh's banishment to Adrianople," and that, six years later, it "closed during the early years of His incarceration in the prison-fortress of 'Akká." These "opening notes" were the mighty and awe-inspiring words addressed by Him to the kings and rulers collectively in the Suriy-i-Mulúk, "the most momentous Tablet revealed by Bahá'u'lláh." It was penned some time during the months of September and October, 1867, and was followed by "Tablets unnumbered ... in which the implications of His newly-asserted claims were fully expounded." "Kings and emperors, severally and collectively; the chief magistrates of the Republics of the American continent; ministers and ambassadors; the Sovereign Pontiff himself; the Vicar of the Prophet of Islam; the royal Trustee of the Kingdom of the Hidden Imam; the monarchs of Christendom, its patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, priests and monks; the recognized leaders of both the Sunni and Shí'ah sacerdotal orders; the high priests of the Zoroastrian religion; the philosophers, the ecclesiastical leaders, the wise men and the inhabitants of Constantinople -- that proud seat of both the Sultanate and the Caliphate; the entire company of the professed adherents of the Zoroastrian, the Jewish, the Christian and Muslim Faiths; the people of the Bayan; the wise men of the world, its men of letters, its poets, its mystics, its tradesmen, the elected representatives of its peoples; His own countrymen"; all were "brought directly within the purview of the exhortations, the warnings, the appeals, the declarations and the prophecies which constitute the theme of His momentous summons to the leaders of mankind ..." "Unique and stupendous as was this proclamation, it proved to be but a prelude to a still mightier revelation of the creative power of its Author, and to what may well rank as the most signal act of His ministry the promulgation of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas." In this, the Most Holy Book, revealed in 1873, Bahá'u'lláh not only once more announces to the kings of the earth collectively that "He Who is the King of Kings hath appeared" but addresses reigning sovereigns distinctively by name and proclaims to the "Rulers of America and the Presidents of the Republics therein" that "the Promised One hath appeared." Such was the proclamation of Bahá'u'lláh to mankind. As He Himself testified, "Never since the beginning of the world hath the Message been so openly proclaimed." 
(The Universal House of Justice, ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963 to 1986’)

June 11, 2011

Certificate of Incorporation of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of India and Burma

Certificate of Incorporation of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of India and Burma, January, 1933 (The Baha'i World 1932-1934)

June 10, 2011

The number of centers worldwide where Bahá'ís reside increased by almost six thousand in one year -- April 1964 to April 1965

“The most spectacular of these is the increase in the number of centres where Bahá'ís reside from fifteen thousand one hundred and sixty-eight at Ridvan 1964 to twenty-one thousand and six at the present time, an increase of nearly six thousand in one year.” 
(The Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 1965 message)

June 9, 2011

First National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Trinidad and Tobago

Standing, left to right: Joel Caverly, Treasurer; Shamsi Sedaghat, Chairman; Nikou Amarsingh (Raoofian), Recording Secretary; Leopold Fraser, Secretary. Sitting, left to right: Ramdass Ramkissoon; Gloreen Richards; Laciford Rock, Vice Chairman; Alma Lyons; and Lavern Johnson, April, 1971. (Baha'i News, July 1971)

June 1, 2011

The Suriy-i-Mulúk (Tablet to the Kings) -- “the most momentous Tablet revealed by Bahá'u'lláh”

“The Suriy-i-Mulúk, the most momentous Tablet revealed by Bahá'u'lláh (Surih of Kings) in which He, for the first time, directs His words collectively to the entire company of the monarchs of East and West, and in which the Sultan of Turkey, and his ministers, the kings of Christendom, the French and Persian Ambassadors accredited to the Sublime Porte, the Muslim ecclesiastical leaders in Constantinople, its wise men and inhabitants, the people of Persia and the philosophers of the world are separately addressed …” (Shoghi Effendi, 'God Passes By')

The first full English translation of the Súriy-i-Mulúk, that was revealed in Adrianople, is included in the book: “The Summons of the Lord of Hosts”, published at the Baha’i World Center in Haifa.