August 7, 2015

‘Abdu’l-Baha’s enormously varied speaking engagements in USA in 1912

They included presentations… in synagogues and churches; the International Peace Forum and various peace societies; Columbia, Howard, and Stanford Universities; the Reading Room for the Blind in San Francisco; the Chicago Athletic Association; theosophical societies; Esperantist groups; the Green Acre Institute in Maine; the Commercial Club in Minneapolis; the Japanese YMCA in Oakland; the Persian-American Society in Washington; the Bethel Literary and Historical Society; the Bowery Mission; and the Atheist’s Club in San Francisco. He was the featured speaker for the Unitarians’ national conference; shared the platform with Samuel Gompers, President of the American Federation of Labor, at the D.A.R. Continental Memorial Hall in Washington, D.C.; and addressed gatherings in the Town Hall in Fanwood, New Jersey, in the Persian Embassy and the Turkish Embassy in Washington, and in hotel assembly rooms and banquet halls across the country. He visited William Jennings Bryan’s home in Lincoln, Nebraska, to repay a visit Bryan had tried to make to ‘Abdu’l-Baha in ‘Akka, and had tea with Mrs. Bryan and her daughter. He was invited by Admiral Peary, then recently acknowledged as discoverer of the North Pole, to address the Unity Club in Brooklyn; was sought out by former President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt; was honored with a farewell breakfast by the Treasurer of the United States, Lee McClung; and visited the home of another official who “took Him [‘Abdu’l-Baha] in his embrace and wept for joy and happiness.” (Mahmud’s Diary) 
- Allan Ward  (‘Abdu’l-Baha: Speaking in America; World Order magazine, Winter 1971-72)