February 26, 2012

First National Baha'i Convention of French Guiana was held in April 1984

Delegates and guests at the first National Baha'i Convention of French Guiana held April 28-29, 1984, in Montjoly. Hand of the Cause of God 'Ali Muhammad Varqa represented the Universal House of Justice. Dr. Varqa is seated at right in the third row; Eberhard Friedland, A Knight of Baha'u'llah who pioneered to French Guiana in 1953, is at left in the second row. 
(Baha'i News August 1984)

February 22, 2012

April 1984: Frst Baha'i National Convention of the Canary Islands

More than 70 delegates and guests were present April 28-29, 1984,  at the first Baha'i National Convention of the Canary Islands in Santa Cruz de Teneife. Hand of the Cause of God 'Ali Akbar Furutan represented the Universal House of Justice. Dr. Furutan is standing with arms folded in the center of the fifth row. (Baha'i News September 1984)

February 17, 2012

Australia's first National Haziratu'l-Quds

First National Haziratu'l-Quds in Australia: 2 Lang Road, Paddington, Sydney

February 16, 2012

First Government to recognize official status of the Faith

The Bill to incorporate the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canada was passed by both Houses of the Canadian Parliament, and given Royal assent on April 30, 1949.

On June 19, 1949, the Guardian’s secretary wrote on his behalf:

Your Assembly has much to be congratulated upon for your victories during the past Bahá'í Year have been memorable. The passing, in both Houses, of the Bill relating to the official status of your Assembly was a cause for great rejoicing, as this is the first time in Bahá'í history that any government has taken such action in relation to our Faith's status. He would like, if possible, to receive duplicates of the official Gazette and all publicity given this matter, as the copies you sent were placed in the Mansion at Bahji, but he wishes to have these documents at hand in his personal files as well. 
(Messages to Canada)

February 15, 2012

17 February 1932: Chicago Spiritual Assembly becomes the first local assembly to receive civil recognition

The processes of civil incorporation began with the adoption in 1927 of a Declaration of Trust and By-Laws for the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, which gained civil recognition as a voluntary trust two years later. On 17 February 1932 the first local Bahá'í Assembly, that of Chicago, adopted papers of incorporation which, together with those adopted by that of New York City on 31 March of that year, were to become a pattern for such instruments throughout the world. 
(Century of Light, a statement prepared at the Baha’i World center, commissioned by The Universal House of Justice)

February 11, 2012

The first gathering of Baha'is in Foundation Hall of the House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois, July 9, 1922

The first gathering of Baha'is in Foundation Hall of the House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois, July 9, 1922, in commemoration of the anniversary of the martydom of the Bab. Corinne True is in the front row (far right), next to Dr. Zia Baghdadi.

February 9, 2012

The speed in which the religion of the Báb spread in Persia …

Historian Gobineau, writing in the early 1860s and familiar with Persia after a five-year residence there, wrote:

And so, here is a religion presented and promoted by a mere youth. In a very few years, that is to say from 1847 to 1852, this religion had disseminated throughout almost the whole of Persia, and counted within its fold numerous zealous adherents. In five years, a nation of from ten to twelve million people, occupying a territory which in bygone days had supported a population of fifty millions, a nation which does not possess those means of communication considered by us as so indispensable to the spread of ideas, I mean, of course, journals and pamphlets, and which did not have a postal service, nor even a single road fit for carriages in the entire extent of its empire; this nation, I say, had in five years been, in its entirely, penetrated by the doctrine of the Bábís, and the impression produced had been such that these most serious events, which I have recounted above, resulted therefrom. Arid it is not at all the ignorant part of the population that has been touched; it is eminent members of the clergy, the rich and learned classes, the women from the most important families; and lastly, after the Muslims, it is the philosophers, the Sufis in great numbers, and many Jews, who have been conquered by the new revelation... 
(Quoted by Moojan Momen in ‘The Babi and Baha'i Religions 1844-1944’)

February 5, 2012

1981: Inaugural meeting of the Continental Board of Counsellors in Africa

Inaugural meeting of the Continental Board of Counsellors in Africa (1981) with the Hand of the Cause William Sears. Seated, left to right: William Masehla, Friday Ekpe, Thelma Khelghati, William Sears, Bahiyyih Winckler, Isobel Sabri, Peter Vuyiya. Standing, left to right: Shidan Fat’he-Aazam, Mihdi Samandari, Muhammad Kebdani, Oloro Epyeru, Hushang Ahdieh, Zekrollah Kazemi, Kolonario Oule, Husayn Ardekani. 
(The Baha’i World 1979-1983)

February 3, 2012

February 1953: First of the four Intercontinental Conferences of the Holy Year is held in Kampala, Uganda, and the Guardian's Ten Year World Crusade is launched

In February 1953 the first of the four Intercontinental Conferences of the Holy Year that commemorated Baha'u'llah's incarceration in the Siyah-Chal and the Birth of the Baha'i Revelation was held in Kampala, Uganda. There the Guardian's Ten Year World Crusade was launched. Convened by the British National Assembly, Hasan Balyuzi, the Assembly's chairman; John Ferraby, its secretary; and Dorothy Ferraby, a member of the National Assembly and secretary of the Africa Committee, attended that auspicious conference. (The Baha’i World In Memoriam 1992-1997, p. 138)

Video showing the Hands of the Cause and friends attending this very historic conference: