On November 11, 1912, ‘Abdul-BahÃ¡, spiritual leader of the Baha’Ã faith, spoke in Baltimore at First Unitarian Church. As we prepare for our celebration, with the Baltimore area Baha’Ã community, of the centennial of that event, I wish to introduce our church to a blog which marks the entirety of his trip to the United States and Canada one hundred years ago. The following is a citation from that blog:
WHEN HE ARRIVED IN AMERICA our newspapers called him the â€œApostle of Peace.â€ He â€œwill surely unite the East and West,â€ the president of Stanford University remarked, â€œfor he treads the mystic way with practical feet.â€ â€œThere is no doubt, among thinking people,â€ a famous columnist wrote, â€œthat this man represents, in great degree, the growing and evolving spirit of our times.â€ â€œLet him visit any bank, factory, office building, church, and everything is laid aside, and eyes bulge and ears listen until he takes his departure.â€
His name was â€˜Abduâ€™l-BahÃ¡.
The year was 1912. A fiercely contested election challenged Americans to decide what kind of country they wanted to live in. Minorities and women fought for civil rights. Workers faced off against corporations. Soldiers landed on foreign shores, sparking debate on the nationâ€™s role in the world. Did Americans really believeâ€”like Theodore Rooseveltâ€”that â€œThe welfare of each of us is dependent fundamentally upon the welfare of all of usâ€?
On April 11, â€˜Abdul-BahÃ¡ joined the conversation. For 239 days he traveled across America, reaching across political, religious, racial, class, and gender lines to confront Americans with a vision of human nature, social unity, and the nationâ€™s future that was 100 years ahead of its time.
239 Days in America is a Social Media Documentary that brings to light this important time in American history. It reconstructs â€˜Abduâ€™l-BahÃ¡â€™s 1912 journey moment by moment, time-shifted 100 years to the present. You will encounter â€˜Abduâ€™l-BahÃ¡ as Americans of the time didâ€”little by little, day by day.
239 Days in America will offer Americans a new outlook on an important piece of their past, and an opportunity to connect with this unique and unifying voice in American history.