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Bahá'í Chronology: years 194-

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194-

date event locations tags firsts see also
1940 (in the decade) The first Bahá’ís reside in the Belgian Congo (Zaire), Mr Rajah Ali Vahdat and Mme Marthe Molitor. Belgian Congo Rajah Ali Vahdat; Marthe Molitor first resident Bahá’ís in Belgian Congo
1940 (in the decade) By the mid-1940s Corporal Thomas Bereford Macauley becomes a Bahá’í in Nigeria, the first Bahá’í in the country. Nigeria Thomas Bereford Macauley first Bahá’í in Nigeria
1940 (in the decade) The first Egyptian Bahá’í summer school is held in the mid-1940s. Egypt summer school first Egyptian Bahá’í summer school
1940 (in the decade) Bahá’ís in Argentina face opposition throughout the decade with both the police and nationalists intimidating them. Argentina religious persecution
1940 Eleanor Smith Adler, a new Bahá’í from Los Angeles, settles in La Paz, the first pioneer to Bolivia. La Paz; Bolivia Eleanor Smith Adler first pioneer to Bolivia
1940 Marcia Atwater, from the United States, arrives in Santiago, Chile, as the first long-term pioneer. Santiago; Chile Marcia Atwater first long-term pioneer
1940 Narayenrao Rangnath Shethji, a Bahá’í from India surnamed Vakíl, visits Nepal, the first Bahá’í to do so. Nepal Narayenrao Rangnath Shethji first Bahá’í to visit Nepal
1940 The Grand Muftí of Egypt states that Bahá’ís cannot be buried in Muslim cemeteries, forcing the authorities to allow the Bahá’ís to have their own.
  • The graves of Mírzá Abu’l-Fadl Gulpáygání and Lua Getsinger are transferred to the cemetery near Cairo.
Egypt Gulpaygani; Lua Getsinger
1940 A Bahá’í centre is opened in Havana, Cuba, and an organized group is formed. Havana; Cuba
1940 The Canadian Department of National Defence exempts Bahá’ís from combatant military duty. Canada
1940 The first local spiritual assembly in Brazil is established in Bahia, with the assistance of Leonora Holsapple Armstrong. Bahia; Brazil Leonora Holsapple Armstrong; Leonora Armstrong first LSA in Brazil
1940s early The publication in Iran of Amir Kabir and Iran, considered perhaps the most influential scholarly work of history published prior to the Islamic Revolution, by Fereidoon Adamiyyat, one of the most influential and widely acknowledged Iranian historians of the 20th century. The book argues that British intelligence officers were behind a plot which led to the creation of the Bahá'í Faith. [Iran Press Watch] Iran; Persia Amir Kabir; Fereidoon Adamiyyat; historian; British; Britain; officers; Baha'i
1940 13 Jan María Teressa Martín de López (Irizarry), from Puerto Rico, becomes a Bahá’í in the Dominican Republic while on a visit. She is the first Puerto Rican Bahá’í and the first person to become a Bahá’í in the Dominican Republic.
  • For the story of her life see BW8:631–42.
Dominican Republic María Teressa Martín de López first Puerto Rican Bahá’í; first declaration Dominican Republic
1940 9 Feb The monuments of Navváb and the Purest Branch are dedicated at a ceremony in Haifa. [ZK293]
  • For details of the ceremony, see ZK293–6.
Haifa Navváb; Purest Branch
1940 Mar Emeric and Rosemary Sala of St. Lambert, Quebec arrive in Venezuela, the first pioneers to that country. During their eleven month stay in Caracus they will make an eight-day trip by car over the Andes to visit a pioneer in Bogota, Columbia. [TG76-82] Venezuela Emeric Sala; Rosemary Sala first pioneers to Venezuela
1940 1 Mar May Bolles Maxwell passes away in Buenos Aires. [BBD153; BW8:631 TG49]
  • Shoghi Effendi awards her the honour of a ‘martyr’s death’ and a Disciple of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. [BW8:631; MA38]
  • She was the first Bahá'í on European soil and the "mother" of both the French and the Canadian Bahá'í communities. [PP149]
  • For the story of her life see BW17:437–8.
  • Shoghi Effendi asks her husband, Sutherland Maxwell, to design her tomb, which is to be a ‘historic centre’ for ‘pioneer Bahá’í activity’. [BW8:642]
  • For an account of the erection of the monument to her see PSBW83–6.
Buenos Aires; May Bolles Maxwell; martyr; Sutherland Maxwell; Disciple of 'Abdu'l-Baha; Mother of the French Baha'i community; Mother of the Canadian Baha'i community First Bahá'í on European soil.
1940 Apr The first local spiritual assembly of Argentina is established in Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires first LSA in Argentina
1940 15 May Shoghi Effendi determines to go to England; Shoghi Effendi and Rúhíyyih Khánum leave Haifa for Italy en route to London. [PP 178]
  • For the difficulties and dangers of this journey see PP178–80.
  • A few days after their arrival Rúhíyyih Khánum travels to Genoa to meet her father, Sutherland Maxwell who had arrived on the S.S. Rex from Montreal. After the passing of his wife Mr. Maxwell had been invited by Shoghi Effendi to come and live in Haifa.[PP178]
Shoghi Effendi; Ruhiyyih Khanum
1940 25 May Shoghi Effendi and Rúhíyyih Khánum leave for England via Menton and Marseilles after having obtained a visa for Britain in Rome. A few days later the Italians enter the war against the Allies. [PP179] Rome Shoghi Effendi; Rúhíyyih Khánum
1940 2 Jun Shoghi Effendi and Rúhíyyih Khánum leave St Malo, France, for England one day before the city is occupied by the Nazis. Shoghi Effendi seems acutely aware of the danger to himself and to the Faith should he fall into the hands of the Nazis because the Cause had already been banned in Germany and his inveterate enemy, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, was allied with them. [PP 179–80] St Malo; France Shoghi Effendi; Ruhiyyih Khanum
1940 30 Jun George Townshend preaches a sermon in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, proclaiming the Bahá’í Faith to the congregation. [GT171] Dublin George Townshend
1940 Jul Gerrard Sluter, a German with Canadian citizenship and previously a pioneer in Guatemala, arrives in Colombia, the first Bahá’í to settle in the country.
  • He later becomes a Covenant-breaker and causes much difficulty to the Bahá’ís in many South American countries.
Colombia Gerrard Sluter; Covenant-breaker first Bahá’í to settle in Colombia
1940 28 Jul Shoghi Effendi, Rúhíyyih Khánum and Sutherland Maxwell leave England for South Africa. [PP180]
  • This is the only route open back to Palestine, as Italy’s entrance into the war has closed the Mediterranean to Allied ships. [PP180]
  • The trip across Africa takes them to Stanleyville, Congo; Juba in the Sudan; down the Nile to Khartoum and back to Palestine through Cairo. [PP180–1, TG159]
England Shoghi Effendi; Ruhiyyih Khanum; Sutherland Maxwell
1940 1 Aug The first four people to become Bahá’ís in Costa Rica accept the Faith after Gayle Woolson and Amelia Ford from the United States arrive in Puerto Limón on 29 March 1940.
  • The first to enrol is Raul Contreras, followed by his cousin Guido Contreras, and by José Joaquin Ulloa and Felipe Madrigal.
Costa Rica Gayle Woolson; Amelia Ford; Raul Contreras; Guido Contreras; José Joaquin Ulloa; Felipe Madrigal first four Bahá’ís in Costa Rica
1940 Sep William Sears, Hand of the Cause of God, becomes a Bahá’í in Salt Lake City, Utah. Salt Lake City; Utah William Sears; Hand of the Cause
1940 20 Oct Ralph Laltoo, the first Trinidadian to become a Bahá’í, accepts the Faith in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Halifax; Nova Scotia Ralph Laltoo first Bahá'í from Trinidad
1940 Dec Luis Carlo Nieto becomes the first Bahá’í in Colombia.
  • He soon leaves the Faith and Aura Sanchez, who becomes a Bahá’í in 1941, is considered the first Colombian believer.
Colombia Luis Carlo Nieto; Aura Sanchez first Bahá’í in Colombia
1940 Dec Eduardo Gonzales, a university student, accepts the Faith, becoming the first native Bahá’í of Ecuador.
  • He is not formally registered until his twenty–first birthday on 15 October 1941.
Ecuador Eduardo Gonzales first native Bahá’í of Ecuador
1940 Dec Gerald and Vivian MacBeans, a Jamaican couple, and their niece, Miss May Johnson, become the first people to accept the Faith in Haiti. Haiti Gerald MacBeans; Vivian MacBeans; May Johnson first Bahá'ís in Haiti
1940 27 Dec Shoghi Effendi and Rúhíyyih Khánum are back in Haifa. [PP181] Haifa Shoghi Effendi; Ruhiyyih Khanum
1940 27 Dec Elizabeth Cheney, the ‘spiritual mother of Paraguay’, arrives in Paraguay, the first pioneer to the country. Paraguay Elizabeth Cheney; spiritual mother first pioneer to Paraguay
1941 Shaykh Kázim is martyred in Bunáb, Ádharbáyján. [BW18:389] Bunáb; Ádharbáyján Shaykh Kazim; martyr; religious persecution
1941 Aura Sanchez becomes a Bahá’í in Colombia, considered the first Bahá’í of the country. Colombia Aura Sanchez first Bahá’í in Colombia
1941 John Ferraby, Hand of the Cause of God, hears about the Bahá’í Faith from, a non-Bahá’í. John Ferraby; Hand of the Cause; Victor Cofman
1941 The publication of The Epistle to the Son of the Wolf. [ESW]

A Tablet addressed to Shaykh Muhammad-Taqiy-i-Najafi, a prominent Muslim cleric who had persecuted the Bahá’ís. It was revealed around 1891 at the Mansion of Bahjí and translated by Shoghi Effendi.

BWC The Epistle to the Son of the Wolf
1941 'Abdu'l-Jalíl Bey Sa'ad translated The Dawn-Breakers into Arabic. His translation was published but because of the war it had to be referred to the Publicity Section of the government for approval. From that department it was passed to the high Muslim authorities who determined that it was against the Muslim faith and so should be condemned. The entire publication run was gathered for destruction and upon hearing this 'Abdu'l-Jalíl interviewed all the officers concerned and not only secured the release of the books but obtained official permissions to distribute them in Egypt and abroad. [BW-598-599] Egypt Dawn-Breakers; Abdul-Jalil Bey Saad
1941 Jan Nine Bahá’ís are arrested in Sangsar, Khurásán, Iran, and banished to other towns for closing their shops on Bahá’í holy days. BW18:389] Sangsar; Khurásán; Iran religious persecution; holy days
1941 17 Feb John Henry Hyde Dunn, passes away in Sydney. [BW9:595; SBR166]
  • Shortly after his passing Shoghi Effendi appoints him to the rank of Hand of the Cause of God. (26 April, 1952) [MoCxxii]For the story of his life see SBR153–68.
  • For his obituary see BW9:593–7.
Sydney John Henry Hyde Dunn; Hand of the Cause; In Memoriam; Hand appointed posthumously by Shoghi Effendi
1941 18 May Yvonne Cuellar, a French woman, becomes a Bahá’í in Bolivia.
  • Although Marina del Prado was the first to become a Bahá’í, on 2 February 1941, she did not remain active, so Yvonne Cuellar is recognized as the first Bahá’í in Bolivia. She was called by Shoghi Effendi ‘Mother of Bolivia’.
  • For the story of her life see BW19:619–22.
Bolivia Yvonne Cuellar; spiritual mother first Bahá’í in Bolivia
1941 Jun Eve Nicklin arrives in Peru from the United States and becomes the first resident pioneer to settle in Lima. Peru Eve Nicklin first resident pioneer in Lima
1941 20 Jun The passing of Howard Colby Ives in Little Rock, AR. He was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1867. [BW9p608-613] Little Rock; AR; Brooklyn; NY Howard Colby Ives; In Memoriam
1941 summer The first Canadian Bahá’í summer school is held, in Montreal. [BW9:28, TG84] Montreal summer school first Canadian Bahá’í summer school
1941 16 Sep In Iran, Ridá Sháh abdicates and Muhammad-Ridá Sháh ascends to the throne. His rule was to last until 1979. [BBR482]
  • Ridá Sháh is overthrown by the British and Russians. [BBRSM173]
  • His reign can be described in three phases:

    The first phase, from1941 through 1955, was a period characterized by physical danger, during which Baha’is were scapegoated in the interactions among the government, the clerics and the people, and experienced several bloody incidents, the culmination of which was the 1955 anti-Baha’i campaign and its aftermaths.

    The second phase, from the late 1950s to around 1977, marked almost two decades of relative respite from physical attacks, during which Baha’is enjoyed more security than before, without ever being officially recognized as a religious community and while their existence as Baha’is was essentially ignored or denied.

    The last two years of the reign of the Shah comprised the third phase, the revival of a bloody period. [Towards a History of Iran’s Baha’i Community During the Reign of Mohammad Reza Shah, 1941-1979 by Mina Yazdani]

Iran Rida Shah; Muhammad-Rida Shah
1941 18 Oct Four members of a Bahá’í family are killed and several other family members severely beaten in an attack on their home by an armed mob in Panbih-Chúlih, near Sárí, Iran. [BW18:389] Panbih-Chúlih; Iran religious persecution
1941 Nov The National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada distributed a mimeographed statement concerning the New History Society entitled The Basis of the Bahá’í Community, which explained the purpose and outcome of the lawsuit entered against the founders of the New History Society to prevent their misuse of the name "Bahá’í” on which the National Spiritual Assembly had obtained a trade mark patent. The court took the position that it was not authorized to decide religious questions. [The Basis of the Bahá'í Community: A Statement Concerning the New History Society] Covenant-Breakers; New History Society; Ahmad Sohrab title; title
1941 Dec The excommunication of Shoghi Effendi's sister, Mehrangíz Rabbáni with this message.

"Sister Mehrangis [Mehrangiz] followed example Ruhi's sister. Justice demands announce believers her expulsion."(UD149)

The reason for her being declared a Covenant-breaker was that she followed the example of Ruhi's sister by marrying to one of his cousins without the Guardian's consent. Mehrangiz married to Hassan Afnan, the son of Furughiyyih Khanum, a daughter of Bahá'u'lláh by his third wife Gawhar.[15]

BWC Covenant-breakers
1942 Lidia Zamenhof is killed in the gas chambers at Treblinka.
  • For her obituary see BW10:533–8.
  • See also Heller, Lidia.
Treblinka Lidia Zamenhof
1942 The House of the Báb in Shíráz is attacked and damaged by fire. [BBD108; BW18:389] Shíráz House of the Bab; religious persecution
1942 – early The publication in Iran of The Political Confessions or Memoirs of Prince Dolgoruki (or, simply, Dolgorukov's Memoirs). The book contends that the Bábí Faith was simply a plot to destabilize Iran and Islam. [22 February, 2009 Iran Press Watch]
  • See Religious Contentions in Modern Iran, 1881-1941 by Dr Mina Yazdani where she posits that "The process of Othering the Bahā’īs had at least three components; 1) religious, carried on by the traditionalist theologians; 2) institutional and formal, sanctioned by the state; and 3) political, the result of a joint and gradual process in which Azalīs, former Bahā’īs and reformist theologians all played a role. This process reached its culmination with the widespread publication of The Confessions of Dolgoruki which resulted in a fundamental paradigm shift in the anti-Bahā’ī discourse. With the widespread impression of Bahā’īs as spies of foreign powers, what up to that point constituted a sporadic theme in some anti-Bahā’ī polemics now became the dominant narrative of them all, including those authored by traditionalist clerics. Consequently, as Iran entered the 1940s, the process that would transform Islamic piety to political ideology was well under way."
Iran; Persia Political; Confession; Memoir; Prince Dolgoruki; Dolgorukov; Babi; Islam
1942 In the village of Daidanaw eleven Bahá'ís were slain. Records, books and documents that had been transferred to Daidanaw from the headquarters in Mandalay and Rangoon were lost when the headquarters building was destroyed by file. [BW11]p33] Daidanaw; Mandalay; Rangoon; Burma persecution
1942 Dr Malcolm King, a Jamaican who become a Bahá'í in the United States, introduces the Faith to his homeland. [SDSCp425 note 2] Jamaica; Dr Malcolm King first Jamaican Baha'i
1942 13 Feb Ustád Habíbu’lláh Mu‘ammarí is martyred in Nayríz, Iran. [BW18:389] Nayríz; Iran Ustád Habíbu’lláh Mu‘ammarí; martyr; religious persecution
1942 13 Mar The passing of Siyyid Mustafá Rúmí. who became a Baha'i in1875 through the teaching of Jamal Effendi. He was nearly 99 years old at the time of his death.
  • He was born of a noble family from Iraq who had settled in Madras, India where he encounter Jamal Effendi. Together they journeyed to Burma in 1878 and he married and settle in Rangoon. In 1899 he and some others carried the marble casket made by the Bahá'ís of Mandalay to the Holy Land for the Holy Remains of the Báb. After the loss of his wife and his business interests in 1910 he was free to devote his full time to the Faith. He was instrumental in establishing a new centre in Daidanaw in the township of Kungyangoon.
  • Among his many services for the Faith he translated the Writing to Urdu and to Burmese.
  • The Guardian announced his elevation to the rank of Hand of the Cause of God on the 14th of July, 1945 and made a donation for the construction of his tomb. [MoCxxi, BW10p517-520i]
Thingagyun; Burma; Daidanaw; In Memoriam; Hand appointed posthumously by Shoghi Effendi; Siyyid Mustafa Rumi; Jamal Effendi
1942 21 Apr The first local assembly in El Salvador is established in San Salvador. San Salvador LSA first LSA in El Salvador
1942 Apr The first local spiritual assembly in Cuba is established in Havana.
  • A loose organization had been formed in 1940.
Havana LSA first LSA in Cuba
1942 Apr The first local spiritual assembly in Haiti is established in Port-au-Prince. Port-au-Prince LSA first LSA in Haiti
1942 25 May ‘Abdu’l-Jalíl Bey Sa‘ad passes away and is named a Hand of the Cause of God posthumously. [BW9:597]
  • For his obituary see BW9:597–9.
  • On the day of his passing Shoghi Effendi announced his appointment to the rank of Hand of the Cause of God. [MoCxxii]
Abdul-Jalil Bey Saad; Hands of the Cause; In Memoriam; Hands - Posthumously
1942 Jun The Spiritual Assembly of San José, Costa Rica, is legally registered with the government, the first local assembly to be incorporated in Latin America. [BW11:46] San José; Costa Rica LSA first LSA incorporated in Latin America
1942 25 Jun The passing of 'Abdu'l-Jalíl Bey Sa'ad who was, for many years, the president of the National Spiritual Assembly and a judge in the Civil Courts in Egypt. Through his sustained effort the Declaration of Trust was recognized as valid and legalized in 1934.
  • He made an important contribution in translating into Arabic. Among his accomplishments were The Dawn-Breakers, Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era, Laws of Personal Status and Rules of Procedure.
  • In 1941 he employed the Declaration of Trust as an instrument to induce the Ministry of Civil Defence to grant permission to build the Hazíratu'l-Quds in Cairo. While supervising this project in the intense heat he fell ill and died suddenly after an operation.
  • Shoghi Effendi appointed him to the rank of Hand of the Cause of God on the day of his passing. [MoC597-599]
Egypt In Memoriam; Hands of the Cause; Abdul Jalil Bey Saad; Declaration of Trust; Haziratu'l-Quds; Dawn-Breakers
1942 26 Oct Marion Lord Maxwell (‘Miss Mac’) becomes a Bahá’í, the first Jamaican to accept the Faith. [BW17:429]
  • For the story of her life see BW17:429–30.
Jamaica Marion Lord Maxwell first Bahá'í in Jamaica
1942 16 Nov Manuel Bergés Chupani, of Sánchez, Dominican Republic, becomes a Bahá’í, perhaps the first native Dominican person to accept the Faith. Dominican Republic Manuel Bergés Chupani first native Bahá'í in Dominican Republic
1942 Late in the year Shoghi Effendi asks Sutherland Maxwell to design the superstructure of the Shrine of the Báb. [BBD210; DH140; GBF103–5] Haifa Sutherland Maxwell; Shrine of the Báb
1943 The first Spiritual Assembly was formed in Jamaica. [BWNS233] Jamaica first Spiritual Assembly in Jamaica
1943 The first Bahá’í group is formed in Bogotá, Colombia, with the celebration of a Unity Feast. Bogotá; Colombia Unity Feast first Bahá’í group in Bogotá, Colombia
1943 Margot Vandenbroeck-Levy (Galler) becomes a Bahá’í in Chicago, the first native Luxembourger to accept the Faith.
  • She returns to Luxembourg in 1948.
Chicago Margot Vandenbroeck-Levy First Bahá'í of Luxembourg
1943 8 Jan The exterior ornamentation of the Wilmette Temple is completed. [BW10:181; UD155–6]
  • The cost of the building is $1.3 million. [UD165]
Wilmette Wilmette Temple; Mashriqu'l-Adhkar
1943 5 Apr Sir Ronald Storrs visits the House of the Báb in Shiraz. [BW 11:461] Shiraz; Iran; Sir Ronald Storrs; House of the Bab
1943 2 May Narayenrao Sethji, Vakíl, the first Hindu believer, passes away in Poona. [BW9:638]
  • For the story of his life see PH17–25.
Poona Narayenrao Sethji; Vakil first Hindu believer
1943 23 May Melba M. King (née Call) becomes a Bahá’í in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the first full-blooded Eskimo, a Yup’ik, to accept the Faith. [BW18:687–8] Albuquerque; New Mexico Melba M. King first full-blooded Eskimo Bahá'í
1943 30 May The dedication of the Memorial to May Ellis Maxwell, Quilmes Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Argentina. [Bahá'í News July 1943 No 169 page 3, 564/1186] Buenos Aires; May Ellis Maxwell; May Maxwell; Quilmes Cemetery
1943 18 Jun The passing of Mabel Rice-Wray Ives (Riswanea) in Oklahoma City, OK. She was born in St. Louis, MO in 1878. [BW9p616-623] Oklahoma City; OK Mabel Rice-Wray Ives; Mabel Ives; Riswanea
1943 4 Sep The first local spiritual assembly in Alaska is established at Anchorage. Anchorage; Alaska LSA first LSA in Alaska
1944 Hand of the Cause Collis Featherstone and his wife, Madge, are introduced to the Bahá’í Faith by Bertha and Joe Dobbins in Adelaide, Australia. They become Bahá’ís later in the year. Adelaide; Australia Collis Featherstone; Madge Featherstone; Bertha Dobbins; Joe Dobbins
1944 A Bahá’í committee in Tihrán identifies the House of Bahá’u’lláh in the city and purchases it. Tihrán House of Bahá’u’lláh
1944 The National Spiritual Assembly of Australia incorporates.
1944 The first Bahá’ís arrive in the Mariana Islands.
  • Joseph F. Peter and Joseph Tierno, United States servicemen, are based on Saipan, 1944–5.
Saipan Joseph F. Peter; Joseph Tierno first Bahá’ís in Mariana Islands
1944 22 Jan Prior to mailing the manuscript to Horace Holley, Shoghi Effendi made the last corrections of the last installment of God Passes By. At that time the book had the working title of "Prospect and Retrospect". This marks the culmination of approximately two years of almost continuous work. [PP222] Haifa God Passes By; Prospect and Perspect
1944 Ridván The Bahá'ís of the British Isles launched a Six Year Plan (1944-1950). [Ruhi 8.2 p46] Britain; Teaching Plans; Six Year Plan
1944 21 Apr The first local spiritual assembly in Jamaica is established in Kingston. Kingston LSA first LSA in Jamaica
1944 21 Apr The first local spiritual assembly in Puerto Rico is established in San Juan. San Juan LSA first LSA in Puerto Rico
1944 21 Apr The first local spiritual assembly in Colombia is established in Bogotá. Bogotá LSA first LSA in Colombia
1944 21 Apr The first local spiritual assembly in Honduras is established in Tegucigalpa. Tegucigalpa LSA first LSA in Honduras
1944 21 Apr The first local spiritual assembly in Peru is established in Lima. Lima LSA first LSA in Peru
1944 Apr The first Bahá’í shortwave radio broadcast is beamed from New York towards South America. [BW9:44–5]
  • VV76 says this was 1943.
New York first Bahá’í shortwave radio broadcast
1944 12 May Bahá’ís are persecuted at Ábádih, Iran. The Bahá’í centre is attacked by a mob of four thousand, the building is looted and destroyed and several Bahá’ís badly beaten. [BW18:389]
  • For Western accounts see BBR479.
Ábádih; Iran religious persecution
1944 19–25 May An international celebration of the Centenary of the founding of the Faith is held at the House of Worship in Wilmette.
  • For a description of this event see BW10:158–61.
  • For the programme see BW10:162–70.
  • For a list of the countries participating in the conference see BW10:168.
Wilmette Centenary of the founding of the Faith; House of Worship; Mashriqu'l-Adhkar
1944 22 May Centenary of the Declaration of the Báb.
  • For a survey of the growth and development of the Bahá’í Faith in the hundred years since its inception see BW10:142–9.
  • Celebrations are held in many parts of the world:
  • Britain [BW10:188–201]
      Sir Ronald Storrs delivered an address at the opening of the Bahá'í Centenary Exhibition in London. These are extracts from that speech: “My first glimpse of ‘Abbás Effendi was in the summer of 1909, when I drove round the Bay of Acre in an Arab cab, visited him in the barracks and marveled at his serenity and cheerfulness after 42 years of exile and imprisonment. I kept touch with him through my confidential agent, Husayn Bey Ruhi, son of a Tabriz martyr. [BW10p189-195]
  • India [BW10:202–8]
  • Egypt [BW10:208–17]
  • Iraq [BW10:217–22]
  • Australia [BW 10:222–8]
  • Latin America [BW10:228–33]
  • The end of the celebrations marking this occasion signal the end of the First Epoch of the Formative Age. [BBD79; CF5; PP390]
Centenary of the Declaration of the Bab; Formative Age
1944 22–23 May The Centenary of the Declaration of the Báb is celebrated at the House of the Báb in Shíráz. [BW10:181]
  • Ninety delegates to the national convention and members of the National Spiritual Assembly of Iran assemble discreetly for the occasion.
  • For details of this event and the caution with which the arrangements for it are made see BW10:181–3.
  • The Guardian sends the Persian Bahá’ís a lengthy letter detailing how the observance and the week-long festivities to follow are to be made. [BW10:183]
  • For details of the events see BW10:183–8.
Shíráz Centenary of the Declaration of the Bab; House of the Bab; national convention; NSA
1944 22–23 May The Centenary of the Declaration of the Báb is commemorated in the Holy Land. [BW10:150]
  • For a description of this event by Rúhíyyih Khánum see BW10:150–7.
  • For press accounts see BW10:156–7.
Haifa Centenary of the Declaration of the Báb
1944 23 May Shoghi Effendi unveils the model of the Shrine of the Báb at the centenary celebration of the Declaration of the Báb in Haifa. [BBD210; BW10:154, 157; DH140; GBF104; PP239–40; UD166]
  • BW10:157 suggests this was 24 May
Haifa Shrine of the Báb; Declaration of the Báb
1944 May The British at national convention decide to ask the Guardian for their own Six Year Plan. [UDXVI]
  • He responds immediately by setting them the task of forming 19 assemblies spread over England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Eire. [UD173]
  • Shoghi Effendi describes this as ‘their first collective enterprise’. [UDXVI, 173–4]
  • See also BBRSM158, 185
British Isles national convention; Six Year Plan first British collective enterprise
1944 May The first All-American Bahá’í Convention is held.
  • For the first time the delegates have been selected at state and provincial conventions by votes from all believers rather than by communities with local assemblies. [BW9:44; PP390]
America state convention; provincial convention first All-American Bahá’í Convention Hilda Yen joins Bahá'í Faith (Wikipedia)
1944 8 Aug Three Bahá’ís are murdered in Sháhrúd, Iran, after three weeks of anti-Bahá’í agitation. Many Bahá’í houses are attacked and looted. [BW18:389] Sháhrúd; Iran religious persecution
1944 after Aug Following the murder of Bahá’ís at Sháhrúd, Iran, and the widespread publicity on the outcome of the trial, there is an upsurge in persecution of Bahá’ís throughout Iran. [BW18:389]
  • At Ábádih Bahá’ís are beaten and their houses sacked. [BW18:389]
  • The Bahá’í centre at Bandar Jaz is attacked. [BW18:389]
  • Two Bahá’ís are knifed at Bandar Sháh. The attackers are set free and attack a further three Bahá’ís, leaving one an invalid. [BW18:390]
  • Bahá’ís, including women and children, are attacked and beaten at Bushrúyih, their homes and shops looted and burned and the Bahá’í cemetery desecrated. [BW18:390]
  • Bahá’í houses are attacked and looted at Fárán, Káshán and Ná’in. [BW13:390]
  • Bahá’í houses are set on fire in Gulpáygán and Zábul. [BW18:390]
  • Bahá’ís are driven from town in Bujnúrd, Gunábád and Tabas. [BW18:390]
  • The Bahá’í cemetery at Mahmúdábád is desecrated.
  • Bahá’ís are beaten at Miyán-du-áb, Rafsanján, Sangsar and Sírján. [BW18:390]
  • Bahá’ís are stoned at Qasr-i-Shírín. [BW18:390]
Ábádih; Bandar Jaz; Bandar Sháh; Bushrúyih; Fárán; Káshán; Ná’in; Gulpáygán; Zábul; Bujnúrd; Gunábád; Tabas; Mahmúdábád; Miyán-du-áb; Rafsanján; Sangsar; Sírján; Qasr-i-Shírín religious persecution
1944 Nov Shoghi Effendi sent the cable below to the Bahá'í world: "Monib Shahid, grandson of both `Abdu'l-Bahá and the King of Martyrs, married according to the Moslem rites the daughter of a political exile who is nephew of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. This treacherous act of alliance with enemies of the Faith merits condemnation of entire Bahá'í world." [Bahá'í News, December, 1944 No. 172] BWC Covenant-Breakers; Munib Shahid
1944 Nov (mid) The publication of God Passes By, a history of the first century of the Bábí and Bahá’í Faiths by Shoghi Effendi. BBRSM137; CB308–9; GPBXI]
  • Shoghi Effendi intended the book to be a gift to the Bahá’ís of the West on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of the Declaration of the Báb but conditions in the United States delayed its publication. [GT79–80; PP224]
  • For information on how Shoghi Effendi wrote the book, "the only true book we have from his pen", see GBF95–6 and PP222–4.
Shoghi Effendi; God Passes By
1944 Nov The Local Spiritual Assembly of Bogotá, Colombia, is disbanded.
  • It is not reformed until April 1946.
Bogotá; Colombia LSA
1945 Bahá’ís throughout Iran are dismissed from National Teacher Training Colleges by the National Board of Education. [BW18:390] Iran religious persecution
1945 The World Forestry Charter Gathering is founded in Britain by Richard St Barbe Baker. [VV106; WH75] Britain Richard St Barbe Baker; World Forestry Charter Gathering
1945 See BBRSM166–7 for a chart showing the distribution of the Bahá’í Assemblies and localities in this year.
1945 13 Mar Siyyid Mustafá Rúmí passes away at the age of 99, in Burma. [BW10:519; PH23]
  • He is named a Hand of the Cause of God posthumously. [BW10:519]
  • For his obituary see BW10:517–20.
  • For Shoghi Effendi’s tribute see BW10:519–20 and DND215.
Burma Siyyid Mustafa Rumi; Hand of the Cause
1945 Apr Shoghi Effendi sent the following cable to the Bahá'í world: "My faithless brother Husayn, after long period of dishonourable conduct, has abandoned the Master's home to consort with his sister and other Covenant-breakers". [Bahá'í News, No. 174, p.2] BWC Covenant-Breakers; Husayn Ali Rabbani
1945 Apr The first local spiritual assembly in Ecuador is established in Guayaquil. Guayaquil; Ecuador LSA first LSA in Ecuador
1945 Apr The first local spiritual assembly in the Dominican Republic is established in Santo Domingo.
  • There are nine indigenous believers in the city.
Santo Domingo LSA first LSA in Dominican Republic
1945 Apr The first local spiritual assembly of Bolivia is established in La Paz. La Paz LSA first LSA in Bolivia
1945 Apr The first local spiritual assembly of Venezuela is established in Caracas. Caracas LSA first LSA in Venezuela
1945 25 Apr The United Nations convenes in San Francisco.
  • For the Bahá’í response see BW17:81.
San Francisco United Nations
1945 8 May The war in Europe ends.
  • For Shoghi Effendi’s response see MA80–1, PP185 and UD175.
  • For the war’s effect on the Bahá’í community worldwide see BW17:80.
  • See CF36 for Shoghi Effendi’s opinion of the significance of the role of the United States in the war.
Europe WW II
1945 Jun The 20 Bahá’ís in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, are a sufficient number for the local spiritual assembly to gain legal recognition for the Bahá’í Faith as a religion.
  • It is registered as a cultural, religious and social organization on 5 August 1946.
Port-au-Prince; Haiti LSA
1945 1 Aug A children’s hostel is founded in Panchgani, Maharashtra state, India. [BBD171; BBRSM153; BW16:320]
  • It expands into the New Era High School.
  • For the history of the school see BW16:320–6.
Panchgani; Maharashtra state; India New Era High School
1945 14 Aug The German Bahá’ís, 80 per cent of whom live in the American sector of occupied Germany, obtain permission to re-organize. [BBRSM185] Germany
1945 Aug Marguerite Wellby Preston, an English Bahá’í married to a Kenyan tea grower, settles in Sotik, Kenya, becoming the first Bahá’í in the country. [UD484]
  • Until the 1950s she is the only Bahá’í in East Africa. [UD484]
Sotik; Kenya Marguerite Wellby Preston first Bahá’í in Kenya
1945 2 Sep The war in Japan ends. Japan WW II
1945 20 Oct Emeric and Rosemary Sala of St. Lambert, Quebec depart on a four month tour of Central and South America. They will visit 19 republics and Mr Sala will give seventy-nine talks. They will visit many pioneers and will pay homage at the grave of May Maxwell at Quilmes, about one hour from Buenos Aires. [TG93-101] Central and South America Emeric and Rosemary Sala
1945 24 Oct The United Nations is formally established.
  • For the relationship of the Bahá’í Faith to the United Nations see BW16:327–52.
United Nations
1946 Between 1946 and 1951, Johanne Sorensen (later Hoeg), the first Danish Bahá’í, sends letters and Bahá’í literature to 93 towns, villages, settlements, and radio stations throughout Greenland.
  • Hendrik Olsen, the first Bahá’í indigenous to Greenland, enrols in 1965 after receiving a Bahá’í book from Miss Sorensen in 1946 and maintaining a 17-year correspondence with her.
Greenland Johanne Sorensen; Hendrik Olsen first Danish Bahá’í; first indigenous Bahá’í in Greenland
1946 The first Bahá’í summer school in Argentina is held in Ezeiza. [BW11:45] Ezeiza; Argentina summer school first Bahá’í summer school in Argentina
1946 The restoration of the House of Bahá’u’lláh in Tihrán is completed. Tihrán House of Baha’u’llah
1946 Jan-Feb Canadian Elizabeth Greenleaf is on pilgrimage in Haifa. SETPE1p114 Haifa Elizabeth Greenleaf
1946 20 - 25 Jan The first teaching conference in Latin America is held in Panama City on the instructions of Shoghi Effendi. Panama; Panama City; Teaching Conference first teaching conference in Latin America
1946 11 Apr Shoghi Effendi instructs Sutherland Maxwell to set plans in motion for the first stages of the building of the superstructure of the Shrine of the Báb. [GBF104–5] Haifa Sutherland Maxwell; Shrine of the Báb
1946 Ridán India and Burma launch a Four and One-Half Year Plan. (1946-1951) [Ruhi 8.2 p46] India; Burma Teaching Plans; Four and one-half year plan
1946 21 Apr The Second Seven Year Plan of the United States and Canada (1946-1953) is launched. [BBR180; BBRSM158, 185; MA87-89, MA89]
  • This marks the beginning of the second epoch of the Formative Age. [CB316; CF5–6]
  • For details of the plan see BW16:81–2.
America Second Seven Year Plan; Formative Age; Teaching Plans
1946 21 Apr The first local spiritual assembly in Panama is established Panama City. Panama City LSA first LSA in Panama
1946 21 Apr The first local spiritual assembly in Brazil is established in Rio de Janeiro. Rio de Janeiro LSA first LSA in Brazil
1946 21 Apr The National Spiritual Assembly of Germany and Austria is re-established. [BBRSM185]
  • It is elected for the first time since 1937.
  • Three American soldiers are members. [BBRSM185]
Germany; Austria; NSA Germany and Austria
1946 Jun Rita Marshall, the first person native to St Vincent in the Caribbean to become a Bahá’í, accepts the Faith while in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
  • Her husband, Ernest Marshall, becomes a Bahá’í in November 1946.
Halifax; Nova Scotia Rita Marshall first Bahá'í of St Vincent
1946 22 Jul The passing of John David Bosch (named "Núraní by 'Abdu'l-Bahá) at his home near Geyserville, California (b. August 1, 1855 at Neu-St Johann, Canton Gall, Switzerland) He had become a Bahá'í in 1905. His teachers being Mrs Beckwith, Mrs Goodall, Mrs Cooper and Thornton Chase. He is buried in the Olive Hill Cemetery, Geyserville.
  • He along with George Latimer and Leroy Ioas were appointed by the National Spiritual Assembly to find a location to establish a "Western Green Acre". John donated his 35 acre estate.
  • For a pen portrait and biography of John and Louise Bosch see Other People Other Places by Marzieh Gail pages 182-194 or Bahá'í News page 705.
  • For pictures of John and Louise Bosch see the Bosch Bahá'í School site.
Geyserville; California In Memoriam; John Bosch; Geyserville; Louise Bosch
1946 5 Aug The Bahá’í Faith is registered as a cultural, religious and social organization in Haiti. Haiti
1946 11 Aug The passing of Orcella Rexford in Los Angeles. She is buried near the grave of Thornton Chase in the Inglewood Park Cemetery. [BW11p495-498] Los Angeles Orcella Rexford
1946 Oct The Bahá'ís of Iran launch a Forty-five Month Plan (1946 Oct-1949 Jul) The plan calls for goals in three adjoining countries. Every province has specific assignments. The Bahá'ís of Tehran are called upon to raise up fifty families as pioneers and one hundred and sixty answer the call over the duration of the plan. [Ruhi 8.2 p46]

Concurrent with the Forty-Five Month Plan Iran launches a Women's Plan.

Iran Teaching Plans; Forty-five Month Plan; Women's Plan
1946 Oct A four-and-a-half year teaching plan for India, Pakistan and Burma (1946–50) is launched. [BBRSM158; CB316] India four-and-a-half year teaching plan
1946 Oct 11 A 45-month teaching plan (1946–53) for Iran is launched (ending on July 9th, 1950). [BBRSM158; CB316]
  • The objectives of the plan included;

    1 Consolidation of all local Bahá'í communities.

    2. Reestablishment of 62 dissolved Assemblies. (93 LSAs formed)

    3. Formation of 22 groups.(37 established)

    4. Creation of 13 new centres. (24 localities established)

    5. Development of Assemblies from groups located in Kabul, Afghanistan, Mecca, Arabia and Bahrein Island, Persian Gulf.

    6. Sending pioneers to India and 'Iráq to assist in the formation of new groups.

    The Bahá'ís of Tehran were called upon to send out 50 families into the pioneer field. (160 arose) Every individual Bahá'í was included in the operation of the Plan-as a volunteer, by deputizing a pioneer, by contributing funds, by circuit teaching or by providing hospitality to students whose parents had become pioneers. [The Baháʾí World 11, pp. 34-36]

Iran 45-month teaching plan (1946-1950, Iran); Plans
1946 22 Nov Amelia Collins is appointed a Hand of the Cause of God by Shoghi Effendi. [PP258; PSBW878]
  • He does not make this appointment public until 24 December, 1951 when he announces the first contingent of the Hands. [MoCxxiii]
Amelia Collins; Hand of the Cause; In Memoriam; Appointment Hand; First Contingent
1946 13 Dec The passing of Muhamman Taqí Isfahání. He had been born in Persia and was horrified by the behaviour of Mullá Huhammad Báqir (The Wolf) and Imám-Jum'íh who killed the two brothers Muhammad Hasan and Muhammad Hasan so he left for Egypt and encounter many believers on his way. He passed through Akka and met both Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'-Bahá.
  • His name is closely associated with the early progress of the Faith in Egypt. His house was the centre of activity and was were both Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl and Lua Getsinger spent their last days. He received 'Abdu'l-Bahá during His visit to Egypt. He was the chief member of the Publishing Committee and helped to translate many books into Arabic such as the Iqán and Some Answered Questions.
  • The Guardian announced his elevation to the rank of Hand of the Cause of God two days after his passing and donated a sum of money to be used for his tomb. He is buried in the Bahá'í Cemetery. [MoCxxii, BW11p500-502]
Egypt; In Memoriam; Appointment Hand; Muhamman Taqi Isfahani; Lua Getsinger; Mirza Abu'l-Fadl
1946 13 Dec Muhammad Taqíy-i-Isfahání passes away in Egypt. He was born in Iran. [BW11:500]
  • Shoghi Effendi names him a Hand of the Cause of God posthumously. [BW11:502]
  • For his obituary see BW11:500–2.
Egypt Muhammad Taqiy-i-Isfahani; Hand of the Cause; Hand appointed posthumously by Shoghi Effendi
1946 23 Dec Virginia Orbison, from the United States, leaves Brazil for a pioneer post in Madrid.
  • The airplane she travels in is named ‘O bandeirante’ (‘The Pioneer’).
Madrid Virginia Orbison
1947 The first Chilean Teaching Conference is held in Santiago. Santiago Chilean Teaching Conference; Conference first Teaching Conference in Chile
1947 Gladys Anderson Weeden arrives at the World Centre to assist Shoghi Effendi, taking responsibility for liaising with government and other officials. [BW18:694]
  • She marries Ben Weeden on 20 March 1948 in Jerusalem; he assists with building projects at the World Centre. [BW15:478; BW18:694]
Haifa; BWC; Gladys Anderson Weeden; Ben Weeden
1947 The Hazíratu’l-Quds of Tihrán is completed. [BW11:588] Tihrán Haziratu’l-Quds
1947 The Iraqi teaching plan (1947–50), comprising internal goals only, is launched. [BBRSM158] Iraq teaching plan
1947 The Australian-New Zealand teaching plan (1947–53), comprising internal goals only, is launched. [BBRSM158] Australia; New Zealand teaching plan
1947 The first summer school in Chile takes place in Loncoche on property donated by Mrs Fabienne Guillon. Loncoche; Chile Fabienne Guillon first summer school in Chile
1947 1 Feb Reflecting the unity in diversity highly valued by the Baha'i community, Amin Banani, Mildred Mottahedeh, Hilda Yen, and Matthew Bullock presented the statement "A Baha'i Declaration of Human Obligations and Rights" to the UN, which ended by quoting a well-known passage by Baha'u'llah: "The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens."

Amin Banani was an influential scholar; Mildred Mottahedeh was a member of the International Baha'i Council from 1961-63 and later a representative of the BIC for many years; Hilda Yen was a leading figure in Chinese-American society who worked as a diplomat for many years; and Matthew Bullock was a Knight of Baha'u'llah for the Dutch West Indies, on this day was also a Knight for the Netherlands Antilles, and later a representative of the BIC. [BWNS1172]

New York UN; United Nations; Amin Banani; Mildred Mottahedeh; Hilda Yen; Matthew Bullock; BIC; Baha'i International Community the first delegation of the Baha'i International Community to the United Nations
1947 7 Feb Honor Kempton arrives in Luxembourg, the first pioneer to the country. Luxembourg Honor Kempton first pioneer to Luxembourg
1947 Apr The Tokyo Spiritual Assembly, suspended during the war, is established. Tokyo LSA
1947 spring The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada is accredited by the United Nations as a non-governmental organization. [BW12:597; PP303] America NSA United States and Canada; United Nations; NGO
1947 Ridván The Bahá'ís of Iraq launch a Three Year Plan (1947-1950). [Ruhi 8.2 p46] Iraq Teaching Plans; Three Year Plan
1947 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly of Australia and New Zealand launch a Six Year Plan (1947-1953). [Ruhi 8.2 p46] Australia; New Zealand; Teaching Plans; Six Year Plan
1947 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly of India and Burma is established. India; Burma NSA India and Burma
1947 Ridván The formation of the Local Spiritual Assembly of Amsterdam, the first in the Netherlands. Amsterdam; Holland; the Netherlands; LSA first local spiritual assembly in the Netherlands find referenc]
1947 May Clarence Iverson visits the Bahamas, the first recorded visit to the islands by a Bahá’í. Bahamas Clarence Iverson first recorded visit to Bahamas
1947 20 Jun George Townshend sends a letter of resignation from the Church of Ireland to the Bishop of Killaloe, naming 30 September for its coming into effect. [GT195] Ireland George Townshend
1947 4 Jul ‘Abbás Sháhídzádih is martyred in Sháhí, Mázandarán, Iran and a fellow Baha’i, Habib Allah Hushmand, is murdered in Sarvistan. [BW18:390, Towards a History of Iran’s Baha’i Community During the Reign of Mohammad Reza Shah, 1941-1979 by Mina Yazdani.] Sháhí; Mázandarán; Iran ‘Abbas Shahidzadih; martyr; religious persecution
1947 5 Jul Manuel Garcia Vasquez becomes a Bahá’í in Spain, the first new believer in the country. Spain Manuel Garcia Vasquez first Bahá'í in Spain
1947 9 Jul Shoghi Effendi receives a letter from the chairman of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine requesting a statement on the relationship the Bahá’í Faith has to Palestine and the Bahá’í attitude to any future changes in the status of the country. [BW11:43, Text]
  • Shoghi Effendi replies on 14 July setting out the non-political character of the Bahá’í Faith and explaining that Palestine is both the administrative and the spiritual headquarters of the religion. [BW11:43–4]
  • He also includes a statement of the history, aims and significance of the Bahá’í Faith, later published by the American National Spiritual Assembly in pamphlet form. [BW11:44; PP351]
  • For the text of this latter statement see GTT1–10.
Haifa United Nations Special Committee on Palestine; Shoghi Effendi
1947 Sep Léa Nys becomes a Bahá’í in Belgium, the first Belgian to accept the Faith after World War Two.
  • She is considered the first Belgian Bahá’í.
Belgium Léa Nys first Belgian Bahá'í
1947 23 Sep The passing of Haji Mahmúd Qassabchí. He became a Bahá'í in 1911 after reading accounts of the travels of 'Abdu'l-Bahá in the Star of the West. After WWI he undertook the restoration of the House of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdad. A few years later he played a leading part in the purchase and the establishment of the Hazíratu'l-Quds of Baghdad and the erection of the Haziratu'l-Quds in the village of Avashiq, the first in Iraq. His most imperishable service was the construction of three rooms at the rear of the Shrine of the Báb that were temporarily used as the International Bahá'í Archives before the construction of its permanent seat. [BW11p502-503] Baghdad Haji Mahmud Qassabchi; In Memoriam; House of Baha’u’llah in Baghdad; Shrine of the Bab
1947 30 Sep George Townshend, at the age of 71 years, resigns his position with the Church of Ireland. [GT195]
  • He is the first ordained priest of a Christian Protestant church to renounce his Orders and to become a fully accredited member of the Bahá’í community. [GT183]
  • For the story of his resignation and transition to a lay life see GT199–200, 202.
Ireland George Townshend first ordained priest of a Protestant church to renounce his Orders and become Bahá'í
1947 17 Nov The first two Danes accept the Bahá’í Faith, May Marit Vestby and Palle Benemann Bischoff. Denmark May Marit Vestby; Palle Benemann Bischoff first two Danish Bahá’ís
1947 12 Dec The first pioneer to Portugal, Valeria Lamb Nicols, arrives from a pioneer post in Denmark. Portugal Valeria Lamb Nicols first pioneer to Portugal
1947 31 Dec Suzette Hipp becomes a Bahá’í in Luxembourg, the second Luxembourger to accept the Faith and the first to do so in Luxembourg. Luxembourg Suzette Hipp first to become Bahá'í in Luxembourg
1948 The first Bahá’í school in Haiti is inaugurated in Carrefour, a suburb of Port-au-Prince. Haiti first Bahá’í school in Haiti
1948 Pauline Campbell arrives in Bermuda, where her husband is stationed at the United States Air Force Base. She is the only Bahá’í in Bermuda until 1951. Bermuda Pauline Campbell first Bahá’í resident in Bermuda
1948 The Canadian teaching plan (1948–53) is launched, the objective being to expand the Faith into Newfoundland and Greenland. [BBRSM158] Canada teaching plan
1948 The Germano-Austrian teaching plan (1948–53), comprising internal goals only, is launched. [BBRSM158] Germany; Austria teaching plan
1948 The Bahá’í centre in Tihrán is attacked by a mob incited by Áyatu’lláh Káshání. [BW18:390] Tihrán Áyatu’llah Kashani; religious persecution
1948 The Bahá’í centre in Yazd, Iran, is attacked by a mob incited by Shaykh Khalisízádih. [BW18:390] Yazd; Iran Shaykh Khalisizadih; religious persecution
1948 A Bahá’í is killed after an attack on his home at Chálih-Zamín, Iran. [BW18:390] Chálih-Zamín; Iran religious persecution
1948 The Bahá’í Temple in ‘Ishqábád (now Ashgabat, Turkmenistan) is damaged by an earthquake. [BBD 122; BW14:480] ‘Ishqábád Baha’i Temple; Mashriqu’l-Adhkar
1948 War breaks out in Palestine.
  • See DH118 for the effect on the Bahá’ís.
Palestine
1948 The owners of a house near the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh flee and the house becomes government property. [DH226]
  • Shoghi Effendi restores the house and makes it a pilgrim house. [DH226]
  • He acquires the title in about 1956 as part of the exchange of the Ein Gev properties. [DH226]
Bahjí Shrine of Baha’u’llah
1948 Douglas P. Hillhouse, a Captain in the United States military, is stationed on St Thomas until 1951, the first Bahá’í to reside on the island. St. Thomas Douglas P. Hillhouse first Bahá’í to reside on St Thomas
1948 11 Jan Habíbu’lláh Húshmand is martyred in Sarvistán, Iran. [BW18:390] Sarvistán; Iran Habíbu’lláh Húshmand; martyr; religious persecution
1948 Mar The name ‘Bahá’í International Community’ is first used to refer to the eight existing National Spiritual Assemblies recognized collectively as a non-governmental organization. [BBRSM149; BW11:43; BW12:597]
  • The Bahá’í International Community evolved to become an international non-governmental organization with affiliates in over 180 countries and territories, which together represent over 5-6 million members of the Bahá’í Faith. As an international NGO, the Office interacts and cooperates with the United Nations, its specialized agencies, with governments, as well as with inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations. The BIC seeks to promote and apply principles — derived from the teachings of the Bahá’í Faith — which contribute to the resolution of current day challenges facing humanity and the development of a united, peaceful, just, and sustainable civilization. The work of the BIC focuses on the promotion of a universal standard for human rights, the advancement of women, and the promotion of just and equitable means of global prosperity.
  • Mildred Mottahedeh is appointed to serve as the accredited Bahá’í International Observer, a post she holds as a volunteer for almost 20 years. [BW12:601]
  • The following is a list of UN agencies with whom the BIC has representation: United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and World Health Organization (WHO).
New York BIC; National Spiritual Assembly; NGO; Mildred Mottahedeh; UNICEF; UNIFEM; ECOSOC; UNEP; WHO first use of BIC
1948 20 Mar The marriage of Gladys Andersen to Ben Weeden takes place in Jerusalem under the auspices of the Spiritual Assembly of Amman. They make efforts to have their marriage recognized at the American Consulate and at the offices of the British Mandate but are unable to do so considering the shifting situation. After the end of the British Mandate they take the matter up with the new state of Israel and it is handled expeditiously thus obtaining full recognition of the Faith and its right to perform marriages. [SETPE1p341] Israel; Amman First Bahá'í marriage to be registered in the new state of Israel. First wedding of Western Bahá'ís by Eastern Bahá'ís.
1948 Apr Contracts are placed in Italy for the rose Baveno granite columns for the Shrine of the Báb. [BBD210; DH140]
  • The first shipment of stone reaches Haifa on 23 November 1948.
  • For details of securing the contract and cutting the stone see SE68–83.
Italy Shrine of the Bab
1948 19 Apr The Havana Bahá’ís incorporate as an ‘assembly’, meaning ‘group’.
  • It is incorporated as a local spiritual assembly in 1949.
Havana LSA
1948 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Egypt and Sudan launch a Five Year Plan (1948-1953). [Ruhi 8.2 p46, BBRSM158] Egypt; Sudan Teaching Plans; Five Year Plan
1948 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Germany and Austria launch a Five Year Plan (1948-1953). [Ruhi 8.2 p46] Germany; Austria; Teaching Plans; Five Year Plan
1948 Ridván The newly formed National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canada launch a Five Year Plan (1948-1953). [Ruhi 8.2 p46] Canada; Teaching Plans; Five Year Plan
1948 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly of the Netherlands is established in Amsterdam. Amsterdam LSA first LSA in the Netherlands
1948 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly in Belgium is established in Brussels. Brussels LSA first LSA in Belgium
1948 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly in Afghanistan is established in Kabul. Kabul LSA first LSA in Afghanistan
1948 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly in Ireland is established in Dublin. Dublin LSA first LSA in Ireland
1948 Ridván The first All-Native Bahá’í Assembly is established in Macy, Nebraska. [BW13:837; CF72]
  • See BW11:536 for a picture.
  • For the role of Amelia Collins in establishing this Assembly see PSBW88.
Macy; Nebraska Amelia Collins; LSA first All-Native LSA Macy, Nebraska
1948 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly in Sweden is established at Stockholm. [BW11:689]
  • For picture see BW11:689.
Stockholm LSA first LSA in Sweden
1948 Ridván The Local Spiritual Assembly of Budapest reforms. The Assembly is forced to dissolve again near the end of 1950 under the new regime. Most Bahá'ís flee the country during or after the Revolution in 1956. [www.bahai.hu] Budapest; Hungary
1948 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly in Spain is established in Madrid. Madrid LSA first LSA in Spain
1948 21 - 22 Apr The 2nd Battle of Haifa: A Jewish offensive to gain control of the strategic port of Haifa. Prior to the 30-hour battle the Arab population of Haifa was estimated to be 65,000 compared to 70,000 Palestinian Jews. At the end of the operation the Arab population was reduced to about 4,000 people. [Battle of Haifa] Haifa
1948 24-25 Apr The National Spiritual Assembly of the Dominion of Canada is established. [BBRSM:186; BW13:856; MBW143; PP397]
  • See BW11:160, 184 for pictures.
  • The first National Convention was held in the Maxwell's home (in 'Abdu'l-Bahá's home as will be the election of the Universal House of Justice some 15 years hence.) with 13/19 delegates from all the provinces attending. (Six were unable to attend due to a flood.) Those elected to the first National Spiritual Assembly were: Laura Davis, Rowland Estall, Lloyd Gardner, Doris Richardson, John Robarts, Emeric Sala, Rosemary Sala, Siegfried Schopflocher, and Ross Woodman. [TG110, OBCC269]
  • For a picture of the first Canadian National Spiritual Assembly see OBCC148.
Canada NSA Canada first NSA Canada
1948 May The Bahá’í International Community takes part in its first United Nations conference, on human rights. [BW11:43] BIC first United Nations conference, on human rights
1948 14 May The British Mandate in Palestine ends and the state of Israel is proclaimed. Israel British Mandate in Palestine Creation of the state of Israel declared
1948 22 – 26 May The first Bahá’í European Conference is held in Geneva. [BW11:51]
  • For details of the conference see BW11:51–2.
Geneva Baha’i European Conference first Bahá’í European Conference
1948 Dec Amjad Ali arrives in East Pakistan, from Chapra in Bihar, northern India, the first pioneer to the country. East Pakistan Amjad ‘Ali; pioneer first pioneer to East Pakistan
1949 Construction begins on the superstructure of the Shrine of the Báb. [BBD210] Haifa Shrine of the Bab
1949 A Bahá’í in Kamshatti, near Calcutta, is martyred by a religious fanatic. [BW11:34] Calcutta martyr; religious persecution
1949 Agnes Harrison (née Parent), an Athabascan, becomes a Bahá’í in Alaska, the first Native Alaskan to accept the Faith in the country. Alaska Agnes Harrison first Native Alaskan
1949 The pamphlet written by by George Townshend to all Christians under the title “The Old Churches and the New World Faith” was sent out to 10,000 so-called “responsible people” in the British Isles on the occasion of his resignation from the church.[UD470] United Kingdom; George Townshend; The Old Churches and the New World Faith
1949 Dr. Sulayman Birjis was brutally murdered in Kashan, Iran. His killers, who had collectively confessed to his murder, were all exonerated due to "the lack of evidence." [Towards a History of Iran’s Baha’i Community During the Reign of Mohammad Reza Shah, 1941-1979 by Mina Yazdani.] Kashan; Iran.
1949 21 Jan Shoghi Effendi has a private interview with Prime Minister Ben Gurion of Israel. [GBF136; PP174–5, 289] Israel Shoghi Effendi; Ben Gurion
1949 15 Apr Dr M. E. Lukmani, a homeopathic physician from India, arrives in Colombo, the first Bahá’í to settle in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Colombo M. E. Lukmani first Bahá’í to settle in Ceylon
1949 20 Apr The first local spiritual assembly in Portugal is established in Lisbon. Lisbon LSA first LSA in Portugal
1949 21 Apr The first local spiritual assembly of Denmark is established in Copenhagen. Copenhagen LSA first LSA in Denmark
1949 24 Apr The passing of Montfort Mills.
He had been a believer since 1906 and by 1909 he had made two pilgrimages to 'Akká as well as a third in early 1921.
In 1922 he and Roy Wilhelm are invited to Haifa to discuss the possibility of calling for the formation of the Universal House of Justice.
He was the first chairman of the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada when it first formed in 1922 and was elected to that body seven times between 1922 and 1937 and was responsible for the final draft of the Declaration of Trust and By-Laws adopted in 1927.
One of his most outstanding achievements was his rôle in the case of the appeal for possession of the House of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdád. He made two trips to Baghdad and had audiences with King Feisal. During one of these trips he was brutally assaulted and suffered the effects for many years.
He met with Professor E. G. Browne and, after hearing Mr. Mills explanation of the evolution of the Faith and of the Covenant, Mr. Browne realized he had been veiled by conflicting claims and disturbances following the martyrdom of The Báb and expressed a desire to translate later Bahá'í works but died before this contribution could be made. [BW11p509-511]
House of Baha’u’llah in Baghdad; In Memoriam; E. G. Browne
1949 30 Apr An Act to incorporate the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada is passed. The act establishes the name, names the officers as directors, states the location of the headquarters, defines the objectives, gives it the right to manage the affairs of the Bahá'ís, to make by-laws and to hold property. It was used as a model for registration/incorporation in other states. Canada first national assembly to be formally incorporated.
1949 5 – 7 Aug The second European Teaching Conference is held in Brussels. [BW11:52] Brussels
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