|1844. 11 Aug
||The Báb sends Mullá `Alíy-i-Bastámí to Najaf and Karbalá to proclaim His Cause among the Shaykhís. In Najaf Mullá `Alí delivers a letter from the Báb to Shaykh Muhammad-Hasan Najafí, the leading Shí`í divine and the keeper of the shrines in Iraq. [BBRSM15; DB87-91; SBBH20–1, HotD46]
- The Shaykh's rejection of the claim leads to violent debate. Mullá `Alí is taken to Baghdád and imprisoned there. After a public trial, a joint tribunal of Sunní and Shí`í `ulamá, he is sent to Istanbul. He is the first martyr of the Bábí Dispensation. It is significant that Mullá Hasan Gawhar, a leading figure of the Shaykhí school, participated in the condemnation as it marks the first major challenge to Babism from a Shaykhí leader. [B27, 37–8, 58; BBR83–90; BBRSM17; BKG31; DB90–2; MMBA, BBR2p17, GPB10]
|Istanbul; Turkey; Iraq; Baghdad; Najaf; Karbala
||Bab, Life of; Mulla Ali Bastami; Shaykh Muhammad-Hasan Najafi; Ulama; Martyrdom; Mulla Hasan Gawhar; Persecution, Iraq; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; Shaykhism; Firsts, Other; Trials; Court cases; Persecution, Court cases
|1845. 1 Nov
||The Times of London carries an item on the arrest and torture of Quddús, Mullá Sádiq-i-Khurásání, Mullá `Alí-Akbar-i-Ardistání and Mullá Abú-Tálib in Shíráz in June. This is the first known printed reference to the Revelation. A similar article is reprinted on 19 November. [B76–7; BBR4, 69]
||Shiraz; Iran; London; United Kingdom
||Quddus; Ismullahul-Asdaq (Mulla Sadiq Khurasani); Mulla Ali-Akbar-i-Ardistani; Mulla Abu-Talib; Times (newspaper); Newspaper articles; Firsts, Other
||First newspaper story of the events of the Bábí Faith|
||Mullá `Alíy-i-Bastámí dies in Istanbul naval dockyards. He is the first martyr of the Bábí Dispensation.
||Mulla Ali Bastami; Persecution, Turkey; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; Firsts, Other
|1847. Nov - Dec
||Bahá'u'lláh, who is living in Tihrán, visits the detainees and gives them money. [BKG41; DB278–9; GPB68]
Mullá `Abdu'lláh confesses to the murder of Hájí Mullá Muhammad Taqí and is helped to escape. [BKG41–2; DB278]
- See BKG42 for why Bahá'u'lláh was thought to have engineered his escape. Bahá'u'lláh is imprisoned for a few days for having assisted in Mullá `Abdu'lláh's escape.
- This was Bahá'u'lláh's first imprisonment. [BKG41; BW18:380; DB585]
- Shaykh Salib-i-Karímí, one of the imprisoned Bábís, is publicly executed in Tihrán.
- He is the first to suffer martyrdom on Persian soil. His remains are interred in the courtyard of the shrine of the Imám-Zádih Zayd in Tihrán. [B166; BW18:380; DB280]
- The remaining captives are returned to Qazvín. Hájí Asadu'lláh-i-Farhádí is secretly put to death in prison. Mullá Táhir-i-Shírází and Mullá Ibrahím-i-Maballátí are also put to death. [B166; BW18:380; DB280–3]
- DB280–3 says `the rest of' the detainees were put to death by the relatives of Hájí Mullá Muhammad Taqí.
|Tihran; Qazvin; Iran
||Bahaullah, Life of; Assassinations; Mulla Abdullah; Tahirih; Haji Mulla Muhammad Taqi; Shaykh Salib-i-Karimi; Cemeteries and graves; Haji Asadullah-i-Farhadi; Mulla Tahir-i-Shirazi; Mulla Ibrahim-i-Maballati; Firsts, Other; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution
|1848. 12 Sep
||The accession of Násiri'd-Dín Sháh at Tabríz. [BBR482]
- He is 17 years old. [BBR158; GPB37]
- He ruled from 1848 to 1 May 1896 when he was assassinated on the eve of his jubilee. [BBD168; BBR482]
- The first four years of his reign were marked by the `fiercest and bloodiest of the persecutions of the religion of the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh'. During the whole of his reign there were `sporadic persecutions and, in at least some cases, he himself was directly responsible for the death of the martyrs'. [BBR157]
- For the first time in the Faith's history the civil and ecclesiastical powers banded together in a systematic campaign against it, one that was to `culminate in the horrors experienced by Bahá'u'lláh in the Síyáh-Chál' and `His subsequent banishment to Iraq'. [GPB37]
- See BBRSM25 for an explanation of why the Bábí religion was a challenge to the secular regime.
- See SB86 for a reason for Násiri'd-Dín Sháh's cruelty towards the Bábís and Bahá'ís.
- See RB3:201 for an explanation of his lengthy reign.
- He chose as his prime minister Mírzá Taqí Khán-i-Faráhání, known as a great reformer and a founder of modern Iran. [BBD221; BBR160]
- It was not until the spring of 1849 that the new regime was in firm control.
|Tabriz; Iran; Iraq
||Nasirid-Din Shah; Qajar dynasty; Shahs; Shahs, Throne changes; History (general); Mirza Taqi Khan-i-Farahani; Siyah Chal (Black Pit); Firsts, Other
|1853 or 1854
||Birth of Mírzá Muhammad-‘Alí, first son of Bahá'u'lláh and His second wife, Mahd-i-‘Ulyá. [CB 125]
||Mirza Muhammad-Ali; Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Wives of; Bahaullah, Family of; Bahaullah, Writings of; Mahd-i-Ulya (Fatimih Khanum); Lawh Kullut-Taam (Tablet of All Food); Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); Firsts, Other
|1863 22 Apr
||Thirty–one days after Naw-Rúz, which in this year falls on 22 March, Bahá'u'lláh leaves His house for the last time and walks to the Najíbíyyih Garden, afterwards known as the Garden of Ridván (Paradise).
On this day Bahá'u'lláh declares His mission to a few of His disciples. [RB1:260, 262]
- ‘Of the exact circumstances … we, alas, are but scantily informed.' [BKG173; GPB153]
- For such details as are known, see BKG173–5 and GPB153.
- For the import of the event, see BKG169–73; G27–35; GBP153–5.
- This initiates the holy day of the First Day of Ridván, to be celebrated on 21 April. [BBD196]
- This marks the end of the dispensation of the Báb and of the first epoch of the Heroic or Apostolic Age of the Bahá'í dispensation. [BBD72, 79]
On the same day Bahá'u'lláh makes three important statements to His followers:
- He forbids the use of the sword.
- He states that no other Manifestations will appear before one thousand years. This is later reiterated in the Kitáb-i-Badí‘ and in The Kitáb-i-Aqdas.
- He states that, as from this moment, all the names and attributes of God are manifested within all created things, implying the advent of a new Day. [RB1:278–80]
On the afternoon of Bahá'u'lláh's arrival at the Garden He reveals the Lawh-i-Ayyúb for Hájí Muhammad-i-Taqíy-i-Nayrízí. [SA239]
During the 12 days in the Ridván Garden Bahá'u'lláh confides to ‘Abdu'l-Bahá that He is ‘Him Whom God shall make manifest'. [CH82]
- See CH82–3 for the effect of this announcement on ‘Abdu'l-Bahá.
||Ridvan; Naw-Ruz; Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Declaration of; Ridvan garden; Najibiyyih Garden; Ages and Epochs; Lawh-i-Ayyub; Haji Muhammad-i-Taqiy-i-Nayrizi; Abdul-Baha, Life of; - Basic timeline; Firsts, Other; Holy days
|1863. 12 Dec
||Bahá'u'lláh and His companions arrive in Adrianople. [BKG206; GPB161; RB2:62]
- This is the furthest point from His native land that Bahá'u'lláh reaches and the first time in known history that a Manifestation of God had lived on the European continent. [BKG217]
- See BKG218–19, 221–2; GPB161–2 and MRHK179–96 for a description of the houses Bahá'u'lláh lives in during this period.
- See BKG219–20 for the hardships of the first winter.
|Edirne (Adrianople); Turkey; Europe
||Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Banishment of; Firsts, Other
|1866. c. Mar 1866
||The Most Great Separation. Bahá'u'lláh reveals the Súriy-i-Amr (Súrih of Command) for Mírzá Yahyá. [CH60, 83, CB84; GBP166]
- This is the formal announcement to the nominee of the Báb of the station of ‘Him Whom God shall make manifest' and a summons for him to pay allegiance to His Cause. [CB83–4; RB2:161]
- Bahá'u'lláh directs his amanuensis to take the Tablet to Mírzá Yáhyá. He becomes very angry and a "jealous fire consumed him". He responds by claiming that he is the recipient of a divine revelation and all must turn to him. [CH60, BKG230; CB84; GPB166–7; RB2:162]
- The announcement that Bahá'u'lláh was the Promised One spread quickly to Iraq and to Persia. The followers were happy for the clarification and glad to be rid of Yáhyá. Only the express command of Bahá'u'lláh prevented them from ridding the world of such nefarious traitor. [CH61]
- It is believed that Yáhyá's conduct and accusations precipitated the next exile. [CH61]
||Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Banishment of; Suriy-i-Amr (Surih of Command); Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); Most Great Separation; Firsts, other
|1866 c. Mar
||Bahá'u'lláh reveals the Lawh-i-Bahá in honour of Khátún Ján, a believer and close friend of Táhirih. [RB2:171, 179]
- It was probably revealed just before He took up residence in the house of Ridá Big. [RB2:171]
- This is the first Tablet in which Bahá'u'lláh uses the term ‘people of Bahá' to refer to His followers, to distinguish them from the ‘people of the Bayán'. [RB2:179]
|Edirne (Adrianople); Turkey
||Lawh-i-Baha; Khatun Jan; Tahirih; Rida Big; Firsts, Other
|1867 Sep - Aug 1868
||Bahá'u'lláh reveals the Kitáb-i-Badí‘, the Munájátháy-i-Síyám (Prayers for Fasting), the first Tablet to Napoleon III, the Lawh-i-Sultán written to Násiri'd-Dín Sháh, and the Súriy-i-Ra'ís. [BKG245; GBP172]
- See RB2:370–82 for details of the Kitáb-i-Badí‘.
Bahá'u'lláh reveals the Súriy-i-Ghusn (Tablet of the Branch) in which ‘Abdu'l-Bahá's future station is foreshadowed. [BBD218; BKG250; GPB177]
- See RB2:338–9 for a description of the Tablet.
||Bahaullah, Writings of; Bahaullah, Life of; Suriy-i-Muluk (Surih to the Kings); Kitab-i-Badi (Wondrous Book); Munajathay-i-Siyam (Prayers for Fasting); Lawh-i-Napulyun (Tablet to Napoleon III) ; Lawh-i-Sultan (Tablet to Nasirid-Din Shah); Suriy-i-Rais (Tablet to Sultan Ali Pasha); Suriy-i-Ghusn (Tablet of the Branch); Abdul-Baha, Life of; Firsts, Other
|1868. c. Jul
||Principal Bahá'ís in Baghdád are arrested by the Turkish authorities and exiled to Mosul and other places. RB2:333 indicates this took place towards the end of Bahá'u'lláh's stay in Adrianople.[BBR265; BKG247; CH129–30; RB2:333]
- About 70 people are exiled. [GPB178; RB2:334] Estimate given by Hájí Mirzá Haydar-;Alí is 80. (DOH12]
- See BKG184 for an illustration of Mosul.
- See BKG183 for a description of the city.
- See RB2:334 for the hardships suffered by the exiles.
- They remained in Mosul for some 20 years until Bahá'u'lláh advised the community to disband (1885-1886). Their hardship was lessened by generous contributions from the King of Martyrs and the Beloved of Martyrs. A charity fund was established, the first fund of that kind in any Bahá'í community. [RB2:334–6]
|Baghdad; Mosul; Iraq
||Mirza Muhammad-Hasan (King of Martyrs); Mirza Muhammad-Husayn (Beloved of Martyrs); King of Martyrs and Beloved of Martyrs; Charity and relief work; Funds; Firsts, Other; Persecution, Iraq; Persecution, Arrests; Persecution
|1868. 31 Aug
||The ship arrives in Haifa in the early morning. [BKG269; GPB182; RB3:11]
A few hours later Bahá'u'lláh's party is put aboard a sailing vessel and taken to `Akká. [RB3:12]
- Bahá'u'lláh and His companions — 70 in all — disembark and are taken ashore in sailing boats. [RB3:11]
- One of the Bahá'ís, Áqá `Abdu'l-Ghaffár, one of the four companions condemned to share the exile of Mírzá Yahyá, throws himself into the sea when he learns he is to be separated from Bahá'u'lláh. [BKG269; GPB182]
The exiles land in `Akká to begin a confinement in the citadel that is to last two years, two months and five days. [CH67, BBR205; BKG169; DH12; RB3:11]
- See CH66 for Bahíyyih Khánum's account of the journey.
- See BKG277–9 for a list of the exiles. Two others joined them immediately after arrival. [BBR205]
- See BR205–6 for `Abdu'l-Bahá's account of the journey of exile.
- See RB32:2 and RB3:21 for prophecies regarding Bahá'u'lláh's exile to `Akká.
- DH17–24 for a history of `Akká before the arrival of Bahá'u'lláh.
- See DH26–8 and GPB186–7 for a description of the exiles' walk to the prison.
- See GPB186–7 for Bahá'u'lláh's description of the citadel and the conditions there on His arrival.
- See BKG275–7 for Áqá Ridá's description of the citadel and the conditions there.
- See DH30–1 for a description of the citadel building and the accommodation used by Bahá'u'lláh.
- The first night the exiles are refused both food and drink. [GPB187]
- Afterwards each prisoner is allocated three loaves of stale black bread as a daily food ration plus filthy water. [GBP187]
- Within two days all fell ill with typhoid but for two, 'Abdu'l-Bahá and another man who was able to help Him nurse and care for the others. [CH234]
- Three of the exiles die soon after arrival. Soon after their death Bahá'u'lláh reveals the Lawh-i-Ra'ís, the second Tablet to `Alí Páshá. [BKG283; GPB187; RB3:20, 34]
- See BKG317–21 and CH250–1 for the story of the Azalís who were confined to `Akká with the exiles.
- See BBRSM69–70 for details on the system of communications used between the Holy Land and the Bahá'í communities.
- At first the Governor was disinclined to relax the strict rules of the exiles but eventually allowed Mírzá Ja'far to go into town, accompanied by a soldier, to purchase food. 'Abdu'l-Bahá had sent Mírzá 'bdu'l-Ahad ahead some time before with instructions to open a shop. It was six months before the exiles could make contact with him. During this time a Greek, Dr. Petro, became a friend and, after having made investigations, assured the Governor that the exiles were not criminals. [CH67]
- The King of Martyrs and his brother The Beloved of Martyrs were the first to make contact with the exiles by telegraph. They were able to provide much need assistance. [CH67]
- After the restrictions had been relaxed somewhat Shaykh Salmán was able to function as a courier carrying Tablets and letter to and from Persia. When he was arrested in Aleppo, carrying a most important supplication from a friend in Persia to Bahá'u'lláh, he swallowed the letter to avoid detection. [CH67-68]
|Haifa; Famagusta; Akka; Israel; Cyprus
||Bahaullah, Life of; Bahaullah, Banishment of; Mishkin-Qalam; Aqa Abdul-Ghaffar; Lawh-i-Rais (Tablet to Sultan Ali Pasha); Petro. Dr; Mirza Jafar; Citadel; Prophecies; Cyprus exiles; Exile; Firsts, Other
|1876. 14 Feb
||Birth of Keith Ransom-Kehler, Hand of the Cause and the first American Bahá'í martyr, in Kentucky.
||Kentucky; United States
||Keith Ransom-Kehler; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Births and deaths; Births and deaths; Firsts, Other
||Possibly the first visit of Bahá'u'lláh to the Ridván Garden outside `Akká. [BBD196–7; DH95; GPB193]
- See DH95–101 for a description of the garden and Bahá'u'lláh's use of it.
- See CH96–8 for Túbá Khánum's description of the garden.
||Ridvan Garden; Bahaullah, Life of; Gardens; Firsts, Other
||Siyyid Mustafá Rúmí arrives in Burma with Jamál Effendi.
- He marries into a well-to-do Indo-Burman family of traders and settles in Rangoon, remaining in Burma to build up the Burmese community. [BW10:517; PH23]
- See BW10:517–18 and MC155 for his conversion of Daidanaw, the first all-Bahá'í village in the world outside Iran.
- See BW10:517–20 for an account of his life.
- He is named a Hand of the Cause of God by the Guardian after his passing. In the village of Daidanaw, Burma (Rangoon) there is a building they call "the Shrine of Siyyid Mustafa Rumí" in his honour. [CBN253Aug-Sep1971p5]
|Daidanaw; Myanmar (Burma)
||Siyyid Mustafa Rumi; Jamal Effendi; Hands of the Cause; Firsts, Other
|1878 to 1881
||The first Trustee of the Huqúqu'lláh was Hájí Sháh-Muhammad-i-Manshádí, or Jináb-i-Sháh Muhammad from Manshád, Yazd who had become a believer in Baghdad. [Message from the Universal House of Justice dated 25 March, 1985]
- His title was Amínu'l-Bayán (Trustee of the Bayán).
- He made many journeys between Iran and the Holy Land carrying donations and petitions from the friends and returning with Tablets and news.
- He was tasked with receiving the casket of the Báb and transferring it to the Mosque of Imámzádih Zayd in Tehran where it stayed until 'Abdu'l-Bahá sent for it for the internment.
- Hájí Sháh-Muhammad was in 'Akká when Áqá Buzurg, entitled Badí', came to confer with Bahá'u'lláh. He and Badí met on Mount Carmel as directed by Bahá'u'lláh.
- He was killed as a result of wounds incurred during an attack during a Kurdish revolt. [RoB3p73]
|Iran; Yazd; Baghdad; Tihran
||Huququllah; Huququllah, Trustees of; Haji Shah-Muhammad-i-Manshadi (Aminul-Bayan); Bab, Remains of; Mosques; Firsts, Other
|1887. 13 Apr
||The first mention of the concept of `Hand of the Cause' in Bahá'u'lláh's writings is within a Tablet revealed in honour of Ibn-i-Asdaq. [BBD115; EB173]
||Ibn-i-Asdaq (Mirza Ali-Muhammad); Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Institution; Hands of the Cause, Appointments; Hands appointed by Bahaullah; Firsts, Other; Bahaullah, Writings of; Bahaullah, Life of; Appointed arm
|1888 29 Mar
||The first lecture in the West on the Bahá'í Faith (`Bábism') is given by E. G. Browne at the Essay Society, Newcastle, England. [SCU12]
||Newcastle; United Kingdom
||Edward Granville Browne; Firsts, Other
|1889. 8 Sep
||Hájí Muhammad Ridáy-i-Isfahání is martyred in `Ishqábád. [BBRXXIX, 296–7; GPB202]
- Czar Alexander III sends a military commission from St Petersburg to conduct the trial of those accused of the murder. [AB109; GPB202]
- Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl serves as chief Bahá'í spokesman at the trial. [AB109]
- Two are found guilty and sentenced to death, six others are ordered to be transported to Siberia. [AB109; BBR297; GPB203]
- Bahá'u'lláh attaches importance to the action as being the first time Shí'ís received judicial punishment for an attack on Bahá'ís. [BBRSM91]
- The Bahá'í community intercedes on behalf of the culprits and has the death sentences commuted to transportation to Siberia. [AB109; BBR297; GPB203]
- For Western accounts of the episode see BBR296–300.
||Haji Muhammad Riday-i-Isfahani; Czar Alexander III; Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani; Firsts, Other; Persecution, Turkmenistan; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution, Court cases; Court cases; Persecution; Humman rights
|1891. 15 Feb
||First public lecture in the West on the Bahá'í Faith, given by E. G. Browne at the Southplace Institute, London.
- He gave a lecture to Pembroke College Literary Society in England (Martletts), at which the Faith was discussed at length.
|London; United Kingdom
||Edward Granville Browne; Southplace Institute; Firsts, Other
||`Abdu'l-Bahá goes to Haifa and Mount Carmel and isolates Himself in a small apartment in the stone building west of the lower cave of Elijah. [DH59, 188]
Áqá Murtadá of Sarvistán, who has been in prison for five years, is executed in Shíráz. [BW18:384]
Anton Haddad arrives in the United States. [BFA1:26]
- He is probably the first Bahá'í to reach American soil. [BFA1:26]
|Mount Carmel; Shiraz; Iran; United States
||Abdul-Baha, Life of; Cave of Elijah; Elijah; Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; Anton Haddad; Firsts, Other
|1893. 17 Jun
||Áqá Muhammad-Ridáy-i-Muhammadábádí is killed by three men on the orders of two of the `ulamá of Yazd. [BW18:384; GPB296]
- He is the first to suffer martyrdom in the ministry of `Abdu'l-Bahá.
- See GPB296 for details of his martyrdom.
||Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; Firsts, Other
|1898. 13 Nov
||`Abdu'l-Bahá commemorates Kheiralla's arrival by ending the period of mourning for Bahá'u'lláh and by opening His Tomb to pilgrims for the first time. [BFA1:142–3; SBBH2:112]
||Ibrahim George Kheiralla; Firsts, Other
|1898. 10 Dec
||The first Western pilgrims arrive in `Akká. [AB68; BBD13; BBRXXX; DH214; GPB257; SCU13; Bahá'í Teachings]
- They divide themselves into three parties, using Cairo as a staging post. [AB68; BFA1:143; SBBH1:93]
- See AB68–72; BFA2:9; DH61; GPB257, 259 for those included in the pilgrimage group.
- Included were Mrs Hearst's nieces, a few American friends and, joining in London, Mrs Mary Thornburgh-Cropper and her mother. [SCU13. CH234-236]
- See BFA1:143–4 for those included in the first group.
- Among the group is Robert Turner, the first member of the black race to become a Bahá'í. For 35 years, Turner faithfully served as butler to Phoebe Apperson Hearst and Senator George Hearst, parents of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. [AB72; BBD227; BFA1:139; GPB259]
- `Abdu'l-Bahá receives the pilgrims in the House of `Abdu'lláh Páshá. [BBD13, 108; DH61]
- See AB68–71; BW16:104–5; CH235–6 and GPB257–9 for the pilgrims' responses to the pilgrimage.
- Edward Getsinger makes a recording of `Abdu'l-Bahá chanting a prayer. [BFA1:160]
- The Getsingers returned from the pilgrimage with an Arabic copy of The Kitáb-i-Aqdas which was later translated by Anton Haddad. [BFA2:11]
|Akka; Cairo; Egypt
||Pilgrims; Pilgrimage; Firsts, Other; Mary Virginia Thornburgh-Cropper; Robert Turner; Edward Getsinger; Lua Getsinger; Anton Haddad; Kitab-i-Aqdas (Most Holy Book); House of Abdullah Pasha; Abdul-Baha, Voice recording of
||Miss Olive Jackson of Manhattan becomes the first black American woman Bahá'í. [BFA1:126–7]
||Manhattan; New York; United States
||Race (general); Firsts, Other
||The first Tablets of `Abdu'l-Bahá arrive in America. [BFA1:143]
- See BFA1:143 for the recipients.
||Abdul-Baha, Writings and talks of; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Firsts, Other
||William Hoar, one of the first Bahá'ís in America, is asked by `Abdu'l-Bahá to meet with the Persian ambassador in Washington to request justice for the Bahá'ís of Iran, thus marking the beginning of the efforts of the American Bahá'í community to alleviate the persecution of their brethren. [BFA2:51]
||Washington DC; United States; Iran
||William Hoar; Persecutions, Iran; Persecutions, Other; Persecutions; Ambassadors; Human rights; Firsts, Other
||Thomas Breakwell, an Englishman living in the United States, learns of the Bahá'í Faith in Paris from May Bolles. Within three days he becomes a believer and immediately writes to `Abdu'l-Bahá. [AB74–5; BW7:707]
- For May Bolles' own account see SW7:707–11.
- He is the first male British Bahá'í. [BFA2:154]
- He is designated by Shoghi Effendi the `first English believer'. [GPB259]
- He is the first Western Bahá'í to pay Huqúqu'lláh. [BW7:70]
- See also AB74–80; BFA2:154; SEBW6572.
||Thomas Breakwell; May Maxwell (Bolles); Huququllah; First Bahais by country or area; Firsts, Other
||Thomas Breakwell goes on pilgrimage to `Akká, the first Englishman to do so. [BFA2:154; BW7:709]
- For an account of this pilgrimage see AB77 and BW7:710.
||Thomas Breakwell; Pilgrimage; Firsts, Other
|1901 26 Nov
||The Day of the Covenant The Day of the Covenant is a Bahá'í holy day honouring the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, in particular, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as the “Centre of the Covenant" and as such, the successor, the interpreter and the exemplar of the Bahá'í Faith. Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant also provided for the extension of this covenant to the Guardian and to the Universal House of Justice.
The first celebration of the Day of the Covenant in North America was marked on this day.
- Prior to this time some of the believers celebrated the birth of 'Abdu'l-Bahá on the 22nd of May. Others marked the 29th of May, the anniversary of the passing of Bahá'u'lláh and thusly, the day on which He acceded to the leadership of the Bahá'í community.
- 'Abdu'l-Bahá chose the day November 26th, as reckoned by the Gregorian calendar, as approximately half a year away from this date, to commemorate His appointment of the Centre of the Covenant.
- The day was know as Jashn-i-A'zam (The Greatest Festival) in the East because He was Ghusn-i-A'zam, the Greatest Branch or the "Most Might Branch" [GPB238, BFA2:XV, 56; SA247, Day of the Covenant by Christopher Buck, AB523]
|New York; United States
||Day of the Covenant; Firsts, Other; Covenant (general); Holy Days; Abdul-Baha, Birth of; Bahaullah, Ascension of; Bab, Declaration of
|1902 10 Oct
||The Behais Supply and Publishing Board incorporates as the `Bahai Publishing Society', a non-profit company. It is the first Bahá'í institution to be legally incorporated. [BFA2:XVI, 74]
||Publishing Trusts; Firsts, Other
|1904 28 Oct
||Ali Kuli Khan marries Florence Breed, the first marriage between a Persian and a Western Bahá'í. [BFA2:147]
- For details of this marriage see SUR223–20.
||Ali-Kuli Khan; Florence Breed; Firsts, Other; Interracial marriage; Marriages
|1904 1 Dec
||Sidney Sprague arrives in India. [BFA2:XVI]
- He is the first American Bahá'í travelling teacher in Asia. [BFA2:XVI]
||Sidney Sprague; Travel teaching; Firsts, Other
||Hippolyte Dreyfus and Laura Barney visit Iran. [BFA2:XVI]
- They are the first Western Bahá'ís to do so. [BFA2:XVI]
||Hippolyte Dreyfus-Barney; Laura Clifford Barney; Firsts, Other
|1907 31 Mar
||The Bahá'í calendar is used in North America for the first time. BFA2:247–8]
||North America; United States
||Badi calendar; Firsts, Other
|1907 19 Jul
||The Chicago `Bahai Assembly' files an affidavit of incorporation, the first Bahá'í community to acquire legal status. [BFA2:278]
- The incorporation is in the name of the community rather than the governing body. [BFA2:278–9]
|Chicago; United States
||Spiritual Assemblies; Incorporation; Recognition; Firsts, Other
|1909 (In the year)
||The passing of Robert Turner (b. 15 October, 1856, Virginia d. 1909 California)
- the first African-American Baha'i and a member of the first Western Pilgrimage to Haifa in 1898, led by his employer Mrs. Phoebe Hearst. He was a butler in her household for more than 35 years. He was taught the Baha'i Faith by Lua Getsinger in the process of serving tea and remained a devoted believer his entire life. "Such was the tenacity of his faith that even the subsequent estrangement of his beloved mistress from the Cause she had spontaneously embraced failed to becloud its radiance, or to lessen the intensity of the emotions which the loving-kindness showered by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá upon him had excited in his breast." (GPB259) [A Vision of Race Unity, Vingp101, AZBF475, An Early Pilgrimage by May Maxwell]
- He received a Tablet from 'Abdu'l-Bahá while on his deathbed and a tribute after his passing. [AY60, AY61, 339, AB72]
- He was one of the nineteen Western Bahá'ís designated as a Disciple of 'Abdu'l-Bahá.
- A Tablet to him from 'Abdu'l-Bahá can be found in SWABpg114 #78 and 'Abdu'l-Bahá in America (website).
- See also Bahaikipedia, Bahá'í Chronicles.
- Find a Grave.
|Virginia; California; United States
||Robert Turner; Disciples of Abdul-Baha; Firsts, Other; Phoebe Hearst; In Memoriam; Births and deaths
||Charles Mason Remey and Howard Struven speak at the first Bahá'í public meeting held in Honolulu. [BFA2:348; SBR189]
||Charles Mason Remey; Howard Struven; Firsts, Other
||Ghodsea Khanoum Ashraf (Qudsíyyih Ashraf) arrives in the United States, the first Persian woman to travel to the country. [BFA2:358]
- See Ahmad Sohrab's letter to her in SW6, 10:77–9.
||Ghodsea Khanoum Ashraf (Qudsiyyih Ashraf); Ahmad Sohrab; Firsts, Other
||Charles Mason Remey and Howard Struven arrive in Shanghai and meet with Áqá Mírzá `Abdu'l-Baqí Yazdí. They are probably the first Bahá'ís from the West to go to China. [PH25]
||Charles Mason Remey; Howard Struven; Aqa Mirza Abdul-Baqi Yazdi; Firsts, Other
|1910 21 Mar
||The first issue of the Bahá'í News is published in Chicago. [BFA2:XVII; BW10:179]
- See BFA2:320–2, BW8:927 and SBBH1:116–17 for the magazine's development.
- It is the first Bahá'í magazine published in the West. [BBD2 14]
- Star of the West is published as Bahá'í News (Volume 1, Issues 1-19 from 21 March, 1910 until 2 March, 1911) and later under Star of the West /The Bahá'í Magazine (Volume 2 to Volume 25, 21 March, 1911 until 25 March,1935).
- Its editors were Albert Windust and Gertrude Buikema. Others involved with its publication over its history were Albert and Emily Vail, Dr. Zia Bagdadi, Ahmad Sohrab, Edna M. True; with Horace Holley and Stanwood Cobb being singled out as early contributors. [Duane Troxel]
For an access to the Star of the West archives see http://www.starofthewest.info. This site is not searchable.
|Chicago; United States
||Star of the West; Bahai News; - Periodicals; Firsts, Other; Publications
||Hájí Muhammad-Taqí Afnán, Vakílu'd-Dawlih, the cousin of the Báb largely responsible for the building of the House of Worship in `Ishqábád, is buried in the newly acquired Bahá'í cemetery in Haifa, the earliest recorded burial in the cemetery. [BBD51; DH182]
||Haji Muhammad-Taqi Afnan (Vakilud-Dawlih); Afnan; Bab, Family of; Cemeteries and graves; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Ishqabad; Firsts, Other
|1911 10 Sep
||`Abdu'l-Bahá gives His first public address in the West in the City Temple Church in Holborn, London to an audience of over 2,000 people. He proclaimed that “This is a new cycle of human power…the gift of God in this enlightened age is the knowledge of the oneness of mankind and the fundamental oneness of religion.” [ABL17-20, AB140; BW2:227; GPB283–4, In the Footsteps of 'Abdu'l-Bahá p11]
He spoke at the invitation of The Reverend R J Campbell. Mr. Wellesly Tudor-Pole read the translation. [CH154]
- For the text of His talk see AB140–2.
- For the words He wrote in the pulpit Bible see AB145. The church was bombed in World War II and
the pulpit Bible was destroyed. The church was rebuilt in 1958.
- For a photo see BWNS792.
|London; United Kingdom
||Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, First Western tour; Abdul-Baha, Talks at churches; Firsts, Other; BWNS
|1912 27 Sep
||Louisa Mathew and Louis Gregory, an interracial Bahá'í couple, are married in New York City. [239D:169]
||New York; United States
||Louisa Mathew Gregory; Louis Gregory; Firsts, Other; Race (general); Unity; Interracial marriage
|1919. 18 Nov
||The periodical entitled "The Magazine of the Children of the Kingdom" was published and distributed by Miss Ella Roberts from 1919 to 1924. [Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America: Native American creation stories,
edited by Rosemary Skinner Keller, Rosemary Radford Ruether, Marie Cantlon p.782-783]
- The story of the naming of the magazine...
Margaret Randall told of the establishment of a Bahá'í Junior Magazine and asked 'Abdu'l-Bahá for a name for it. The Master was told who had charge of it, and His face lighted up with a beautiful smile as He said: "The name is The Magazine of the Children of the Kingdom. Who writes it? This (name) is suitable for it. [WHR128-129]
- See A Compilation on Bahá’í Education #96 for a tablet by 'Abdu'l-Bahá to the children of the Bahá’í school, Urbana, Illinois found here.
- See A Compilation on Bahá’í Education #102 for a tribute to the magazine by Shoghi Effendi found here. He called it "first and only organ of the Bahá’í youth throughout the world".
- At the American National Convention in 1925 (July 4 - 9) it was reported that "The Magazine of the Children of the Kingdom", edited by Ella Roberts and "Bahá’í World Fellowship" edited by Mrs. Victoria Bedikian had merged. ["Bahá’í News Letter" #6 Jul-Aug 1925 p.6]
|Haifa; United States
||Magazine of the Children of the Kingdom; Children; Youth; - Periodicals; Publications; Firsts, Other
|1922 6 Jun
||The All-England Bahá'í Council meets for the first time. [SBR28; UD9, 468]
- ER2 13 says it first met 17 June.
- The meeting is held in the home of Mrs Thornburgh-Cropper. [SBR28, 67]
||All-England Bahai Council; Firsts, Other; Mary Virginia Thornburgh-Cropper
|1923 20 Dec
||The Peace Court rules in favour of giving the Bahá'ís possession of House of Bahá’u’lláh in Baghdád, however, the Council of Ministers, with the approval of King Feisal, orders that the property not be returned until ownership can be established. [SETPE1p26]
- The Guardian sends 19 cables to various individuals and national bodies with instructions that the Bahá'ís should send cables to the British High Commissioner in Iráq, Sir Henry Dobbs, as well as to the British authorities in Iráq and in London as well as to King Feisal to protest the action of the Council of Ministers. In communities were the numbers are stronger, Persia and America, he instructs that every local assembly protest directly. The Guardian himself sends over 600 pieces of correspondence during the following six months concerning this issue. [PP94-6, GBF33-34 BA94-95]
- The Iráqí government refuses to bow to the pressure put upon them. [PP96]
||House of Bahaullah (Baghdad); Peace Court; Firsts, Other
||The International Bahá’í Bureau is established in Geneva by Jean Stannard under the direction of Shoghi Effendi. [BW4:257]
- For the history and work of the Bureau see BW4:257–61, BW6:130–5, BW7:108–13, BW11:507–8.
- Its function is to act as intermediary between Haifa and other Bahá’í centres. [BBD118; BW4:261]
|Geneva; Switzerland; Europe
||International Bahai Bureau; Jean Stannard; Firsts, Other
||The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada draws up and publishes a ‘Declaration of Trust’ and ‘By-laws of the National Spiritual Assembly’. [BW2:89, BW10:180]
- For text see BW2:90–8.
- The Guardian describes it as the Bahá’í ‘national constitution’ heralding ‘the formation of the constitution of the future Bahá’í World Community’. [GPB335; PP302–3]
- The drafting is largely the work of Horace Holley with assistance from the lawyer Mountfort Mills. [SBR234]
- In subsequent years the National Assemblies of India and Burma, of Egypt, Iraq, Persian and the British Isles all adopted this example almost verbatum. [UD101, BA134-5, SETPE1p145-6]
|United States; Canada
||National Spiritual Assembly; Horace Holley; Mountfort Mills; Constitutions; By-laws; Recognition; Firsts, Other
|1928 26–30 Apr
||The National Convention of the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada is held in the Foundation Hall of the House of Worship for the first time. [BW2:180; CT167]
- See BW2:180 for a picture.
|Wilmette; Chicago; United States
||Conventions, National; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Firsts, Other
|1932 17 Feb
||The Chicago Bahá’í Assembly incorporates, the first local spiritual assembly in the world to do so. This set the pattern for other Assemblies. [GPB336, Century of LIght p57]
||Chicago; United States
||LSA; Incorporation; Recognition; Firsts, Other
|1932 23 Nov
||George Adam Benke passes away in Sofia, Bulgaria.
- Shoghi Effendi calls him the first European martyr. [LDG1:263; MC359]
- For his obituary see BW5:416–18.
||George Adam Benke; Names and titles; Firsts, Other
|1933 23 Oct
||Keith Ransom-Kehler dies of smallpox in Isfahán. [BW5:24, 398]
- For her obituary see BW5:389–410.
- She is buried near the grave of the King of Martyrs. [BW5:398]
- For a picture of her grave see BW5:399.
- Shoghi Effendi names her America’s ‘first and distinguished martyr’. [BW5:398]
- Shoghi Effendi elevates her to the rank of Hand of the Cause on 28 October, 1933. [BW5:398, MoCxxii]
- For her mission in Iran see BW5:23–7.
- See also PP306–7.
- See Other People Other Places by Marzieh Gail (pages 176-181) for a pen portrait of Keith Ransom-Kehler .
||Keith Ransom-Kehler; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Births and deaths; Births and deaths; In Memoriam; Hands appointed posthumously by Shoghi Effendi; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Cemeteries and graves; Names and titles; Firsts, Other
||World Order magazine is founded. [SBR236]
There was a break in publication from 1949 to 1966. [Bahá'í Works]
- PDFs of some volumes are available for downloading from the Bahá'í Works website.
||World Order magazine; - Periodicals; Firsts, Other; Publications
||The first woman is elected to the National Spiritual Assembly of India, Shirin Fozdar.
||Shirin Fozdar; Women; NSA; Firsts, Other
|1939 22 Sep
||The State of Illinois issues the first Bahá’í marriage licence, authorizing the Spiritual Assembly of Chicago to solemnize Bahá’í marriages and issue Bahá’í marriage certificates. [GPB373]
||Illinois; United States
||Marriages; Recognition; Firsts, Other
||The publication of A Commentary on the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá written by David Hofman by a new publisher, George Ronald. They went on to publish books on business ethics, comparative religion, studies of sacred texts, Islam, poetry, music, novels, biography and philosophy as well as a number of other subjects. George Ronald is primarily a publisher of books related to the
history, teachings, doctrines and personalities of the Bahá’í Faith. See the reference for a list of Bahá'í books published up to 2013. [George Ronald
A Bibliographic History
- A current catalogue can be found at their website.
||Abdul-Baha, Will and Testament of; George Ronald; Firsts, Other; Publishing; Publications
||The first Bahá’í shortwave radio broadcast is beamed from New York towards South America. [BW9:44–5]
||New York; United States
||Bahai radio; Firsts, Other
||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
|United Kingdom; Ireland
||Conventions, National; Teaching Plans, National; Firsts, Other; LSA
|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; United States
||United Nations; Matthew Bullock; Bahai International Community; Firsts, Other; BWNS
||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; United States
||Bahai International Community (general); Mildred Mottahedeh; UNICEF; UNIFEM; UNEP; Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); World Health Organization (WHO); Firsts, Other
||The Court of the First Instance in Karkúk, Iraq, registers a Bahá’í marriage certificate. [MBW4; UD248]
- This is the first time in the East, outside Israel, that a Bahá’í marriage is recognized as being legal, an important precedent for other Oriental countries. [MBW4; UD248]
||Firsts, Other; Marriages; Recognition
|1950 20 Jan
||World Religion Day is first observed in the United States. [BBD242]
- Its purpose is to associate the term ‘world religion’ with the Bahá’í Faith. [BBD242]
||World Religion Day; Interfaith dialogue; Firsts, Other
|1951 30 Jul
||Louis Gregory, Hand of the Cause of God, passes away in Eliot, Maine, near Green Acre. [BW12:666; TMW310, LOF98]
- Soon after his passing he is designated by Shoghi Effendi the first Hand of the Cause of his race. (On 5 August, 1951) [BBD91; BW12:666, MoCxxii]
- See TG114, 117-8 for a description of his passing .
- For his obituary see BW12:666–70.
- For biographical information on Hand of the Cause Louis Gregory see Gayle Morrison, To Move the World: Louis G. Gregory and the Advancement of Racial Unity in America (Wilmette, IL, USA Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1982, 1999 printing).
- For short biographical information see Bahá'í Encyclopedia]
|Eliot; Maine; United States
||Louis Gregory; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Births and deaths; Births and deaths; In Memoriam; Hands appointed posthumously by Shoghi Effendi; Firsts, Other
|1953 20 Jun
||Shoghi Effendi designates the Maxwell home in Montreal as a Shrine. [MtC179]
||Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Montreal Shrine; Maxwell Home; Firsts, Other
||Adelaide Sharp, who had been in Iran since 1929, is elected to the National Spiritual Assembly of Iran, the first woman elected to that body. [BFA2:361]
||Adelaide Sharp; NSA; Firsts, Other; Women
|1954 26 Apr
||President of Israel Ben Zvi and his wife visit the Shrines on Mount Carmel, the first official visit paid by a head of a sovereign state to the Shrines of the Báb and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. [GBF139–140; MBW68; PP2923]
||Haifa; Mount Carmel
||Ben Zvi; Presidents; Prominent visitors; Bab, Shrine of; Firsts, Other
|1956 20 May
||Louisa Mathew Gregory, whose wedding to Hand of the Cause of God Louis Gregory in 1912 was the first interracial western Bahá’í marriage, passes away in Eliot, Maine. [BW13:878]
- For her obituary see BW13:376–8.
|Eliot; Maine; United States
||Louisa Mathew Gregory; Louis Gregory; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Births and deaths; Births and deaths; Firsts, Other
||The first contacts with the Aboriginal people were made in Kampong Jus in Malacca by Saurajen, as reported at a special meeting held with Hand of the Cause of God, Dr. Muhajir in Malacca on 29 December 1957. [Jewel Among Nations, Splendour Publications, Author A. Manisegaran. Pages 221-222]
||Kampung Jus; Malacca; Malaysia
||Rahmatullah Muhajir; Saurajen; Aboriginal people; Firsts, Other
|1960 1 Jul
||Ben and Louise Whitecow (early Peigan believers) marry in Calgary, Alberta, the first Bahá’ís in Canada to have a legally recognized Bahá’í marriage. [BW13:687]
||Calgary; Alberta; Canada
||Marriages; Firsts, Other
||The International Bahá’í Council is elected for the first time, by postal ballot of the members of the national spiritual assemblies. [BW13:397; MC282]
- The members are Jessie Revell, ‘Alí Nakhjavání, Lutfu’lláh Hakím, Ethel Revell, Charles Wolcott, Sylvia Ioas, Mildred Mottahedeh, Ian Semple and Borrah Kavelin. [MC282]
- See BW13:398 for picture.
- See also BBD118; BBRSM131; BW16:90; CB324; MC168, 242.
||International Bahai Council; Universal House of Justice; Jessie Revell; Ali Nakhjavani; Lutfullah Hakim; Ethel Revell; Charles Wolcott; Sylvia Ioas; Mildred Mottahedeh; Ian Semple; H. Borrah Kavelin; Firsts, Other
|1962 28 Jun
||President Tubman of Liberia visits the Shrine of the Báb.
- This is the second official visit of a head of state and is notable in that Liberia is the first black republic on the continent of Africa. [BW13:400]
- See BW13:400 for picture.
|Haifa; Mount Carmel; Liberia
||Bab, Shrine of; Presidents; Prominent visitors; Firsts, Other
|1963 21 Apr
||The Universal House of Justice is elected for the first time. [BW14:427; MC424]
- The election is held at 9:30 in the morning at the home of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, 7 Haparsim Street, Haifa. [BW14:427; MC425]
- Ballots are received from all 56 national spiritual assemblies. [BW14:427]
- 288 members of 51 national spiritual assemblies are present at the election. [BW14:427]
- For a list of the electors see MC406–13.
- For details of the election see BW14:425–9 and MC20–1.
||Universal House of Justice, Election of; Conventions, International; Elections; - Basic timeline; Firsts, Other; Appointed arm
|1963 22 Apr
||The results of the election of the Universal House of Justice are announced at the close of the morning session of the International Convention: Charles Wolcott, ‘Alí Nakhjavání, H. Borrah Kavelin, Ian Semple, Lutfu’lláh Hakím, David Hofman, Hugh Chance, Amoz Gibson and Hushmand Fatheazam. [BBD231–3; BBRSM131; BW14:425 MC425; SS50; VVXI-XII]
- For a picture of the Hands of the Cause of God with the Universal House of Justice see ZK123.
||Charles Wolcott; Ali Nakhjavani; H. Borrah Kavelin; Ian Semple; Lutfullah Hakim; David Hofman; Hugh Chance; Amoz Gibson; Hushmand Fatheazam; Universal House of Justice, Election of; Elections; Conventions, International; Universal House of Justice, Members of; Firsts, Other
|1966 31 Mar
||While in the custody of the Portuguese authorities Eduardo Duarte Vieira dies in prison in Portuguese Guinea (now Guinea Bissau) after twenty days of torture. He is named the first African martyr. [BW14:390, BW16:568]
- For his obituary see BW14:389–90.
- For the messages to his wife and children he scratched on a biscuit box see BW14:390–1.
|Portuguese Guinea (Guinea Bissau); Guinea Bissau
||Eduardo Duarte Vieira; Persecution, Guinea Bissau; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; Firsts, Other
|1968 19 Feb
||His Highness Malietoa Tanumafili II of Western Samoa, the first reigning monarch to become a Bahá’í, writes to the Universal House of Justice confirming his acceptance of the Faith. [BW15:180–3]
||Malietoa Tanumafili II of Western Samoa; Bahai royalty; Firsts, Other
|1969 29 Oct
||A mechanism of world inter-communication will be devised, embracing the whole planet, freed from national hindrances and restrictions, and functioning with marvellous swiftness and perfect regularity. WOB203
1844 May 24 Samuel F.B. Morse sent the first telegraphic message over an experimental line from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore, the message said: "What hath God wrought?"
1894 May 10 Marconi sends a radio wave 3/4 mile, the first "wireless" transmission.
1897 Marconi Co sends the first ship-to-shore message 12 miles. 1899 Mar 3 the ship "East Goodwin" is save after sending the distress signal "HELP".
1858 Aug 16 the first transatlantic telegraph cable is an undersea cable running under the Atlantic Ocean used for telegraph communications was laid across the floor of the Atlantic from Telegraph Field, Foilhommerum Bay, Valentia Island in western Ireland to Heart's Content in eastern Newfoundland. The first communications occurred August 16, 1858, reducing the communication time between North America and Europe from ten days.
1969 October 29 The birth of the Internet. First message from computer to computer in different locations. UCLA student Charley Kline attempts to transmit the text “login” to a computer at the Stanford Research Institute over the first link on the ARPANET, which was the precursor to the modern Internet. After the letters “l” and “o” are sent the system crashed, making the first message ever sent on the Internet “lo” and the first crash of the system.
||Internet; Communication; Firsts, Other; History (general)
|1971 1 Jan
||The passing of Agnes Baldwin Alexander, Hand of the Cause; “the daughter of the Kingdom”, and “the beloved maid-servant of the Blessed Perfection” (‘Abdu’l-Baha); the only Hand of the Cause mentioned in the Tablets of the Divine Plan; The first Baha’i to set foot on Hawaiian soil; the first Baha’i to settle in Japan; and the first Baha’i to teach the Faith in Korea passes away in Honolulu. (b. 21 July 1875) [BW15:423; VV8]
- She was appointed a Hand of the Cause on the 27th of March, 1957 after the passing of Hand of the Cause of God George Townshend. [MoCxxiv]
- For her obituary see BW15:423–30.
- See Life of Agnes Alexander by Duane Troxel.
||Agnes Alexander; Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Births and deaths; Births and deaths; In Memoriam; Hands of the Cause, Appointments; Firsts, Other
|1971 13 Feb
||Following the ban imposed by the government of the Central African Republic on Bahá’í activities in November 1970 and subsequent representations made by the international Bahá’í lawyer Dr Aziz Navidi, the ban is lifted and the Bahá’í Faith officially recognized.
- This is broadcast in every news bulletin on government radio for the next 24 hours, the first public proclamation of the Bahá’í Faith in the country.
|Central African Republic
||Persecution, Central African Republic; Persecution, Bans; Persecution; Firsts, Other
|1973 1 Apr
||The Bahá’ís of the Central African Republic broadcast the first of their weekly radio programmes on Radio Bangui. [BW16:141]
||Central African Republic
||Radio and television programmes; Media; Firsts, Other
||The first Native Council takes place in Haines, Alaska, attended by 50 native Bahá’ís.
||Haines; Alaska; United States
||The New Era Rural Development Project, the first project of its kind in the world, begins in the villages around Panchgani, India. [BW17:227–8]
||New Era Development Institute; Social and economic development; Firsts, Other
|1977 16 – 17 Apr
||The first annual Bahá’í Studies Seminar supported by the Departments of Religious Studies and of Sociology at the University of Lancaster, England, takes place. [BW18:204]
||Lancaster; United Kingdom
||Bahai Studies, Associations for; Firsts, Other
|1977 12 Oct
||The first Bahá’í educational and cultural radio station, HCRN-1 Radio Bahá’í del Ecuador, makes its inaugural broadcast at 1420kHz, 20 watts, in Spanish and Quechua from studios in Otavalo. [BBD193; BW17:169, 215–17; BW19:120; VV77]
- For pictures see BW17:216, 218 and VV77.
- Full time programming (six hours a day) as initiated on the 12th of December, 1977. The 1 kiloWatt transmitter is located at Cahas, 20km south of Otavalo. [Radio Bahá'í Ecuador p23, 52]
- On December 12th, 1979, programming was initiated in the short wave band on 2340 kHz in the 120-metre band. The 1 kilowatt transmitter is located about 30 km north of Otavalo at an altitude of 10,000 feet. In 1982 the transmission frequency was switched to 4990 kHz on the 60-meter band. [Radio Bahá‘Í Ecuador p205 note 23]
|Otavalo; Cahas; Ecuador
||Bahai radio; Firsts, Other
|1981 23 May
||Helmut Winkelbach, Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for Belarus, marries Olga Grigorevna Dolganova, a Russian, their wedding ceremony being the first Bahá’í wedding in the Soviet Union.
||Helmut Winkelbach; Olga Grigorevna Dolganova; Knights of Bahaullah; Firsts, Other; Weddings
||The renovation of the House of ‘Abdu’lláh Páshá in ‘Akká is completed. [BW18:77]
- Delegates attending the fifth International Convention are the first pilgrims to visit it. [BW18:77]
- For pictures see BW18:78–80.
||House of Abdullah Pasha; Restoration; Conventions, International; Firsts, Other; Pilgrimage
|1986 19 Oct
||Lorraine Kahn of Pine Springs, Arizona, is elected a delegate to the United States National Convention, the first Navajo woman to serve in this capacity. [BINS161:19]
||Lorraine Kahn; Native Americans; Conventions, National; Firsts, Other
|1986 7 Dec
||Radio Bahá’í Liberia, the first Bahá’í radio station in Africa, makes its test broadcast. [BINS164:6]
||Bahai radio; Firsts, Other
|1987 24 Mar
||Radio Bahá’í of Liberia, the first Bahá’í radio station in Africa, is inaugurated in Maynesville. [BINS164:6; BW19:121; VV77]
||Bahai radio; Firsts, Other
|1988 30 Jun - 3 Jul
||The Bahá’í Arts Council, Canada, holds the first arts festival, ‘Invitation 88: A Festival of the Human Spirit’ at the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario. [BINS179:2]
||London; Ontario; Canada
||Arts; Firsts, Other
||One Country, the newsletter of the Bahá'í International Community, now published in five other languages - French, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, and German. The first French language edition of the publication was launched in Paris in October, 1989. Each issue contains two or three in-depth feature stories on the United Nations, noteworthy social and economic development projects, environmental efforts or educational programs, along with an editorial that addresses world problems from a Bahá'í point of view.
||Bahai International Community; One Country; Firsts, Other; Newsletters; Publications
||The University of Maryland announced its decision to establish "The Bahá'í Chair for World Peace" in its Centre for International Development and Conflict Management. In 1992 Professor Suheil Bushrú’í was named as the first scholar to hold the Chair. [AWH76; VV108]
||Maryland; United States
||University of Maryland; Bahai Chair for World Peace; Suheil Bushrui; Firsts, Other
||For the first time, two Bush Negro women delegates attend the national convention of Surinam. [BINS226:6]
||Indigenous people; Conventions, National; Firsts, Other
||The first International Dialogue on the Transition to a Global Society, co-sponsored by the University of Maryland, the Vienna Academy for the Study of the Future and Landegg Academy, is held at Landegg Academy, Switzerland, attended by 80 leaders of thought from around the world. [VV109]
||University of Maryland; Vienna Academy; Universities; Firsts, Other
||The first week-long residential Bahá'í study school of Guinea is held in Guéckédou.
||Study schools; Firsts, Other
||Dr. Victor de Araujo, Bahá'í representative to the United Nations for 23 years and the first full-time representative, retired from his duties. He had represented the BIC at innumerable conferences and seminars throughout the world as well as at the UN headquarters in New York, often serving as chairman on the UN committees. [VV54]
- Mr. Techeste Ahderom of Eritrea succeeded him. [VV54]
|New York; United States
||Victor de Araujo; Bahai International Community; United States; Techeste Ahderom; Firsts, Other
|1991 14 Nov
||In a message from Hand of the Cause A.M. Varqá, the Office of the Trustee, the Institution of the Huqúqu'lláh, to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canada, the formation of the Board of Trustees of the Huqúqu'lláh was announced. Members were Mr. Husayn Banání, Dr. Mohsen Enayat, Dr. Gerald Hanks, Dr. Bill Hatcher, and Dr. Michael Rochester. [CBNJan92 p2]
||Huququllah; Firsts, Other; Huququllah, Trustees of
|1991 26 Nov
||"The Office of Ḥuqúqu’lláh has been established in the Holy Land under the direction of the Chief Trustee of Ḥuqúqu’lláh, the Hand of the Cause of God ‘Alí-Muḥammad Varqá, in anticipation of the worldwide application of the Law of Ḥuqúqu’lláh next Riḍván. Concurrent with this development are the steps being taken by Dr. Varqá to organize regional and national Boards of Trustees of Ḥuqúqu’lláh, following the example of the Board already functioning in the United States. " [From the Message of the Universal House of Justice dated 26 November, 1991.]
||Varqa, Ali-Muhammad; Varqa; Huququllah; Huququllah, Trustees of; Firsts, Other
|1992 24 – 28 Oct
||The first Bahá'í Autumn School of Central Asia is held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, attended by more than 200 Bahá'ís and many others. [BINS284:2]
||Autumn schools; Central Asia; Firsts, Other
|1994 Mar 24
||The Dalai Lama visits the Bahá'í World Centre, the first time a head of a religion has visited the Shrine of the Báb. [BW93–4:78, CBN Vol 7 no 1 May/June 1994]
||World Centre; BWC
||Dalai Lama; Bab, Shrine of; Prominent visitors; Firsts, Other; Buddhism; Tibet; Interfaith dialogue
|1996 15 Jan
||A Chair for Bahá'í Studies is inaugurated at the University of Lucknow. [BINS354:3]
||Chair in Bahai Studies; Universities; Firsts, Other
||The dedication of the first academic chair in Bahá'í studies in Israel at Hebrew University of Jerusalem with the appointment of Prof. Moshe Sharon. The position was made possible because of an anonymous donation. [Jerusalem Post, June 7, 1999, BWNS84]
||Chair in Bahai Studies; Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Universities; Moshe Sharon; Firsts, Other; Donations; BWNS
|2000 17 Feb
||The passing of Mildred Mottahedeh in New York. She had been elected to the International Bahá’í Council, the first globally elected Bahá’í body and was the first Bahá'í International Community representative to the United Nations. She was born in Seabright, New Jersey, on 7 August 1908 and was 91. [One Country Jan-Mar 2000 Vol 11 Issue 4, TP705-706]
||New York; Seabright; New Jersey; United States
||International Bahai Council; Bahai International Community; Mildred Mottahedeh; In Memoriam; Births and deaths; Firsts, Other
|2000 17 - 21 Dec
||The first International Conference on Modern Religions and Religious Movements in Judaism Christianity and Islam and the Bábí-Bahá’í Faiths was held in Jerusalem with about 90 persons in attendance. [BWNS84]
||Conferences, Interfaith; Interfaith dialogue; Judaism; Christianity; Islam; Firsts, Other; BWNS
|2003 18 Mar
||The President of India, Abdul Kalam, visited the Bahá'í House of Worship in New Delhi, the first official visit there by an Indian Head of State since the Temple was opened in December 1986. [BWNS204]
||New Delhi; India
||Abdul Kalam; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Delhi; Lotus temple; Prominent visitors; Presidents; Firsts, Other; BWNS
|2003 4 Apr
||Given current conditions in the world the Ninth International Convention was cancelled. It had been scheduled for 29 April to 2 May. Ballots from the National Spiritual Assembly members were mailed to the World Centre. The 19 delegates that had been chosen as tellers travelled to the World Centre to count the votes. [BW'02-‘03pg37-38, BWNS202]
||Conventions, International; Firsts, Other; BWNS
|2003 29 Apr
||The election of the Universal House of Justice by postal ballot by 1,544 electors from 178 countries. Chosen were Hartmut Grossmann and Firaydoun Javaheri to replace retiring members Mr. Nakhjavani, 83, and Mr. Fatheazam, 79 and re-elected were Farzam Arbab, Kiser Barnes, Hooper Dunbar, Peter Khan, Douglas Martin, Glenford Mitchell and Ian Semple. [One Country Vol.15 Issue1, BWNS207]
||Universal House of Justice, Election of; Elections; Universal House of Justice, Members of; Conventions, International; Firsts, Other; Hartmut Grossmann; Firaydoun Javaheri; Farzam Arbab; Kiser Barnes; Hooper Dunbar; Peter Khan; Douglas Martin; Glenford Mitchell; Ian Semple; Retirements; Ali Nakhjavani; Hushmand Fatheazam
|2003 16 Dec
||Shirin Ebadi, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the first Muslim woman to win the coveted distinction.
- For a long time she has fought for the rights of women and children in Iran and it is most fitting that she, a woman lawyer who dared to speak out against the sexist Iranian regime, be praised and recognised by the world.
- She is an author and also the founder of the Association for Support of Children's Rights in Iran. [Nobel Peace Prize 2003]
- In 2002 she founded the Defender of Human Rights Center and in 2009 she was forced to flee into exile.
||Shirin Ebadi; Nobel Peace Prize; Human rights Center; Women; Firsts, Other
||The Bahá'í Chair for World Peace was assumed by Professor Hoda Mahmoudi who previously headed a research department at the Bahá'í World Center in Israel. [Bio Professor Hoda Mahmoudi]
||Maryland; United States
||Hoda Mahmoudi; Bahai Chair for World Peace; University of Maryland; Firsts, Other
|2017 1 - 2 Sep
||The opening of Cambodia’s first “Local House of Worship” in Battambang, just over two years after the design of the building was unveiled in July 2015.
The Mashriqu’l-Adhkar was designed by Phnom Penh-based architect Tang Sochet Vitou. It is situated on a 9 hectare property of which 1.5 hectares is used for the temple, an administrative building as well as gardens and ponds. The temple is a frequent topic of conversation among the local population. Even before its completion, it has galvanized action towards the betterment of the community and brought neighbours together. it will help provide for the spiritual needs of Cambodia’s growing Baha’i community which, according to the Ministry of Cult and Religion’s most recent annual report, numbers about 12,000 although some adherents say the figure may now be closer to 20,000. Baha’i communities were first recorded in the kingdom in the 1920s and since 1992 they have grown steadily with the help of aid workers and Asian immigrants.
In a letter dated 18 December 2014, the Universal House of Justice explained that a Baha’i House of Worship is a “collective centre of society to promote cordial affection” and “stands as a universal place of worship open to all the inhabitants of a locality irrespective of their religious affiliation, background, ethnicity, or gender and a haven for the deepest contemplation on spiritual reality and foundational questions of life, including individual and collective responsibility for the betterment of society.”
The dedication was marked by a two-day conference bringing together over 2,500 people from Battambang and every other region of Cambodia. A number of Cambodian dignitaries attended along with representatives of Baha’i communities in Southeast Asia. The Universal House of Justice was represented by Ms. Sokuntheary Reth who serves on the Continental Board of Counsellors in Asia.
[BWNS1185, BWNS1187, BWNS1189, BWNS1190 (slide show), BWNS1191 (video), BWNS1192]
||Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Local; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Cambodia; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Architecture; Architects; Firsts, Other; Gardens; BWNS