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TAGS: Bab, Martyrdom of
LOCATIONS: Iran (documents); Tabriz
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Very short mention in this travelogue by a Supreme Court Justice of the United States.

Station Wagon Odyssey:
Baghdad to Istanbul; A famous American traveler continuing a journey across the Moslem East

by William O. Douglas

published in National Geographic Magazine, CXV:1, page 73
"The Bab Faces a Firing Squad"

One day in Tabriz as Mercedes, Mary, and I were window-shopping, a tall, heavy-set man about forty years of age came out of a shop and called my by name. How he knew me, I do not know. He was a Bahai. Inviting us in for soft drinks and huge pistachio nuts, he soon brought us up to date on the Bahais.

Tabriz was the scene of the execution of the Baba, founder of the Bahai religion. On July 9, 1850, he was suspended by a rope under his arms and shot by a firing squad. The shots rang out, but the Bab was not touched. The bullets merely cut the rope, and he fell to the ground unharmed.

The firing squad refused to shoot again, and it seemed in that instant that the miracle of the Bab might sweep Iran from its Moslem foundations. But a quick-witted officer summoned another firing squad that soon did kill the Bab, putting an end to any mysticism about his powers. A public school now stands where the Bab was executed.
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