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from the Chronology

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1903 7 Mar Inspired by the news of the `Ishqábád Temple project, the Chicago House of Spirituality asked `Abdu'l-Bahá for permission to construct a Mashriqu'l-Adhkár. Two days later Mirza Asadu'lláh drafted a petition to be sent to 'Abdu'l-Bahá. His reply was received in late May and three other letters were received over the next several weeks containing statements about the Temple. [BFA2:XVI, 118; BW10:179; GPB348; DH4-5] Ishqabad; Turkmenistan; Wilmette; Chicago; United States House of Spirituality; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; petition
1903 30 May A letter from `Abdu'l-Bahá was received by the Chicago House of Spirituality giving His approval for the building of a Mashriqu'l-Adhkár in North America. [BFA2:119] Wilmette; Chicago; United States House of Spirituality; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); petition
1903 7 Jun Eight days after `Abdu'l-Bahá's first Tablet arrived, a second Tablet arrived from Him approving the project. [BW10:179; CT41; GPB262, 349; MBW142] Wilmette; Chicago; United States House of Spirituality; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); petition
1908 9 Apr Two building plots for the future House of Worship were purchased in Wilmette for the sum of $2000. By 1909 they had purchase 12 more building plots. [BFA2:XVI; BW10:179, GPB262; SYH66] Wilmette; United States Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Purchases and exchanges; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship)
1912 1 May `Abdu'l-Bahá laid the cornerstone of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár in Wilmette. [SYH67-68, CT102; 239D:51; AB186; GPB288, 349; MBW143; Luminous Journey 47:00]
  • Talk at Dedication of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár Grounds. [PUP71]
  • The cornerstone had been offered by Mrs Nettie Tobin, a member of the Women's Teaching Assembly. [AB186]
  • See SYH65-66 for the story of how the Foundation Stone made it to the building site.
  • `Abdu'l-Bahá asked delegates from the various Bahá'í communities and Bahá'ís from different backgrounds each to dig the earth to lay the stone. Corrine True, Lua Getsinger and several other women turned the sod. After the stone had been laid 'Abdu'l-Bahá declared that "The temple is already built." [AB186–7; Luminous Journey 47:00]
  • Wilmette; Chicago; United States Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Nettie Tobin; Foundation stones and groundbreaking; Abdul-Baha, Life of; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Abdul-Baha, Basic timeline
    1918. (In the year) The publication of Excerpts from Mysterious Forces of Civilization, Written by an Eminent Bahai Philosopher in 1975: Excerpts from A Traveler's Narrative Written to Illustrate the Episode of the Bab. No publication information. [ BEL3-43 p10]
  • A leather bound republication has been made of the 1918 edition. [Amazon.ca]
  • The text of this work as well as the translation done by Marzieh Gail and and the original Persian text have been laid out in one document by Bruce Barick and Nasrin Khademi. A pdf of this document has also been made available on Bahá'í-library.com.
  • Wilmette; IL Bruce Barick; Nasrin Khademi; Johanna Dawud; Yuhanna Dawud
    1920 Apr Louis Bourgeois was selected as the architect for the Chicago House of Worship. [DP94; GPB303; SBBH1:145]
  • For details of the designs and selection process see DP76-100.
  • See CT159 for the source of inspiration for the design.
  • See FMH75-76 for details of a visit by Willard and Doris McKay to his home. He reported that "the inspiration for the Temple was from another realm and that he had been conscious, from the beginning, that Bahá'ulláh was the creator of the building."
  • Wilmette; Chicago; United States Louis Bourgeois; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Architecture; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Architects
    1920 27 Apr The design for the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar at Wilmette, Illinois, was finally chosen by the forty-nine delegates present at the Twelfth Annual Convention of Bahá'í Temple Unity, being held at the Hotel McAlpin, New York. Excavation at the site began on the 24th of September and construction commenced on the 20th of December. New York; United States; Wilmette Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Design; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Architecture find reference
    1920 24 Sep Boring began at the site of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár in Wilmette to determine the depth of the bedrock. [DP104]
  • Soon afterwards construction began. [DP108]
  • Wilmette; United States Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship)
    1921 21 Mar Construction began on the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár in Wilmette. DP108]
  • See DP107 for a picture of Bahá'ís inaugurating the construction of Foundation Hall.
  • Note: The Bahá'í Faith 1844-1952 Information Statistical & Comparative p.5 says construction commenced in December 1920.
  • Wilmette; United States Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship)
    1922 9 Jul Bahá'ís gathered in the Foundation Hall of the Chicago House of Worship for the first time, to commemorate the martyrdom of the Báb. [CT158-9; SW13, 6:132]
  • Regular meetings were not held here until 1927. [CT158-9]
  • Wilmette; United States Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship)
    1927 Oct Shoghi Effendi entrusted Dr William Slater and his wife Ida Slater, who were visiting Haifa on a 19-day pilgrimage, with carpets from the Shrines of the Báb and 'Abdu'l-Bahá for the House of Worship in Chicago. [SETPE1p149] Haifa; Wilmette; United States William Slater; Ida Slater; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Bab, Shrine of; Carpets; Gifts; Shoghi Effendi, Life of
    1928 26–30 Apr The National Convention of the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada was held in the Foundation Hall of the House of Worship for the first time. [BW2:180; CT167; BN No 24 June 1928]
  • Elected were Allen Mc Daniel (chair), Alfred Lunt (vise chair), Horace Holley (secretary), Carl Scheffler (treasurer), Roy Wilhelm, May Maxwell, Louis Gregory, Amelia Collins, and Nellie French. [USBN No 26 September, 1928]
  • See BW2:180 for a picture.
  • See FMH53-54]
  • Wilmette; Chicago; United States Conventions, National; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Firsts, Other; Allen McDaniel; Alfred Lunt; Horace Holley; Carl Scheffler; Roy Wilhelm; May Maxwell (Bolles); Louis Gregory; Amelia Collins; Nellie French
    1929 16 Mar In December of 1925 the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of United States and Canada adopted the "Unified Plan of Action" and among the resolutions was to raise some $400,000 over the following three years to construct the first unit of the superstructure of the Temple. By the end of 1926 only $51,000 had been collected and the following year was just as disappointing. At the National Convention in 1928 Fred Schopflocher's donation of $25,000 inspired contributions and the Fund rose to about $87,000 by March 1929. On this day Fred and Lorol Schopflocher contributed a further $100,000. [LoF388-389, SETPE1p162-163]
  • See May 1937 for another contribution of $100,000 from the Schopflochers.
  • Montreal; Canada; Wilmette; United States Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Fred Schopflocher; Lorol Schopflocher; Unified Plan of Action; Funds
    1930 Apr A ceremony was held at the American annual convention in dedication of the resumption of the building activities on the Wilmette Temple. [BBRSM183; BW3:47]
  • Shoghi Effendi’s gift to the Temple was ‘the most valuable sacred possession in the Holy Land’ a ‘precious ornament of the Tomb of Bahá’u’lláh’, an exquisite Persian carpet. [BA180–1; BW4:208–12]
      The carpet, one of the most exquisite pieces ever woven in Persia, was made in Khurásán in about 1900-1905. It had been donated to by Díyá'ulláh Asgharzádih as a gift to Àbdu'l-Bahá Who immediately placed it in the Shrine of Bahjí. [BW4p208-210]
  • Wilmette; United States Conventions, National; Bahaullah, Shrine of; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Gifts; Carpets
    1930. 19 Aug Jean-Baptiste Louis Bourgeois, (b. 19 March 1856, Staint-Célestin de Nicolet, QC. d. Wilmette, IL), the architect of the first Bahá’i Temple of Worship in America, passed away. He was buried in East Lawn Memorial Park in Sacramento, California.[Find a Grave]

    He, like Sutherland Maxwell and Mason Remey, had studied at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. These three and four others submitted designs for the Wilmette Temple for consideration. Other buildings designed by Louis Bourgeois include the Chicago Tribune Building, Evergreen Cabin in Englewood NJ where 'Abdu'l-Bahá hosted a Unity Feast, the Savoy Hotel in Chicago.

    He became a Bahá'í in New York sometime during the winter of 1906. In April of 1909 the National Spiritual Assembly called for design proposals for the first Bahá'í Hours of Worship in the West and he submitted is design proposal in October. It was finally accepted at the National Convention in 1920. [DP76-100]

    Staint-Célestin de Nicolet, QC; Wilmette; Sacrmento, CA; United States In Memoriam; Louis Bourgeois; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette
    1930 20 Aug Louis Jean-Baptiste Bourgeois, (19 March, 1856, Saint-Célestin, Quebec, Canada) designer of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár in Wilmette, passed away in that city. He was buried in East Lawn Memorial Park Sacramento, Sacramento County, California, USA [DP145; Find a grave]
  • He had learned of the Faith in Boston through the efforts of Mary Hanford Ford. [Wikipedia]
  • For details of his life see DP76–86.
  • Saint-Celestin-de-Nicolet; Quebec; Wilmette; Boston; United States Louis Bourgeois; Architects; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; In Memoriam; Births and deaths; Mary Hanford Ford
    1931. 15 Jan Flames swept through the dome of Bahá'í House of Worship which was nearing completion. Damage was estimated at $50,000. The loss due to the fire was covered by insurance and as a "blessing in disguise" because the Faith receive a great deal of publicity as a result of the incident. [Tribune Archive Photo / Chicago Tribune, Sept. 18, 2014]
  • See the report in BN No 48 February 1931 p5.
  • Wilmette; United States Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship)
    1931 1 May The superstructure of the Wilmette House of Worship was completed and turned over by the Fuller Company at the opening of the National Convention, nineteen years after the day on which the Master had blessed the undertaking. It was then dedicated. [BW10:180; DP:156–7; SBBH1:145] Wilmette; United States Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship)
    1937 May Fred Schopflocher contributed and additional $100,000 (see 16 March, 1929) to the goal of $350,000 to complete the exterior ornamentation of the House of Worship. For his dedication to the construction the Guardian designated him as "Chief Temple Builder". [LoF 388-390, BW12p664] Wilmette; United States Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Fred Schopflocher; Funds
    1939 1 Oct The national Bahá’í office of the United States was established at 536 Sheridan Road, Wilmette, Illinois. [BW10:181]
  • Horace Holley, the full-time secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada, transfered his office from New York to the Hazíratu’l-Quds in Wilmette. [SBR238]
  • Wilmette; United States Horace Holley; Haziratul-Quds
    1943 8 Jan The exterior ornamentation of the Wilmette Temple was completed. [BW10:181; UD155–6]
  • The cost of the building was $1.3 million. [UD165]
  • Wilmette; United States Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship)
    1944 19–25 May An international celebration of the Centenary of the founding of the Faith was 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; United States Centenaries; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette
    1945 Ridván The election for the National Spiritual Assembly was held by postal ballot. The tellers completed their work in the Temple Foundation Hall. Those selected as members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada were: Horace Holley, Dorothy Baker, Philip Sprague, George Latimer, Amelia Collins, Louis Gregory, Leroy Ioas, Allen McDaniel, Roy C. Wilhelm. [BN No175 Jun 1945 p3]

    The inability, under restrictions imposed by the war, to hold Convention sessions this year challenged the National Spiritual Assembly to maintain the important functions of the annual meeting through other means. Steps were therefore taken to provide for Voting by mail, with a committee of tellers to serve in the customary way, to conduct a public meeting or Bahá’í Congress in Foundation Hall during the Riḍván Period, and to provide the delegates with subjects for written suggestions and views. [BN No 174 April-May 145 p2]

  • For the first time in the history of this Assembly, a postal by-election was held to fill a vacancy caused by the fact that Mr Wilhelm could no longer attend meetings. Elsie Austin was elected as of the 16th of March and attended one meeting before dissolution. [BN No 182 April 1946 p1]
  • Wilmette; United States National Convention; National Spiritual Assembly, election; Horace Holley; Dorothy Baker; Philip Sprague; George Latimer; Amelia Collins; Louis Gregory; Leroy Ioas; Allen McDaniel; Roy Wilhelm
    1952 8 Oct Holy Year, "The Great Jubilee", October 1952 to October 1953, was inaugurated. [MBW16-18; BW12:116; DG84; PP409–10; SBR170–1]
  • Centenary celebrations of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s mission were initiated. [MBW16–18]
  • "Shoghi Effendi began the Holy Year to commemorate the centenary of Bahá’u’lláh's experience in the Siyáh Chál in October 1952 and closed the Holy Year in October 1953 (which corresponds to the centenary of the “Year Nine”, the Islamic year 1269)". [Two Episodes from the Life of Bahá’u’lláh in Iran p21 by Moojan Momen]
  • Four international conferences were scheduled in Kampala, Wilmette (dedication of the Temple), Stockholm and New Delhi. [SETPE2p31-43]
  • For a brief description of the Kampala Conference see CG20-21.
  • Kampala; Uganda; Wilmette; United States; Stockholm; Sweden; New Delhi; India Great Jubilee; Holy Years; Centenaries; Bahaullah, Birth of Revelation of; Siyah Chal (Black Pit)
    1953 (In the Year) The publication of Questions about the Second Coming by George Townshend by the Bahá'í Publishing Committee in Wilmette in response to questions asked of him by the Bahá'ís of Kampala.
  • The publication is available in PDF.
  • Wilmette; United States; Uganda Christianity; George Townshend
    1953 1 May The House of Worship in Wilmette was consecrated in a simple ceremony for Bahá’ís only. [BW12:143, 152; ZK93]
  • For details of the dedication see BW12:152–4.
  • A most wonderful and thrilling motion will appear in the world of existence,” are ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s own words, predicting the release of spiritual forces that must accompany the completion of this most hallowed House of Worship. “From that point of light,” He, further glorifying that edifice, has written, “the spirit of teaching … will permeate to all parts of the world.” And again: “Out of this Mashriqu’l-Adhkár, without doubt, thousands of Mashriqu’l-Adhkárs will be born.” “It marks the inception of the Kingdom of God on earth. [CoF69 Message of 21 March 1949]
  • Wilmette; United States Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Dedications
    1953 2 May The House of Worship in Wilmette, the Mother Temple of the West, was dedicated in a public ceremony. [BW12:142, BWNS218]
  • For the text of the Guardian’s message of dedication see BW12:141–2.
  • For an account of the event see BW12:154–63.
  • See BN No 261 November 1952 p9-10. The Temple Dedication Committee consisted of: Paul E. Haney, Mrs. Corinne True, Allen B. McDaniel, Carl Scheffler, Albert R. Windust with Horace Holley as the chairman.
  • See The Bahá'í Faith 1844-1952 Information Statistical & Comparative p24-26 for project statistics and a chronology of events.
  • Towards the end of his life in Tehran, Ahmad (of "Tablet of Ahmad" fame) had entrusted the original Tablet to his grandson Jamal who, in turn, out of the purity of his heart and his devotion to the Faith of God, offered it as a gift to Hand of the Cause, Trustee of Huqúq, the son and brother of two illustrious martyrs, Jinab-i-Valiyu'llah Varqá. When Jinab-i-Varqa, according to the instructions of the beloved Guardian, was sent to take part in this dedication ceremony he brought this most precious Tablet as his offering to the archives of the Bahá'ís of the United States. [A Flame of Fire by A.Q. Faizi.]
  • See the message of the Universal House of Justice dated 1 August, 2014 for more on the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár in Wilmette.
  • See The Story of the Temple by Allen Boyer McDaniel. [CBN No43 August 1953 p4; BELp101 7.1479]
  • See the video The Temple History Design and Construction.

    Specifics

      Location: Wilmette, Illinois, U.S. Cook County
      Administration: On the same day as the internment of the sacred remains of the Báb on Mount Carmel, March 21st, 1909, the first American Bahá'í Convention opened in Chicago. The Convention established the 'Bahá'í Temple Unity', incorporated to hold title to the Temple property and to provide for its construction. A constitution was framed and an Executive Board of the Bahá'í Temple Unity elected. This body became the future National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada. [BBD39; BBRSM:106; BW10:179; GPB349; PP397; SBBH1:146; BFA2:XVII, 309; BW13:849; MBW142–3]
      Foundation Stone: by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, 1 May, 1912
      Construction Period:The purchase of the site completed: 1914. Design Chosen: 1920. Superstructure: 1921 – 1 May 1931. External Ornamentation: June 1932 -1943. Interior: 1951
      Dedication: 1 May 1953
      Architects: Louis Bourgeois with Alfred Shaw (interior cladding) Bourgeois became a Baha’i in New York City in 1907, and two years later responded to the call for designs for the Temple. In 1920, delegates from across the country unanimously selected his innovative design. Bourgeois traveled to Haifa to consult with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. With ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s encouragement, Bourgeois refined and scaled down the size of his design. [The House of Worship Architecture]
      Seating: 1,191 [DP220]
      Dimensions: 203ft at the base and 49ft high
      Cost: $2.6 million (another source) $51,500 (land) plus $3,212,517.60 (construction costs 1921-1953)
      Dependencies: Construction of a home for the aged was began in December, 1957 and inaugurated on 1 February, 1959. It is located about three blocks away.
      Note: In GPB349 Shoghi Effendi states that “…this enterprise—the crowning achievement of the Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh in the first Bahá’í century…”.
      References: CEBF236-241,GPB348-353, MDM121-239, The Dawning Place, The Bahá'í Faith 1844-1963 Information Statistical & Comparative p36-37. iiiii
  • Wilmette; United States Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Mother Temples; Lawh-i-Ahmad (Tablet of Ahmad (Arabic)); Gifts; Archives; Dedications; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Quick facts; Alfred Shaw; Architects; Bahai home for the aged; Homes for the aged; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Dependencies of; BWNS; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Shoghi Effendi, Life of
    1957. (In the year) The publication of The Secret of Divine Civilization by 'Abdu'l-Bahá as translated by Marzieh Gail in Wilmette Il by the Bahá'í Publishing Trust. It was earlier translated as The Mysterious Forces of Civilization by another translator, this was 'Abdu'l-Bahá's message to the government, clergy and people of Iran on the requirements of true civilization. It applies as well to the present as mankind's traditional political and social philosophies have shown themselves incapable of renewing human civilization. [BEL 3-107 p13]
  • See Bahá'í-library.com for documents related to the work by 'Abdu'l-Bahá.
  • Wilmette; IL; USa Abdu'l-Baha, Writings of; Marzieh Gail
    1958 2–4 May The third Intercontinental Conference was held at the mid-point of the Crusade convened in Wilmette, Illinois. [BW13:323]
  • Hand of the Cause Dr Ugo Giachery, who had been designated by the Guardian as his representative, attended, accompanied by four other Hands of the Cause. [BW13:323]
  • For the message of the Custodians to the conference see MC90–8.
  • For a report of the conference see BW13:323–5.
  • See Notes by Emma Maxie Jones and Anonymous.
  • Wilmette; Illinois; United States; America Hands of the Cause; Hands of the Cause, Activities; Ugo Giachery; Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Teaching; Conferences, Intercontinental; Ten Year Crusade
    1959 1 Feb The ‘first Dependency of the Mashriqul-Adhkár in Wilmette’, the Bahá’í Home for the Aged, opened. [BW13:747]
  • For the history of its building see BW13:743–8.
  • For pictures see BW13:742, 744–7.
  • See National Bahá'í Review No 4 April 1968 p11.
  • Wilmette; United States Bahai home for the aged; Homes for the aged; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Dependencies of
    1967 5 – 10 Oct Six Intercontinental Conferences were held simultaneously in Panama City, Wilmette, Sydney, Kampala, Frankfurt and New Delhi to celebrate the centenary of the proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh to the kings and rulers of the world in September/October of 1867. [BW 14:221]
  • For the message of the Universal House of Justice to the conferences see BW14:221–2.
  • For descriptions of each conference see BW14:223–58.
  • See CG68-69 for a brief description of the Intercontinental Conference in Kampala.
  • The six Hands of the Cause representing the Universal House of Justice at the conferences travelled to Adrianople to visit the House of Bahá’u’lláh before dispersing to the conferences. [BW14:236, 458; VV2]
  • Panama; Wilmette; Sydney; Australia; Kampala; Uganda; Frankfurt; Germany; New Delhi; India Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Intercontinental; Tablets to Kings and rulers; Centenaries
    1968 22 – 23 Jun The first National Youth Conference of the Bahá’ís of the United States opened in Wilmette, Illinois. [BW15:327 8]
  • For picture see BW15:325.
  • Wilmette; Illinois; United States Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Youth; Conferences, National
    1970. Jan The inaugural publication of The American Bahá'í. The intention was that this new publication would contain news items, editorials, letters to the editors, feature articles, and various departments to inform, edify and entertain the friends at large. The Bahá'í National Review would continue publication but it would no longer publish news items but would become a gazette for the announcement of official policies and information that the National Spiritual Assembly wished to share with the friends. The Bahá'í National Review continued publication until November of 1970. [Bahá'í National Review Issue 24 December 1969 p15] Wilmette American Bahai (newsletter); Bahai National Review; Newsletters; Periodicals
    1970. 20 - 22 Feb First American National Baha'i Education Conference in America was held in Wilmette. [USBN April 1970] Wilmette; United States Conferences; Conferences, Bahai
    1971. (In the year) The publication of Memorials of the Faithful by the Bahá'í Publishing Trust in Wilmette as translated from the original Persian and annotated by Marzieh Gail. It contains eulogies of some eighty early Bahá’ís transcribed from a series of talks given by ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá in Haifa around 1914–15.

    It was first published in 1924 in Farsi when the Persian transcripts that had been corrected by ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá were compiled into a single volume.

  • In 1973 Memorials of the Faithful was transcribed by Gertrude D Schurgast and published in Tucson, AZ by the Bahá'í Service for the Blind. In 1975 a second print run was done. [BEL3.75, 8.3]
  • See reviews, papers and tributes to the book.
  • Wilmette; United States Abdul-Baha, Writings and talks of; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Memorials of the Faithful (book); - Basic timeline, Expanded; Abdul-Baha, Basic timeline; Bahai Service for the Blind; Gertrude D Schurgast; Marzieh Gail
    1975. 4 - 8 Jul The Ridván Message contained the phrase, "EVIDENCES GATHERING CLOUDS WIDESPREAD OPPOSITION" and the Universal House of Justice called together all the 'high ranking officers' and 'senior administrative bodies' of the Faith in North America for special consultation on the future protection of the Cause" to be held in Wilmette. It was attended by the three Hands of the Cause for North America, Mr Sears, Mr Robarts and Mr Zikrullah Khadem; the four members of the Board of Counsellors, Velma Sherrill, Lloyd Gardner, Sarah Periera, and Edna True; all the members of the National Spiritual Assemblies of Alaska, Canada and the United States as well as representative of the National Assembly of Hawaii; all of the Auxiliary Board members in North America and special guest, Counsellor 'Azíz Yazdí of the International Teaching Centre.
  • Although the primary reason for gathering was to discuss the issue of the protection of the Faith there were opportunities for members of the three National Spiritual Assemblies and the Auxiliary Boards to share teaching ideas and to lear of the goals achieved in other areas. [BN Vol 52 No 8 August, 1975 p13-14, CBN Issue 287 Aug/Sept 1975 p1-4]
  • Wilmette; Chicago; United States Conference; Continental Conference for Protection
    1978 23 May The House of Worship in Wilmette was included in the register of historic places in the United States. [BW17:166, 375]
  • For picture see BW17:165.
  • Wilmette; United States Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Architecture; Recognition
    1988 9 Dec The passing of Edna M. True, (b. July 29, 1888, in Grand Rapids, Michigan) She was a daughter of the Hand of the Cause of God Corinne Knight True whose valiant work from 1909-25 as financial secretary of Bahá'í Temple Unity was instrumental in building the House of Worship in Wilmette.
  • She formally enrolled in the Faith as a 15-year-old in 1903.
  • See PG111-113. Edna and her mother had spent 11 days on pilgrimage in November of 1919. On the point of her departure 'Abdu'l-Bahá called her to His side.
  • Like her mother, Miss True became intimately involved in the completion of that magnificent edifice, serving on its construction committee from 1947-53, lending her expertise to interior design, and helping to plan its formal dedication in 1953.
  • From 1940-46 she was a member of the Bahá'í Inter-America Committee, serving as its chairman in 1941-42 and secretary in 1945-46.
  • In 1946 when she was elected to membership on the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States. She served as recording secretary for the next 22 years.
  • She served as chairman of the European Teaching Committee for the entire span of its existence (1946-64), her organizational skills to work to help form local Spiritual Assemblies and, later, National Spiritual Assemblies in 11 European countries.
  • In 1968, now 80 years old, Miss True was named by the Universal House of Justice as a member of the Continental Board of Counsellors for the Americas. She served with distinction as a Counsellor and Trustee of the Continental Fund until 1981 when advancing years (she was then 93) forced her to reduce her activities.
  • In 1986, Miss True and and her longtime friend and companion Miss Jackson made a pilgrimage to the World Centre in Haifa, Israel, where they visited the Holy Shrines and were entertained by members of the Universal House of Justice.
  • She was buried in the True family plot at Chicago's Oak-woods Cemetery. [Bahá'í News January, 1989 Issue 694 p.2]
  • Grand Rapids; Wilmette; United States Edna True; Corinne True; Counsellors; National Spiritual Assemblies; European Teaching Committee; In Memoriam
    1992 (In the year) Prime Minister Hamilton Green of Guyana made a formal state visit to the temple in Wilmette. [Bahá'í Newsreel Vol. 3 number 2; VV133] Guyana; Wilmette; United States Prime Ministers; Hamilton Green; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Prominent visitors
    1995 Jan By decision of the National Spiritual Assembly of the United State, the Wilmette Institute was established as an agency of the National Assembly.

    "The Wilmette Institute is a center of Bahá’í learning. Its programs aim to facilitate study and dialogue on the teachings and principles of the Faith to help individuals and communities apply learning and advance human civilization."

  • In 1998, the Wilmette Institute moved to a largely online study approach in order to provide educational classes to a broader student body. [Wilmette Institute]
  • Wilmette; Chicago; United States Wilmette Institute; Bahai study centers
    1999. 12 Dec A report titled Issues Pertaining to Growth, Retention and Consolidation in the United States by the National Teaching Committee of the United States was tabled. This report suggested areas of strategic focus to pursue in the individual and collective efforts to advance the process of entry by troops in the United States. While affirming all of the major strategic objectives set by the Universal House of Justice for this Plan, the report explored how those objectives could be met within the context of the specific challenges and opportunities faced by the believers.

    The report concluded by offering a series of specific suggestions in these areas: 1 .Achieving a new mindset about growth 2. Continued development of local and national outreach and follow-up 3 . Building our communities: dealing with diversity of many kinds 4. Development of Training Institutes 5. Improving local stewardship 6. Improving our discourse about teaching 7. The leadership of the Regional Bahá'í Councils

    A Word version of the full report is available here.

    Wilmette Entry by troops
    2007 Aug-Sep In memory of Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum and because the Native people had such a special place in her heart and that of the Guardian, Violette and 'Ali Nakhjanání travelled throughout North America during the months of August and September visiting aboriginal believers. They visited Vancouver, Anchorage, Juneau before going to South Dakota, Montana, Arizona and Atlanta, Georgia where they spoke with 450 African-American believers. They visited the temple in Wilmette and then the Eskasoni First Nation in Nova Scotia.
  • The primary purpose of their visit was to meet with and encourage the aboriginal believers and to remind the of their responsibility and high destiny in the Faith. [CBN Vol 20 No 3 Winter 2007/2008 p23-25]
  • First Nations; Vancouver; Anchorage; Juneau; Canada; South Dakota; Montana; Arizona; Atlanta; Wilmette; United States Violette Nakhjavani; Ali Nakhjavani; Teaching; Indigenous people; Native Americans
    2013 11 Apr – 5 Dec The commemoration of the centenary of the visit of ‘Abdu'l-Bahá to North America. [BWNS918] Wilmette; United States Centenaries; Abdul-Baha, Travels of; BWNS
    2020. 19 Jun The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States issued a statement entitled Forging a Path to Racial Justice in response to the death of George Floyd and the subsequent demonstrations for racial unity that followed.
  • See as well their website Race Unity Action.
  • See also The Bahá’í Response to Racial Injustice and Pursuit of Racial Unity Part 1 (1912-1996) and Part 2 (1996-2021). [BWNS1514]
  • Wilmette; United States Racial amity; Race (general); Race unity; Racism; Statements; Public discourse
    2020. 6 Dec The presentation of a webinar at the Wilmette Institute by Jan Teofil Jason entitled 'Abdu'l-Bahá and the "Other". In his presentation he discussed the newspaper coverage given 'Abdu'l-Bahá during his Western Tour, the influence of xenophobia on that coverage, and the challenges facing scholars in recovering those publications.
  • A PDF of his speaking notes was been made available.
  • Wilmette; IL Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour; Abdul-Baha, Talks at public places; Abdul-Baha, Talks to ethnic groups

    from the Chronology Canada

    date event locations tags see also
    1930. 19 Aug Jean-Baptiste Louis Bourgeois, (b. 19 March 1856, Staint-Célestin de Nicolet, QC. d. Wilmette, IL), the architect of the first Bahá’i Temple of Worship in America, passed away. He was buried in East Lawn Memorial Park in Sacramento, California.[Find a Grave]

    He, like Sutherland Maxwell and Mason Remey, had studied at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. These three and four others submitted designs for the Wilmette Temple for consideration. Other buildings designed by Louis Bourgeois include the Chicago Tribune Building, Evergreen Cabin in Englewood NJ where 'Abdu'l-Bahá hosted a Unity Feast, the Savoy Hotel in Chicago.

    He became a Bahá'í in New York sometime during the winter of 1906. In April of 1909 the National Spiritual Assembly called for design proposals for the first Bahá'í Hours of Worship in the West and he submitted is design proposal in October. It was finally accepted at the National Convention in 1920. [DP76-100]

    Staint-Célestin de Nicolet, QC; Wilmette, IL; Sacrmento, CA In Memoriam; Louis Bourgeois; Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette
    1937 May Fred Schopflocher contributed and additional $100,000 (see 16 March, 1929) to the goal of $350,000 to complete the exterior ornamentation of the House of Worship. For his dedication to the construction the Guardian designated him as "Chief Temple Builder". [LoF 388-390, BW12p664] Wilmette Mashriqul-Adhkar, Wilmette; Fred Schopflocher
    1953. 3 - 4- 5- 6- May The All-American Intercontinental Teaching Conference was held in Chicago for delifileration on plans designed to establish the Faith in all unoccupied territories of the West and also to adopt measures to assist other National Assemblies. Through the association in this Conference of the four National Spiritual Assemblies of the West, and the consecrated consultation of a great throng of Bahá'ís from Canada, the United States, Central America and South America, the dynamic spirit will be created for the launching of our role in the great World Crusade.
  • The Jubilee Program included the National Convention of the the Bahá'ís of the United States, a series of public meetings, the dedication of the House of Worship on the 2nd of may and an International Conference. The whole program ran from the 29th of April until the 6th of May. [CBN No 35 November 1952 p2]
  • Chicago, IL; Wilmette, IL All-American Intercontinental Teaching Conference; Teaching Conference
    1955. 3 Jul Over two hundred friends attended a memorial service at the House of Worship in Wilmette to honour the memory of Marion Jack. The service was held on the advice of the Guardian and was prepared by the National Assembly of the USA in association with the National Assembly of Canada and the European Teaching Committee. Laura Davis represented the Canadian community and read the opening prayer.
  • Hand of the Cause Paul Haney chaired the event and Hand of the Cause Amelia Collins, who was present when the Guardian heard the news of her passing, recalled how he used to say that Marion Jack was a perfect pattern for pioneers. Edna True recounted knowing her as an artist at Green Acre and Horace Holley drew attention to the fact that the Guardian identified her along with Martha Root and other distinguished teachers of the Faith. [CBN No 63 April 1955, Insert p4]
  • Wilmette, IL Marion Jack; Memorial Service; In Memoriam; Laura Davis; Paul Haney; Horace Holley; Millie Collins
    1975 4 - 8 Jul The Ridván Message contained the phrase, "EVIDENCES GATHERING CLOUDS WIDESPREAD OPPOSITION" and the Universal House of Justice called together all the 'high ranking officers' and 'senior administrative bodies' of the Faith in North America for special consultation on the future protection of the Cause" to be held in Wilmette. It was attended by the three Hands of the Cause for North America, Mr Sears, Mr Robarts and Mr Zikrullah Khadem; the four members of the Board of Counsellors, Velma Sherrill, Lloyd Gardner, Sarah Periera, and Edna True; all the members of the National Spiritual Assemblies of Alaska, Canada and the United States as well as representative of the National Assembly of Hawaii; all of the Auxiliary Board Members in North America and special guest, Counsellor 'Azíz Yazdí of the International Teaching Centre.
  • Although the primary reason for gathering was to discuss the issue of the protection of the Faith there were opportunities for members of the three National Spiritual Assemblies and the Auxiliary Boards to share teaching ideas and to hear of the goals achieved in other areas. [BN Vol 52 No 8 August, 1975 p13-14, CBN Issue 287 Aug/Sept 1975 p1-4]
  • Wilmette, IL Conferences; Hands of the Cause; Protection; Continental Board of Counsellors; Auxiliary Board Members

    from the Main Catalogue

    1. Activities of `Abdu'l-Bahá in Illinois, 1912 (1976). Two-page list of all the addresses of the places visited by Abdu'l-Bahá, April 29 - November 4, 1912. Includes link to Google map. [about]
    2. Bagdádi Family, by Kamran Ekbal, in Encyclopaedia Iranica (2014). Brief excerpt, with link to article offsite. [about]
    3. Bahá'í House of Worship, The: The Meaning of the Temple, by W. Kenneth Christian (1975). Text and scan of a flyer about the Chicago House of Worship, summarizing the history and facts of this Mashriqu'l-Adhkar. [about]
    4. Bahá'í Temple Moves Toward Completion, in The Christian Century, 58:43 (1941). One-paragraph blurb from 1941. [about]
    5. Bahá'í Temple of Universal Peace, The, by Albert Ross Vail, in The Open Court, 45:902 (1931). Short essay on the construction of the temple in Wilmette, and an overview of the Bahá'í Faith. [about]
    6. Bahá'í Temple, House of Worship of a World Faith, Commemorating Completion of Exterior Ornamentation, The (1942). Photographs and essays about the construction of the American temple in Chicago. Likely published as a progress report to distribute at the 1942 National Convention. [about]
    7. Bahai Movement, The: A paper read by Shoghi Effendi at Oxford, by Shoghi Effendi, in The Dawn, 1:1-8 (1923). Text of an address given to the Oxford University Asiatic Society, February 1921, before the passing of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and before Shoghi Effendi was appointed the "Guardian." [about]
    8. Bourgeois, Jean-Baptiste Louis (1856-1930), by R. Jackson Armstrong-Ingram (1997). Short biography of the architect and designer of Mashriqu'l-Adhkar at Wilmette, Illinois. [about]
    9. Eyewitness Impression of the Dedication, by Sophie Loeding, in Bahá'í News, 494 (1972). Brief recollections of Abdu'l-Bahá on the occasion of the dedication of the Wilmette temple, May 1, 1912. [about]
    10. Hidden Words, The: Transcript of a talk by Hand of the Cause of God A. Q. Faizí, by Abu'l-Qasim Faizi, in Conqueror of Hearts (1967). Talk delivered in Wilmette, Illinois. [about]
    11. Holley, Horace Hotchkiss, by R. Jackson Armstrong-Ingram (1995). Biography of a Hand of the Cause of God. [about]
    12. Illustrated description of a design in the Persian-Indian style of architecture for the first Mashrak-el-Azkar (Bahá'í temple) to be erected in America, by Charles Mason Remey (1920). Expanded version of a portion of Remey's earlier Mashrak-el-Azkar [Mashriqu'l-Adhkár]: Descriptive of the Bahai temple, with photographs of Temple models. [about]
    13. Mashrak-el-Azkar: Descriptive of the Bahá'í temple, by Charles Mason Remey (1917). Preliminary designs for the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkár to be built in America, showing nine varying treatments in different styles of architecture; includes discussions of the Ashkhabad temple and Bahá'í history, and a 1908 letter to Star of West. [about]
    14. Music, Devotions, and Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, by R. Jackson Armstrong-Ingram, in Studies in Babi and Bahá'í History, volume 4 (1987). An in-depth examination of the development of music and hymns within American Bahá'í devotional life, some history of the Chicago community, and the architecture and construction of the Wilmette temple. Includes sheet music and design plans. [about]
    15. Music, Devotions, and Mashriqu'l-Adhkár, by R. Jackson Armstrong-Ingram: Review, by Robert Stockman, in Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 1:2 (1988). [about]
    16. Photo brochure of the Bahá'í Temple in Wilmette, by National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States (1965). A booklet of color photographs, postcard-size and quality, with text and statistics about the Temple. [about]
    17. Third Bahá'í Intercontinental Conference, Chicago: Notes, by Emma Maxie Jones and Anonymous (1958). Notes, with comments by Borah Kavelin, Rúhíyyih Khánum, Leroy Ioas, Horace Holley, John Robarts, Ugo Giachery, et al., on topics such as raising funds for Temples, pioneering, Native Americans, reflections on Shoghi Effendi, and Mt. Carmel. [about]
    18. Who Was Archangel, the Potowatami Woman on Whose Land the Wilmette Temple Was Built?, by Ismael Velasco (2011). Brief investigation into the surname "Ouilmette" (Wilmette), and the identity of a Native American girl named Archangel whose home was at one time on this point of land. [about]
     
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