239 Days in America

A Social Media Documentary following 'Abdu'l-Bahá in 1912

May 27, 1912
New York, NY
Storify Feature

‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey So Far

IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has been in America for just a month-and-a-half. We thought we’d take this opportunity to recap a few highlights from the journey.


Our first feature, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Arrives in America, described what it was like on the SS Cedric as it entered New York harbor on April 11, 1912. The next day he took a whirlwind tour of the city, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: New Yorker, and three days after that Hudson Maxim, the inventor of smokeless gunpowder, met ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in the Hotel Ansonia: An Arms Dealer Tries to Sell War to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

On his tenth day in America ‘Abdu’l-Bahá left New York for Washington where he began an assault on the issues of the color line. Even Though the World Should Go to Smash, This Shining Colored Man, and Breaking the Color Line all depicted moments in this offensive, as did a fourth story from Chicago on the day he addressed the NAACP: The Fallout From a City in Flames.

In the Windy City, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá laid the cornerstone for a unique religious edifice – Breaking Ground at Grosse Point — and we told of the tragic events in the life of the woman who helped set it all in motion in The Trials of Corinne Knight True.

Returning to New York, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá began to address the challenges of international peace, culminating in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Scales “The Gunks”, which examined his arrival and speech at the Lake Mohonk Conference on International Arbitration.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá also engaged with the ideas and advocates of the Social Gospel movement – On Earth as It Is in Heaven – including one preacher from New Jersey, Howard Colby Ives, whom we profiled in a two-part feature: The Truth for Which Men Ought to Die and The Brotherhood Church of Howard Colby Ives.

Just a few days ago, he spoke to suffragists two weeks after a massive march for the vote in New York: “This is a Symbol of My Power,” She Said. We followed it up two days later with a story of the first women’s suffrage martyr in “You Can Kill Me as Soon as You Like,” She Said.

The journey has just begun. Stay tuned!


  • http://www.facebook.com/lina.smithson Lina Smithson

    Good recap to continue reading along..

  • Nasrin E Boroumand

    I wish all these magnificent accounts were in audio files, as some may be blind and would have loved listening to them.  Such great effort and sacrifice doing Abdul Baha’s journeys in such methodical fashion.  I will start reading from day one as I have missed all episodes in detail, but have followed them all briefly on facebook.

    Good luck and best success wishes for the rest of episodes.

    • Judy Cools

      Hello.  I don’t know about this book specifically, but many of the books and materials are in fact available in audio format for the blind.  The Baha’i Service for the Blind is accessible from the National websites.  Thank you for thinking of mentioning the need.