239 Days in America

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

July 16, 1912
New York, NY
Storify Feature

Join the Conversation!

IT’S BEEN ALMOST one hundred days since we began to explore ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s journey across America. On April 11, 1912 he arrived in New York, and began to engage Americans in conversation about the issues that confronted the nation, including race, religion, gender, social justice, international peace, and America’s future. We have been telling the story here at 239 Days In America in real time, time-shifted by exactly 100 years.


One thing we’ve learned over the past three months is that 1912 wasn’t all that different from 2012. A fiercely contested election challenged Americans to decide what kind of country they wanted to live in. Minorities and women fought for civil rights. Workers faced off against corporations. American soldiers landed on foreign shores, sparking debate about the nation’s role in the world.

To those of you who have accompanied us on the journey so far, thank you. And if you’re just joining us, welcome!

Now we’d like to invite you to join the conversation. The idea is to use our history, and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s unique take on America and its place in the world, as a starting point for a dialogue about subjects that matter in 2012. There is room to post comments at the end of every article.

If you’d like to start reading 239 Days In America from the beginning, we’ve added a banner on our home page. If you would rather just jump to the highlights, here’s a list of what we think are our Top Eleven Daily Features so far (because Top Tens are so overdone):

DAY 1: ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Arrives in America
DAY 5: An Arms Dealer Tries to Sell War to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
DAY 12: Even Though the World Should Go to Smash
DAY 13: This Shining Colored Man
DAY 22: The Trials of Corinne Knight True
DAY 24: Blame It On Religion
DAY 26: The Ultimate Taboo
DAY 34: ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Scales “The Gunks”
DAY 46: Baptism by Fire
DAY 69: The Pursuit of Happiness
DAY 94: “Every Child Is Potentially the Light of the World”

Many thanks for accompanying us on ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s journey across America, from all of us here at 239 Days in America.


  • Brenda Lorraine

    to have these emails everyday about Abdu’l- Baha is wonderful. Gets us in the habit of learning something every day about the Faith, Thank you.

  • Wolf

    For the past 97 days, the last thing I do before I go to bed (here in Australia!) is read the daily 239 Days entry, followed up by the same day’s entry from Mahmud’s Diary, then on to the Diary of Juliet Thompson, and all finished of with the relevant section from Promulgation of Universal Peace…..I AM NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO DAY 240!!! Thank you all so much for what you are doing – it is the highlight of my day and your work will last for centuries to come methinks!

  • kate

    I feel the same as “Wolf”  I cling to every day of His visit and hope we can keep something going come day 240. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=505300987 Nikan Shah

    Along the journey so far:

    “One of the Deep and Vital Problems of Society” because economic extremities are very prevalent in our world today. North American society and their media, in particular, advocates luxury at all costs. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá lived both extremely wealthy and extremely poor. No one could be unmoved by the story of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s mother having to once feed her child a handful of flour.

    I was also inspired by “The Trials of Corinne Knight True” because as so poignantly written, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had shaped this woman’s grief into purpose.

  • Karridine

    Someone is Podcasting these, 100 Years to the Day after ‘Abdu-l Baha did it… Paralleling your excellent work… http://bit.ly/NK0rIZ

  • Kathleen Heady

    “Every Child is potentially the light of the world.” These are words that need to be in the forefront of the minds of all parents, teachers, grandparents and just everyone in general. If children are raised with the words of ‘Abdu’l Baha, we will truly have a better world.

  • Linda Leeb

    Just want to let you know how much I’ve been enjoying this blog. Keep up the good work!

  • Loiemead

    I am very grateful to receive these daily articles.  Together with re-reading and careful study of “Century of Light” our study group at the Portland, OR Baha’i Center is gaining a clearer understanding of the present time and the role we have been given as Baha’is. 

  • David Bulman

    There have been so many great articles, but my favourite so far, and by far, is “Where is Mr. Gregory?” That is my title for the Day 14 Article “Breaking the Color Line”.