239 Days in America

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

November 25, 1912
New York, NY
Storify Feature

November 25, 1912: The Week Ahead

TODAY ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ is the guest of the Minerva Club, a women’s club in New York, where he is speaking on sex equality at their annual luncheon at the Waldorf Astoria. Wherever he has gone in America during the last seven months, he says, everything is always “hurry, hurry, hurry.”


“‘He made a great hit with the assembled Minervas,’” the New York Tribune reports, “because he called them ‘a radiant faced assemblage,’ and told them that women were fully the equal of men where they weren’t men’s superiors.”

“The only real difference between men and women,’ he said, ‘is that men’s faces are covered with disagreeable growths of hair, while women’s faces are clean and decent.’”

“‘And even that is true now only in Oriental countries, for I perceive that here in America gentlemen are doing away with that difference by shaving.’ Here the white haired sage let his blue eyes twinkle a little, just to show that a seer could crack a joke,” the reporter wrote.

The coming week will be ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s last full week in America. We will continue to look ahead to the future, the end of the Great War, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s program for global collective security, how the Progressive Era ends in a disappointing “return to normalcy” after the war, and we follow the places ‘Abdu’l-Bahá visited in New York as they grow and change through the twentieth century.


  • http://www.facebook.com/7valleys Robert Moldenhauer

    Abdu’l Baha will be travelling for another year, will this blog end in 10 days or continue with the rest of the journey?

    • http://jmenon.com/ Jonathan Menon

      Hi Robert,

      We called this 239 Days In America for a reason. 🙂

      Our last day will be Day 239 — December 5 — when ‘Abdu’l-Bahá leaves America.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Candace-Moore-Hill/736896802 Candace Moore Hill

        My mother, after a life in theatre, would say “always leave them wanting more.”

      • http://www.facebook.com/7valleys Robert Moldenhauer

        We need a 183 days site to cover the time between 13/12/12 to 13/6/13!

  • http://www.facebook.com/geraldtfm Gerald Fernandez-Mayfield

    Will you be offering the blog as a continuing resource in any way? A site with a really great accessible index, a book, etc?

    • http://jmenon.com/ Jonathan Menon


      Yes, the site will remain, and we will be working through December on its final form. There will be some enhancements to the stories — at least, that’s what it looks like for us right now — including some features that we have promised but haven’t had an opportunity to implement, such as more detailed references.

      Lots of people have asked about a book, but we have no plans for that right now. There are good reasons why not, believe me.

  • Charles

    I roared with laughter when I read about facial hair: ironic in so many ways, and simply delightful. Exactly 20 years ago the 2nd World Congress arranged sessions in the same hotel (my wife and I attended a talk by Mr Sabha about the terraces).
    This is such an interesting project on so many levels.