239 Days in America, Day 84: July 03, 1912 | New York

Woodrow Wilson: The Man Who Would Be President 1

Thomas Woodrow Wilson, now fifty-six years old, was a Southerner: he was born in Staunton, Virginia, in 1856. His earliest memory was of being three years old, hearing that Abraham Lincoln had been elected president and that there was going to be a war. Wilson earned his doctorate at Johns Hopkins University in history and political science, and taught constitutional law at Princeton, where he was appointed president of the university in 1902, serving until 1910. As governor of New Jersey he pursued an agenda of progressive reform, introducing worker’s compensation and sidelining the party bosses by introducing presidential electoral primaries. His quick rise to national prominence catapulted his presidential run.

Wilson stepped out onto the wide front porch of his house to face the crowd of reporters camped outside. His acceptance speech was short, and devoid of triumphalism. “The honor is as great as can come to any man by the nomination of a party,” he said, “and I hope I appreciate it at its true value; but just a [t] this moment I feel the tremendous responsibility it involves even more than I feel the honor.”

New York City 2

The New York Times for that day and Wednesday [July 3] noted, “Cuban Revolt Seems Over”; “Houdini’s New Trick, Escapes from Huge Can of Water after Being Locked in Chest”; and “Woodrow Wilson Is Nominated for President.”

Wednesday, July 3, 1912

Today was the anniversary of the Independence of the United States from England. There were celebrations everywhere. The Master was invited to attend the Fourth of July parade to which the mayor was also invited. A special messenger had been sent to the Master at Montclair with the invitation. He replied then that He would come if His schedule would permit. As it was not a spiritual occasion, the Master did not go but in order to show His interest, He sent us, His companions, wearing our Persian hats and ‘abás. We arrived before the mayor, were received with great honor as representatives of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and were given seats near the mayor’s chair. There were people there from many nations including China, Japan, Turkey and India, as well as members of the American military and businesses carrying flags and decorations for the celebration. All of these passed before the mayor and were followed by parades of men, women, boys and girls in gala dress and singing sweetly. As they passed by the mayor’s stand, he spoke to all gracefully and kindly. After the parade it was the turn of the poets and speech-makers.

When we returned from the event to the Master, we described all that had taken place. It was well that He did not go because the excessive heat and crowds would have been a strain to His strength and health. Whenever it is beneficial to the interests of the Cause, He endures every kind of hardship. For example, on certain days during this journey, in spite of exhaustion and fatigue, He went to faraway places and attended many gatherings in the course of one day. He said, ‘I am continually speaking from morning until evening. Not even the strongest person would have such patience and fortitude.’

In the afternoon, at the request of friends, He went for an automobile ride into town. In the evening He spoke at length in His home about the coming of the Promised One. 3

Talk at 309 West Seventy-eighth Street, New York, 1 July 1912

I desire to make manifest among the friends in America a new light that they may become a new people, that a new foundation may be established and complete harmony be realized; for the foundation of Bahá’u’lláh is love. When you go to Green Acre, you must have infinite love for each other, each preferring the other before himself. The people must be so attracted to you that they will exclaim, “What happiness exists among you!” and will see in your faces the lights of the Kingdom; then in wonderment they will turn to you and seek the cause of your happiness. You must give the message through action and deed, not alone by word. Word must be conjoined with deed. You must love your friend better than yourself; yes, be willing to sacrifice yourself. The Cause of Bahá’u’lláh has not yet appeared in this country. I desire that you be ready to sacrifice everything for each other, even life itself; then I will know that the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh has been established. I will pray for you that you may become the cause of upraising the lights of God. May everyone point to you and ask, “Why are these people so happy?” I want you to be happy in Green Acre, to laugh, smile and rejoice in order that others may be made happy by you. I will pray for you. 4

’Abdu’l-Bahá in America, 1912-2012: Calling America to It’s Spiritual Destiny

‘Abdu’l-Bahá gave Eastern names to two black visitors

Celebrating the Centenary: The Master in America

Curated by Anne Perry

July 03, 1912

  1. Menon, Jonathan. “Woodrow Wilson: The Man Who Would Be President.” 239 Days in America, 3 July 2012, https://239days.com/2012/07/03/the-man-who-would-be-president/.
  2. Ward, Allan L. 239 Days: ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s Journey in America. Wilmette, Ill: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1979, 108.
  3. ’Abdu’l-Bahá, and Mirza Mahmud-i-Zarqani. Mahmúd’s Diary: The Diary of Mírzá Mahmúd-i-Zarqání Chronicling ’Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey to America. Edited by Shirley Macias. Translated by Mohi Sobhani. Oxford: George Ronald, 1998. https://bahai-library.com/zarqani_mahmuds_diary&chapter=5#section101
  4. ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 218. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/16#000750473

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