December 1904: The first American Baha’i traveling teacher arrives in Asia

Sidney Sprague arrives in India and becomes the first American Baha’i traveling teacher in Asia. (‘The Baha’i Faith in America’, vol. 2, by Robert Stockman, p.XVI)

December 1899: Mason Remey accepts the Faith in Paris

One of the earliest American believers, he was born on 15 May 1874 in Burlington, Vermont. A well-known and distinguished architect by profession, he accepted the Faith in Paris on 31 December 1899. He was declared a Covenant breaker following his absurd claim to be the second Guardian of the Baha'i Faith.

He received much love and praise from both 'Abdu'l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi and gave sterling service to the Faith of Baha'u'llah in the United States and Hawaii, as well as making teaching visits to several countries including, notably, Japan. In November 1950, Shoghi Effendi appointed him to the newly formed International Baha'i Council and called him to live in Haifa. He was elevated to the rank of Hand of the Cause of God in the first contingent in December 1951 and then appointed president of the International Baha'i Council. He was among the Hands of the Cause present at all the 1953 (Intercontinental) International Teaching Conferences and represented the Guardian at the conference in New Delhi. He was subsequently appointed as the Guardian's representative at the conference in Sydney, Australia, in March 1958 and was present at the conference in Wilmette in May of that same year.
His architectural achievements with the Baha'i community are truly significant. Under close guidance from Shoghi Effendi, he designed the Baha'i Houses of Worship (Mashriqu'l-Adhkar) for Kampala, Uganda, and Sydney, Australia. Moreover, Shoghi Effendi approved the design submitted by him for the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of Baha'u'llah's native land, as well as the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar to be constructed on Mount Carmel; Remey's designs for a number of other Mashriqu'l-Adhkars were also considered (including the Mother Temple of the West (Wilmette, Illinois). When his design for the Wilmette Temple tied with that of Louis Bourgeois, he withdrew it in favor of Bourgeois's and Europe (in Frankfurt, where it was left to the National Spiritual Assembly of Germany to decide between Remey's and that of the German architect, Teuto Rocholl, with Rocholl's winning out). In addition, he designed the International Baha'i Archives building on the Arc on Mount Carmel.

December 1866: Birth of Marion Jack -- “a shining example to pioneers of present and future generations of East and West”

Born on December 1, 1866, she was an early Canadian believer who became a Baha'i in Paris. She was much loved by both 'Abdu'l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi. Miss Jack pioneered to Bulgaria in 1930, where she remained, despite considerable hardship, for 24 years until her passing in 1954. For a brief account of her life please visit Baha’i Heroes and Heroines. (Adapted from ‘Historical Dictionary of the Baha’i Faith’ by Hugh Adamson, and ‘A Basic Baha’i Chronology’, by Glenn Cameron)

January 1976: First annual meeting of the Association for Baha’i Studies is held in Canada

At Naw-Ruz 1974, the Universal House of Justice called upon the Canadian Baha’i community as one of their goals in the Five Year Plan to:

'Cultivate opportunities for formal presentations, courses and lectureships on the Baha'i Faith in Canadian universities and other institutions of higher learning.'

In January, 1975, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Canada invited some thirty individuals to a 'policy conference', a device which the Assembly had frequently and successfully used to find a way of meeting various new challenges. The participants were from various backgrounds and from all parts of Canada, and were selected because it was felt they might contribute effectively to an examination of this particular subject. The conference, which was held at the University of Ottawa …The first and second annual meetings were held at Cedar Glen in Bolton, Ontario from 2-4 January 1976 and 31 December 1976-2 January 1977 respectively, and each was attended by more than one hundred individuals. The third annual meeting took place in Surrey, British Columbia from 30 December 1977-1 January 1978 and the fourth at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in Toronto from 26-27 January 1979, This latter meeting was open to the public … (The Baha’i World, volume 15, 1976-1979, pp. 197-198)

December 1852: Baha’u’llah is released from the Siyah-Chal

The persistent and decisive intervention of the Russian Minister, Prince Dolgorouki, who left no stone unturned to establish the innocence of Bahá'u'lláh; the public confession of Mulla Shaykh Aliy-i-Turshizi, surnamed Azim, who, in the Siyah-Chal, in the presence of the Hajibu'd-Dawlih and the Russian Minister's interpreter and of the government's representative, emphatically exonerated Him, and acknowledged his own complicity; the indisputable testimony established by competent tribunals; the unrelaxing efforts exerted by His own brothers, sisters and kindred, -- all these combined to effect His ultimate deliverance from the hands of His rapacious enemies. Another potent if less evident  influence which must be acknowledged as having had a share in His liberation was the fate suffered by so large a number of His self-sacrificing fellow-disciples who languished with Him in that same prison. For, as Nabil truly remarks, "the blood, shed in the course of that fateful year in Tihran by that heroic band with whom Bahá'u'lláh had been imprisoned, was the ransom paid for His deliverance from the hand of a foe that sought to prevent Him from achieving the purpose for which God had destined Him. (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 104)

December 1978: Two hundred houses in Shiraz are burned and families driven from their homes

Some Baha’is are beaten and some received threats against their lives, and tragically some lost their lives. 700 Baha’is are homeless and their means of livelihood destroyed … (Adapted from The Baha’i World, vol. 17, p.79)

December 1925: The keys to the House of Baha’u’llah in Baghdad, the Most Holy House, are given to the Shí'ahs

“We received last night news that the keys of the houses in Baghdad have been given to the Shi'ites and they had made a regular demonstration on the occasion. We await to see what will be done at last....” (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer dated 14 December 1925; ‘The Unfolding Destiny’, p. 45)

Ruhiyyih Khanum explains the background, the efforts made by the Guardian and the Baha’i World, and the final unfortunate result:

December 1924: The first National Spiritual Assembly is formed in Africa

The National Spiritual Assembly of Egypt and the Sudan is formed, making it the first Baha’i national body on the continent of Africa. (Adapted from God Passess By, p. 333; The Babi and Baha’i Religions, by, Peter Smith, p.121)

December 1934: Tarbiyat and other Baha'i schools are closed down by the order of the Persian government

The Tarbiyat Boys' School and the Girls' School by the same name, together with all the other Bahá'í schools in major cities, were closed down in December 1934 by order of the government for not heeding a warning by the Ministry of Education (headed by 'Ali-Asghar-i-Hikmat, a well-known Azali) that the schools would officially be closed if they failed to remain open during Bahá'í holy days. Despite several representations by the National Spiritual Assembly, the authorities remained adamant and all the Bahá'í schools in Persia were closed down after closing on a Bahá'í holy day. (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah vol. 4, p. 313)

The Tarbiyat boys' school was established in 1898 in Tihran, while the girls' school was founded by Dr Susan Moody after her arrival in Tihran in 1909. Both schools were owned and managed entirely by Baha’is, although children of all religions attended, particularly the children of government and civic officials. The schools had always closed on the nine Baha'i holy days but on the pretext that the Baha’is belonged to a denomination not officially recognized in Iran, the Ministry of Education in 1934 demanded that the schools remain open for these days. Shoghi Effendi refused to allow this and ordered the schools to close on the anniversary of the martyrdom of the Báb. As he would not let the Baha'is deny their Faith, nor allow the schools to remain open on holy days, the government refused permission for the schools to re-open after the holy day. The Tarbiyat Schools remain closed to this day. (A Basic Baha’i Dictionary, by Wendi Momen)

December 1939: Lady Blomfield passes away

Given the name Sitarih Khanum” by ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Lady Sara Louisa Blomfield was an eminent early (1907) British Baha'i who is perhaps best remembered for her memoire detailing her meetings with 'Abdu'l-Baha (The Chosen Highway) and her assistance in the compilation of 'Abdu'l-Baha's talks while in Paris (Paris talks).

December 1924: First issue of Baha’i News appears

In December 1924 a publication came into being which was originally conceived by Horace Holley as a means of communications between the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States and Canada and its local communities. The first issue of the “Baha’i News” appeared on December 24, 1924 as the “Baha’i News Letter”. It was published in New York with Horace Holley as the editor. (Adapted from the Baha’i World, vol. 10, p.180; Some Baha’is to Remember, by Whitehead, p. 232)

December 1923: First Local Spiritual Assembly is formed in Australia

The first Local Spiritual Assembly in Australia is formed in Melbourne during December 1923. (A Basic Baha'i Chronology, by Glenn Cameron)

December 1921: Shoghi Effendi arrives in Haifa from England a month after the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Baha

Owing to passport difficulties Shoghi Effendi cabled Haifa he could not arrive until the end of the month. He sailed from England on 16 December, accompanied by Lady Blomfield and Rouhangeze, and arrived in Haifa by train at 5.20 P.M. on 29 December from Egypt where his boat from England had docked. Many friends went to the station to bring him home; it is reported he was so overcome on his arrival that he had to be assisted up the steps. Awaiting him in the house was the only person who could in any measure assuage his suffering - his beloved great-aunt, the sister of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. She had already - so frail, so quiet, so modest at all times - shown herself in these past weeks to be a strong rock to which the believers clung in the midst of the tempest that had so suddenly burst upon them. The calibre of her soul, her breeding, her station, fitted her for the role she played in the Cause and in Shoghi Effendi's life during this extremely difficult and dangerous period. (Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Priceless Pearl, p. 41)

December 1912: ‘Abdu’l-Baha left America for a six-month visit to Europe

… He[‘Abdu’l-Baha] sailed, on the S.S. Celtic, on December 5, from New York for Liverpool; and landing there He proceeded by train to London. Later He visited Oxford, Edinburgh and Bristol, and thence returning to London, left for Paris on January 21, 1913. On March 30 He traveled to Stuttgart, and from there proceeded, on April 9, to Budapest, visited Vienna nine days later, returned to Stuttgart on April 25, and to Paris on May first, where He remained until June 12, sailing the following day, on the S.S. Himalaya from Marseilles bound for Egypt, arriving in Port Said four days later, where after short visits to Isma'iliyyih and Abuqir, and a prolonged stay in Ramleh, He returned to Haifa, concluding His historic journeys on December 5, 1913. (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 280)

December 1863: Baha’u’llah and His family were banished from Constantinople for Adrianople (Edirne in European Turkey)

In one of the coldest Decembers that Turkey had seen for years, Bahá'u'lláh and, His family -- including His two faithful brothers Mirza Musa, entitled Aqay-i-Kalim, and Mirza Muhammad-Quli, together with Mirza Yahya -- set out on their journey to the city of Adrianople. The officer commissioned to take charge of the journey was 'Ali Big Yuz-Bashi. According to a statement by Mirza Aqa Jan, it appears that Bahá'u'lláh was accompanied by 12 of His companions. Among them was the notorious Siyyid Muhammad-i-Isfahani, whose evil spirit was increasingly casting its shadow upon the exiles. Through his satanic influence he brought much pain and anguish to their hearts and created severe tests and trials for them. (Adib Taherzadeh, The Child of the Covenant, p. 77)

Here is how Shoghi Effendi describes this very sad and inhumane event:

December 1912: E. G. Browne visits ‘Abdu’l-Baha in London

Professor Edward Granville Browne visited 'Abdu'l-Bahá on December 18th [1912]. It is certain that they had not met during 'Abdu'l-Bahá's previous visit to England. A letter from 'Abdu'l-Bahá to Edward Browne, preserved in Cambridge University Library, provides the definite evidence. Zarqani's Diary mentions only two meetings during 'Abdu'l-Bahá's second visit to London, whereas Lady Blomfield writes: 'Professor Edward Granville Browne, who had written much concerning the Bábís and the Bahá'ís, came from time to time, speaking in Persian with the Master, Who was delighted to see him, and talked over many things, especially the momentous occasion when that intrepid Cambridge Orientalist succeeded in obtaining permission to enter the presence of Bahá'u'lláh.' (H.M. Balyuzi, Abdu'l-Baha - The Centre of the Covenant, p. 346)

... Mirza Mahmud-i-Zarqani -- 'Abdu'l-Bahá's secretary in the course of His travels, and the chronicler of those memorable years in the West -- has recorded, Browne during his first visit wished to broach the subject of his writings in the past and offer apologies, but 'Abdu'l-Bahá drew away from this topic and said: 'Let us talk of other matters which would be conducive to amity' (H. M. Balyuzi, Edward Granville Browne and The Baha'i Faith, p. 96)

December 1888: Nabil submits the finished portions of the Dawn-Breakers to Baha’u’llah

Nabil wrote The Dawn-Breakers for Bahá'u'lláh. He started the chronicle in 1888 and finished it in about a year and a half. Mirza Musa helped him with it; some parts of the manuscript were reviewed by Bahá'u'lláh, and some by the Master.

Nabil lived in 'Akká then, and when he had brought his narrative down to the point where the story of the Seven Martyrs was ended, he submitted the finished portions to Bahá'u'lláh, Who sent for him on December 11, 1888, a date Nabil records as one he will never forget. On that occasion, his Lord gave him an account of various historical episodes, including the gathering at Badasht.

He wrote: ‘At this stage of my narrative I was privileged to submit to Bahá'u'lláh such sections of my work as I had already revised and completed. How abundantly have my labours been rewarded by Him whose favour alone I seek, and for whose satisfaction I have addressed myself to this task! He graciously summoned me to His presence and vouchsafed me His blessings. I was in my home in the prison-city of 'Akká, and lived in the neighbourhood of the house of Aqay-i-Kalim, when the summons of my Beloved reached me. That day, the seventh of the month of Rabi'u'th-Thani in the year 1306 A.H.,[December 11, 1888 A.D.] I shall never forget.’ (The Dawn-Breakers, p. 458)

December 1843: Siyyid Kazim-i-Rashti passes away

He was a disciple and the chosen successor of Shaykh Ahmad, who together were referred to by Baha’u’llah as the “twin resplendent lights” (Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 65) – both were forerunner of the Báb.

Siyyid Kazim was born in Rasht, Iran, in 1793, and as a boy showed great intellect and spirituality. At the age of twenty-two he went to Yazd, became a disciple of a Shaykh Ahmad and was designated to succeed him and continue the work of preparing his disciples to recognize the Promised Qa'im. After Shaykh Ahmad's death, the tide of opposition to Shayhi doctrines rose and Siyyid Kazim was attacked and denounced by the 'ulama.

Siyyid Kazim knew the identity of the Promised One and alluded to it clearly when Siyyid 'Ali-Muhammad (the Báb) attended his lecture one day in Karbila. Seeing Him, Siyyid Kazim fell silent. When asked to continue his discourse he said: 'What more shall I say? . . . Lo, the Truth is more manifest than the ray of light that has fallen upon that lap!" But none understood his meaning.

Towards the end of his life, feeling that the advent of the Qa'im was at hand, he charged his disciples to scatter and search for the Promised One. One of those who arose in response was Mulla Husayn, the first to find the Báb. Siyyid Kazim died on 31 December 1843, less than six months before the Declaration of the Báb. (Adapted from ‘A Basic Baha’i Dictionary’ by Wendi Momen)

December 1898: Birth of Hand of the Cause Dorothy Beecher Baker

Born in Newark, New Jersey, 21 December 1898, Dorothy was the granddaughter of Mother Beecher, herself a Baha'i, who took her to see 'Abdu'l-Baha in New York in 1912. Dorothy was too shy to speak during that meeting, although she wrote afterward to Him stating that she wished to serve the Cause. 'Abdu'l-Baha responded that He would pray that God would grant her desire. She developed into a most eloquent, persuasive, and convincing teacher and in addition to an inimitable charm she had a sincerity that was with her always -- she was an ardent Baha'i first, last, and at all times.

December 1896: Chicago has 30 Baha’is

By December 1896 there were about 30 Baha’is in Chicago. Their membership, however, increased to 225 by the end of January 1898. (Adapted from ‘The Baha’i Faith in America’, vol. 1, by Robert Stockman, p.26)

December 1951: First contingent of the Hands of the Cause appointed

The Guardian appoints the first contingent of the Hands of the Cause on December 24, 1951:
Dorothy B. Baker (1898-1954)
Amelia E. Collins (1873-1962)
‘Ali-Akbar Furutan (1905-2004)
Ugo Giachery (1896-1989)
Hermann Grossmann (1899-1968)
Horace Holley (1887-1960)
Leroy Ioas (1896-1965)
William Sutherland Maxwell (1874-1952)
Charles Mason Remey (1874-1974)
Tarazu’llah Samandari (I874-1968)
George Townshend (1876-1957)
Valiyu’llah Varqa (1884-1955)
(Adapted from ‘A Basic Baha’i Dictionary’, by Wendi Momen, and from ‘A Concise Encyclopedia of the Baha’i Faith’, by Peter Smith)

December 1912: ‘Abdu’l-Baha announces His departure from the United States

At the home of Mr. and Mrs. Kinney on December 2, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá announced His departure. “These are the days of my farewell to you, for I am sailing on the 5th of the month. Wherever I went in this country I returned always to New York City.” The Master gave a beautiful exhortation ending with these words: “Be illumined, be spiritual, be divine, be glorious, be quickened of God, be a Bahá’í.”

This was not yet the end. In spite of all the final preparations, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá continued to have meetings at the Kinneys’, mostly with Bahá’ís. However, ministers and rabbis still sought to reach Him for guidance until the last day. His final public appearance was made the evening before His departure, at the Theosophical Society, where He delivered an address on the eternity of creation, the evolution of the spirit, and the power of the Manifestation of God. (Eliane A. Hopson, ‘Abdu’l-Baha in New York: The City of the Covenant)

December 1920: American believer, Lillian Kappes, a Disciple of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, passes away in Tihran

Lillian was among that first group of American Baha’is to be active in teaching the Faith at the turn of the 20th century. She pioneered to Persia, in 1911 to serve Dr. Susan Moody. Lillian had spent years in the face of unnumbered difficulties to build up Persia's Tarbiyat School for Girls in Tihran. She was much loved by students and staff, and her services highly valued, by 'Abdu'l-Baha.  She died of typhus on December 1st, 1920. Hundreds of weeping mourners accompanied her coffin to its place near the Tomb of great Varqa.  Soon a cable soon came from the Master in which He indicated that “Miss Kappes [is] very happy. I invite [the] world [to] be not grieved.” (Adapted from ‘Historical Dictionary of the Baha’i Faith’ by Hugh Adamson and ‘Arches of the Years’, by Marzieh Gail, p. 211)

December 1892: The second Baha’i arrives in the United States

Ibrahim Kheiralla was a Syrian Christian who declared his Baha'i allegiance in 1890, and quickly convinced his friend and business partner, Anton Haddad, to declare as well. In search of ways to promote their inventions and business, the two left Cairo, Egypt, in 1892. Haddad went directly to the United States, arriving in the summer of 1892 as the first Baha'i in the New World; Kheiralla joined him in December of the same year. Following unsuccessful business endeavours, they moved on, eventually arriving in Chicago, the "Windy City." (Contrary to popular opinion, the "Windy City" derives its name from its boasts of industrial and commercial accomplishments, Will C. van den Hoonaard, p. 25) Chicago exercised a magnetic attraction for other reformers. In the 1880s it was the fastest growing city in America (D. Smith, 1981:88). In the 1830s there were 100 people living in the middle of a "stinking wild onion swamp," but by 1880 half a million could already be found in the city, growing by some 50,000 every year. The high percentage of those with foreign parentage (80%) illustrates the far-reaching magnetism of the city.

Soon after their arrival, Kheiralla provided study classes, leading interested seekers to accept the Baha'i religion. In February 1894, the first five Westerners converted. (The first five Baha'is are William James, Marion Miller, Edward Dennis, Thornton Chase, and Kate C. Ives, Robert Stockman, Baha’i Faith in America, vol. 1, pp. 35-36). By May 1896 there were sixteen Baha'is in Chicago. Of middle-class background, these early converts were primarily white-collar workers; no factory workers could be found among them. They were of liberal religious backgrounds, namely, Christian Scientists, Spiritualists, and Theosophists … (Will C. van den Hoonaard, ‘The Origins of the Baha'i Community of Canada, 1898-1948’, pp. 16-17)

December 1871-January 1872: Munirih Khanum (future wife of ‘Abdu’l-Baha) leaves Isfahan, Persia, for the Holy Land

Soon after the transfer of the exiles from the barracks to houses in the city, there was renewed concern in the Holy Family for the twenty-seven-year-old 'Abbas, 'Abdu'l-Baha, that it was timely for Him to marry. Not long thereafter, a girl from a distinguished family" of Isfahan, Fatimih Khanum, was called by the Blessed Beauty to the Holy Land. In Shavval 1288 (December 1871-January 1872), she travelled with her brother Siyyid Yahya and the courier Shaykh Salman via Shiraz, where she was privileged to be often with the wife of the Báb during a two-weeks' stay; then by steamer to Jiddah and on to Mecca for pilgrimage, to conceal their real destination; next, to Alexandria; and finally, when it was prudent, they were directed by Baha'u'llah to come by boat to 'Akka. Upon arrival in 'Akka, they were met by 'Abdu'l-Ahad, Aqay-i-Kalim (Mirza Musa, Baha’u’llah’s brother)) and Ilyas 'Abbud, and the very next day she attained the presence of Baha'u'llah. Fatimih Khanum lived for some five months in the house of Aqay-i-Kalim, during which time the Blessed Beauty often received her. He Himself bestowed upon her the name of Munirih (The Illumined One). (David Ruhe, ‘Door of Hope’, p. 45)

December 1948: Human Rights Day declared

Human Rights Day on December 10 is a United Nations-sponsored special event day. It is the anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.  This Day is observed by many Baha'i communities around the world, as well as by United Nations Associations. (Adapted from ‘A Basic Baha’i Dictionary’)

December 1844: The Báb arrives in Mecca as a pilgrim, accompanied by Quddus and His Ethiopian servant

The Báb “embarked from Bushihr on the 19th of Ramadan (October, 1844) on a sailing vessel, accompanied by Quddus whom He was assiduously preparing for the assumption of his future office. Landing at Jaddih after a stormy voyage of over a month's duration, He donned the pilgrim's garb, mounted a camel, and set out for Mecca, arriving on the first of Dhi'l-Hajjih (December 12). Quddus, holding the bridle in his hands, accompanied his Master on foot to that holy Shrine. On the day of Arafih, the Prophet-pilgrim of Shiraz, His chronicler relates, devoted His whole time to prayer. On the day of Nahr He proceeded to Muna, where He sacrificed according to custom nineteen lambs, nine in His own name, seven in the name of Quddus, and three in the name of the Ethiopian servant who attended Him. He afterwards, in company with the other pilgrims, encompassed the Kaaba and performed the rites prescribed for the pilgrimage.” (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 8)

December 1898: First North American Baha’is to visit ‘Abdu’l-Baha in the Holy Land

Lua and Edward Getsinger arrived in Akka on 10 December 1898 and became the first North American Baha'is to visit 'Abdu'l-Baha. (Adapted from the Baha’i Faith in America, vol. 1, by Robert Stockman, p. 144)

December 1938: Shoghi Effendi writes a general letter to the Baha’is of North America which appears in 1939 under the title of ‘The Advent of Divine Justice’

Immediately after the publication of this diamond-mine of communion with God[Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh], unsurpassed in any religious literature of the world, Shoghi Effendi set to work on a longer general letter than he had ever before written, which appeared in 1939 under the title of The Advent of Divine Justice. With a kind but firm hand Shoghi Effendi held up before the face of the North American Community the mirror of the civilization by which they were surrounded and warned them, in terms that riveted the eye and chilled the heart against its evils, pointing out to them a truth few of them had ever pondered, namely, that the very evils of that civilization were the mystic reason for their homeland having been chosen by God as the cradle of His World Order in this day. As the warnings contained in The Advent of Divine Justice are an integral part of the vision and guidance Shoghi Effendi gave to the faithful throughout his ministry, they cannot be passed over in silence if we are to obtain any correct understanding of his own mission. In no uncertain terms he castigated the moral laxity, political corruption, racial prejudice and corrosive materialism of their society, contrasting it with the exalted standards inculcated by Bahá'u'lláh in His Teachings, and enjoined by Him upon His followers. It warned them of the war so soon to come and admonished them to stand fast, in spite of every trial that might in future afflict them and their nations, and discharge their sacred trust by prosecuting to a triumphal outcome the Plan they had so recently inaugurated throughout the Western Hemisphere. (Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Guardian of the Baha'i Faith, p. 93)

It is interesting to know that this document – the Advent of Divine Justice – became known among the early Baha’is in the West as “the Bible of Baha'i pioneers”. (Marzieh Gale, ‘Arches of the Years’, p. 307)

October or November 1846: The Báb revealed a Commentary on a Surih of Qur’an - Tafsir-i-Suriy-i-Va'l-'Asr: Commentary on the Surih of the Afternoon

The Báb revealed this commentary in October or November of 1846 while He was in Isfahan -- during the time that He was a guest at the residence of the ‘Imam Jum'ih of that city. It was at the request of His host that the “Báb, one night, after supper, revealed His well-known commentary on the surih of Va'l-'Asr. Writing with astonishing rapidity, He, in a few hours, had devoted to the exposition of the significance of only the first letter of that surih -- a letter which Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i had stressed, and which Bahá'u'lláh refers to in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas -- verses that equalled in number a third of the Qur'án, a feat that called forth such an outburst of reverent astonishment from those who witnessed it that they arose and kissed the hem of His robe.” (God Passes By, p. 14) Interpreting various parts of the short Qur'ánic surih, the Báb discusses many fundamental issues in religion including how to recognize spiritual truth, the nature of the human being, the meaning of faith, the nature of good deeds, and the preconditions of spiritual journey. (Adapted from God Passes By, by Shoghi Effendi, p. 14; and ‘Gate of the Heart’, by Nader Saiedi p. 34)

November 1986: The Passing of Hand of the Cause Dhikru’llah Khadem

He was born into a distinguished Baha'i family in Tihran, Iran, in 1904. While receiving his formal education he showed considerable aptitude as a linguist, becoming proficient in Persian, Arabic, English, and French. For many years he was chief interpreter and director of the Education Department of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and developed an accelerated method of teaching Persian to English speakers. He later became secretary of the 'Iraqi Embassy in Tihran. He became known as an Old Testament scholar and was well versed in the history of the Baha'i Faith and other world religions. He was author of several books about the Baha'i Faith in Persian and English. In 1933 he married the secretary, friend, and companion of Keith Ransom-Kehler, Javidukht Javid.

At the relatively young age of 34 he was elected to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Iran and served on that body for the next 21 years. He made trips to the Holy Land in 1939 and 1940, and served as the receiving and distribution conduit for communications from Shoghi Effendi for the Iranian believers -- a service he discharged for 17 years. He was also instrumental in securing many precious Babi and Baha'i archives for safe preservation in the Holy Land. These included the famous sword wielded in defense of the Babis by Mulla Husayn at Barfurush in 1848, when with one stroke he cut through a tree, the barrel of a gun and his adversary.

November 1921: Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Baha

‘Abdu’l-Baha passed away in Haifa on 28 November, 1921, shortly after 1:00 AM.
In the land that we know as the Holy Land, in all its turbulent history of the last two thousand years, there had never been an event which could unite all its inhabitants of diverse faiths and origins and purposes, in a single expression of thought and feeling, as did the passing of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Jews and Christians and Muslims and Druzes, of all persuasions and denominations; Arabs and Turks and Kurds and Armenians and other ethnic groups were united in mourning His passing, in being aware of a great loss they had suffered. (H.M. Balyuzi, Abdu'l-Baha - The Centre of the Covenant, p. 453)
Please visit the Baha’i Stories site for the following two accounts:

November 1907: First National Baha’i Gathering

The first Baha’i national conference was held in Chicago on 26 November, 1907. Delegates from various local communities in America attended this event, including a dozen Baha’is from Chicago. It was held at the house of Corinne True. The purpose of this informal gathering was to choose a suitable site for the Temple. It should be noted that they didn’t visit the site in Wilmette where the Temple was eventually built. (‘The Baha’i World’, volume X, p.179; ‘The Baha’i Faith in America’, vol. 2, by Robert Stockman, p. 280)

November 1964: The Universal House of Justice arrives at two major decisions concerning the Hands of the Cause

In its November 1964 message to the Bahá'ís of the world, The Universal House of Justice announced that “after study of the sacred texts and hearing the views of the Hands of the Cause themselves, has arrived at the following decisions:

a.            There is no way to appoint, or to legislate to make it possible to appoint, Hands of the Cause of God.

b.            Responsibility for decisions on matters of general policy affecting the Institution of the Hands of the Cause, which was formerly exercised by the beloved Guardian, now devolves upon the Universal House of Justice as the supreme and central institution of the Faith to which all must turn.
(The Universal House of Justice, Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963 to 1986, p. 44)

November 1816/1817: Birth of Hand of the Cause Mulla Abu'l-Hasan, surnamed Amin

Mulla Abu'l-Hasan-i-Ardikani, who is known as Haji Amin or Amin-i-Ilahi, was born in about the year AH 1232 (AD 21 November 1816 -- 10 November 1817) in Ardikan, a small town near Yazd. At seventeen years of age he married into a family of Bábís of the town. He was persuaded to investigate the new religion and eventually, shortly after the martyrdom of the Báb, he declared his belief. When news of the Declaration of Bahá'u'lláh came, he accepted immediately and travelled throughout Iran meeting other Bábís and teaching them of the advent of Bahá'u'lláh. After a time he became the assistant of Haji Shah-Muhammad Manshadi, Aminu'l-Bayan, who was the Trustee of the Huququ'lláh.[1] He would travel about the country, earning his living by trading and also by acting as a writer for those who could not write. At the same time he collected the Huququ'lláh and any letters that the believers wished to forward to Bahá'u'lláh, and also distributed Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh when these were received. He came to 'Akká while Bahá'u'lláh was still imprisoned in the citadel and succeeded in establishing contact with the exiles. He was the first Bahá'í from the outside world to be able to meet Bahá'u'lláh in 'Akká (in the Public Baths). He returned to 'Akká on several further occasions. When Haji Shah-Muhammad Manshadi was killed in 1880, Haji Abu'l-Hasan was appointed Trustee (Amin) of the Huququ'lláh. In 1891 he was imprisoned with Haji Akhund for three years in Tihran and Qazvin. In the time of 'Abdu'l-Bahá he continued his travels, visiting 'Akká and Haifa on several occasions. Towards the end of his life he resided in Tihran and Haji Ghulam-Rida, Amin-i-Amin, was appointed his assistant. He died in 1928 and was posthumously named a Hand of the Cause of God by Shoghi Effendi. (Balyuzi, ‘Eminent Baha’is in the Time of Baha’u’llah’, p. 263)
[1]. The 'Right of God' -- a payment by believers instituted in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas.

November 1948: The first shipment of materials needed to erect the outer shell of the Báb's Sepulchre arrived in the port of Haifa -- over one hundred and fifty tons of cut, carved and polished marble and granite

The prospect was challenging. Only a very few ships would venture into mined waters unsafe for normal navigation; moreover, space was lacking, almost unavailable. We had to do much praying, because every avenue seemed blocked. Shipping agents were seeking any possibility but without immediate success. Only faith could have removed the difficulties….

A few days later another cablegram came, requesting the name of the steamer. The next day a ship was found and a telegraphic reply was sent to him [The Guardian], informing him that the first shipment would sail on the S.S. Norte, due to arrive in Haifa on 23 November 1948 - a record of incredible speed in accomplishing the work since the April day when Mr. Maxwell had signed the first contract! Over one hundred and fifty tons of cut, carved and polished marble and granite were shipped at this time, including the load of a second ship, the S.S. Campidoglio, which sailed almost in the wake of the first One. The Norte finally reached the port of Haifa on 28 November, with the Campidoglio following a few days later, as a true co-partner and escort in such a prodigious event.

November 1922: The sultanate was abolished

The sultanate was an institution of Islamic kingship, most particularly the dynasty of Ottoman rulers, who combined secular power with the religious leadership of the Sunni Muslim world by their claims to the Caliphate. The sultanate was abolished by the new Turkish republic on 1 November 1922, and the caliphate in 1924. These twin institutions were regarded by Shoghi Effendi as the 'arch-enemy' of the Baha'i Cause, (God Passes By, p. 407; and The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 173) and their collapse cited as an instance of Divine judgment.

The Caliphate was an Islamic institution established after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. The Caliph, the self-styled vicar of the Prophet of Islam, came to be regarded also as the "Commander of the Faithful," and the protector of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. He became the leader of Sunni Muslims all over the world. By the 19th century, the title rested with the Ottoman rulers (Sultans). (Adapted from ‘A Concise Encyclopedia of the Baha’I Faith’, by Peter Smith; ‘God Passes by’, by Shoghi Effendi; and ‘The World Order of Baha'u'llah’, by Shoghi Effendi)

November 1925: The Passing of Hand of the Cause Dr John Ebenezer Esslemont

He was born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, in 1874 and was introduced to the Baha'i Faith in 1914. His major book, Baha'u'llah and the New Era, the first nine chapters of which he wrote during the First World War, was submitted to 'Abdu'l-Baha for approval. Dr. Esslemont visited 'Abdu'l-Baha in the Holy Land during 1919 to 1920 and following the passing of the Master in 1921 returned to the Holy Land in 1925 to undertake work for Shoghi Effendi. He died there in November 1925 and was posthumously named a Hand of the Cause. The book, ‘Baha’u’llah and the New Era’ has been translated into many languages and has become one of the most widely used of the introductory books to the Baha'i Faith. (Adapted from 'A Basic Baha’i Dictionary')

November 1902: The cornerstone of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkar (House of Worship) of Ishqabad was laid

“O people of the world! Build ye houses of worship throughout the lands in the name of Him Who is the Lord of all religions. Make them as perfect as is possible in the world of being, and adorn them with that which befitteth them, not with images and effigies. Then, with radiance and joy, celebrate therein the praise of your Lord, the Most Compassionate. Verily, by His remembrance the eye is cheered and the heart is filled with light.” (Baha’u’llah, the Kitab-i-Aqdas)

During the lifetime of Baha'u'llah, obeying this command was impossible because the Middle Eastern Baha'is were persecuted. In order to escape oppression, many Persian Baha'is fled north, to the lands that formed part of the Russian Empire. Situated twenty-five miles from the border of Iran was the town of 'Ishqabad, in the modern Turkmenistan. By the turn of the century a large and prosperous Baha'i community had developed there, protected by the tsarist government from persecution. In the autumn of 1902 the 'Ishqabad Baha'is set out to build the first House of Worship in the Baha'i world.

On 28 November 1902 they laid the cornerstone of the building.  The 'Ishqabad Baha'is were in regular contact with the Chicago House of spirituality and on 29 November wrote a letter to them, mentioning the event. A second letter with more details followed on 10 December:

November 1871: The birth of "The mother teacher of the West"

Louisa Aurora (Lua) Moore (Getsinger) was born on 1 November 1871. This was  same day on which her father had been born and her parents married. (Adapted from, The Flame’, by William Sears and Robert Quigley, p. 17; and, ‘A Basic Baha’i Chronology’, by Glenn Cameron) (Please visit Baha'i Points of Interest for a special prayer revealed by 'Abdu'l-Baha for Lua's passing) 

November 1921: Shoghi Effendi accidentally saw the cable containing the devastating news of the passing of the Master

Cyclometry London
His Holiness 'Abdu'l-Baha ascended Abha Kingdom. Inform friends.
Greatest Holy Leaf

Upon reading the cable Shoghi Effendi collapsed. Major Tudor Pole, in whose office Shoghi Effendi read the cable while he wasn’t there, upon his return found him, in a “state of collapse, dazed and bewildered by this catastrophic news.” He was taken to the home of Miss Grand, one of the London believers, and put to bed there for a few days. (Adapted from ‘The Guardian of the Baha’i Faith’, by Ruhiyyih Rabbani, p. 13)

November 1845: Article appears in London Times concerning the very initial persecution of the Bábis in Shiraz

The London Times of Wednesday, November 19th 1845, carried this item of news on its third page, taken from the Literary Gazette of the preceding Saturday:
MAHOMETAN SCHISM. -- A new sect has lately set itself up in Persia, at the head of which is a merchant who had returned from a pilgrimage to Mecca, and proclaimed himself a successor of the Prophet. The way they treat such matters at Shiraz appears in the following account (June 23): -- Four persons being heard repeating their profession of faith according to the form prescribed by the impostor, were apprehended, tried, and found guilty of unpardonable blasphemy. They were sentenced to lose their beards by fire being set to them. The sentence was put into execution with all the zeal and fanaticism becoming a true believer in Mahomet. Not deeming the loss of beards a sufficient punishment, they were further sentenced the next day, to have their faces blacked and exposed through the city. Each of them was led by a mirgazah[Mir-Ghadab] (executioner), who had made a hole in his nose and passed through it a string, which he sometimes pulled with such violence that the unfortunate fellows cried out alternately for mercy from the executioner and for vengeance from Heaven. It is the custom in Persia on such occasions for the executioners to collect money from the spectators, and particularly from the shopkeepers in the bazaar. In the evening when the pockets of the executioners were well filled with money, they led the unfortunate fellows to the city gate, and there turned them adrift…. (H.M. Balyuzi, The Báb - The Herald of the Day of Days, p. 76)

November 1992: The Second World Congress is held in New York city

The Second World Congress, called for by the Universal House of Justice, took place in November 1992, during the Holy Year, commemorating the centenary of the Ascension of Baha'u'llah. It was held in the Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York City -- the "City of the Covenant' -- and commemorated the centenary of the Covenant of 'Abdu'l-Baha. Nearly 30,000 Baha'is made it the largest ever Baha'i gathering, and the total number of Baha'is participating was increased enormously by satellite conferences, held simultaneously in Apia, Western Samoa; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Sydney, Australia; New Delhi, India; Nairobi, Kenya; Panama City, Panama; Bucharest, Romania; Moscow, Russia; and Singapore.

November 1907: Representatives from various parts of America meet in Chicago to initiate the “stupendous undertaking” of erecting a House of Worship

… inspired by the example set by their fellow-disciples in Ishqabad, who had already commenced the construction of the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of the Bahá'í world, and afire with the desire to demonstrate, in a tangible and befitting manner, the quality of their faith and devotion, the Bahá'ís of Chicago, having petitioned 'Abdu'l-Bahá for permission to erect a House of Worship,  and secured, in a Tablet revealed in June 1903, His ready and enthusiastic approval, arose, despite the smallness of their numbers and their limited resources, to initiate an enterprise which must rank as the greatest single contribution which the Bahá'ís of America, and indeed of the West, have as yet made to the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh. The subsequent encouragement given them by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, and the contributions raised by various Assemblies decided the members of this Assembly to invite representatives of their fellow-believers in various parts of the country to meet in Chicago for the initiation of the stupendous undertaking they had conceived. On November 26, 1907, the assembled representatives, convened for that purpose, appointed a committee of nine to locate a suitable site for the proposed Temple. (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 261)

November 1898: ‘Abdu’l-Baha ends the period of mourning for Baha’u’llah by opening His tomb to pilgrims for the first time

This event which took place on 13 November 1898 was in commemoration of the arrival of Ibrahim Kheiralla(Khayru’llah) to Akka on 11 November 1898 – “the same year that this precious Trust [the precious remains of the Báb] reached the shores of the Holy Land and was delivered into the hands of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. He, accompanied by Dr. Ibrahim Khayru'llah, whom He had already honored with the titles of "Baha's Peter," "The Second Columbus" and "Conqueror of America," drove to the recently purchased site which had been blessed and selected by Bahá'u'lláh on Mt. Carmel, and there laid, with His own hands, the foundation-stone of the edifice, the construction of which He, a few months later, was to commence. About that same time, the marble sarcophagus, designed to receive the body of the Báb, an offering of love from the Bahá'ís of Rangoon, had, at 'Abdu'l-Bahá's suggestion, been completed and shipped to Haifa.” (God Passes By, p. 274)

November 1849: The Báb sends His representative to make a pilgrimage on His behalf to the graves of Quddus and Mulla Husayn

"The Báb was heart-broken," His amanuensis, Siyyid Husayn-i-'Aziz, subsequently related, "at the receipt of this unexpected intelligence. [the news of the tragic fate which had befallen the heroes of Tabarsi] He was crushed with grief, a grief that stilled His voice and silenced His pen. For nine days He refused to meet any of His friends. I myself, though His close and constant attendant, was refused admittance. Whatever meat or drink we offered Him, He was disinclined to touch. Tears rained continually from His eyes, and expressions of anguish dropped unceasingly from His lips. I could hear Him, from behind the curtain, give vent to His feelings of sadness as He communed, in the privacy of His cell, with His Beloved. I attempted to jot down the effusions of His sorrow as they poured forth from His wounded heart. Suspecting that I was attempting to preserve the lamentations He uttered, He bade me destroy whatever I had recorded. Nothing remains of the moans and cries with which that heavy-laden heart sought to relieve itself of the pangs that had seized it. For a period of five months He languished, immersed in an ocean of despondency and sorrow." 

November 1916: Sarah Farmer passes away

Named by Shoghi Effendi as a Disciple of 'Abdu'l-Baha, she will also be known to posterity as the originator of the concept of the first universal platform in America, which, during its first 33 years, developed into the Green Acre school and conference center (comprising some 200 acres along the banks of the Piscataqua River in Eliot, Maine, four miles up from the sea and opposite the city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire). One writer said of her in 1928, "She stands as the actual fulfiller of Emerson in terms of applied influence" and "The roll of speakers who have taken part in the Green Acre Conferences represent well-nigh the flower of modem liberal thought." It was typical of her vision that when opening the center on 4 July 1894 she raised, at the end of the ceremony, a flag of world peace. Two years after the opening, she found and embraced the Faith. She went immediately to see 'Abdu'l-Baha in 'Akka to offer her services to Him. The letters He addressed to her during subsequent years continued to guide her in her work. When He came to America in 1912, He spent a week in August at Green Acre (although Sarah herself was by this time confined to a sanitarium in Portsmouth, which she left for a few hours to welcome Him). Green Acre continues to flourish and develop as a Baha'i school, thereby fulfilling the vision of this remarkable woman and in accordance with the guidance given by 'Abdu'l-Baha in its earliest days.

November 1918: Martha Root writes to ‘Abdu’l-Baha about her desire to travel the world on behalf of the Faith

Martha committed her thoughts to paper as easily as most humans breathe and frequently sent them off to 'Abdu'l-Baha in Haifa. On 7 November 1918 she wrote to Him of her desire to travel the world on behalf of the Faith. This was a source of joy to 'Abdu'l-Baha. In His response He replied, "My hope from the blessings of His Holiness Baha'u'llah is that thou mayest forget rest and composure and like unto a swift-flying bird, thou mayest reproduce the melody of the Kingdom and engage in songs and music in the best of tunes." If Martha needed incitement or additional stimulus for her already strong desires to travel and teach, the Master provided it with His colorful directives. It was like a clarion call, a trumpet blast, for He added: "All ears are alert for the summons to the Most Great Peace. It is therefore better for thee to travel now around the world, if this is conveniently possible, and roar out the call of the Divine Kingdom. Thou shalt witness great results and extraordinary confirmations." (Adapted from ‘Martha Root Lioness at the Threshold’, by Garis, p. 87)

November 2004: The passing of Hand of the Cause ‘Ali Akbar Furutan

He was an educator, author and, in the words of Shoghi Effendi, the "establisher and promoter" of the Baha'i Administrative Order in the Cradle of the Faith. Born in Sabzivar, Khurusan, Persia, in 1905, when he was but five years old his father became the first Baha'i in the family, followed immediately by his mother and grandmother. In 1914 he moved with his family to 'Ishqabad, Russia, and attended the elementary Baha'i boys' school, where, on his graduation at age 14, he was asked to teach the children of the first grade. He did this until 1922, when he began his secondary education. This was completed in 1925, and he went to work as principal of the Baha'i schools for a year prior to going on to the University of Moscow (where he graduated in psychology and education). Always active in the Faith, he traveled widely throughout the Caucasus region even while young and also taught in Leningrad and other Russian cities. In 1930 he was expelled from the Soviet Union for his participation in Baha'i activities, an event which seems only to have strengthened his resolve, because from that time forward he immersed himself totally in the administrative affairs of the Faith.

November 1950: The Guardian invites to Haifa the first members of the International Baha’i Council

In November 1950 the Guardian sent cables inviting the first of that group who later became members of the International Bahá'í Council to come to Haifa. Like almost everything he did, first it began to dawn and later the sun of the finished concept rose above the horizon. When Lutfu'llah Hakim (the first to arrive), Jessie and Ethel Revell, followed by Amelia Collins and Mason Remey were all gathered at table one day in the Western Pilgrim House, with Gladys Weeden and her husband Ben who were already living there, the Guardian announced to us his intention of constituting, out of that group, an International Council, we were all overcome by the unprecedented nature of this step he was taking and the infinite bounty it conferred upon those present as well as the entire Bahá'í world. It was not, however, until January 9, 1951 that he released this news through an historic cable: "Proclaim National Assemblies East West- weighty epoch making decision formation first International Bahá'í Council forerunner supreme administrative institution destined emerge fullness time within precincts beneath shadow World Spiritual Centre Faith already established twin cities 'Akká Haifa." (Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Guardian of the Baha'i Faith, p. 109)

November 1845: The first known printed reference to the Revelation of the Báb

The Times of London carries an item on the arrest and torture of Quddus, Mulla Sadiq-i-Khurasani, Mulla ‘Ali-Akbar-i-Ardistani and Mulla Abu-Talib in Shriraz in June. This is the first known printed reference to the Revelation. A similar article is printed on 19 November. (A Basic Baha’i Chronology by Glenn Cameron and Wendi Momen)

November 1930: The passing of Ethel Rosenberg

One of the pioneers of the Baha'i Cause in the western world, Miss Ethel J. Rosenberg, passed away at her home in London on November 17, 1930, crowned with age and the service of the Master. The end was peaceful for this devoted servant of 'Abdu’l-Baha whom He knew and loved so well and to whose devotion and untiring labors He had often paid priceless tribute by voice and pen.

Known and loved by all the members of the Holy Family in Haifa where she had visited for months at a time in the earlier stages of the outpouring of the Baha’i spirit from the East to Europe and America, Miss Rosenberg played no small part in the adaptation of the Baha'i Message to the western mind. Ever modest and unassuming the full value of her work in this capacity seldom appeared on the surface but those who knew her well and were in close touch with her activities were and are well aware of the great assistance she gave to the Master and how valuable was the help she rendered in the translation and transcribing of some of the outstanding works through which the truths of the Baha'i Message were made known to the peoples of the western hemisphere.

November 1924: Jinab-i-Fadil arrives in Spokane, Washington

Arriving in Spokane, Washington, in the latter part of November [1924], Jinab-i-Fadil several times addressed a newly established group known as “Constructive Thinking for Direct Help.” Following this, addresses were given at the Business Women’s Club, the Truth Church, Young People’s Forum, Roosevelt School, and daily meetings at the Baha’i Assembly room in the Kuhn Building. The Spokane friends report a great increase of interest in the Cause as the result of these lectures. (Baha’i News, March 1925) (See Worldwide Community of Baha'u'llah for some pictures)

November 1972: The Universal House of Justice Announces Adoption of its Constitution

Cable 26 November 1972:


November 1914: Agnes Alexander Reaches Japan

Born into a Hawaiian Christian missionary family in 1875, Agnes became a Baha'i during a visit to Italy in 1900. She returned to Hawaii in December 1901 as the first Baha'i on the islands, and become instrumental in the growth of a Baha'i community there. After the deaths of her parents she moved to the American mainland, and then, at the request of 'Abdu'l-Baha, moved to Japan, reaching there in November 1914. She worked with George Augur and his wife to establish a Baha'i community, spending much of the rest of her life in Japan. Agnex Alexander was also the first  Baha’i to present the Baha'i teachings in Korea (1921). Shoghi Effendi appointed her a Hand of the Cause on 27 March 1957. She died in Hawaii in 1971. (Adapted from ‘A Concise Encyclopedia of the Baha’i Faith’, by Peter Smith)

October 1973 - Permission given to Auxiliary Boards to appoint Assistance

In October 1973, the Universal House of Justice gave the “Continental Board of Counsellors the discretion to authorize individual Auxiliary Board members to appoint assistants … The exact nature of the duties and the duration of the appointment of the assistants is also left to each Continental Board to decide for itself. Their aims should be to activate and encourage Local Spiritual Assemblies, to call the attention of Local Spiritual Assembly members to the importance of holding regular meetings, to encourage local communities to meet for the Nineteen Day Feasts and Holy Days, to help deepen their fellow-believers' understanding of the Teachings, and generally to assist the Auxiliary Board members in the discharge of their duties. Appointments may be made for a limited period, such as a year or two, with the possibility of reappointment. Believers can serve at the same time both as assistants to Auxiliary Board members and on administrative institutions.” (The Universal House of Justice, Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963 to 1986)

October 1875 - Birth of Queen Marie of Rumania

In his monumental history of the first century of the Baha'i Era, God Passes By, Shoghi Effendi has referred at some length to the conversion of Marie, Queen of Rumania, and her services to the Baha'i Faith. In other works, too, he has strongly emphasized the great importance of these thrilling events.

Marie was born at Eastwell in Kent, England, on 29th October 1875. Her father Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, was the second son of Queen Victoria. Her mother, the former Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna, was the only daughter of Czar Alexander II. On 10th January 1893, Marie married Prince Ferdinand, nephew of King Carol and Queen Carmen Silva of Rumania. 
O.Z. Whitehead  (‘Some Early Baha’is of the West’)

October 1936 - First issue of a newsletter 'Baha’i Quarterly' was published by NSA of Australia

During October 1936, the National Assembly [of Australia] published the first issue of a newsletter entitled Baha’i Quarterly. As affirmed by his secretary, the Guardian “read it all through with the deepest pleasure and satisfaction.” A message from Father and Mother Dunn addressed to their spiritual children, which appeared in this quarterly, contained these remarks:

Our appeal to the Baha'i world would be to follow the call and desire of our beloved Guardian to read and study the 'Divine Plan' ... It might quicken some . . . to realize that it was the reading of the 'Divine Plan' that caused Mother and this servant to give up everything in America and travel to Australia for the purpose of promoting the Baha'i message on this great continent ... Pioneers must be strong and ready to face all the hardships that may appear on their path. These are as naught compared with the delights of loving response and the confirmation that follow. 
- O.Z. Whitehead  (‘Some Baha’is to Remember’)