March 1957: The Guardian appoints Agnes Alexander a Hand of the Cause

On the passing of George Townshend, Agnes Alexander was appointed a Hand of the Cause and the Guardian sent the following cablegram to the Baha'i world on 27 March 1957: 

Inform Hands and national assemblies of the Baha'i world of the  passing into Abha Kingdom of Hand of Cause George Townshend, indefatigable, highly talented, fearless defender of the Faith of  Baha'u'llah.  Agnes Alexander, distinguished pioneer of the Faith, elevated  to rank of Hand of Cause. Confident her appointment will spiritually reinforce teaching campaign simultaneously conducted in north, south and heart of Pacific Ocean.(Shoghi Effendi, 27 March 1957, in Messages to the Baha'i World.) 

March 1957: Hand of the Cause George Townshend passes away

George Townshend was born in Dublin, Ireland, and educated at Oxford. Townshend was ordained as an Anglican priest in 1906 in the United States. He first heard of the Baha'i Faith after his return to Ireland when a friend wrote to him from the United States. He soon began to work for the Faith although it was not until 1947 that he formally resigned his orders and became a full member of the Baha'i community. He was among the first group of Hands of the Cause named by Shoghi Effendi in 1951. He wrote a number of books, the most well-known being The Promise of all Ages (1934), The Heart of the Gospel (1939), and Christ and Baha'u'llah (1957). He died 25 March 1957. (Wendi Momen, A Basic Baha’i Dictionary)

March 1922: The Guardian invites a number of well-known believers to the Holy Land for consultation

In March, 1922 Shoghi Effendi called a number of well-known believers to the Holy Land for consultation concerning the advisability of calling for the election of the Universal House of Justice. It became apparent that the election of that body had to wait until such time as local and national spiritual assemblies could be formed in various countries and were fully functioning. (Adapted from ‘The Child of the Covenant’, by Adib Taherzadeh, p. 294)

March 1866: Baha'u'llah changes His residence from the house of Amru'llah, to the house of Rida Big, withdraws from the community and allows only the members of His own family and one servant to attain His presence

At this point [Adrianople, early March 1866] Baha'u'llah decided to formally declare to Mirza Yahya[His half-brother] as the nominee of the Báb, His claim to be the Author of a new Revelation, 'Him Whom God shall make manifest', as foretold by the Báb. Of course, Mirza Yahya was well aware of Baha'u'llah's declaration in the Garden of Ridvan and the Tablets subsequently revealed by Him. But now the time had come for the Supreme Manifestation of God to formally announce His station to the one who was nominated by the Báb to be the leader of His followers until the advent of 'Him Whom God shall make manifest'. 

In order to communicate this message to Mirza Yahya, Baha'u'llah revealed the Suriy-i-Amr (Surih of Command) in His own handwriting and instructed His amanuensis Mirza Aqa Jan to take the Tablet to Mirza Yahya, read it aloud and demand a conclusive reply from him. On being apprised of the contents of the Tablet and the claims of Baha'u'llah, Mirza Yahya indicated that he needed some time during which to meditate on the subject. The following day he sent a message to Baha'u'llah that he himself had become the recipient of divine Revelation and it was incumbent upon all to obey and follow him. 

March 1848: Mulla Husayn visits the Báb at Maku

On 21 March 1848 Mulla Husayn visits the Báb at Maku. ( Chronology of Principle Events - Dawn Breakers)

In His solitary chamber He was not permitted to have even a lighted lamp. The winter was so severe that the water with which He washed Himself would freeze in drops upon His face. It was during this time that Mulla Husayn decided to visit Him at Maku. He had been teaching the Cause industriously in the city of Mashhad, greatest center of pilgrimage in all Persia. Half of the city derived its living from the flow of visitors. All these people were now joined together against this teacher who might possibly deprive them of their livelihood. To denounce abuses of religion might be all right in any other city, they said, but it was certainly not proper to denounce them in Mashhad where everyone of every class was thriving upon them. It was all very well for the Promised One to come, and perhaps He had the right, but He certainly was a public nuisance. Mulla Husayn was told plainly, by actions as well as words, that it might be very thrilling to undertake the conquest of the world with the Báb, but there was a big risk involved, not to mention fatigue and danger, especially now, while everyone was enjoying perfect peace in a fine city where business was good and one could earn a living with ease and security. Mulla Husayn left Mashhad in disgust. He was hungry for the pure, holy presence of the Báb. He told his friends: "I have resolved to go on foot the entire distance that separates me from my Beloved. I shall not rest until I have reached my destination."

March 1897: The Birth of Shoghi Effendi – the Guardian of the Cause of God

In the course of the fourth year after Baha’u’llah’s passing it became apparent that the portion of the House of Abbud available for occupation was inadequate for His[‘Abdu’l-Baha’s] enlarged family. With characteristic vigour Abdu’l-Baha took action and towards the end of the year (c. October) 1896 arranged to rent the main building of the former Governorate of Abdu’llah Pasha’ in the Mujadalih Quarter in the north-western corner of the city. He established it as His official residence, and as a home also for His daughters, their husbands and families.

Thus it came about that in March 1897, in an upper room of the south wing, a child was born who was ordained to hold the destiny of the Faith in his hands for thirty-six years and to become its ‘beloved Guardian’, the child named Shoghi by his Grandfather, who grew up under His loving and solicitous care and whose family name was to be Rabbani, ‘divine’, a name given by that same knowing Grandparent.

The Guardian’s childhood and upbringing in that house are warmly described by Amatu’l-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum in The Priceless Pearl:

March 1856: Birth of William Hoar – a Disciple of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, and probably the fifth North American to become a Baha’i

William H. Hoar, was a Chicago businessman who was born in Nova Scotia on 22 March 1856. He had been in the audience at the World's Parliament of Religions when the Reverend Henry Jessup's paper, which closed with a reference to Baha'u'llah, was read. The reference intrigued William, who searched for more information until he came across a reference to Ibrahim Kheiralla’s Baha’i class. He became a Baha’i in 1895, possibly the fifth North American to do so. While attending Kheiralla's classes, Hoar met Thornton Chase, whose close friend he became. About the end of 1897 William and Anna Hoar moved to Fanwood, New Jersey, a New York suburb, but he continued to communicate with Thornton Chase and eventually formed a business partnership with him.

Another Chicago believer who, like William Hoar, was among the first to move to New Jersey was Arthur Dodge. Arthur was a New Englander and a jack of all trades: a lawyer, magazine publisher, author and inventor. He was described by Thornton Chase as having a 'sweet soul'. Arthur Dodge and William Hoar became two of the most prominent Baha’is in greater New York and they were the first New York Baha'is to visit 'Abdu'l-Baha in the autumn 1900 when they undertook their pilgrimage,along with their wives, Elizabeth and Anna and in the company of Lua and Edward Getsinger. (Adapted from ‘The Baha’i Faith in America’, by Robert Stockman, vol.1, p. 39, and vol. 2, p. 31)

March 1856: Baha’u’llah returns to Baghdad from Kurdistan

Deciding to terminate the period of His retirement Bahá'u'lláh bade farewell to the shaykhs of Sulaymaniyyih, who now numbered among His most ardent and, as their future conduct demonstrated, staunchest admirers. Accompanied by Shaykh Sultan, He retraced His steps to Baghdad, on "the banks of the River of Tribulations," as He Himself termed it, proceeding by slow stages, realizing, as He declared to His fellow-traveler, that these last days of His retirement would be "the only days of peace and tranquillity" left to Him, "days which will never again fall to My lot."

On the 12th of Rajab 1272 A.H. (March 19, 1856) He arrived in Baghdad, exactly two lunar years after His departure for Kurdistan. (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 126)

March 1937: Shoghi Effendi marries Mary Maxwell (Ruhiyyih Khanum)

The marriage of Shoghi Effendi and Mary Maxwell took place on 25 March 1937. For a brief description by Ruhiyyih Khanum, please visit Baha’i Stories. (The Priceless Pearl, p. 137)