May 1944: Model of the superstructure of the Shrine of the Báb was completed and displayed

Under the Guidance of the Guardian, Sutherland Maxwell completed the model of the superstructure for the Shrine of the Báb in May 1944. (Adapted from the ‘Historical Dictionary of the Baha’i Faith’ by Hugh Adamson)

May 1897: Lua Moore (Getsinger) accepts the Faith

Louisa (Lua) Moore accepted the Faith of Baha’u’llah on 21 May 1897. A year later, she married Edward Getsinger, a professional lecturer with a degree in homeopathic medicine. Within a few months, Edward had also become a Baha'i. In the spring of 1898, the Getsingers went to California to teach, where they introduced Phoebe Hearst to the Faith. When Mrs. Hearst decided to visit 'Abdu'l-Baha in 1898, she invited the Getsingers to travel with her. 'This first pilgrimage by American Baha’is completely transformed the Getsingers and pushed them to the forefront of the Faith in Arnerica.
Both Edward and Lua were deeply involved in the project to build the Temple in Chicago and in the efforts to save the American Baha'I community from the Covenant-breaking activities of Ibrahim Kheiralla, despite the fact that Kheiralla had originally been their teacher. The Getsingers travelled extensively across America at the behest of the Master, teaching in small towns and areas that rarely received Baha’i teachers. Lua also travelled to Paris and Haifa, where she stayed for a year, in 1902.
When 'Abdu'l-Baha arrived in America, Lua had been in California, at the request of the Master, for over a year and was a bit disheartened, writing that 'I have no permission to leave Cal. as yet. . .' But she was soon allowed to travel east. While Lua awaited permission to travel, Edward was busily occupied with the Master's arrangements, working from seven in the morning until eleven at night. Since 'Abdu'l-Baha moved only as directed by the spirit, Edward's job was doubly difficult.
In 1913 Lua and Edward visited 'Abdu'l-Baha in Egypt, then travelled at His request to India. Edward returned to America in July 1914, but Lua carried on until November, when she sailed to Haifa and stayed in 'Abdu'l-Baha household for seven months. He finally told her to return to America and teach, so in September 1915 she left Haifa with war refugees on the American navy ship Des Moines. When she reached Egypt, she was too ill to continue, so she stayed, continuing to teach in spite of her illness until her heart failed on I May 1916.(Earl Redman, ‘Abdu’l-Baha in Their Midst)

May 1926: Toronto Daily Star, May 4, 1926, prints Queen Marie’s testimony concerning the Baha’i Faith

“It is a wondrous Message that Baha’u’llah and his son 'Abdu'l-Baha have given us. . . . It is Christ's Message taken up anew, in the same words almost, but adapted to the thousand years and more difference that lies between the year one and today. . . . I commend it to you all. If ever the name of Baha’u’llah or 'Abdu'l-Baha comes to your attention, do not put their writings from you." (Toronto Daily Star, May 4, 1926; quoted in ‘The Baha’i Faith, the Emerging World Religion’, by William Hatcher and Douglas Martin)

May 1953: A Knight of Baha’u’llah arrives in Morocco

Austin Elsie Helen was a Baha'i pioneer, diplomat, administrator, and distinguished lawyer. She was the first black woman graduate of the law school at the University of Cincinnati and in 1937 became the first black woman to serve as assistant attorney general in Ohio. She became a Baha'i in the mid-1930s. During these years she rose through positions of increasing responsibility within the District of Columbia and the U.S. government. From 1939 to 1944, she served as national president of Delta Sigma Theta, a public service sorority. Her Baha'i service included membership of the local Spiritual Assembly of Cincinnati. In 1945 she was elected to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada. In 1953 she went on pilgrimage and met Shoghi Effendi. On returning to the United States she resigned from the National Spiritual Assembly to fulfill a pioneer goal of the Ten Year Crusade. She arrived in Morocco in May 1953 and in so doing earned the title Knight of Baha'u'llah for that country.

May 2001: The Opening of the Terraces on Mount Carmel

Statement of the Universal House of Justice for the Opening of the Terraces on Mount Carmel
Haifa, Israel,
22 May 2001
[Delivered by Dr. Albert Lincoln, Secretary General of the Bahá'í International Community]
With joyful and thankful hearts, we welcome all who have come from near and far to join us on this auspicious occasion for the Bahá'ís of the world. We acknowledge with deep appreciation the presence of so many distinguished guests.
A century and a half have passed since that unspeakable tragedy in the northwest of Persia when the Báb faced the volley fired at Him from the rifles of 750 soldiers. The soldiers had followed the orders of the highest authorities in the land. The Báb's mangled body was then thrown on the side of a moat outside the city, abandoned to what His cold-blooded persecutors thought would be a dishonourable fate. They had hoped thus to put an end to the growing influence of His teachings on masses of people throughout the country. These masses had accepted, in the face of intense persecution, the Báb's claim to prophethood, and their lives were being transformed spiritually and morally as He prepared them for what He said was the dawn of a new age in which a world civilization would be born and flourish. The expectations that stirred countless hearts were heightened even more sublimely by the Báb's announcement that One greater than He would soon arise, One who would reveal the unparalleled character of the promised world civilization that would signify the coming of age of the entire human race.

May 1942: The passing of Hand of the Cause ‘Abdu’l-Jalil Bey Sa’ad

‘Abdu’l-Jalil was an early Egyptian believer and a civil magistrate by profession when he was introduced to the Faith by Mirza Abu'l-Fadl. He was a distinguished judge of the civil courts and as such was able to render significant services to the Faith. He wrote extensively advocating the principle that all religions should be treated equally. In spite of much opposition he was able to ensure that the Baha'i Declaration of Trust for legal recognition of the Faith was accepted. After writing a series of articles in defense of the Faith he was transferred, as a disciplinary measure, to a remote locality in upper Egypt, where he used the opportunity to translate The Dawn-Breakers and Baha’u’llah and the New Era into Arabic. For many years he was the chairman of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Egypt and the Sudan He obtained the permission to build a Haziratu'l-Quds in Cairo and was often found on site supervising the work. He died suddenly on 25 May 1942 and was posthumously appointed as a Hand of the Cause by Shoghi Effendi, in 1943. He was Egypt's first and only Hand of the Cause of God. (Adapted from the ‘Historical Dictionary of the Baha’i Faith’ by Hugh Adamson)

May 1863: Baha’u’llah leaves the Garden of Ridvan

The departure of Bahá'u'lláh from the Garden of Ridvan, at noon, on the 14th of Dhi'l-Qa'dih 1279 A.H. (May 3, 1863), witnessed scenes of tumultuous enthusiasm no less spectacular, and even more touching, than those which greeted Him when leaving His Most Great House in Baghdad. "The great tumult," wrote an eyewitness, "associated in our minds with the Day of Gathering, the Day of Judgment, we beheld on that occasion. Believers and unbelievers alike sobbed and lamented. The chiefs and notables who had congregated were struck with wonder. Emotions were stirred to such depths as no tongue can describe, nor could any observer escape their contagion.
Mounted on His steed, a red roan stallion of the finest breed, the best His lovers could purchase for Him, and leaving behind Him a bowing multitude of fervent admirers, He rode forth on the first stage of a journey that was to carry Him to the city of Constantinople. "Numerous were the heads," Nabil himself a witness of that memorable scene, recounts, "which, on every side, bowed to the dust at the feet of His horse, and kissed its hoofs, and countless were those who pressed forward to embrace His stirrups." "How great the number of those embodiments of fidelity," testifies a fellow-traveler, "who, casting themselves before that charger, preferred death to separation from their Beloved! Methinks, that blessed steed trod upon the bodies of those pure-hearted souls." "He (God) it was," Bahá'u'lláh Himself declares, "Who enabled Me to depart out of the city (Baghdad), clothed with such majesty as none, except the denier and the malicious, can fail to acknowledge." These marks of homage and devotion continued to surround Him until He was installed in Constantinople. (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 155)

May 1844: The Birth of ‘Abdu’l-Baha

'Abdu'l-Baha was born in Tihran, Iran, on 23 May 1844. While still a child, He recognized His Father's station even before it had been openly revealed. He shared Baha’u’llah's banishment and exile and often served as His Father's deputy when dealing with officials and the public. Baha'u'llah described the station of 'Abdu’l-Baha in the Suriy-i-Ghusn (Tablet of the Branch). In the Kitab-i-'Ahdi (Book of the Covenant), He named 'Abdu'l-Baha as His successor and the authorized Interpreter of His Writings.

'[T]hough essentially human and holding a station radically and fundamentally different from that occupied by Baha'u'llah and His Forerunner,' Shoghi Effendi has explained, 'Abdu'l-Baha was 'the perfect Exemplar of His Faith . . . endowed with superhuman knowledge, and to be regarded as the stainless mirror reflecting His light.’ While not regarding 'Abdu'l-Baha as a prophet, Baha'is show special respect to His unique station by capitalizing pronouns referring to Him.

In about 1873 'Abdu’l-Baha married Munirih Khanum. Of their nine children, four daughters lived to adulthood. His eldest daughter Diya’iyyih was the mother of Shoghi Effendi.