The baha’i world


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“The summer of 1939 there were 


registered at the first youth session and 47 at the August one. These numbers do not include 

many visitors who came for a day or shorter time nor adults who helped in teaching and other ways. In fact figures do not tell the 

story, but we keep a record for our own help in follow-up work and in other ways. The following daily programs were carried out:  

“First Youth Session, June 25-29, inclusive: 


Morning Program  

Devotions (before breakfast)  

1. Character Building. 

. . 

Miss Flora Hottes (Bahá’i Standards of Conduct)  

2. a. The Promise of All Ages  

Mr. Wm. Kenneth Christian  

(Bahá’i Principles and History)  

b. The Prophet of Arabia  

Mr. N. H. Firoozi  

(Facts about Muhammad and His  


Afternoon Program  

3. Laws of Bahã’u’lláh. 

Mr. Clarence Niss  

(The present day application of the  

laws of Bahá’u’lláh and how they  

lead to the New World Order)  

(The above course continued through  

four days. The fifth day was given  

over to an all day forum conducted  

by Mr. Niss on the subject Bahá’i  

citizenship and Building Com munit Life)  


Recreation, forum, conferences, enter tainment. “At the Second Youth Session, August 16- 20, inclusive, the plan and subjects were 

the same as for the first session but the courses were conducted by Mrs. Virginia Camelon, Mr. Ralph Garner, Mrs. Helen Bishop, Mr. 

Carl Seheffier, respectively. An additional feature was Mrs. Marzieh Gail’s class in the 

World Order Letters of Shoghi Effendi.  

“It will be noted that the program aims at a balanced hfe so greatly emphasized in our teachings,—the spiritual, the intellectual, social, 

physical and recreational. The aim is to have Bahá’i life and standards of conduct permeate all activities. Each year we feel we do 

make progress toward attaining these high standards, but make no claims to perfection. The words of our Guardian urge us to 

increased effort. In a letter written through his secretary, November, 1932, he expresses the hope that these Bahá’i schools ‘may 

become powerful and well-established organizations that will train innumerable young men and women to go out into the world to 

spread the message of Bahá’u’lláh.’ At another time he wrote, ‘Indeed it is very important for the Faith to extend the teachings of 

Bahá’u’llah amongst the youth, as it is through their 






activities that the Cause of our beloved Master will in the future spread all over the American continent. They have upon their 

shoulders the responsibilities for the progress of the Movement; it is our duty to  

enlighten their hearts with the light of guidance which has been shed before us by the Master.’  

“The young people take their share of responsibility in making these youth sessions vital and dynamic. A group from some one 

community is chosen to be responsible for activities in entertainment, recreation, sports, and to help in creating a spirit of cooperation 

in maintaining order together with freedom on the campus and in the dormitories. Last summer the North Shore young people 

assumed this responsibility and carried out the plans most successfully. This group assigned, in turn, the various evening 

entertainments to other groups. These youth sessions are truly cooperative enterprises.  

“This was the second summer in which the committee has planned a special kind of session which we named the laboratory session 

both because it has been experimental and because it has meant real work and study by those attending. It has aimed to do two things: 

help those who wish to be guided into a deeper study and understanding of the Teachings and second to work out by practical 

demonstration under experienced teachers some type of Bahã’i teaching or administrative problem. Last summer 


ardent students 

and workers from east, west, north and south threw themselves wholeheartedly into seeking a better understanding of the Bahá’i 

Administrative Order and working out some definite probles-ns. The program follows:  

Devotions (before breakfast)  

1. Applied Administration  

Mr. Harlan Ober  

(Actual practice in electing a local Assembly, appointed committees which did publicity and contact work in neighboring towns, held 

a Nineteen Day Feast, arranged a public meeting, etc.)  

2. The Three Worlds of Divinity, Prophet- hood and Creation 

Mrs. Mabel Paine  

(A survey of Bahá’i Writings and research therein) 


3. Public Speaking—Instruction and prac tic Mrs. Maude Stuart Beagle  

4. Comprehensive survey of Shoghi Effendi’s World Order Letters  

Mrs. Margaret Luberger  

“Mr. Ober was most successful in guiding the elected Assemblies to Bahá’i solution of problems and to correct Bahá’i procedure. 

Mrs. Paine helped many into a new understanding of some of the deeper aspects of our Faith. Mrs. Beagle made her class at the same 

time, inspirational, practical and relaxing and Mrs. Luberger used great skill in giving us a survey of the World Order letters.  

“At the August general session about 


were present and a fine spirit prevailed. There were more strangers and inquirers than ever 

before. The program follows:  

General Session, August 6-13, inclusive:  

Morning Pro gram  

Devotions (before breakfast)  

1. The Administrative Order of Bahâ’u’lláh Mr. Curtis Kelsey  

2. The Culture of Islam. Mrs. Helen Bishop  

3. The Art of Living. 

. . . 

Mrs. Alice Bacon (Bahi’i standards of conduct)  

4. What is the Bahá’i Faith, a series of talks, and forums to introduce the Faith to new seekers, by Bahá’is present.  


Talks on various phases of Bahá’i teachings, evening talks by Mrs. Marzieh Carpenter Gail.  

“Mr. Kelsey’s series of lessons was particularly inspiring and helpful. In fact the whole Kelsey family brought that real Bahã”i spirit 

of cooperation and understanding that radiated to all. Mrs. Kelsey’s help with music was great and the children formed the nucleus of 

a children’s class that was conducted by Miss Frances Bacon.  

“Mrs. Bishop opened new vistas for us in the understanding of the sources and forces of all culture and civilization as well as those of 

Islam. Mrs. Bacon inspired us to make new efforts to rise to Bahã’i standards of conduct. Her use of some of the DawnBreaker stories 

to illustrate certain characteristics brought the early days of the Cause to mind. The evening talks by Mrs. Marzieh Carpenter Gail 

were conducted in- 






formally. Her method was to draw the listeners unconsciously into the discussion. Her talk on Bahá’i marriage was especially 


“As always those who came as learners were among the greatest helpers in planning and carrying out Bahá’i forums, panel 

discussions, other teaching projects and helping with music and in innumerable ways.  

“One great addition to the physical equipment of the school is the new library building, the gift of two friends augmented by smaller 

gifts and the labor of Mr. Eggleston and his son Mr. George Eggleston. Many books have been contributed so that now there are some 


in the library. These include standard secular books on various subjects, fiction, philosophy, science, sociology, history, etc., as 

well as Bahá’i books. People from surrounding communities are invited to use the library and to draw books for home reading. Thus 

the library becomes a community service and acquaints people with the school. It is hoped that it will be one means of eventually 

attracting people to the Cause. The library is by no means complete and we invite people to continue to contribute books which are 

suitable, both new and used, which are in good condition.  

“An entirely new project of the Louhelen committee was the winter session held the week after Christmas, December 26, 1939- 

January 1, 1940. The registration (12) was small since warm accommodations were limited, but all who came considered it entirely 

worth while. The aim was especially to inform about Latin American conditions and culture as a basis for Bahâ’i work in those 

countries. Mrs. Frances Benedict Stewart gave most valuable information and inspiration along these lines. Two public meetings were 

held during the session at which Mrs. Stewart was the speaker. Some 71 different people from twelve towns and four states were 

present during the week. Mrs. Stewart also remained by special invitation to address the Shrine club in Flint. Other lessons in methods 

of teaching and study were given by Mrs. Ethel Furbush, Mr. Harry Jay and Mrs. Bertha Kirkpatrick. A letter from New Zealand 

inquiring about the winter session at Louhelen makes us realize the world-wide interest in all Bahá’i activities.” 



On September 4, 1939 Mrs. Loulie A. Mathews executed an Indenture of Trust under which title to property at Pine 

Valley, Colorado Springs, is to be vested in Trustees for the benefit of the National Spiritual Assembly. Mrs. Mathews 

retaining full use and control of the property during her life.  

This munificent donation is an important contribution to the facilities of the American Bahã’i community for service to 

the Faith, Mrs. Mathews having plans for developing at Pine Valley a School for the training of BahI’is for 

international teaching.  

This plan was welcomed by the Guardian in a letter addressed to Mrs. Mathews on December 14, 1938: “The Guardian 

feels also deeply appreciative of your generous offering to the N.S.A. of your ranch in Colorado Springs. Your idea to 

turn this property into a training school for Inter- America teaching work, he feels, is splendid.”  

The first session was not held until after the period covered by the present summary. However, the program announced 

in advance included two periods daily for prayer and meditation, followed by active discussion. Lectures on Latin 

American music were to be given by Prof. James Sykes and Prof. Nicolas Slonimsky. Prof. C. W. T. Penland was also 

announced in connection with an illustrated lecture.  

Discussion on Inter-America teaching was planned to share the personal experiences of Mrs. Mathews herself, 

Chairman of the Inter-America Committee for several years, and of Mrs. Louise Caswell, pioneer teacher settled in 


A program of public lectures was arranged in Half Way House, Colorado  

Springs, with talks on the Cause by George  

0. Latimer, Raphael Pumpelly, Mrs. Charles  

Bishop, Marion Holley and Horace Holley.  


Great progress was made in the external ornamentation of the BahI’i House of Worship at Wilmette between 1938 and 

1940. The facts were presented by George 0. Latimer in his annual reports submitted on behalf of the Temple Trustees, 

and the following excerpts are taken from his reports:— “On July 4, 1937, the Guardian sent an 






inspiring cable outlining live successive steps in Temple construction. At the beginning of the current year two of these steps had been 

completed, and on June 6, 1938 Shoghi Effendi again cabled as follows: ‘Rejoiced thankful initiative resourcefulness newly elected 

National Assembly prompting them signalize inauguration period stewardship by launching third stage in progressive unf oldment 

seven year plan. Such far-sighted action evokes in me deepest longing that they will not alone accomplish placing final contract but 

will have also ere expiry allotted year embarked on concluding stage by insuring uninterrupted prosecution of closing phase of an 

enterprise which for no less than thirty years, has engaged attention and challenged resources of entire American Bahá’i community.’  

“Since the receipt of this challenging cablegram the work of the ornamentation of the gallery section has been carried on slightly 

ahead of schedule with the same excellent craftsmanship that has characterized the Dome ornamentation by the Earley Studio. When 

work was discontinued on December 23, 1938, all of the contracted work had been completed except the upper sections of the nine 

pylons. The remainder of the work of pouring the pylons will start about April 1, or when weather conditions are favorable, and 

should be finished sometime in June, 1939. Mr. McDaniel has supervised the construction work on behalf of the Trustees and has 

rendered monthly reports checking all items of expense. To date $111,785.40 has been expended on the contract for the gallery section 

and there are sufficient funds on hand for the completion of the work, estimated at $125,000.00.  

“The Trustees had been informed by the National Assembly that the Guardian had approved of placing the contract for the 

ornamentation of the first story when one- half of the estimated cost of $150,000.00 for this work was at hand. In October it was 

learned that savings in both time and cost could be effected if a contract were placed, before the completion of the gallery section, for 

the execution of the hand-carved models for the first story, thus dividing the work in successive units. The Guardian approved the 

placing of an immediate con- 


tract for the models in a cable on November 29th, and on December 11, 1939, the Trustees signed an agreement with Mr. Earley for 

making the models at a total estimated cost, including the contractor’s service fee, of $21,000.00.  

“Mr. McDaniel informed the Trustees in October that a new source of supply of quartz needed in the external ornamentation had been 

located nearer to the Earley Studio and that if Mr. Earley were authorized to purchase the quartz at this time, the cost would be about 

$8.00 a ton, dehvered, thus effecting a saving of several dollars per ton in comparison with the original cost of the former quartz. It 

was voted to authorize Mr. Earley to purchase SO tons of quartz a month, at $8.00 per ton, dehvered, until the amount needed for the 

next contract is obtained. To date of this report 300 tons have been purchased and delivered at Rosslyn, Virginia, from the Annapolis 


“The Trustees were further notified of the most generous gift of the Guardian of One Thousand Pounds toward the Temple 

construction fund and the linking of the memory of Bahiyyih Khánum with all future Temple construction. With this glorious start, 

coupled with another munificent gift of $25,000.00 and payment of some substantial pledges by different Assemblies, the Trustees 

entered into a second contract, dated February 4, 1940, with Mr. Earley for the making of the molds required for the exterior 

ornamentation of the first story of the Temple. These two contracts for $21,000 and $29,000 respectively, plus an estimated $5,000 for 

the necessary quartz, completes one-third of the required amount for the main story, leaving an estimated $95,000 still to be raised for 

casting and applying the units to the first story. Thus, the fourth of the successive steps outlined by the Guardian has been taken, and 

the Trustees feel assured that the fifth and final stage will be inaugurated by the friends well within the time allotted by the Seven Year 


“Mr. Earley completed his contract for the lower sections of the pylons of the main story of the Temple, and the Trustees have taken 

steps to assure the continuation of the construction of the main story section 






in the Spring of 1940 by asking for 


000.00 by April 1st, in order to enter into the final contract for the ornamentation of the 

Temple. This advance step makes it necessary to provide for the purchase of fill so that the plans for landscaping the grounds may be 

completed. Arrangements have been made by the chairman of the maintenance committee, Mr. Scheffler, to secure the necessary fill 

from excavations now being made at Northwestern University. Mr. Allen B. McDaniel has ably supervised the progress of the Temple 

construction work of the Earley Studios and represented the Trustees in the contractural agreements.”  




A total of twenty-four new Assemblies was established in North America between 


and 1940.  

At the annual election held uniformly throughout the Bahá’i world on April 



the new 

Assemblies formed were:  

Knoxville, Tennessee; Jamestown, New York; Scranton, Pennsylvania; Helena, 

Montana; Huntington Park, California; ‘Wauwatosa, ‘Wisconsin; Eagle River, ‘Wisconsin; East Cleveland, Ohio; Richmond 

Highlands, Washington.  

A year later the Assembly Roll included:  

Alhambra, Burbank, Big Bear Lake, Beverly Hills and Santa Rosa, California; Hamilton, Ontario; West Haven, Connecticut; Atlanta, 

Georgia; Oak Park and Waukegan, Ilhnois; Brookline, Massachusetts; Omaha, Nebraska; Salt Lake City, Utah; North Augusta, South 

Carolina; and Madison, Wisconsin. By April 21, 1940, the American Bahá’i community contained one hundred and two local 


The same period also saw a large increase in the number of the incorporated Assemblies, the newly incorporated bodies being those of 

Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Seattle, San Francisco, Vancouver, Phoenix, Portland, Lima, Columbus, Philadelphia, Jersey 

City, Boston, Winnetka, ‘Wilmette, Peoria and Helena. By April 21, 1940, there were twenty-seven legally incorporated local Bahá’i 

Assemblies in the United States and 



recent change in the status of the local Bahá’i Assembly was the successful 


made by 


Chicago Assembly for civil recognition of its right to conduct a legal marriage and file a marriage 

certifièate. The Bahá’is have thus made a beginning in their fulfilment of the functions of an independent religion. Under the 

controlling procedures explained by Shoghi Effendi, the Assembly Chairman or Secretary represents the Assembly in the conduct of 

the marriage ceremony by the two contracting parties. Furthermore, before the Assembly can officially take part and issue the 

certificate it must have in writing the consent of all four, or all surviving parents, to the proposed marriage.  



The two great world’s fairs held during this period, at San Francisco and New York respectively, during two successive summer 

seasons, afforded the American Bahá’is an extraordinary opportunity to present the teachings to the general public. In addition, the 

local exhibits of the Temple model, Bahá’i books and other material greatly increased. As for the local and more informal type of 

exhibit we have the following data reported by the Teaching Committee:— “Exhibits of the beautiful model of the  

Temple give the teaching work great impetus in any area. Being tangible, it is something that can be easily grasped and discussed and 

it thus provides unending opportunity to present the Teachings through publicity and directly to large groups.  

“The results of these exhibits at fairs, conferences, and congresses cannot be measured or over-emphasized, and the Teaching 

Committee would urge all Assemblies, teachers, and Regional Committees not to overlook any opportunity to arrange for a display of 

a Temple model. The National Spiritual Assembly has made five models available to the Teaching Committee for this purpose and it 

is important that they be kept in constant use.  

“During the past year exhibits of the Temple model were arranged at Cornell University, at Vassar College during the World Youth 

Congress, at Toronto during the Canadian National Exposition, at Albu 


significant result of this comparatively 






querque at the New Mexico State Fair, at Urbana on the occasion of the meetings of the National Spiritual Assembly in that city, at 

Port Huron, Flint, and Marysville in Michigan, at Santa Barbara, California, Wichita, Kansas, at the Temple of Religion and in the 

Bahá’i booth at the World’s Fair in San Francisco.  

“Various Assemblies throughout the country have purchased models and use them most effectively in local and extension teaching 


“The Bahá’i Booth at the Canadian International Exposition attracted thousands, giving the attendant opportunity to teach, and 

resulting in many fine contacts. Over 15,000 pieces of free literature were distributed.  

“Perhaps the outstanding exhibit of the Temple model at State Fairs, was the one arranged by the Milwaukee Assembly, at the 

Wisconsin State Fair. Attendants were present at the Booth responding to the many teaching opportunities presented. There were some 

18,000 visitors at the Booth, and about 2500 pieces of literature were distributed.  

“Another outstanding exhibit, was that in Sacramento, Cahf., at the annual flower show. This exhibit, prepared by the Junior Garden 

Clubs of Sacramento, under Bahá’i direction, portrayed the Temple in a garden with flowers from all countries of the world. It was 

especially mentioned by the Management, and won one of the first prixes.  

“At Newark, New Jersey, the model was displayed at the ‘fair-o-scope’—a model of the New York World’s Fair in miniature. There 

were about 4000 visitors daily. The management conceded that the Temple Model display was the outstanding single exhibit.  

“Likewise requiring special mention, is the exhibit arranged in Butte, Montana, at the WPA Art Center. Groups were brought in from 

all parts of the county to view it. One Photography Group made a special study of methods of photographing it. Inquiry has been 

received as to whether we could permit this Model to be sent from Art center to Art center, throughout the State.  

“At all exhibits where a Bahã’i Booth was maintained, an attendant was present at all times. Those interested were asked to reg iste 


in guest books. These names and addresses were sent to the nearest Assembly, group, or Regional Committee for active follow-up. 

The Chicago Assembly report that one of its outstanding teaching successes of the year, was the follow-up contacts made at the 

various Fairs. One hundred fifty of these people responded to an invitation to a musicale and reception, planned by the Assembly to 

establish a friendly contact, as a foundation for more direct presentation of the Faith.  

“The records of the Teaching Committee show that there were thirty-seven displays of the Temple model this year; over 300,000 

pieces of teaching literature were distributed, and the ‘Message’ given to thousands of people. Undoubtedly, other exhibits were 

arranged by Assemblies owning Temple models, which were not reported to the Committee.”  

Concerning the formal Bahá’i exhibits at the World’s Fairs we have special reports prepared by or for the Committees directly in 

charge, for the 1939 season.  

1. Nuw 

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