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PHOTOS: Baha'is Celebrate with Annual Unity Picnic

Hundreds gathered June 30 at the Evergreen Cabin on Evergreen Place to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the visit of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the son of the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith.

The caretaker of the Bahá’í property offered the following background: 

His journey in North America lasted 239 days, including ten days in Canada, during which He traveled to important cities from the east to the west coast and met with people of diverse backgrounds and interests. When asked why he had undertaken the journey to America, ‘Abdu'l-Bahá stated, "…I have come to America to raise the standard of universal peace and to bring unity among mankind…"

He addressed many religious groups and organizations such as the NAACP, the Theosophists, as well as audiences at Columbia, Howard and Stanford Universities. He also met with leaders of the day, including President Theodore Roosevelt and Alexander Graham Bell. He visited the poor and downtrodden, proclaimed the equality of men and women, and he championed the cause of racial unity.

On June 29, 1912, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá invited the Bahá’ís of New York and the surrounding areas to a unity feast to express his gratitude for all they had done on his behalf during his visit to the West. This gathering of appoximately 350 people of diverse backgrounds was held in Teaneck (West Englewood) at the Bahá’í property. Each year Bahá’ís gather on the last Saturday of June to commemorate this day and have a unity picnic.

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