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Due to Speed Mania

Due to Speed Mania
Washington DC Star
April 21, 1912

Abdu’l-Bahá Thus Accounts for Titanic Disaster.


America Has progressed Too Rapidly, Says Bahá’í Leader.


Urges Closer Union Between United States and His Native Land.

Abdu’l-Bahá, leader of the Bahá’í movement, who reached Washington yesterday afternoon and who plans a week’s visit to the National Capital as a part of his tour of the United States, made the principal address at the closing session last night of the second annual conference of the Persian-American Educational Society. The meeting was held in the lecture hall of the Public Library and every seat and all available standing room was occupied by an audience eager to hear the distinguished Persian. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke in Persian, and his remarks were interpreted, phrase by phrase, by Dr. Ameen Fareed, his nephew and a member of his party.

In an interview after his address, and giving answer to a specific question, the Bahá’í leader declared that the disaster to the White Star liner Titanic, much as he deplored it, was only an outward expression of the too rapid development of the age.

Progress Too Fast.

Both Americans and Europeans seem to be possessed of the mania of speed,” he said. “It is true in this country in particular that growth in all directions has progressed too rapidly.” Moderation should be practiced in all things. Be temperate, even in the size of the ships you build and in their speed; in your rail-roads and the schedules you expect your trains to maintain. It was a pitiful waste of life that came because of the effort to save a few hours in time — rushing a great vessel at top speed when it was known there was danger from ice.

When he entered the hall, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was greeted by the audience — all Bahá’ís and their friends and guests rising. And after he had spoken and when he was seated on the platform, hundreds pressed around him, seeking to grasp his hand.

Outlines His Purposes.

In his address the Persian leader outlined the purpose of his visit to the United States, and declared he already has seen great possibilities for co-operation between America and Persia.

It is an evident fact that for Persia there is no better government to use as a model than that of America,” he said. “And for America there can be no better mart than Persia. It offers virgin soil for the commerce, because in Persia all the mineral resources, and indeed all of the mineral resources are latent in the soil and in the people. Perfect amity should be established between Persia and America, whether it be in material bonds or in spiritual bonds.”

Other speakers in the meeting included Mirza Ahmed Sohrab, treasurer of the society, and Prof. Herman Schoenfeld. Dr. Schoenfeld asserted the Persian people need modern education. Mr. Sohrab devoted his attention on the recent present-day conditions in Persia, and he made the emphatic declaration that Persia never will be a satrapy of some neighbouring power.

Officers Are Elected.

At a business meeting of the Persian-American Education Society yesterday afternoon, formal ratification was given to the proposed change in name of the organization to the “Orient-Occident Unity.” Officers were chosen for the year, as follow: President, William H. Hoar; vice presidents, Prof. Hermann Schoenfeld, Hooper Harris, Howard Mac-Nutt, Mrs. Fannie Fern Andrew, Mrs. Agnes Parsons and Mrs. Helen Goodall; executive secretary, Joseph H. Hannen; assistant secretary, Arnauld Belmont; treasurer, Mirza Ahmad Sohrab; librarian, E.H. Young, and assistant librarian, Miss Mary Little.

Resolutions Adopted.

The business of the executive session was concentrated in resolutions “that sympathy be extended to those bereaved by the Titanic disaster; that the society hold itself in readiness to co-operate with every movement for the furtherance of friendly relations between east and west; that all international disputes be submitted to the Hague for arbitration; that commercial treaties be adopted by Persia and the United States; that a parcels post system be established between the United States and Persia; that Persian students be sent, at the expense of their government to schools in the United States and Europe; that diplomatic relations be established between Persia and Japan and China; that Turkish and Persian interests be reconciled and co-operation be secured between them; that a section printed in Persian, be added to the bulletin of the society; that a commercial bureau be created in the Orient-Occident Unity; that the change in the name of the Persian-American Educational Society to Orient-Occident Unity be ratified.”

Reception in Hela.

A reception and musicale was held by the society yesterday afternoon at the Rauscher’s. In the receiving line were Mrs. William H. Hoar, Mrs. James M. Sheridan, Mrs. Julius A. De Lagnel, Mrs. Mary L. Green and Miss Edith Louise Grosvenor. Contributors to the musical progarm included Mis[s] Ruby Stanford, Mis[s] Marion McFall, Miss Mildred Harrison, Richard Backing and Arthur D. Mayo.

Announcement was made that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá will participate in and make an address at a meeting this afternoon at 3 o’clock in the Universalist Church, 13th and L streets northwest.

[picture caption: ‘ABDU’L-BAHA ABBAS, (Copyright by [unreadable text] & Underwood.)]