On his second day in America, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was whizzing over the Williamsburg Bridge from Manhattan to Brooklyn, then back again, taking in the rush hour traffic and the teeming masses, and telling one reporter that he was “beautifully tired.” It is unclear how long ‘Abdu’l-Bahá originally planned to stay in America, but after repeatedly extending his trip, he wound up staying 239 days. During this time he would travel the breadth of the nation, deliver over 400 public addresses, converse with thousands more in more intimate gatherings, grant hundreds of personal interviews, and receive coverage in more than 350 newspaper articles. Far from being an outsider looking in on American life, he succeeded in placing himself at the center of virtually all of the nation’s raging debates.
DECEMBER 4, 1912 NEW YORK, NY. At Home In America