Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bread Line by Baha'i Centre

This picture appeared recently at the Wall Street Journal. Please let me know if you can explain why there is a bread line outside a Baha'i Center during the Great Depression. Was it a commemoration of the Master's handout at the Bowery Mission?

From Drop Box

from:, September 22, 2009, Arthur B. Laffer, Opinion: Taxes, Depression, and Our Current Troubles


george wesley dannells said...

Hi John,

Steve Cooney said in a comment to a post on this on Baha'i Views that "The Baha'i shop here belongs to The New History Society, Ahmad Sohrab's alternative venture to the Baha'i Faith."

In another comment, Steve Marshall said the "BAHAI FELLOWSHIP" soup kitchen is not located on Wall Street. It's located at 203 East 9th Street, New York, according to Getty Images -

Another quote in the shop-front window reads, "This Bodes Some Strange Eruption to our State". The quote is from Hamlet, and is quite a good good one to place on any 1930 New York soup kitchen front window, I think.

It's quite possible that the "Bahai Fellowship" was run by the New History Society / Caravan of East and West, which was still part of the Baha'i Faith, and operating under the wing of the New York spiritual assembly at that time. One of the organisation's centres was at 132 East 65th Street according to Wiki.

Steve Marshall said...

I imagine the soup kitchen was an act of social action carried out by the New History Society. I don't know whether it's pertinent but there's a quote from Shakespeare in the window, just below the one from Baha'u'llah.

Steve Cooney said...

Its possibly a New History Foundation storefront. Characteristically they would not use an apostrophe in Baha'i. This was of course one of the bases of their lawsuit response over the trademark later in the 1930's. Later the NHF would relocate to the Chanler building 132 E 65th St.

SMK said...

A number of details have been found and this may have nothing to do with the New History Society - see:

* (1919 series of stories)
- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

* And more about Urbain Leboux at
- here and
- here.

There are several mentions of him in Star of the West at here.