MEHER MOUNT

9902 Sulphur Mountain Road
Ojai, CA 93023-9375

Phone: 805-640-0000
Email: info@mehermount.org

HOURS

Wednesday-Sunday: Noon to 5:00 p.m.
Monday & Tuesday: Closed

MANAGER/CARETAKERS

Buzz & Ginger Glasky

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Sam Ervin, Preident
Ron Holsey, Vice President
Ursula Reinhart, Treasurer
Jim Whitson, Director
Richard Mannis, Director

OFFICERS

Margaret Magnus, Secretary

9902 Sulphur Mountain Rd
Ojai, CA, 93023
United States

(805) 640-0000

Story Blog

Anecdotes, activities and stories about Meher Mount - past, present and future.

1956 in Photos - World Events & Meher Baba

Margaret Magnus

BY MARGARET MAGNUS

In 1956, Avatar Meher Baba circled the globe in 30 days, which included flying 30,000 miles and crossing five continents. [1]

AVATAR MEHER BABA on National Airlines Flight 320, Wilmington, NC, to Washington, DC, in 1956. (Source: Meher Baba Travels)

AVATAR MEHER BABA on National Airlines Flight 320, Wilmington, NC, to Washington, DC, in 1956. (Source: Meher Baba Travels)

On that trip (July 16-August 19), Meher Baba visited: London; New York City; the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, SC; Washington, DC; Los Angeles; Ojai, CA; San Francisco; and Sydney and Melbourne in Australia.

The three-day stop in Southern California included His first and only visit to Meher Mount on August 2, 1956.

1956 IN PHOTOS

Because 1956 is such a significant year in the history of Meher Mount, social media professional Stephanie Ervin suggested a “1956” board on Pinterest to identify other memorable events around the world that year. [2]

By clicking on this 1956 link, you can see more than 500 photos related to events, fashions, politics, advertising, sports, cars and trends in 1956.

The following are selected photos of a few 1956 events.

LORD BUDDHA’S 2500TH BIRTHDAY

CELEBRATION of the 2500th Anniversary of the birth of Lord Buddha in New Delhi, India, in 1956. Included in the photograph are: India’s first Prime Minister after its independence Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964); His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet (1935- ); India’s first President after independence Rajendra Prasad (1884-1963); and the 10th Panchen Lama (1938-1989). 

CELEBRATION of the 2500th Anniversary of the birth of Lord Buddha in New Delhi, India, in 1956. Included in the photograph are: India’s first Prime Minister after its independence Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964); His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet (1935- ); India’s first President after independence Rajendra Prasad (1884-1963); and the 10th Panchen Lama (1938-1989). 

In 1956, during Meher Baba's seclusion in Satara, India, He fasted for 24-hours on Thursday, May 24 and again on May 29. It was noted that May 24 was Lord Buddha's birthday, according to the Buddhist calendar, and also the fourth anniversary of Meher Baba's automobile accident in Prague, Oklahoma. [3]

AGATHA CHRISTIE & REX STOUT             

FIRST BOOK COVER of Dead Man’s Folly (Hercule Poirot #31) by Agatha Christie, published in October 1956. (Source: Wikipedia)

FIRST BOOK COVER of Dead Man’s Folly (Hercule Poirot #31) by Agatha Christie, published in October 1956. (Source: Wikipedia)

Two of Meher Baba’s favorite writers were Agatha Christie, writing the Hercule Poirot mystery series, and Rex Stout, author of the Nero Wolfe stories.

The books published in 1956 by these authors were: Dead Man’s Folly by Agatha Christie; and Three Witnesses and Might As Well Be Dead, both by Rex Stout.

THREE WITNESSES (Nero Wolfe #26) by Rex Stout, was first published in March 10, 1956. (Source: Goodreads)

THREE WITNESSES (Nero Wolfe #26) by Rex Stout, was first published in March 10, 1956. (Source: Goodreads)

There is a list of books that were read to Meher Baba by His close women disciples (mandali) in the biography, Mehera-Meher: A Divine Romance by David Fenster.

Most of the books on this list were favorites of Meher Baba’s and were kept and read to Him more than once.

The books were read at Meherazad, Meher Baba’s last home in India, unless otherwise noted.

Folly was read to Meher Baba in 1967; Three Witnesses in 1965 and 1968; and Might As Well Be Dead was read in 1963, 1965 and 1968. [4]

DESEGREGATION IN THE US

TWO BLACK MEN are shown here notably sitting behind the bus driver. The 13-month-long Montgomery Bus Boycott ended with the US Supreme Court’s ruling that ended segregation on city buses. (Source: Finding Dulcinea) [5]

TWO BLACK MEN are shown here notably sitting behind the bus driver. The 13-month-long Montgomery Bus Boycott ended with the US Supreme Court’s ruling that ended segregation on city buses. (Source: Finding Dulcinea) [5]

Rosa Parks was a black seamstress who refused to give up her bus seat to a white man on a Montgomery, AL, city bus on December 1, 1955. Her arrest and conviction of violating segregation laws sparked what became the 13-month Montgomery bus boycott.

The struggle continued to the courts in the Aurelia S. Browder v. William A. Gayle lawsuit which challenged the Alabama state statutes and the Montgomery city ordinances requiring segregation on Montgomery buses. A three-person panel at the U.S. District Court on June 5, 1956, ruled two-to-one that segregation on Alabama’s intrastate buses was unconstitutional.

Six months later on November 13, 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the lower court’s decision on Browder v. Gayle. On December 17, 1956, the Supreme Court rejected city and state appeals to reconsider their decision, and three days later the order for integrated buses arrived in Montgomery. The bus boycott ended on December 20, 1956. [6],[7],[8]

During Meher Baba's visit to the US in 1956, He had a conversation with Darwin Shaw about the racial situation in America. 

 “…Baba called me over to his seat and asked about the race situation in America. On an earlier visit to America, Baba’s close disciple Dr. Nilu, who had a dark complexion, was not allowed to eat in a Southern restaurant. I was happy to be able to tell Baba that the situation had greatly improved, but that there was still quite a bit of discrimination.” [9]

After this conversation, Meher Baba's plane flight landed briefly at Richmond, VA. Just before getting off the plane, He asked to be taken to the men's room. Since the facilities in the South were still segregated, Otto Troegel took Meher Baba to a rest room labeled "White." Meher Baba went in, but soon came out. Then He saw the bathroom labeled "Colored" and went in there. [10]

NBC INTRODUCES NEW LOGO

THE NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMPANY (NBC) first used the peacock logo in 1956 to highlight the network’s color programming. It was created by John J. Graham. (Source: Famous Logos)

THE NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMPANY (NBC) first used the peacock logo in 1956 to highlight the network’s color programming. It was created by John J. Graham. (Source: Famous Logos)

On Meher Baba’s last day in New York City, Monday, July 23, 1956, cameramen from NBC came and filmed Meher Baba distributing prasad (a gift, usually edible, given by a Master). [11],[12]

Meher Baba was also filmed gesturing, “I am God, the Ancient One; I am the Avatar.” [13]

For the dedication ceremonies of the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, SC, NBC-TV cameramen were to come from New York and film the proceedings for the nationally televised “Dave Garroway Show,” but their flight was cancelled. However, Bernard Carvalho found a small private plane and flew them through a storm to Myrtle Beach. [14]

While they were waiting for the television men to arrive, Meher Baba said, “To love me is to lose yourself in me, and to find me as your own Self is to leave all your pleasures and pains to me.” [15],[16]

The television people eventually arrived and finished filming sometime after 6:00 p.m. They spent the night in Myrtle Beach, and the next morning on Saturday, July 28, 1956, they filmed Meher Baba at a spot overlooking the lake.

Ivy Duce sat beside Meher Baba and asked Him, "Why should misery perpetually exist on earth in spite of God's infinite love and mercy?" Baba replied,

"The source of Eternal Bliss is the Self in all. The cause of perpetual misery is the selfishness of all. As long as satisfaction is derived through selfish pursuits, misery will always exist.

“Only because of the infinite love and mercy of God can man learn to realize through the lessons of misery on earth that inherent in him is the source of infinite bliss and that all suffering is his labor of love to unveil his own infinite Self." [17]

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Charlton Heston as Moses, was released October 5, 1956, and won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1957. (Source: Wikipedia)

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Charlton Heston as Moses, was released October 5, 1956, and won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1957. (Source: Wikipedia)

In 1957, The Ten Commandments was shown at the Regal Cinema in Bombay (Mumbai). On January 28, 1957, Arnavaz Dadachanji took a group of Meher Baba’s women followers to see the film. Meher Baba had seen the movie four days earlier with the men mandali. He had left halfway at intermission, but praised the film and said He liked it.

Mehera, Meher Baba’s closest woman disciple, asked Him whether or not Moses was an Avatar (God in human form), and Meher Baba replied, “No, Moses was a true seeker of the sixth plane, but Abraham was an Avatar.” [18]

SINKING OF THE ANDREA DORIA

LIFE MAGAZINE covers the sinking of the Andrea Doria in its August 6, 1956, issue. (Source: The Dusty Loft)

LIFE MAGAZINE covers the sinking of the Andrea Doria in its August 6, 1956, issue. (Source: The Dusty Loft)

At 11:10 p.m. on July 25, 1956, just 45 miles south of Nantucket Island on the East Coast of the U.S., the Italian ocean liner Andrea Doria and the Swedish ocean liner Stockholm collided in a heavy Atlantic Ocean fog.

The result was a great hole in the broad side of the Andrea Doria. Five crewmen of the Stockholm were killed in the collision, and 46 passengers and crew from the Andrea Doria were killed.

The Andrea Doria, put to sea in 1953, was built with extensive safety precautions, such as state-of-the-art radar systems and 11 watertight compartments in its hull. The Stockholm was still able to help with rescue operations, and the Andrea Doria sank the next day. [19]

SEIZURE OF THE SUEZ CANAL

On the same day, as the sinking of the Andrea Doria, July 26, 1956, the new ruler of Egypt, Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser seized and nationalized the Suez Canal. The canal had been owned by the Suez Canal Company, which was controlled by French and British interests.

DURING THE BATTLE for the Suez Canal, the Egyptians sank ships to create a blockade in late October 1956. The canal was of strategic importance as it had become the main passageway for oil from the Middle East to Europe. (Source: The Telegraph) [20]

DURING THE BATTLE for the Suez Canal, the Egyptians sank ships to create a blockade in late October 1956. The canal was of strategic importance as it had become the main passageway for oil from the Middle East to Europe. (Source: The Telegraph) [20]

The Suez Crisis had been provoked by an American and British decision not to finance Egypt’s construction of the Aswan High Dam as they had earlier promised. [21]

The Suez Canal runs north-south across the isthmus in Egypt and connects the Mediterranean and Red Seas. It provides the shortest maritime route between Europe and the countries in the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific Ocean. [22]

On that very same day of July 26 at Myrtle Beach, at around 7:45 a.m. and with everyone assembled, Meher Baba sat on the fence overlooking the lake. According to the account by Filis Frederick,

“Presently, he rose and faced west. He was working — his fingers pulsed with the rapid, characteristic gestures. His head was bowed, and his face was drawn and full of suffering. He did, indeed, look as if the suffering of the world were upon him.

“Then Baba crossed to the opposite side of the traffic circle, and faced east. Again, he worked. Twice more he moved and stood working, so that he had stood at the four compass points. In the end, his face had cleared, his posture changed, and with one of those rapid alterations of his inner spiritual rhythm, he seemed happy and radiant again.” [23]

Baba walked along the pathway to the Barn, beckoning his lovers to follow. After a few hundred feet, he motioned them to stop and asked them to concentrate for one minute while looking into his eyes.

"We all stood around him and obeyed, for what seemed not one minute, but an eternity, staring into those deep black eye pools," said Filis. Then, Baba moved them into four different groups and hinted that he was working through them for the world. [24]

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN THE US

TIME MAGAZINE cover of Dwight D. Eisenhower who was elected President of the United States for a second term (1952-1960) on November 6, 1956 . (Source: TIME.com)

TIME MAGAZINE cover of Dwight D. Eisenhower who was elected President of the United States for a second term (1952-1960) on November 6, 1956 . (Source: TIME.com)

The 1956 Republican National Convention that nominated Eisenhower was held at the Cow Palace in San Francisco between August 20-23, 1956. Meher Baba arrived in San Francisco on August 3, 1956. Because of this upcoming convention most hotel rooms had long been booked.

As a result, arrangements were made at a new motel, the Holiday Lodge at 1901 Van Ness Avenue. Immediately, Meher Baba did not like His room, its distance from His loved ones, or even the Lodge itself. After hectic arrangements, It was all eventually sorted out to Baba’s liking. [25]

When Meher Baba was planning His 1956 trip to the West, He did not want it to coincide with a state visit planned by Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to the U.S. to meet with President Eisenhower (July 6-10). Thus, instead of leaving India during the first week of July as originally planned, Meher Baba decided to leave on July 16.

However, due to Eisenhower’s ill health, Nehru’s visit was postponed until December. [26]  Years later, Eisenhower traveled to India on an official visit December 9-14, 1959. [27]

HUNGARIAN REVOLUTION

In October 1956, a rising tide of unrest and discontent in Hungary broke out into active fighting with the Hungarians demanding a more democratic political system and freedom from Soviet oppression.

THE HUNGARIAN REVOLUTION, lasting from October 23-November 10, 1956, was a revolt against Soviet-imposed policies. (Source: Marxsite)

THE HUNGARIAN REVOLUTION, lasting from October 23-November 10, 1956, was a revolt against Soviet-imposed policies. (Source: Marxsite)

Rebels won the first phase of the revolution, and Imre Nagy became premier, agreeing to establish a multiparty system. On November 1, 1956, he declared Hungarian neutrality and appealed to the United Nations for support, but Western powers were reluctant to risk a global confrontation.

On November 4, 1956, Soviet tanks rolled into Budapest to crush the national uprising. An estimated 2,500 Hungarians died and 200,000 more fled as refugees. Nagy was executed for treason in 1958. [28],[29]

THE SUMMER OLYMPICS

MELBOURNE was the first Australian city to host the Olympic games, November 22-December 8, 1956. It was the first time that the Summer Olympics were held in the Southern Hemisphere during the Northern Hemisphere’s winter. (Source: Britannica.com)

MELBOURNE was the first Australian city to host the Olympic games, November 22-December 8, 1956. It was the first time that the Summer Olympics were held in the Southern Hemisphere during the Northern Hemisphere’s winter. (Source: Britannica.com)

The unanticipated low number of participants in the 16th Olympiad has been attributed to the remoteness of Australia and two international crises.

Egypt, Lebanon, and Iraq boycotted the Games in protest of the Israeli invasion of the Sinai Peninsula in October. Additionally, a few weeks before the opening of the Games, the Soviet army had entered Budapest, Hungary, to suppress a popular uprising the against the government. The Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland boycotted in protest against the Soviet invasion. Additionally, because of Australian quarantine restrictions, the equestrian events were held in Stockholm during June. [30]

On His 30-day trip in 1956, Avatar Meher Baba visited Melbourne and Sydney in Australia in August.

From Australia, Meher Baba and the four men mandali accompanying him – Eruch Jessawala, Dr. Nilu (Vinayak Nilkanth Godse), Adi K. Irani, and Meherjee Karkaria – flew to India, landing in Bombay at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, August 17.


FOOTNOTES

[1] Bhau Kalchuri, Lord Meher: The Biography of the Avatar of the Age Meher Baba, Online Edition, pg. 4114, accessed June 25, 2016. (c)Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust. Used by permission.
[2] Pinterest is a social media network that allows users to share images or videos on their boards with each board having a common theme. Meher Mount’s Pinterest page has 10 themed Boards related to Meher Baba and Meher Mount.
[3] Kalchuri, op.cit., pg. 3964, accessed June 25, 2016.
[4] David Fenster, Mehera-Meher: A Divine Romance (Ahmednagar, India: Meher Nazar Publications, 2016 PDF Edition), Volume III, pp. 589-593. (c)David Fenster. Used by permission.
[5] Finding Dulicnea, “On This Day: Supreme Court Outlaws Bus Segregation,” accessed July 10, 2016.
[6] History.com, “Rosa Parks,” accessed July 10, 2016.
[7] Stanford University, The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, King Encyclopedia, Browder v. Gayle, 352 U.S. 903 (1956)," accessed June 26, 2016.
[8] King Encyclopedia, “The Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-1956)," accessed June 26, 2016.
[9] Darwin C. Shaw, As Only God Can Love: A Lifetime of Companionship with Meher Baba (North Myrtle Beach, SC: Sheriar Foundation), pg. 349. (c)Darwin C. Shaw. Used by permission.
[10] Kalchuri, op.cit., pg. 4015, accessed June 24, 2016.
[11] Famous Logos, “NBC Logo,” accessed June 25, 2016. 
[12] Shaw, op.cit., pg. 344.
[13] Kalchuri, op.cit., pg. 4001, accessed June 24, 2016.
[14] Kalchuri, ibid., pg. 4038, accessed June 24, 2016. Bernard J.O. Carvalho was a director of publications and former reporter who was helping Ivy Duce publicize God Speaks.
[15] Kalchuri, ibid., pg. 4034, accessed June 24, 2016.
[16] Shaw, op.cit., pg. 372.
[17] Kalchuri, op.cit., pg. 4041, accessed June 25, 2016.
[18] Fenster, op.cit., pg. 197.
[19] History.com, “Ships collide off Nantucket,” accessed June 23, 2016.
[20] The Telegraph, “Suez Canal: from crisis to crisis,” accessed June 25, 2016.
[21] Encyclopedia Britannica, “Suez Crisis, Middle East (1956)," accessed June 25, 2016.
[22] Encyclopedia Britannica, “Suez Canal,” accessed June 25, 2016. [23] Kalchuri, op.cit., pg. 4021, accessed June 25, 2016.
[24] Kalchuri, ibid., pg. 4021, accessed June 26, 2016.
[25] Kalchuri, ibid., pp. 4070-4071, accessed June 26, 2016.
[26] Kalchuri, ibid., pg. 3970, accessed June 26, 2016.
[27] Flickr, "Archives: President Eisenhower visits India," U.S. Embassy New Dehli, accessed July 12, 2106.
[28] History.com, “Soviets put brutal end to Hungarian revolution,” accessed June 26, 2016. 
[29] Encyclopedia Britannica, “Hungary v. U.S.S.R.: Blood in the Water, Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games,”  accessed June 26, 2016.
[30] Encyclopedia Britannica, “Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games,” accessed June 30, 2016.



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