Hints of Spring and New Beginnings
This week in history, February 26 – March 4:
- A Marriage Blessing Ceremony of 13 American couples is held (February 28, 1969)
- One World Crusade is established (February 28, 1972)
- The March 1st Korean Independence Movement emerges (March 1, 1919)
- The first 100-day training at the Belvedere Training is held (March 1, 1973)
- The first edition of The Washington Times is published (March 1, 1982)
- The second anniversary of Foundation Day is observed (March 3, 2015)
- The Universal Peace Academy opens (March 4, 2013)
February 28, 1969
Holy Marriage Blessing of 13 American Couples
True Parents after officiating the 13 Couple Holy Marriage Blessing.
On February 28, 1969, at the historic Upshur House in Washington, D.C., True Parents blessed 13 American couples, who according to some interpretations represented the original 13 colonies. This was the first Marriage Blessing Ceremony conducted outside Korea and the first of three that together came to be known as the 43 Couple Blessing. True Parents held a Marriage Blessing of 8 couples in Essen, Germany, on March 28, 1969, and a Marriage Blessing of 22 couples in Tokyo, Japan, on May 1, 1969. The 43 Couple Blessing was conducted on the foundation of the 430 Couple Holy Blessing conducted by True Parents in Korea the previous year and was intended to signify expansion to the worldwide level. True Parents celebrated the Blessing on the 20th day of their visit to the United States as part of their 1969 World Tour. Miss Young Oon Kim, who directed HSA-UWC America at that time, stated that the Blessing of 13 couples (26 people) “was probably the largest wedding ever celebrated in America.” Those numbers would be eclipsed many times over in subsequent years.
February 28, 1972
One World Crusade (OWC) Established
In January 1972, True Father gathered 72 “pioneers” from Unification Church missionary groups in New York City to prepare for the inaugural 7-City Day of Hope speaking tour. In Los Angeles, the sixth city on the tour, True Father formed the One World Crusade (OWC). It would be the official name of the mobile units comprising the 72 trainees from New York. True Father said the new organization was formed to evangelize the United States and, further, the whole world. Mr. David S.C. Kim, who was present, wrote, “Two probable names were suggested – ‘World Unification Crusade’ and ‘One World Crusade.’ After heated discussion, finally ‘One World Crusade’ was born by our Master’s decision.”
After the first Day of Hope Tour, OWC bus teams continued to campaign across the United States assisting newly appointed state representatives (SRs). They expanded from two to three teams, then to ten. Following the arrival of international members as a “New Pilgrim Movement” and the first 100-Day Training programs, True Father created 40 International One World Crusade (IOWC) units so that there would be one for every state. The IOWC teams brought success to later 21-, 32-, and 8-city Day of Hope tours. In early 1975, a large IOWC contingent boarded a jumbo jet for Japan and eventually Korea, where they supported massive Day of Hope rallies modeled after what had been accomplished in the United States.
March 1, 1919
The March 1st Korean Independence Movement
The March 1st (Samil) Movement came about as a result of Japan’s repressive colonial occupation of Korea starting in 1905. On March 1, 1919, thirty-three activists who formed the core of the movement read the Korean Declaration of Independence which they had signed. This sparked nationwide demonstrations which were viciously put down by Japanese police. The March 1st Movement had a profound impact on True Father. In his autobiography, he stated that his great-uncle, Yoon Guk Moon, a graduate of Pyongyang Theological Seminary and a minister, “participated in the drafting of the 1919 Declaration of Independence.” He also “printed thousands of Korean flags and handed them out to the people who poured into the streets.” Yoon Guk Moon later was arrested and put under constant surveillance. True Father wrote that his great-uncle’s “steadfast love for his country, even in the face of extreme adversity,” provided him with a “definite compass” for his life. True Father was born 10 months after the uprisings sparked by the March 1, 1919 demonstrations.
March 1, 1973
First 100-Day Training at Belvedere Training Center
On March 1, 1973, the first International Training Session began at the Belvedere Training Center in Tarrytown, New York. Initiated as a 100-day program for future church leaders, the schedule included forty days of intense Divine Principle study, thirty days of the Victory over Communism (VOC) ideology and thirty days of Unification Thought, a recently published application of the Principle to philosophy. The six hours of daily lectures were interspersed with talks from True Father, fellowship, discussion, examinations, lecture practice, and participation in the ongoing New York City outreach campaign. In addition to solidifying the American Unification Church, Belvedere Training was the first international training program as it included recently arrived “New Pilgrims” from Europe. One U.S. participant wrote: “Europeans were not the only ones wearing smiles of eagerness and anticipation. Some American brothers were intoxicated in those early days, because we were so many fine people together and Belvedere is the most holy place in America.”
Belvedere Training also afforded intimate access to True Parents who spent much time there. Joseph Kinney wrote, “People who needed internal guidance, or who had spiritual problems, went directly to Father Moon. There was no security on the property; True Parents would just walk around the grounds and the garden, and members could just walk up to them. … The chain of commanders and links between Father Moon and us was extremely short. He spoke to us throughout the day, and he had personal give and take with everybody in the Training Center, even if it was just one or two sentences. If you were lucky, you’d give a testimony in front of him, or he’d bonk you gently on the head or ask you what country you were from. Even if he saw you in a crowd, there’d be some acknowledgment.”
March 1, 1982
First Edition of The Washington Times
On January 1, 1982, True Father announced his intention of starting a new daily newspaper in Washington, D.C. Specifically, according to the testimony of Dr. Bo Hi Pak, one of the first missionaries to the United States, True Father stated his intention of founding a conservative daily newspaper in the nation’s capital. The Washington Star, the capital’s only major competitor of the powerful but liberal-leaning The Washington Post, had folded the previous year, and many lamented the prospect of Washington, D.C., becoming a “one-newspaper town.” On January 1, True Father selected 200 newspaper trainees from among a full ballroom of Unificationist volunteers and directed that The Washington Times be published within three months, on March 1, to correspond with the anniversary of Korea’s Samil Independence Movement. True Father appointed Dr. Pak as president. In the 58 days from January 1 to March 1, Dr. Pak recruited an experienced editor and publisher as well as a first-rate staff, including a number of well-known journalists. He also found and obtained True Father’s approval to purchase a former paper factory located on New York Avenue NE, just a short distance from downtown Washington, as The Times’ headquarters. Still, articles for the first edition had to be transmitted to New York, where they were typeset in the offices of The News World. Dr. Pak himself went to New York and brought the newspaper negatives back to Washington overnight on a chartered light aircraft.
March 3, 2015
Second Anniversary of Foundation Day and Cosmic Blessing Ceremony
True Mother led the observance of the second anniversary of Foundation Day and conducted an International Marriage Blessing at the Cheongshim Peace World Center, Gapyeong, Korea, on March 3, 2015 (January 13, H.C.). True Parents originally established Foundation Day on February 20, 2013, as the starting point for the substantial realization of Cheon Il Guk. Eight hundred new couples and 3,000 existing couples participated in the 2015 Cosmic Blessing Ceremony, which was attended by 20,000 in the Peace World Center. Approximately 20,000 couples from 194 nations participated in the ceremony via live Internet broadcast, bringing the total number of couples to 24,000. In her Foundation Day speech, True Mother told participants, “The Marriage Blessing will hold no meaning if you allow your Blessing to extend only to your family, while living in this age of True Parents. You must reveal to your neighbors, your tribe and your nation that True Parents are the true owners. That is the only way for you to go today if you want to receive the crown of glory.” In addition to the Blessing, FFWPU Publishing Committee President Young Hwi Kim and Vice President Jae Suk Lee dedicated the final volume of the Scriptures, the Cham Bumo Gyeong. This completed the Cheon Il Guk Scriptures composed of the Cheon Seong Gyeong, the Pyeong Hwa Gyeong and the Chambumo Gyeong.
March 4, 2013
Universal Peace Academy Opens
On March 4, 2013, the first Entrance Ceremony for the Universal Peace Academy (UPA) was held in the Main Chapel of Cheongshim Graduate School of Theology at Cheongpyeong Heaven and Earth Training Center in Korea. Forty-three students, mainly from Korea and Japan but also from eight additional nations, participated. They were chosen as entering “cadets” through a strict selection process for the master’s level course, which includes the graduate school and a one-year pre-graduate language school for those needing to raise their competence in Korean. After the Wonmo Peace Foundation was established according to True Father’s direction, UPA was the first project set up for the education of Unificationist-born future leaders. True Mother founded and named the academy. At the entrance ceremony, she said that under the motto of “Loving Heaven, Loving Nation and Loving People,” UPA “is a school to create leaders who will build a world with freedom, peace, unification and happiness in heaven and on this earth.” She called on the cadets to regard their educational experience “not only as the light of your life but the light for the seven billion people of the earth.”
This Week in History briefly lists significant events in the history of the Unification Church, the lives of the Founders, and world events that are momentous to Unificationists. Most items are marked according to the solar calendar. Items marked “H.C.” correspond to the Cheon-gi or Heavenly Calendar, which is based on the lunar calendar. This installment covers the week of February 26 to March 4.