Remembering the Washington Monument Rally
September 16-18, 2016
Celebrating the 40 Year Anniversary of the Washington Monument Rally
This week in history marks the 41st anniversary of the Washington Monument Rally, a watershed moment in the history of True Parents and the Unification movement in America. Last year, from September 16-18, 2016, commemorative events were held in Washington, D.C. in honor of both the rally and the speech, “America and God’s Will,” delivered by True Father over forty years ago, including an awards banquet at The Washington Times offices, a commemorative rally on the National Mall, and a national Sunday service in Maryland. Sun Jin Moon, International President of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), gave the keynote address on the day of the rally, September 17, reading a speech prepared by True Mother for the occasion.
September 18, 1976
Washington Monument Rally
Forty-one years ago, True Father spoke before 300,000 people at the Washington Monument Rally, the second of two major rallies celebrating the United States’ bicentennial in 1976. The first was the Yankee Stadium Rally on June 1. They were both part of the “Bicentennial God Bless America Festival,” which True Father stated was unique among the bicentennial observances because they were convened in the name of God and included international participants. At the Washington Monument, True Father spoke on the theme “America and God’s Will.” He stated, “The United States of America, transcending race and nationality, is already a model of the unified world.” He also said that Judaism, Christianity and the Unification Church as sibling faiths and Israel, the United States and Korea as sibling nations had “a common destiny representing God’s side” and needed “to restore the United Nations to its original purpose and function.” He called upon the three religions and three nations to “join hands in a unified effort,” contributing “internally to the unification of world religions and externally to the unification of the world itself.”
“At this crossroads of human history, we must listen to the calling of God. God prepared America for 200 years. This is the time for awakening. America must accept her global responsibility. Armed with Godism, she must free the Communist world, and at last, build the Kingdom of God here on earth. God has chosen America as the flag bearer. America must rise up. Today. Tomorrow may be too late.”
After the Washington Monument Rally, True Father confessed:
“I feel light as a feather. I feel like I can fly. I have borne a tremendous burden of responsibility, but with the victory at Washington Monument, I feel like I have been liberated from the weight. I can now walk as a free man. I can hold my head up before heaven and earth.”
The Washington Monument Rally was a watershed event in the history of the Unification Church in America. It concluded the initial proclamation phase of True Father’s ministry and opened the way for new initiatives in the fields of evangelism, education, interfaith relations, business, media and public life. It also provided the foundation for building a substantial movement worldwide.
Also this week in history, September 17-23:
- The Seoul Olympics are held (September 17, 1988)
- David S.C. Kim arrives as the second missionary to America (September 18, 1959)
- HSA-UWC is legally incorporated (September 18, 1961)
- True Father speaks at Madison Square Garden (September 18, 1974)
- The Mongolian Peoples’ Federation is inaugurated (September 21, 2004)
- The Day of Hope Wall Street Rally is held (September 22, 1973)
- An interfaith day of prayer and healing is held (September 22, 2001)
- True Father launches the Substantial Abel UN (September 23, 2007)
September 17, 1988
True Father welcomes the representatives of 120 nations to his home in Korea for the Seoul Olympics.
The Games of the XXIV Olympiad took place from September 17 to October 2, 1988, in Seoul. The “Seoul Olympics” were significant not only for Korea as the second Asian nation to host the Olympic Games but also for the world, as the games brought together athletes from the communist and free-world nations for the first time since 1976. These also were the last Olympic Games for the Soviet Union and East Germany, both of which would cease to exist by the time of the next Olympic Games in 1992. True Father recognized this and made a special effort to welcome Eastern Bloc and Soviet athletes, providing them with generous gifts and invitations to cultural events. Although Coca-Cola was the official soft drink of the Games, athletes, friends and officials of many nations accepted more than 40,000 cans of McCol and bottles of Ginseng-Up. Following the completion of the Games, True Father proposed the holding of a World Festival of Culture (later designated as the World Culture and Sports Festival) as an “internal” complement to the Olympic Games.
September 18, 1959
David S.C. Kim Arrives as the Second Missionary to America
David S.C. Kim was a founding member of the Unification Church in 1954 and its first overseas missionary, having gone to Swansea University College, Wales, as a U.N. scholar during the mid-1950s. He was the second Unificationist missionary to the United States, arriving in Portland, Oregon, on September 18, 1959, some ten months after Dr. Young Oon Kim had arrived in Eugene, Oregon. Like Miss Kim, he came to the United States on a student visa (the only other way out of Korea was via the diplomatic service) and enrolled at Western Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary. He was expelled for “heresy” just weeks before his graduation in 1961. This precipitated a series of crises as Mr. Kim successively enrolled in Portland University, the University of Oregon, and finally Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California, in efforts to retain his student status and stay in the country. He nevertheless founded United Faith, Inc., or the “Northwest Family,” and directed a far-flung network of Unification centers extending as far east as Chicago during the 1960s. He played a major role after True Parents’ arrival in America, translating for True Father, firing up members at the Belvedere Training Center, leading the International One World Crusade (IOWC), and later serving as the founding president of the Unification Theological Seminary (1975-1994).
September 18, 1961
HSA-UWC Legally Incorporated
Dr. Young Oon Kim, the first Unification Church missionary to America, legally incorporated the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (HSA-UWC) as a California corporation on September 18, 1961. Her primary motivation in establishing HSA-UWC was to stabilize her visa situation. However, she also recognized that for tax exemption purposes and legal protection, it was necessary for her group to be recognized by the government and to receive legal status as a religion. This incorporation became and still is the legal basis for the Unification tradition in the United States. It preceded the legalization of the church in both Korea and Japan.
September 18, 1974
True Father Speaks at Madison Square Garden
True Father’s Madison Square Garden speech, delivered on September 18, 1974, culminated his “Day of Hope” speaking tours which had begun nearly two years previously. Building on all that had gone before, the Madison Square Garden event launched a triumphant eight-city tour through many of the same cities of the original, anonymous seven-city tour completed in 1972. Filling New York City’s Madison Square Garden was the Unification Church’s most ambitious undertaking to date, and the arrival of seven hundred IOWC members in mid-August greatly augmented campaign preparations in New York City. Ten 70-member IOWC teams followed rigorous street canvassing schedules. Representatives from each of the forty nations where the Unification Church maintained missions and the remaining American Unificationists—in all, about 2,000—converged on New York City for a final week-long blitz prior to September 18. Advertising that “September 18 Could Be Your Re-Birthday,” 80,000 two-by-three-foot posters with a portrait of True Father “wallpapered” Manhattan. The New York Times reported, “His face is everywhere, it seems.”
The turnout at Madison Square Garden was astounding. Sixteen hundred prominent New Yorkers were feted at a kickoff banquet in the Waldorf Astoria hotel on September 17, 1974. The following night, an estimated 10,000 to 35,000 ticket-holders were turned away from an already filled-to-capacity Madison Square Garden. True Father spoke on the theme “The New Future of Christianity.” He proclaimed that Jesus had not come to die on the cross, that the crucifixion was the “secondary,” not the “original” mission of Christ, that the Lord will return “as the son of man in the flesh,” and that “that day is at hand.” With nearly two hundred representatives of the press in attendance, widespread publicity helped ensure success in other cities. The pattern of overflow crowds and extensive publicity was repeated throughout the tour.
September 21, 2004
Inauguration of Mongolian Peoples’ Federation
True Father speaks at the International Peace Conference for Mongolian Leaders from Around the World.
True Father established numerous Federations for World Peace following the end of the Cold War and into the new millennium. From September 21-24, 2004, the first International Peace Conference for Mongolian Leaders from Around the World took place in Seoul. This conference led to the creation of the Mongolian Peoples’ Federation for World Peace (MPFWP). True Father defined Mongolian peoples as those born with the Mongolian birthmark, a bluish mark usually seen on the backside. He asserted that nearly three-quarters of the world’s population is linked to Mongolian roots and that the Mongolian birthmark appears not only in persons of the yellow race but also among many black and white people. He maintained that values preserved among Mongolian peoples, such as faith in absolute values, an understanding of human spirituality, belief in the existence of the spirit world, an emphasis on family tradition and the importance of lineage would play a significant role in bringing about the realization of a world of peace. The initial conference brought together 300 participants from Mongolia, Korea, Japan, China and 34 other nations. The Mongolian Federation convened subsequent meetings under the auspices of the Universal Peace Federation.
September 22, 1973
Day of Hope Wall Street Rally
Having completed his first Day of Hope speaking tour of eight American cities in 1972, True Father mobilized American Unificationists for a more ambitious 21-city Day of Hope tour to begin in New York City’s Carnegie Hall on October 3, 1973. By the end of August, more than four hundred Unificationists gathered to publicize the Day of Hope talks under the theme “Christianity in Crisis: New Hope.” On September 22, a major rally was staged on the steps of Federal Hall on Wall Street. The New York Daily News carried a large photo and article on the rally. Time, Newsweek and Christianity Today all carried stories on the campaign, and Associated Press religion writer George W. Cornell’s generally positive feature story appeared in 79 newspapers throughout the United States.
September 22, 2001
Interfaith Day of Prayer and Healing
More than 1,000 clergy from all faiths attended the Interfaith Prayer Breakfast and Day of Prayer and Healing to offer prayers for the victims of the 9/11 tragedy in New York and Washington, D.C.
True Father had called for a 12,000-couple World Clergy Marriage Blessing Ceremony to take place in New York’s Madison Square Garden on September 22, 2001. It was intended to build upon the Interfaith Marriage Blessing of 60 clergy couples the previous May in which Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo was blessed with Korean Unificationist Maria Sung. The tragic events of 9/11 intervened and the clergy Blessing was postponed. In lieu of the Blessing, an interfaith prayer breakfast brought together more than 1,000 clergy and guests in the Grand Ballroom of the Manhattan Center and an outdoor Day of Prayer and Healing rally took place at the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building in Harlem. The rally attracted some 3,000 participants as well as coverage on CNN, CBS and other media outlets. Forty American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) ministers had counseled police and firefighters at Ground Zero the night before the prayer breakfast and rally and continued to do so in the days that followed.
September 23, 2007
True Father Launches the “Substantial” Abel UN
True Father launched the “Substantial” Abel UN at the Manhattan Center.
In 2000, True Father’s proposal to renew the United Nations through incorporating an interreligious peace council launched the United Nations Providence. The following year, True Father began the Ambassadors for Peace program. In 2003, he established the Interreligious and International Peace Council (IIPC), and in 2005, on the occasion of the UN’s 60th anniversary, he founded the Universal Peace Federation (UPF). The core objective of these combined initiatives was “to work cooperatively with the United Nations and to serve and support that institution as it seeks to fulfill its own global mission.” Two years later, on September 23, 2007, True Father launched what he termed the “Substantial” Abel UN.
Conducted at the Manhattan Center in New York City, the inauguration brought together representatives from 192 nations seated at UN-style conference tables. Flags and regalia added to the atmosphere. True Father’s keynote address, augmented by extemporaneous comments, lasted three hours. In it, he referred to UPF as “an Abel-type counterpart to the UN” and to the new initiative as the “Peace UN.” He expressed hope that it would “lead the way for millions of Ambassadors for Peace throughout the world … to fulfill the heavenly will of creating ‘One Family under God.’” Finishing at 11:00 p.m., True Father penned an approximately thirty-foot calligraphic message that read, in Chinese characters, “May the Sovereignty of the God of True Love, the Sacred Reign of Peace, Last Forever.” He then struck a giant gong, sealing the evening’s proceedings.
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 September 17-23.
Contributed by Dr. Michael Mickler, Professor of Church History at Unification Theological Seminary.