This Week in History, June 1-7
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 June 1-7.
June 1, 1976
America Is God’s Hope: The Yankee Stadium Rally
Thirty-eight years ago, our beloved True Father gave a public speech at Yankee Stadium in New York. He gave an urgent appeal to America to turn back to God. Yankee Stadium was the first of two major rallies held in 1976 as part of the movement’s Bicentennial God Bless America Festival. The second was held at Washington Monument on September 18. True Father compared himself at Yankee Stadium to a “doctor” or “firefighter” who came from the outside to help America meet its third great “test” as a nation, that of “God-denying” communism.
At the time, True Father’s message was translated as “God’s Hope for America,” but recently the original text of the speech in Korean was located. The title that True Father himself chose was “America Is God’s Hope!” which adds even more meaning to this historic and providential message. A 25-minute video of historical footage at the Yankee Stadium Rally can be viewed here. True Father’s entire message is narrated. He declares his message in his own words in the video at around the 12:00 minute mark. To read the entire speech, click here.
June 4, 1962
72 Couples Holy Marriage Blessing Is Held
True Parents held the second major Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony after the original 36 Couples Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony on June 4, 1962. They blessed in marriage 72 couples. Providentially, these 72 couples are understood to represent Cain and Abel’s restored families in relationship to the 36 couples who represent the original ancestors. They also correspond to Jesus’ 72 disciples. According to True Father, “Through the unity of the 72 couples representing Cain and Abel with the 36 couples representing Adam and Eve, all providential requirements for the family have been met, and the restoration of the family has been completed.” The way was opened for expansion of the providence beyond the family.
June 6, 1946
True Father arrives in Pyeongyang, North Korea
True Father went to Pyeongyang, North Korea, in obedience to God’s revelation that he “Go across the 38th parallel! Find the people of God who are in the North” (As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen, p. 84). True Father, who was then 26, had set out to pick up rice and was concerned for his wife and his first son, who was born only a month earlier, when he received this revelation. True Father has said, “God’s commands are very serious, and they must be followed without reservation or hesitation.” He took nothing with him except his Bible. Christianity had set down its roots deeply in Pyeongyang, and it was known as “the Jerusalem of the East.” However, it was then under communist occupation and more than a million refugees already had fled to the South. Upon arrival, True Father began his ministry in the North.
June 7, 1975
The World Rally for Korean Freedom
The World Rally for Korean Freedom, sometimes referred to as the Yeouido Island Rally, was held on June 7, 1975. True Father spoke on “Korea in the World” to a crowd that was estimated at between 600,000 and 1.2 million on the Yeouido Island Plaza in Seoul.
The immediate context for the rally was the fall of Cambodia and Vietnam to communist forces in late April of that year. Convinced that Kim Il Sung, at the time the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, was trying to invade South Korea by taking advantage of the Indochina situation, True Father determined to stage a massive rally “not only in the name of the people and humankind, but also in the name of God.”
Korean, Japanese, American and European Unificationists who were members of the International One World Crusade (IOWC) distributed some 5 million leaflets, and as many as 1,700 chartered buses were used for transport from local cities and provinces. The rally itself was a staggering spectacle. A million Korean flags were distributed, and 2,400 police were mobilized for crowd control. True Father proclaimed that “enthusiastic youths from 60 different countries” would “defend this country to the last, at the cost of their lives.” Noting that “world Unificationists” of the Unification Church regard Korea as “their religious fatherland and holy land,” he warned that if “North Korea provokes a war against the South Korean people,” his followers would organize a “Unification Crusade Army” and “take part in the war as a supporting force to defend both Korea and the free world.”