It keeps on happening — at accelerating pace! Another head of state — President Mujibur Rahman of Bangladesh — whom I have recently visited, was slain last Friday morning at pre-dawn, in a military coup.
Bangladesh is, politically, a new country. It emerged from the very recent Pakistani war as probably the most poverty- stricken and illiterate nation on earth. I learned while there that during the last three or four days of the war, the enemy sought out all the leaders and people of education they could corral together, and executed them before firing squads — so as to leave the country almost destitute of educated people for leadership.
President Rahman had been confined in the enemy jail as a political prisoner. On release, he was acclaimed as a great hero, and took over the lead of the nation. He was a "rough-and- ready" type of man, yet I was much impressed with his abilities, and told him so.
Governments are being overthrown at the rate of one a month around the world now. In many cases these overthrows have involved either men I knew, or circumstances in which I had some indirect contact. When men I have known personally, like this, are being mowed down in government violence, it strikes home. It makes me realize the TIMES we are living in — how CLOSE we are, now, to the END OF THIS WORLD (OR AGE).
Such government overthrows have prevented my planned campaigns in South Vietnam, Ethiopia, Afghanistan and Chile. I have said before, we must move from now on as swiftly as possible, for nations are being continually overthrown where we have made progress in planning campaigns.
The world picture right now is in a sort of paradox. On the one hand, conditions of violence are worse than ever. But on the other, the general economic worldwide recession seems to have turned the corner. Economic conditions in the United States are looking up for a gradual upswing, which I hope and pray will help you co-workers.
In this Work of the living GOD, the new Foundation (the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation — AICF) is making a sensational start. Several prominent members of the Japanese Diet (their Congress) are coming to Pasadena for an important meeting here next Wednesday night. I shall be leaving the next morning for Tokyo, for a meeting there, to be followed by meetings in Bangkok and Munich, West Germany.
Wednesday, August 27, 1975: It is now August 27th. Morning news on radio and televlsion — too late for morning papers — Haile Selassie of Ethiopia is dead. Nothing more than that announced so far. No one knows where he has been held, except a few top officials of the new military government which overthrew his government about a year ago, taking the Emperor captive. He was just eight days older than I. One of his last acts before being taken captive was to send me a telegram of congratulation on my 83rd birthday.
Tonight is a big night here on campus. There will be a concert in the new Ambassador Auditorium, and dinner welcoming the Honorable Bunsei Sato and the Honorable Toshio Yamaguchi of Japan, (two of my "Japanese sons"), members of the Japanese Diet, and the Honorable Keiichi Tachibana, Consul General of Japan (Los Angeles).
Then, early tomorrow I leave for Tokyo.
Will see many of you at the annual fall Festival sites before returning to Pasadena. I will be speaking to some 70,000 or more of you — at 12 Festival sites in eight days. I do need your constant and earnest PRAYERS, and the Work of the living GOD needs your prayers, tithes and generous offerings.