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(Photograph: Library and Archives Canada) Tadias Magazine By Tadias Staff November 14th, 2017 New York (TADIAS) — Fifty years ago this year before Haile Selassie departed from Palm Springs, California to begin a state visit to Canada — becoming the first foreign head of state to make the opening call in celebration of Canada’s 100th year anniversary — he spoke to a large crowd at UCLA in Los Angeles applauding the Golden State for its world class college & university programs.
“The Emperor’s praise of the California system of higher education brought his audience of 4,000 to its feet for four standing ovations,” writes Professor Theodore Vestal of Oklahoma State University in his book , noting that UCLA conferred an honorary doctor of laws degree upon the Ethiopian leader.
Immanuel Kant’s argument in the essay ‘Perpetual Peace’ (1795) that ‘the human race’ should work for ‘a cosmopolitan constitution’ can be seen as a precursor for the United Nations.
As the story usually goes, the Enlightenment began with René Descartes’s (1637), continuing on through John Locke, Isaac Newton, David Hume, Voltaire and Kant for around one and a half centuries, and ending with the French Revolution of 1789, or perhaps with the Reign of Terror in 1793. What if the Enlightenment can be found in places and thinkers that we often overlook?
Haile Selassie presented the UCLA library with antique illuminated manuscripts written in Ge´ez on parchment.” Following his UCLA tour Haile Selassie was off to Canada arriving in the country via Vancouver, British Columbia on April 26th, 1967.
“Haile Selassie was the first of some 60 heads of state to visit Canada’s centennial celebration,” Vestal notes, with the trip including stops in Ottawa, Quebec City and Montreal.
(Ethiopia has been Christian since the early 4th century, rivalling Armenia as the world’s oldest Christian nation.) In the 1620s, a Portuguese Jesuit convinced King Susenyos to convert to Catholicism, which soon became Ethiopia’s official religion.
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Haile Selassie during a state visit to Canada in 1967.
This week his grandson, Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie, travels to Canada to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historical journey.
Yacob’s reason-based philosophy is presented in his main work, .
Today, 350 years later, it’s hard to find a copy of Yacob’s book.