Ten Fun and Funny Facts About Ethiopia’s 1930 Royal Coronation
On this date on November 2, 1930, Ras Tafari Mekonnen and Empress Menen Asfaw made tabloid fame for their momentus Coronation Day. The widely reported event was attend by world dignities including the Duke Henry of Gloucester—son of King George V, and Prince Udine of Italy. Ras Tafari Makennon was annointed Emperor Haile Selassie.
To commemorate this historic moment of Ethiopia’s past, here are ten things I learned researching todays post:
—- An October 21st United Press(UP) report carried in the Daily Times of Rochester reported the upcoming convening of world delegates to “witness the coronation of the emperor of a country whose chief industry is the breeding of covert cats”.
—- The coronation was perceived as a prophetic fulfillment of a comment made in a speech by Marcus Garvey years earlier, when he said “Look to Africa for the crowning of a Black King. He shall be the Redeemer.” Rastafarianism was born.
—- Time Magazine earlier reported whispers in the capital of “Bad coffee”, referring to the suspicious death of Empress Zawditu I back in April, days after her husband Gugsa Wella fell battling Ras Tafari for control of the kingdom.
—- Time Magazine sent renown author Evelyn Waugh to cover the coronation, an event later written in Waugh’s 1931 book Remote People. Waugh describe it as “an elaborate propaganda effort”.
—- The royal crown was valued at $500.ooo dollars, according to a press release out of Marseilles, France.
—- The United Press reported on October 10th that American made gambling slot machines were being imported by the Emperor to keep the westernized delegates entertained.
—- The horse carriage that would carry the royal couple was the former imperial royal coach of Kiaser Wilhem II of Germany.
—- Among the many gifts presented by the American representatives there were one electric refrigerator, a type writer, 100 distinct America music records, a bound set of the National Geographic, and prints of three motion pictures: Ben Hur, King of Kings, and With Byrd at the South Pole.
—- The Ethiopian National Anthem Ethiopia Hoy was sung officially for the first time to the Ethiopian nation.