Saturday, May 25, 2013

Independence Day, New York Time May 25th, 1946

Trans-Jordan Emir Becomes King in Setting of Arabian Pageantry

By Gene Currivan

Amman, Trans-Jordan, May 25- The emirate of Trans-Jordan became a kingdom today and Emir Abdullah became King Abdullah Ibn Ul-Hussein in a spectacular ceremony and amid a setting that in some respects resembled a frontier town in the Western United States when the first railroad came through.

Amman was jammed. Dignitaries from all the surrounding countries were on hand to pay their respects to the world's newest king. The narrow bazaar-lined streets were flag-bedecked and crowded with colorfully garbed Arabs.

Crowns decorated the festooned and illuminated archways and ever present were photographs of the 64-year-old monarch who some day hopes to rule a kingdom that will some day include Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.

Suring his acceptance speech at the palace, King Abdullah intimate as much when, after thanking and his loyal subjects for his good fortune, said:

"My hope is that soon there will be a federation, effective and powerful, of all Arab states. I offer my throne as a rallying point for that federation."

His remarks also were constructed to mean a federation of Arab states to meet the threat of Jewish encroachment, because he later added that "Palestine is a special case and will be given special treatment."

His speech occupied a few minutes of the fourteen-minute ceremony in the throne room where the dignity of the setting received a bit of a setback as the klieg lights flooding the dais for the battery of cameraman gave the scene a Hollywood flavor.

The King, wearing a black flowing robe, with a gold chain hanging from his neck and a halo-like agal or camel hair rope holding his headdress in place, read his speech and never changed expression. He was flanked by his two sons, his Ministers and on either side of the room were the British delegation and visiting statesmen.

After the palace ceremony all converged on the Royal Air Force field for the biggest show of the day- the King's review of the fabulous Arab Legion.

The reviewing stand was flanked by Arab Legion bands- pipes on one side and brass on the other. Lined up across the field were colorful units of the legion, including a camel corps and cavalry nd a mechanized brigade of infantry and artillery.

Glubb Pasha on Hand

With the King was Glubb Pasha (Brigadier John B. Glubb), the glamorous figure who helped organize the legion, mostly from desert Bedouins- who now prevent other Bedouins from becoming unruly. He wore a British summer uniform and spiked helmet and at hi side was a long sword.

Each unit paraded counter-clockwise across the field, passed the reviewing stand and then formed in front of it and marched in parade review directly toward the King. No monarch could have asked for more than this precision march of one of the world's most colorful armies.

Beyond the tented areas tribes raced around on their spirited mounts, firing their pistols in the air and otherwise adding an Arab rodeo effect to the scene. down in the town others who could no longer restrain their emotions fired from second floor café windows fired as cars bearing the guests went by.


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