Knowledge is freedom

H.I.M HAILE SELASSIE I (1892-1975)

King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Elect of God

Conquering Lion of the tribe of Judah

July 23rd 1892

The birth of Tafari Makonnen in Ejarsa Goro, Harer province, Ethiopia


Italy invades Ethiopia

March 1st-2nd 1896

Menelik II defeats the Italians at Adowa

November 1st 1905

Tafari Makonnen is made Dejazmatch by his father Ras Makonnen

March 21st 1906

Ras Makonnen, Tafari’s father, dies

March 3rd 1910

Tafari is appointed governor of Harer province

July 31st 1911

Tafari marries Menen Asfaw

December 12th 1913

Menelik II dies

September 1916

Empress Zauditu takes power and Tafari is named Ras and Regent


Ras Tafari takes Ethiopia into the League of Nations


Tafari becomes Negus (King)

November 2nd 1930

Negus Tafari is crowned Emperor of Ethiopia and takes his baptismal name HAILE SELASSIE which means Power of the holy trinity. His wife, Menen Asfaw is also crowned Empress in a break with tradition


Ethiopia’s first constitution promulgated


Mussolini invades Ethiopia


His Imperial Majesty goes into exile in England and buys Fairfield House near Bath. He makes His famous speech to the League of Nations

January 1941

HIM returns to Ethiopia and defeats the Italian forces with the aid of British troops

May 5th 1941

HIM enters Addis Abeba in triumph


HIM builds new Cathedral of St. Mary of Zion to house the Ark of the Covenant


Eritrea federated with Ethiopia by UN


Revised constitution promulgated


Empress Menen passes


HIM abolishes the federation of Eritrea and Ethiopia


The Organisation of African Unity is established at Addis Abeba

April  1966

HIM visits the Caribbean. Haile Selassie I reached Jamaica on the 21st April


Famine in the northern provinces of Welo and Tigre leads to propaganda and civil unrest


HIM deposed

September 12th 1974

Seen in public for the last time

Speeches by H.I.M Haile Selassie I


. . .however, Our programmes undertaken in the economic field for augmenting the material welfare of Our subjects, has not made Us forget that, according to the words of the Bible, “man does not live by bread alone.” We believe that the spiritual and moral welfare of Our people is as important as their material well-being.

Thus, it is that following the liberation of Ethiopia from the yoke of the enemy, we have devoted a very large part of Our budget and national revenues for the establishment and development of schools. During this short period of ten years no less than fifteen secondary schools, of which the last, the General Wingate School, was opened by Ourselves this year, have been established directly as a result of Our initative and direction. The number of students enrolled in schools in Ethiopia has neady tripled during that same period.

Shortly, the University, the foundation-stone of which we have laid, will be opened under Our direction. We face with confidence the future of public instruction in Ethiopia.

If we have made so many sacrifices for the education of Our youth, it is because we are convinced that only through intellectual progress and universal education can Ethiopia come into its own and make its just contribution to the history of the peoples of the Middle East. We believe that from truth alone is born liberty and that only an educated people can consider itself as really free and master of its fate. It is only with an educated people that representative and democratic organs of government can exercise their influence for national progress. Our Address from the Throne therefore testifies to the importance which we attach to education and, at the same time, to your role as representatives, in the development and progress of Our people….  3rd November 1951

“Education is a means of sharpening the mind of man both spiritually and intellectually. It is a two-edged sword that can be used either for the progress of mankind or for its destruction. That is why it has been Our constant desire and endeavor to develop our education for the benefit of mankind.” — July 2, 1963 [University Graduation]

“We are now more than ever before convinced that it is education that heals Africa.” – July 2, 1963 [University Graduation]

“Education develops the intellect; and the intellect distinguishes man from other creatures. It is education that enables man to harness nature and utilize her resources for the well-being and improvement of his life. The key for the betterment and completeness of modern living is education.” — September 14, 1963 [Faculty of Law]

“But, ‘Man cannot live by bread alone.’ Man, after all, is also composed of intellect and soul. Therefore, education in general, and higher education in particular, must aim to provide, beyond the physical, food for the intellect and soul.” — September 14, 1963 [Faculty of Law]

“The opportunity for education, afforded to the few in our country, is not given to them for a fashion or a mode. It is given for a purpose, for a task, for a high responsibility, for full and exhaustive use, for the benefit of our country, and the coming generation.” — September 14, 1963 [Faculty of Law]”

Speeches by H.I.M Haile Selassie I

WAR – California 28th february 1968

“Last May, in Addis Ababa there was convened a meeting of Heads of African States and Governments. In three days, the thirty-two nations represented at that Conference demonstrated to the world that when the will and the determination exist, nations and peoples of diverse backgrounds can and will work together in unity for the achievement of common goals and the assurance of that equality and brotherhood which we desire.”

“Although our position vis-a-vis the power-blocs is identified with the policy of non-alignment, our past history testifies to the fact that we have always endeavored to cooperate with all nations, without exception. Thus, one of the fundamental principles we have agreed upon at the Addis Ababa Summit Conference gives expression to our fundamental desire to live in harmony and cooperation with all States.”

“On the question of racial discrimination, the Addis Ababa Conference taught, to those who will learn, this further lesson:”

“That until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned; that until there are no longer any first-class and second-class citizens of any nation; that until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes; that until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all, without regard to race — until that day, the dreams of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained. And also, that until the ignoble and unhappy regimes that hold our brothers in Angola, in Mozambique and in South Africa in subhuman bondage have been toppled and destroyed; until bigotry and prejudice and malicious and inhuman self-interest have been replaced by understanding, tolerance and good-will; until all Africans stand and speak as free beings, equal in the eyes of all men as they are in Heaven — until that day the African continent will not know peace. We Africans will fight, if necessary and we know that we shall win, as we are confident in the victory of good over evil.”

Human Diversity

“The very diversity of the worlds peoples today constitutes one of mankind’s great resources; the different philosophies with which nations approach their problems lead inevitably to a vast array of methods and techniques. These variations are necessary, for each people must find solutions which are responsive to its particular needs… each nation will inevitably pursue that course which appears best suited to its own unique characteristics, but no nation can pursue its course in isolation, and no nation can develop and prosper with its back turned to the rest of the world in terms of trade, techniques, resources and ideas. Each of us depends on the other, can learn from the other, and in pursuing it’s own destiny will go further and succeed more quickly with others, Indeed, the free exchange of support and ideas is an essential condition to world understanding and equally to world progress.”

The Bible

“We in Ethiopia have one of the oldest versions of the Bible, but however old the version may be, in whatever language it might be written, the Word remains the same, It transcends all boundaries of empires and all conceptions of race. It is eternal.

“No doubt you all remember reading in the Acts of the Apostles how Philip baptized the Ethiopian official. He is the first Ethiopian on record to have followed Christ, and from that day onwards the Word of God has continued to grow in the hearts of Ethiopians. And I might say for myself that from early childhood I was taught to appreciate the Bible, and my love for it increases with the passage of time…….

“Because of this personal experience in the goodness of the Bible, I was resolved that all my countrymen should also share its great blessing, and that by reading the Bible they should find truth for themselves. Therefore I caused a new translation to be made form our ancient language into the language which the old and the young understood and spoke.

“Today man sees all his hopes and aspirations crumbling before him. He is perplexed and knows not whither he is drifting. But he must realize that the Bible is his refuge and the rallying point for all humanity. In it man will find the solution to his present difficulties and guidance for this future action, and unless he accepts with clear conscience the Bible and its great message, he cannot hope for salvation. For my part I glory in the Bible.