Haile Selassie
(1892-1975)

Died aged c. 83

Haile Selassie I (Ge'ez: ቀዳማዊ ኀይለ ሥላሴ, romanized: Qädamawi Häylä Səllasé, Amharic pronunciation: [ˈhaɪlə sɨlˈlase] ; born Ras Tafari Makonnen; 23 July 1892 – 27 August 1975) was Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. Prior to his coronation, he had been the Regent Plenipotentiary of Ethiopia from 1916. He is a defining figure in modern Ethiopian history. He was a member of the Solomonic dynasty who traced his lineage to Emperor Menelik I. Selassie attempted to modernize the country through a series of political and social reforms, including the introduction of Ethiopia's first written constitution and the abolition of slavery. He led the failed efforts to defend Ethiopia during the Second Italo-Ethiopian War and spent the period of Italian occupation in exile in England. He returned to lead Ethiopia in 1941 after the British Empire defeated the Italian occupiers in the East African campaign. He dissolved the Federation of Ethiopia and Eritrea, which was established by the UN General Assembly in 1950, and integrated Eritrea as a province of Ethiopia while fighting to prevent their secession. His internationalist views led to Ethiopia becoming a charter member of the United Nations. In 1963, he presided over the formation of the Organisation of African Unity, the precursor of the African Union, and served as its first chairman. He was overthrown in a 1974 military coup by a Marxist-Leninist junta, the Derg. Selassie was murdered by the junta on 27 August 1975. Among some members of the Rastafari movement, Haile Selassie is referred to as the returned messiah of the Bible, God incarnate. This distinction notwithstanding, Haile Selassie was a Christian and adhered to the tenets and liturgy of the Ethiopian Orthodox church. The Rastafari movement was founded in Jamaica sometime around 1930 and its followers are estimated at between 700,000 and one million as of 2012. He has been criticized by some historians for his suppression of rebellions among the landed aristocracy (the mesafint), which consistently opposed his reforms; some critics have also criticized Ethiopia's failure to modernize rapidly enough. During his rule the Harari people were persecuted and many left the Harari Region. His regime was also criticized by human rights groups, such as Human Rights Watch, as autocratic and illiberal. Although some sources state that under the Haile Selassie regime the Oromo language was legally banned from education, public speaking and use in administration there was never any Imperial Ethiopian law on record that legally banned certain languages; Article fourteen of His Majesty's 1944 Regulations for Establishment of Missions specifically allowed for the use of local languages for instance. The Amhara culture dominated throughout the eras of military and monarchic rule. Both the Haile Selassie and the Derg government relocated numerous Amharas into southern Ethiopia where they served in government administration, courts, church and even in school, where Oromo texts were eliminated and replaced by Amharic. Once literacy rates increased in Ethiopia the Emperor included constitutional recognition of every minority language in Article four of the 1974 Draft Constitution which the Derg outright rejected. Following the death of Hachalu Hundessa in June 2020, the Statue of Haile Selassie in Cannizaro Park, London was destroyed by Oromo protesters, and his father's equestrian monument in Harar was removed.

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Commemorated on 3 plaques

On this site in 1899 George Warne 1864-1916 founded this hotel in part of York Terrace Warnes was Worthing's premier hotel famous visitors included King Edward VII King George V Emperor Haile Selassie and his family Winston Churchill General Montgomery General Eisenhower John Philip Sousa Warnes closed in 1985 burned down 1987

Marine Parade, Worthing, United Kingdom where they visited

His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I Emperor of Ethiopia often stayed here during his exile in Britain 1936-1941 when visiting his grand-daughters who, were educated at Clarendon School

Abbey Hotel, Abbey Road, Malvern, United Kingdom where they stayed

Haile Selassie 1892-1975 Emperor of Ethiopia enjoyed visiting The Pool whilst in exile in Bath 1936-1940

The Tropicana, Weston-super-Mare, United Kingdom where they visited (1937-1940)