Alaska Armenian Genocide Recognition

Alaska legislators have recognized the Armenian Genocide on the state level. Gubernatorial proclamations as well as state and local legislation are provided below since 1990.  If you know of other documents to be added to this list – old or new – please send a note to We look forward to showcasing them.

Alaska citizens also played an active role in assisting Armenian Genocide survivors through the Congressionally mandated Near East Foundation, during the years 1915 – 1930.  Learn more about their efforts below, through research prepared by the ANCA Western Region’s “America We Thank You” program.

And finally, review our snapshot of news coverage of the Armenian Genocide in Alaska press, as we spotlight three articles, prepared as part of the ANCA’s “Genocide Diary” project.  Check back to the Genocide Diary’s Alaska page for new articles added on a monthly basis.

Alaska Gubernatorial Proclamations

Executive proclamation By Steve Cowper, Governor
April 19, 1990

Seventy-five years ago, from 1915 to 1923, the Turkish government committed genocide against the Armenian people, killing 1,500,000 while an additional 502,500 suffered deportation at the hands of the Turkish government.

An Act of Congress chartered the Near East Relief to aid the Armenian genocide survivors and 132,000 Armenian orphans became foster children of American people.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Council unanimously resolved on April 30, 1981, that, “the Armenian Genocide should be included in the Holocaust Museum memorial.”

United States House Resolution 148 authorized and requested that the President of the United States issue a proclamation observing April 24 as “National Day of Remembrance of Man’s Inhumanity to Man.

Now, therefore, I, Steve Cowper of the State of Alaska, do hereby proclaim April 24, 1990, as:

A Day of Remembrance of Man’s Inhumanity to Man

in Alaska and urge all Alaskans to continue to strive to overcome prejudice and inhumanity through education, vigilance and resistance.


Steve Cowper, Governor who has also authorized the seal of the State of Alaska to be affixed to this proclamation.

Effective Date: Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

WHEREAS, 2015, marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian Genocide, and;

WHEREAS, we honor the memory of those who perished one century ago, and seek to remember all the victims and their descendants, and;

WHEREAS, documentation and scholarly consensus regarding the Genocide are recognized and accepted by people and governments around the world, and;

WHEREAS, that campaign of arrests, torture, and killings launched on April 24, 1915 resulted in the annihilation of 1.5 million Armenians, and the deportation of almost the entire Armenian population from its ancestral lands in Asia Minor, and;

WHEREAS, the terrors of ethnic cleansing visited on men, women, and children are unconscionable in every individual instance, and;

WHEREAS, it is the duty of all citizens to acknowledge and remember the pain and suffering of victims of genocide and their descendants, to honor the value of all human life, and to work to prevent such acts, and;

WHEREAS, many survivors of the Armenian Genocide found safe haven in locations across the United States, including Alaska, where their descendants continue to play a vital, productive role in community life;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Bill Walker, Governor of the State of Alaska do hereby proclaim April 24, 2015 as: Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to honor the memory of those who perished in the Armenian Genocide and to value the contributions of Alaskans of Armenian heritage to our state.

Dated: April 22, 2015

State Senate Resolutions

Legislative Resolve Relating to the Armenian Genocide.


WHEREAS, 1990 is the 75th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, which was conceived by the Turkish government and implemented from 1915 to 1923 and which resulted in the extermination of 1,500,000 Armenian men, women, and children, the deportation of an additional 500,000 survivors, and the elimination of a 2,500-year Armenian presence in Armenia’s historic homeland, and;

WHEREAS, the Armenian Genocide is well documented in the archives of the United States, Austria, France, Germany, and Great Britain, and;

WHEREAS, Henry Morgenthau, a former United States Ambassador to Turkey, organized and led protests by all nations, including allies of Turkey, over Turkey’s program of race extermination, and;

WHEREAS, an organization known as Near East Relief, chartered by an Act of Congress, contributed approximately $113,000,000 between 1915 and 1930 to aid the Armenian Genocide survivors, and;

WHEREAS, 132,000 Armenian orphans became foster children of Americans, and;

WHEREAS, the fact of the Armenian Genocide was confirmed in United States Senate Resolution 359 dated May 13, 1920, which stated in part, “the testimony adduced at the hearings conducted by the subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations have clearly established the truth of the reported massacres and other atrocities from which the Armenian people have suffered”, and;

WHEREAS, the fact of the Armenian Genocide was also confirmed by United States House Resolution 148, which stated in part, “April 24, 1975, is hereby designated as ‘National Day of Remembrance of Man’s Inhumanity to Man‘, and the President of the United States is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe such day as a day of remembrance for all victims of genocide, especially those of Armenian ancestry who succumbed to the genocide perpetrated in 1915, and in whose memory this date is commemorated by all Armenians and their friends throughout the world”, and;

WHEREAS, former President Carter in a May 16, 1978, speech at the White House stated in part, “I feel very deeply that I, as President, ought to make sure that this (Armenian Genocide) is never forgotten”, and;

WHEREAS, the United States, during the March 14 and 16, 1979, sessions of the United National Commission on Human Rights, voted to support paragraph 30 of a report entitled “Study of the Questions of the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide” that stated, “Passing to the modern era, one may note the existence of relatively full documentation dealing with the massacres of Armenians”, and;

WHEREAS, the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, an independent federal agency, unanimously resolved on April 30, 1981, that, “The Armenian genocide should be included in the Holocaust Museum Memorial”, and;

WHEREAS, former President Ronald Reagan in proclamation 4838, dated April 22, 1981, stated in part, “Like the genocide of the Armenians before it, the genocide of the Cambodians which followed it, and like too many other persecutions of too many other peoples, the lessons of the Holocaust must never be forgotten”, and;

WHEREAS, the fact of the Armenian Genocide has been documented, affirmed, and reaffirmed for over six decades;

BE IT RESOLVED by the Alaska State Senate that the Senate recognizes these historical events and condemns genocide in any form.

COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable George Bush, President of the United States; to the Honorable Dan Quayle, Vice-President of the United States and President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Thomas Foley, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; the Honorable George Mitchell, Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Richard Gephardt, Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives; the Honorable Bob Dole, Minority Leader of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Robert Michel, Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives; the Honorable George Deukmejian, Governor of California; and the Honorable Ted Stevens and the Honorable Frank Murkowsky, U.S. Senators, the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.

Alaska’s Support for Survivors of the Armenian Genocide

Alaska was an integral supporter of Near East Relief (NER), the American-led campaign that quickly sparked an international response with its unprecedented humanitarian endeavor, mobilizing all segments of American citizenry including elected officials, celebrities and laypersons alike, to help rescue victims of the Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey from 1915-1930.

Alaska’s NER committee in Juneau coordinated its relief efforts through NER’s West Washington headquarters located at 339 Burke Building in Seattle, Washington.

In 1920, Alaska helped NER by raising funds for food and shelter of 83 orphan babies of the Bible land year after year. The total raised for caring of these children was $5,000 per year.

Read the complete fact sheet prepared by America We Thank You.

The Armenian Genocide in Alaska Press

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