Florida 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 elizabeth@anca.org. We look forward to showcasing them.

Florida 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 Florida press, as we spotlight three articles, prepared as part of the ANCA’s “Genocide Diary” project.  Check back to the Genocide Diary’s Florida page for new articles added on a monthly basis.

Florida Governor Proclamation

A Proclamation by the Governor and Secretary of State
Tallahassee, FL
April 27, 1990

WHEREAS, Armenia was the first country in the world to adopt Christianity as a nation; and

WHEREAS, during the following centuries, Armenians were continuously harassed, tortured and often murdered by their non-Christian neighbors; and

WHEREAS, Armenia was ultimately partitioned among conquering enemies who wished to extinguish Christianity in its cradle; and

WHEREAS, the occasional and limited murder of the Armenians living under Turkish occupation finally culminated in the mass deportation and decimation of 1,500,000 Armenians; and

WHEREAS, on April 24, 1915, the Turks wiped out two-thirds of all Armenians residing in Turkey; and

WHEREAS, April 24, 1990, marked the 75th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, and Armenians all over the world will observe the memory of their innocent martyrs of 1915; and

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Bob Martinez, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Florida, do hereby proclaim April 29, 1990, as ARMENIAN MARTYRS’ DAY OF REMEMBRANCE in Florida.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Florida to be affixed at Tallahassee, the Capital, this 27th day of April in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety.

(SIGNED)

Bob Martinez, Governor
Jim Smith, Secretary of State

A Proclamation by the Governor
The State of Florida
April 24th, 2006

Armenian Martyrs’ Day

WHEREAS, the Ottoman Turks were responsible for a mass extermination of an estimated one and a half million Armenians that began April 24, 1915 and continued until 1923; and

WHEREAS, many Armenians were victims of genocide in the pursuit of religious freedom, justice and human rights; and

WHEREAS, recognition of this tragedy educates people about genocide and may prevent future occurrences of genocide; and

WHEREAS, in 1975, the United States House of Representatives approved House Joint Resolution 148, resolving to designate April 24th as “National Day of Remembrance of Man’s Inhumanity”; and

WHEREAS, this resolution calls for “the people of the United States to observe such day as a day of remembrance for all the victims of genocide, especially those of Armenian ancestry”; and

WHEREAS, Armenians contribute richly to Florida’s social mosaic and add to our political, educational and economic development; and
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Jeb Bush, Governor of the state of Florida, do hereby extend greetings and best wishes to all observing April 24, 2006 as Armenian Martyrs’ Day.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the state of Florida to be affixed at Tallahassee, the Capital, this 7th day of April in the year of two thousand six.

(SIGNED)

Jeb Bush, Governor

State Senate Resolutions

A Proclamation by the Senator Florida
State of Florida
April 24th, 2013

Senate Resolution

A resolution recognizing April 24, 2013, as Armenian Martyrs Remembrance Day.

WHEREAS, 1.5 million men, women, and children of Armenian descent were victims of the genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire in 1915 and thereafter; and

WHEREAS, the killing of the Armenian people was 9 accomplished by the systematic destruction of Christian churches, schools, libraries, art treasures, and cultural monuments in an attempt to eliminate all traces of a noble Christian civilization with a history of more than 3,000 years; and

WHEREAS, United States Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Henry Morgenthau, Sr., stated, “Whatever crimes the most perverted instincts of the human mind can devise, and whatever refinements of persecutions and injustice the most debased imagination can conceive, became the daily misfortunes of these devoted people;” and

WHEREAS, contemporary newspapers, including the New York Times, ran headlines including “Tales of Armenian Horrors Confirmed” and “Million Armenians Killed or in Exile;” and

WHEREAS, each year, Armenian Americans and Armenians throughout the world honor those who perished from 1915 to 1923, and 43 other states have passed resolutions and commemorations honoring the memory of Armenians who were victims of the Ottoman Empire in 1915 and thereafter; and

WHEREAS, we must all do our best to raise awareness about the Armenian genocide, not only because it is an undeniable chapter of world history, but because learning more about this unconscionable tragedy will help us better understand the necessity of eliminating hatred from our own communities; and

WHEREAS, Floridians are strong in their belief that all people should condemn crimes committed against any culture or people in order to prevent similar atrocities in the future; and

WHEREAS, Armenian-Americans living in Florida have greatly enriched our state through leadership in business, agriculture, academia, government, and the arts; and

NOW, THEREFORE, Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of Florida: That we recognize April 24, 2013, as “Armenian Martyrs Remembrance Day” in Florida and commemorate the sacrifice of the Armenian martyrs from 1915 to 1923.

(SIGNED)

Senator Latvala

Florida’s Support for Survivors of the Armenian Genocide

Florida 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.

Florida coordinated its relief efforts through neighbor state Georgia’s NER state headquarters located at the Atlanta Trust Company Building in Atlanta.

On February 6, 1920, Florida’s Fernandina News – Record publication ran the story “America! America!!! The Millions Cry in Sad Armenia, Land of Stalking Death,” describing the deplorable conditions of the Armenian orphans who, in the face of Turkish brutality, faced starvation and who, without the invaluable assistance rendered through NER, would be left to die in the streets.

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

The Armenian Genocide in Florida Press