Maine legislators have recognized the Armenian Genocide on the state level. Gubernatorial proclamations as well as state and local legislation are provided below since 2004.  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.

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

Maine Gubernatorial Proclamations

Governor Reed of Maine Issues Proclamation
Augusta, Maine
April 24, 1965

WHEREAS. fifty years ago, on April 24,1915, the Government of Turkey ordered the massacre of the Armenian nation which before its termination was to take the toll of 1,000,000 lives, with an additional 1,000,000 displaced. ill and in want; and

WHEREAS. the beginning of the Armenian Martyrdom marked at the same time the opening of the many important contributions to the Allied war effort in World War I by the Armenian nation, affectionately termed “The Little Ally” by Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America; and

WHEREAS, the sacrifice of the Armenian nation in the cause of virtuous government, freedom, justice and human rights serves to remind us that mankind is ready to perish in the interest of noble causes; and

WHEREAS, in this anniversary year of the 1915 genocide of the Armenian Nation it is significant to remember those men, women and children who perished in violence, to honor their memory and pay tribute to their self-sacrifice; and

NOW. THEREFORE, I, John H. Reed, Governor of the State of Maine do hereby proclaim Saturday, April 24, 1965, as

ARMENIAN MARTYRS DAY

and urge that proper recognition be accorded to this solemn occasion.

(SIGNED)

John H. Reed, Governor

As Printed in the Armenian Weekly, April 29, 1965, page 2

Maine House

Maine House Adopts Sahagian Resolution
State of Maine
April 24, 1965

The following Resolution, offered by the Hon. Herman D. Sahagian. was adopted by the House of Representatives of the State of Maine.

WHEREAS, Fifty years ago, on April 24,1915, the Government of Turkey ordered the commencement of a systematic plan of Massacre of the Armenian nation which before its termination was to take the awful toll of 1,000,000 with an additional 1,000,000 displaced, ill and in want, marked forever by the terrible experiences of the first modern genocide which, on the confessions of Adolph Hitler himself who, in 1941 in ordering a minority people to its Golgotha asked, “Who today remembers the Armenian Massacres” served as the prototype, inspiration and model of the German Nazi programs; and

WHEREAS, The beginning of the Armenian Martyrdom marked at the same time the opening of the many important contributions to the Allie war effort in World War I by the Armenian nation, affectionately termed “The Little Ally” by Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America; and

WHEREAS, The awful sacrifice of the Armenian nation in the cause of virtuous government, freedom, justice and human rights the enormous proportions of which are reflected in the fact that Armenia, although one of the smallest alliances of the Western alliance, suffered more casualties than any other member of that alliance, serves to remind us that mankind is indeed ready to perish in the interest of noble causes nearer and dearer to the human heart than life itself; and

WHEREAS, In this the Fiftieth Anniversary Year of the 1915 Turkish genocide of the Armenian Nation it would behoove all citizens of This State to remember those innocent men, women and children who perished to the sword of violence, to honor their memory and pay tribute to their self-sacrifice, while at the same time reminding those who would in our day indulge in mass murder that Americans indeed do remember the genocide of 1915 and, in remembering signify their readiness to raise a powerful voice against those forces which would unleash the terrible weapon of genocide; we therefore

RESOLVE, to give full recognition to the Gubernatorial proclamation making Saturday, April 24, 1965, Armenian Martyr’s Day and urge that proper recognition be accorded to this grievous and solemn occasion.”

As Printed in the Armenian Weekly, April 29, 1965, pages 1-2

STATE OF MAINE
March 23, 2004

Be it known to all that

We, the Members of the Senate and House of Representatives, join in recognizing the 89th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.  On April 24, 1916, a campaign was launched by the Turkish regime of the Ottoman Empire against the Armenian people, resulting in the death of more than 15. million Armenians.

Some of the survivors settled in the State of Maine and their heirs have made significant contributes to the State.  We join our citizens of Armenian heritage on April 24th in remembering this event and we express our deepest sympathy for the families of those who perished;

And be it ordered that this official expression of sentiment be sent forthwith on behalf of the 121st Legislature and the people of the State of Maine.

Given this 23rd Day of March, 2004

at the State Capitol

Augusta, Maine

(SIGNED)

Beverly C. Daggett – President of the Senate
Patrick Colwell – Speaker of the House
Joy J. O’Brien – Secretary of the Senate
Millicent M. MacFarland – Clerk of the House
Sponsored by: Senator Brennan of Cumberland County
Cosponsored by: Senator Strimling of Cumberland County, Representative Dudley of Portland, Representative Eder of Portland, Representative Suslovic, Representative Adams of Portland, Representative Norbert of Portland, Representative Brannigan of Portland, Representative Marley of Portland, Representative Cummings of Portland

Maine’s Support for Survivors of the Armenian Genocide

Maine 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.

Maine facilitated its NER efforts through its state office headquarters located at 80 Exchange Street, Room 23 in Portland, Maine.

The December 1920 Christmas Giving Campaign spearheaded throughout the United States raised over$1,000,000. Maine donated generously to this campaign, and was lauded for a $30,000 donation made by a single donor.

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