Minnesota legislators have recognized the Armenian Genocide on the state and local level. Gubernatorial proclamations as well as state and local legislation are provided below since 2001.  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.

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

Minnesota Gubernatorial Proclamations

Minnesota
March 16, 2001

Whereas: Armenian Genocide was conceived and carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, resulting in the deportation of nearly 2,000,000 Armenians, of whom 1,500,000 men, women, and children were killed, 500,000 survivors were expelled from their homes, and which succeeded in the elimination of the over 2,500-year presence of Armenians in their historic homeland; and

WHEREAS: The unfolding Armenian Genocide was reported in newspapers across Minnesota; moreover, in their editorials of September and October, 1915, the Duluth News Tribune, Fergus Falls Daily Journal, Minneapolis Journal, Minneapolis Tribune, Montevideo Leader, Rochester Post Records, Red Wing Daily Republican, St. James Journal-Gazette, Saint Paul Pioneer Press, and Winona Independent unambiguously condemned the genocidal measures then in progress against the Armenians; and

WHEREAS: The failure of the domestic and international authorities to punish those responsible for the Armenian Genocide is a reason why similar genocides have recurred and may recur in the future, and that a proper judicial and firm response would have spread humanity needless suffering; and

WHEREAS: One hundred twenty-six of the world’s leading scholars of the Holocaust and Genocide Studies, University of Minnesota, and Prof. Eric Markusen of Southwest State University, Marshall, Minnesota, have affirmed that the World War I Armenian genocide is an incontestable historical fact and accordingly urge the governments of Western democracies to likewise recognize it as such; and

WHEREAS: On the anniversary of the onset of the Armenian Genocide, which is traditionally observed on April 24, it is fitting that all people of goodwill join the Armenian-American community in commemoration of this crime against humanity.

NOW THEREFORE, I, JESSE VENTURE, Governor of Minnesota, do hereby proclaim, Tuesday, April 24, 2001 shall be observed as:

Armenian Remembrance Day 

In the State of Minnesota.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Minnesota to be affixed at the State Capitol this sixteenth day of March in the year two thousand and one, and of the State the one hundred forty-second.

(SIGNED)

Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer
Governor Jesse Ventura

Proclamation
State of Minnesota
April 20, 2005

WHEREAS, The Armenian Genocide is one of the most horrific tragedies of the 20th century, which 1 to the annihilation of as many as 1.5 million Armenians through forced exile and murder during the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923; and

WHEREAS, Minnesotans from across the state join the Armenian community in mourning this tragic loss of life; and

WHEREAS, The unfolding Armenian Genocide was widely reported in Minnesota newspapers of the day, and Minnesotans played a leading role in international relief efforts; and

WHEREAS, The groundbreaking work of University of Minnesota Professor Taner Akcam and other like-minded Turkish scholars represents a vital step towards truth, justice, and reconciliation; and

WHEREAS, It is imperative that individuals in both the Armenian and Turkish Communities continue to work toward peace and reconciliation; and

WHEREAS, Since 1899 Armenian-Americans of Minnesota have made substantial contributions in arts and sciences, commerce, community service, and government, notably the 2004 incorporation of the Armenian Genocide Museum and Memorial in Washington, D.C.; and

WHEREAS, On this anniversary of the onset of the Armenian Genocide, which is traditionally observed on April 24, it is fitting that all people of goodwill join the Armenian­ American community in commemoration of this crime against humanity.

NOW THEREFORE I, TIM PAWLENTY, Governor of Minnesota, do hereby proclaim, Sunday, April 24, 2005 as:

ARMENIAN GENOCIDE REMEMBRANCE DAY

in the State of Minnesota.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Minnesota to be affixed at the State Capitol this 20th day of April in the year of our Lord two thousand and five, and of the State the one hundred forty-sixth.

(SIGNED)

Governor Tim Palenty

Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer

Minnesota
April 16, 2015

WHEREAS: 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the crime against humanity known as the Armenian Genocide; and

WHEREAS: That tragic event, which was launched on April 24, 1915, and continued  through 1923, resulted in the death of between 1million and 1.5 million Armenians; and

WHEREAS: Minnesotans  took part in national efforts to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to the survivors of the Armenian Genocide; and

WHEREAS: Many survivors of the Armenian Genocide found safe haven in the United States, settling in such locales as Minnesota, where their descendants continue to play a vital,   productive role in community life.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, MARK DAYTON, Governor of Minnesota, do hereby proclaim Friday, April 24, 2015, as:

ARMENIAN  GENOCIDE REMEMBRANCE DAY in the state of Minnesota.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the state of Minnesota to be affixed at the State Capitol this 16th day of April.

(SIGNED)

Governor Mark Dayton
Secretary of State Steve Simon

Minnesota Municipal

Proclamation
Minneapolis, MN

WHEREAS, the Armenian Genocide was conceived and carried out by the Ottoman Empire from  1915 to 1923, resulting  in the deportation of nearly 2,000,000 Armenians, of whom 1,500,000 men, women, and children were killed, 500,000 survivors were expelled from their homes and which succeeded in the elimination of the over 2,500-year presence of Armenians in their historic homeland; and

WHEREAS, the unfolding Armenian Genocide was reported in newspapers across Minnesota, and moreover, in their editorials of October 5 and 8, 1915, the Minneapolis Journal and Minneapolis Tribune unambiguously condemned as genocidal the measures then in progress  against the Armenians; and

WHEREAS, the failure of the domestic and international authorities  to exact justice from those responsible for the Armenian Genocide is a reason why genocides have continued to recur and may occur again in the future; and

WHEREAS, a firm international and judicial response at that time would have spared humanity needless suffering; and

WHEREAS,  the  tragedy  of  the Armenian  Genocide  has  been acknowledged by countries and international bodies including Argentina, Belgium, Canada, the Council of Europe, Cyprus, the European Parliament, France, Great Britain,  Greece, Italy,  Lebanon,  Russia, Sweden,  the  Vatican, the  United Nations, the United States, and  Uruguay; and by Presidents  Ronald  Reagan, George Bush, Bill  Clinton, and  George  W  Bush;  and  twenty-four  states  of the  United States; and

WHEREAS, one hundred twenty-six of the world’s leading scholars of the Holocaust, including Professor Stephen Feinstein,  Director of’ the  Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. University of Minnesota, have affirmed that  the World  War I  Armenian  Genocide  is  cm  incontestable historical fact and accordingly urge the governments of  Western Democracies to likewise  recognize  it  as such;  and

WHEREAS, in recognition of’ the significant contributions of the Armenian-American community to our city and state, I proclaimed 1999 to be Armenian  Centennial Year in the City of  Minneapolis; and

WHEREAS, on the anniversary of the onset of the Armenian Genocide, which is traditionally observed on April 24th, it is fitting that all people of goodwill join the Armenian-American community in commemoration of this crime against humanity;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sharon Sayles Belton, Mayor of the City of Minneapolis, do hereby proclaim  April  24, 2001 as

ARMENIAN REMEMBRANCE DAY

in the City of Minneapolis.

(SIGNED)

Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton

Proclamation
Saint Paul, MN

WHEREAS, the Armenian Genocide was conceived and carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, resulting in the deportation of nearly 2,000,000 Armenians, of whom 1,500,000 men, women and children were killed, 500,000 survivors were expelled from their homes, and which succeeded in the elimination of the over 2,500- year presence of Armenians in their historic homeland; and

WHEREAS, the failure of the domestic and international authorities to punish those responsible for the Armenian Genocide is a reason why similar genocides have recurred and may recur in the future, and that a proper judicial and firm response would have spared humanity needless suffering; and

WHEREAS, recognizing the significant contributions of the Armenian-American community to our city and state, I proclaimed 1999 to be Armenian Centennial Year in the City of Saint Paul; and

WHEREAS, on the anniversary of the onset of the Armenian Genocide, which is traditionally observed on April 24, it is fitting that all people of goodwill join the Armenian-American community in commemoration of this crime against humanity;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Norm Coleman, Mayor of the City of Saint Paul, do hereby proclaim Tuesday April 24, 2001 to be

ARMENIAN REMEMBRANCE DAY

in the City of Saint Paul.

In Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the City of Saint Paul to be affixed this Twenty-fourth Day of April in the Year Two Thousand One.

(SIGNED)

Mayor Norm Coleman

Proclamation
Minneapolis, MN
April 24, 2005

WHEREAS, the Armenian Genocide was conceived and carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, resulting in the deportation of nearly 2,000,000 Christian Armenians, of whom 1,500,000 men, women, and children were killed, 500,000 survivors were expelled from their homes, and which succeeded in the elimination of the over 2,500-year presence of Armenians in their historic homeland; and

WHEREAS, the unfolding Armenian Genocide was widely reported in Minneapolis and Minnesota newspapers of the day; and Minnesotans played a leading role in international relief efforts; and

WHEREAS, the tragedy of the Armenian Genocide has been acknowledged by.fifteen countries, the European Parliament, and the United Nations; by Presidents Reagan, G. H. Bush, Clinton, and G. W. Bush; by three-quarters of the U.S. States, including Minnesota; and by the Mayors of Duluth, Minneapolis, Rochester, and Saint Paul; and

WHEREAS, since 1899 Armenian-Americans of Minnesota have made substantial contributions in arts and sciences, commerce, community service, and government, notably the 2004 incorporation of the Armenian Genocide Museum and Memorial in Washington, D.C.; and

WHEREAS, on this 90th anniversary of the onset of the Armenian Genocide, which is traditionally observed on April 24, it is fitting that all people of goodwill join the Armenian­-American community in commemoration of this crime against humanity;

NOW THEREFORE, I, R. T. Rybak, Mayor of the City of Minneapolis, do hereby proclaim April 24 as

ARMENIAN GENOCIDE REMEMBRANCE DAY

IN THE CITY OF MINNEAPOLIS

(SIGNED)

Mayor R. T. Rybak

Proclamation
City of Saint Paul
April 4, 2005

WHEREAS, the Armenian Genocide was conceived and carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, resulting in the deportation of nearly 2,000,000 Christian Armenians, of whom 1,500,000 men, women, and children were killed, 500,000 survivors were expelled from their homes, and which succeeded in the elimination of the over 2,500-year presence of Armenians in their historic homeland; and

WHEREAS, the failure of the domestic and international authorities to punish those responsible for the Armenian Genocide laid the groundwork for similar genocides since 1915; and

WHEREAS, the Armenian-American community has made substantial contributions to our city and state since 1899; and

WHEREAS, on the 90th anniversary of the onset of the Armenian Genocide, which is traditionally observed on April 24, it is fitting that all people of goodwill join the Armenian-American community in commemoration of this crime against humanity;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Randy C. Kelly, Mayor of the City of Saint Paul, do hereby proclaim Sunday, April 24, 2005 to be

Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day

in the City of Saint Paul.

In Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the City of Saint Paul to be affixed this Twenty-Fourth Day of April in the Year Two Thousand Five.

(SIGNED)

Mayor Randy C. Kelly

Proclamation
Rochester, Minnesota
April 24, 2005

WHEREAS, the Armenian Genocide was conceived and carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, resulting in the deportation of nearly 2,000,000 Christian Armenians, of whom 1,500,000 men, women, and children were killed, 500,000 survivors were expelled from their homes, and which succeeded in the elimination of the over 2,500-year presence of Armenians in their historic homeland; and

WHEREAS, the unfolding Armenian Genocide was widely reported in Rochester and Minnesota newspapers of the day; and Minnesotans played a leading role in international relief efforts; and

WHEREAS, the failure of the domestic and international authorities to punish those responsible for the Armenian Genocide laid the groundwork for the Holocaust, Cambodia, Rwanda, Darfur, and similar genocides since 1915;
and

WHEREAS, the tragedy of the Armenian Genocide has been acknowledged by fifteen countries, the European Parliament, and the United Nations; by Presidents Reagan, G. H. Bush, Clinton, and G. W. Bush; by three-quarters of the U.S. States, including Minnesota; and by the Mayors of Duluth, Minneapolis, Rochester, and Saint Paul; and

WHEREAS, international scholars of the Holocaust and genocide, including Profs. Stephen Feinstein and Eric Weitz of the University of Minnesota and Eric Markusen of Southwest State University, have affirmed that the World War I Armenian Genocide is an incontestable historical fact; and the Minnesota Academic Standards in History and Social Studies likewise recognize it as such; and

WHEREAS, the groundbreaking work of University of Minnesota Prof. Taner Akcam and other like-minded Turkish scholars represents a vital step towards truth, justice, and reconciliation; and

WHEREAS, since 1899 Armenian-Americans of Minnesota have made substantial contributions in arts and sciences, commerce, community service, and government, notably the 2004 incorporation of the Armenian Genocide Museum and Memorial in Washington, D.C.; and

WHEREAS, on this 90th anniversary of the onset of the Armenian Genocide, which is traditionally observed on April 24, it is fitting that all people of goodwill join the Armenian-American community in commemoration of this crime against humanity.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Ardell F. Brede, Mayor of the City of Rochester do officially proclaim Sunday, April 24, 2005, as

ARMENIAN GENOCIDE REMEMBRANCE DAY

in the City of Rochester

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the corporate seal of the City of Rochester to be affixed this 24 day of April in the year of two thousand five.

(SIGNED)

Mayor Ardell F. Brede

Proclamation
City of Duluth – Office of the Mayor
April 24, 2005

WHEREAS, The Armenian Genocide was carried out in the Ottoman Empire between 1915-23, resulting in the death or deportation of nearly two million Christian Armenians and ejection from 2,500 years of life in their historic homeland; and

WHEREAS, The unfolding genocide was reported in Duluth and Minnesota newspapers of the day and Minnesotans played a leading role in international relief efforts; and

WHEREAS, Failure to punish those responsible for the Armenian Genocide laid the groundwork for many more such atrocities in future years; and

WHEREAS, The groundbreaking work of Turkish scholars such as Professor Taner Akcam and others in this field represents a step toward truth, justice and reconciliation; and

WHEREAS, On this 90th anniversary of the onset of the Armenian Genocide, traditionally observed on April 24, it is fitting that all people of goodwill join in commemoration of this crime against humanity;

NOW THEREFORE, I, Herb W. Bergson Mayor of the City of Duluth, do officially proclaim April 24, 2005 as

ARMENIAN GENOCIDE REMEMBRANCE DAY

in the City of Duluth.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the City of Duluth to be affixed in the City of Duluth this twenty­fourth day of April in the year of our Lord two thousand five.

(SIGNED)

Mayor Herb W. Bergson

City of Saint Paul
Proclamation

WHEREAS, the Armenian Genocide was conceived and carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, resulting in the deportation of nearly 2,000,000 Armenians, of whom 1,500,000 men, women and children were killed, 500,000 survivors were expelled from their homes, and which succeeded in the elimination of the over 2,500- year presence of Armenians in their historic homeland; and

WHEREAS, the failure of the domestic and international authorities to punish those responsible for the Armenian Genocide is a reason why similar genocides have recurred and may recur in the future, and that a proper judicial and firm response would have spared humanity needless suffering; and

WHEREAS, recognizing the significant contributions of the Armenian-American community to our city and state, I proclaimed 1999 to be Armenian Centennial Year in the City of Saint Paul; and

WHEREAS, on the anniversary of the onset of the Armenian Genocide, which is traditionally observed on April 24, it is fitting that all people of goodwill join the Armenian-American community in commemoration of this crime against humanity;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Norm Coleman, Mayor of the City of Saint Paul, do hereby proclaim Tuesday April 24, 2001 to be

ARMENIAN REMEMBRANCE DAY

in the City of Saint Paul.

In Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the City of Saint Paul to be affixed this Twenty-fourth Day of April in the Year Two Thousand One.

(SIGNED)

Mayor Norm Coleman

Minnesota’s Support for Survivors of the Armenian Genocide

Minnesota 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.

Minnesota facilitated its NER efforts from its state headquarters located at 305 Oneida Building in Minneapolis.

In order to raise awareness about the plight and suffering of the Armenians overseas and in hopes of raising funds to meet the extensive needs of its humanitarian campaign, NER filmed motion pictures in Armenia capturing the magnitude of devastation and destruction plaguing the region as a result of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by Ottoman Turkey. These motion pictures were screened across America.

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

The Armenian Genocide in Minnesota Press