North Carolina 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 1999.  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.

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

North Carolina Gubernatorial Proclamations

A PROCLAMATION BY THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
APRIL 10, 1996

WHEREAS, the death of at least 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks and the forced deportation of countless others, is remembered every year on April 24, since 1915, as Armenian Martyrs Day, and;

WHEREAS, eighty-one years ago, Armenians were forced to witness the slaughter of their relatives and the loss of their ancestral homeland, and;

WHEREAS, the denial of the Armenian Genocide by the present-day Turkish Government continues to antagonize the Armenian people concerning their own rightful place in history, and;

WHEREAS, the Armenian People have not received reparations for their losses, and;

WHEREAS, Armenians have valiantly pursued the improvement and self-determination of their homelands, and;

WHEREAS, notwithstanding such atrocities in the past, people of Armenian descent have been strong, productive, contributing citizens in the many communities in which they reside in the State of North Carolina, and;

WHEREAS, on April 21, 1996, Armenian families from across North Carolina will gather in Durham to honor the 1.5 million Armenians who were massacred under the Ottoman Turkish Government between 1915 and 1923;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JAMES B. HUNT JR., Governor of the State of North Carolina, do hereby proclaim April 21, 1996, as “A Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide” in North Carolina, and encourage all citizens to commend its observance.

(SIGNED)
JAMES B. HUNT JR.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the Great Seal of the State of North Carolina at the Capitol in Raleigh this tenth day of April in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and nineteenth.

A PROCLAMATION BY THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
APRIL 23, 1999

WHEREAS, the death of at least 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks and the forced deportation of countless others, is remembered every year on April 24, since 1915, as Armenian Martyrs Day, and;

WHEREAS, eighty-four years ago, Armenians were forced to witness the slaughter of their relatives and the loss of their ancestral homeland, and;

WHEREAS, the denial of the Armenian Genocide by the present-day Turkish Government continues to antagonize the Armenian people concerning their own rightful place in history, and;

WHEREAS, the Armenian People have not received reparations for their losses, and;

WHEREAS, Armenians have valiantly pursued the improvement and self-determination of their homelands, and;

WHEREAS, notwithstanding such atrocities in the past, people of Armenian descent have been strong, productive, contributing citizens in the many communities in which they reside in the State of North Carolina, and;

WHEREAS, on April 25, 1999, Armenian families from across North Carolina will gather in Charlotte to honor the 1.5 million Armenians who were massacred under the Ottoman Turkish Government between 1915 and 1923;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JAMES B. HUNT JR., Governor of the State of North Carolina, do hereby proclaim April 24, 1999, as “A DAY OF REMEMBRANCE OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE” in North Carolina, and encourage all citizens to commend its observance.

JAMES B. HUNT JR.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the Great Seal of the State of North Carolina at the Capitol in Raleigh this twenty-third day of April in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-second.

North Carolina Municipal

PROCLAMATION BY THE WAKE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
WAKE COUNTY
APRIL 15, 1996

WHEREAS, 1.5 million Armenians were massacred under the Ottoman Turkish Government between 1915 and 1923, and;

WHEREAS, the Armenian Genocide was the first genocide of this century,
and;

WHEREAS, the lack of penitence and reproach for these crimes made it easier for other governments, including Nazi Germany’s, to commit similar atrocities, and;

WHEREAS, this is an issue of importance to all Wake County citizens who wish to put an end to the type of mass killings that have recently occurred in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and;

WHEREAS, the only way to put an end to genocidal acts is to make them unacceptable through public acknowledgment and rebuke, and;

WHEREAS, the official, internationally recognized anniversary of the commencement of the Armenian Genocide atrocities is April 24th.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED, that the Wake County Board of Commissioners do hereby formally acknowledge the 81st Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and express in the strongest of terms the belief that such atrocities as the Armenian Genocide should never be allowed to occur again.

This the 15th day of April, 1996.

(SIGNED)

Gary H. Pendleton, Chairman
Wake County Board of Commissioners

TOM FETZER
MAYOR

City Of Raleigh
North Carolina
PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS, during the second half of the 19th Century, the Armenian people became the target of increasing persecution by the Ottoman Empire; and,

WHEREAS, between 1894 and 1922, Armenian religious and political leaders were rounded up and killed, more than 1.8 million Armenians were massacred throughout Turkey and Asia Minor and 500,000 Armenians were exiled from their homeland; and,

WHEREAS, of more than 2.5 million Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire before World War I, fewer than 100,000 now live in Turkey, leaving the Armenian heartland virtually without Armenians; and,

WHEREAS, on April 24, the anniversary of the beginning of the 1915 Armenian genocide, Armenians from throughout our state will gather to commemorate this tragedy.

NOW, THEREFORE, do I, Tom Fetzer, Mayor of the City of Raleigh, hereby proclaim April 24, 1996 to be

ARMENIAN GENOCIDE REMEMBRANCE DAY

in Raleigh, in the hope that such a tragedy will never again befall the human race.

IN WITNESS THEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the City of Raleigh, North Carolina, to be affixed this sixteenth day of April, 1996.

(SIGNED)
Tom Fetzer, Mayor

OFFICES • 222 WEST HARGETT STREET • POST OFFICE BOX 590 • RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA 27602 Recycled Paper

DURHAM COUNTY BOARD of COUNTY COMMISSIONERS Proclamation

WHEREAS, BETWEEN 1915-1923, THE EXTERMINATION OF MORE THAN ONE AND ONE-HALF MILLION ARMENIANS TOOK PLACE BY THE OTTOMAN TURKS; AND

WHEREAS. DURING THIS ATROCITY, ARMENIANS WERE FORCED TO WITNESS THE SLAUGHTER OF THEIR RELATIVES AND THE LOSS OF THEIR ANCESTRAL HOMELAND; AND

WHEREAS, ARMENIANS ASSERT THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF MODERN DAY TURKEY REFUSES TO RECOGNIZE THE FACTS OF THE GENOCIDE; AND

WHEREAS, THE DENIAL OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE BY THE PRESENT DAY TURKISH GOVERNMENT SERVES TO TAINT HISTORY AND DISAVOWS ARMENIANS OF THE RIGHT TO THEIR HOMELAND AND HERITAGE; AND

WHEREAS, ANCESTRAL ARMENIAN LANDS TAKEN BY THE OTTOMAN TURKS HAVE NOT BEEN RETURNED TO THE ARMENIAN PEOPLE, NOR HAVE THE ARMENIANS RECEIVED COMPENSATION FOR THEIR LOSSES; AND

WHEREAS, ARMENIANS HAVE TRADITIONALLY DESIGNATED APRIL 24 AS ARMENIAN MARTYRS DAY, IN RECOGNITION AND REMEMBRANCE OF THOSE WHO DIED DURING THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE; AND

WHEREAS, THE 1996 MARKS THE UST ANNIVERSARY OF THE TRAGEDY OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE; AND

WHEREAS, IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER HISTORY SO THAT MISTAKES OF THE PAST ARE NOT REPEATED IN FUTURE GENERATIONS.

NOW, THEREFORE, WE THE DURHAM COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS DO HEREBY PROCLAIM APRIL 24, 1996 AS ARMENIAN MARTYRS DAY IN DURHAM COUNTY, THIS THE 22ND DAY OF APRIL, 1996.

(SIGNED)

BECKY M. HERON, CHAIRMAN

ELLEN W. RECKHOW, VICE-CHAIRMAN

MARYANN E. BLACK

EDWARD C. DEVITO SR.

TOMMY HUNT

DURHAM
1869 CITY OF MEDICINE

PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS, one million five hundred thousand Armenians were systematically murdered and more than 500,000 were exiled by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1922; and

WHEREAS, all citizens of the United States should remember the atrocities committed by Turkish authories and their collaborators and recognize that each of us must remain vigilant against tyranny; and

WHEREAS, Sunday, April 21, 1996, has been designated a day of remembrance of the victims of the Armenians Genocide; and

WHEREAS, it is appropriate for the citizens of Durham to join in this commemoration with the Armenian National Committee of North Carolina to formally acknowledge the 81st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sylvia S. Kerckhoff, Mayor of the City of Durham, North Carolina, do hereby proclaim April 24, 1996, as

“ARMENIAN MARTYRS DAY”

in memory of those victims and in the hope that we will strive as a nation and individually, to overcome prejudice and inhumanity through education, vigilance and dedication to equal justice for all.

WITNESS my hand and the corporate seal of the City of Durham, North Carolina, this the 15th day of April , 1996.

(SIGNED)
Sylvia S. Kerckhoff
Mayor

New Hanover County Board of Commissioners
Proclamation

WHEREAS, the Armenian community is commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide; and

WHEREAS, New Hanover County recognizes the vital goal of promoting ethnic harmony and equitable treatment of all persons, to be achieved in part through memorializing past genocide such that the atrocities are not repeated;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners proclaims April 24, 1996, as ARMENIAN MARTYRS DAY, and commends the Armenian-Americans in this County for their contributions in all areas of life.

Adopted this the 6th day of May, 1996.

(SIGNED)
Robert G. Greer, Chairman
Board of County Commissioners

ATTEST:
(SIGNED)
Clerk to the Board

PROCLAMATION

Historic
WILMINGTON
North Carolina

WHEREAS, on April 24, 1915, hundreds of leaders of the Armenian community in the Ottoman Empire were taken from their homes, arrested and put to death. By the end of 1923, one and one-half million innocent Armenian men, women, and children lost their lives in a devastating slaughter and approximately 500,000 additional Armenians fled to countries where they could find safety; and

WHEREAS, on Sunday, April 21, 1996, many of the Armenian­Americans will gather in Durham, North Carolina
to remember the 1.5 million who were massacred under the Ottoman Turkish Government between 1915 and 1923; and

WHEREAS, it is fitting that we pay tribute to the survivors of the Armenian genocide for their many cultural, economic and religious contributions have enriched our great city and nation; and

WHEREAS, while for many the memories are sad and painful, it is important to remember the horrors which may take place when human rights and respect for human life are disregarded and intolerance and racial hatred is allowed to flourish.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Don Betz, Mayor of the City of Wilmington, do hereby proclaim April 24, 1996

“A DAY OF REMEMBRANCE OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE”

in Wilmington, North Carolina

DON BETZ
Mayor

KATHERINE B. MOORE
Mayor Pro-Tem

COUNCIL MEMBERS
FRANK S. CONLON
HAMILTON E. HICKS, JR.
LAURA W. PADGETT
HARPER PETERSON
CHARLES H. RIVENBARK, JR.
MARY M. GORNTO
City Manager
THOMAS C. POLLARD
City Attorney
PENELOPE SPICER-SIDBURY City Clerk
City of Wilmington
City Hall
Post Office Box 1810
Wilmington. North Carolina
28402
910-341-7815

(SIGNED)
Don Betz, Mayor

PROCLAMATION
FOR
ARMENIAN MARTYRS DAY
APRIL 24th , 1996

WHEREAS, between 1915-1923, the extermination of more than one and one-half million Armenians and the deportation of countless other Armenians took place by the Ottoman Turks; and

WHEREAS, during this atrocity, Armenians were forced to witness the slaughter of their relatives and the loss of their ancestral homeland; and

WHEREAS, Armenians assert that the government of modern day Turkey refuses to recognize the facts of the genocide; and

WHEREAS, the denial of the Armenian genocide by the present day Turkish government serves to taint history and disavows Armenians of the right to their homeland and heritage; and

WHEREAS, Ancestral Armenian lands taken by the Ottoman Turks have not been returned to the Armenian people, nor have the Armenians received compensation for their losses; and

WHEREAS, Armenians have traditionally designated April 24th as ARMENIAN MARTYRS DAY, in recognition and remembrance of those who died during the Armenian genocide; and

WHEREAS, the year 1996 marks the 81st Anniversary of the Tragedy of the Armenian genocide; and

WHEREAS, it is important to remember history so that mistakes of the past are not repeated in future generations.

NOW, THEREFORE, the Orange County Board of Commissioners proclaims April 24, 1996 as
ARMENIAN MARTYRS DAY
in Orange County, North Carolina this the 16th Day of April, 1996.

Moses Carey, Chair
Board of Commissioners

OFFICE OF THE MAYOR

TOWN OF CHAPEL HILL
306 NORTH COLUMBIA STREET
CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA 27516

PROCLAMATION

(919) 968-2714
FAX 919-967-8406

WHEREAS, towards the end of the last century, the government of the Ottoman Empire began to systematically persecute citizens of Armenian heritage, depriving them of their property, their dignity, and ultimately their lives; and

WHEREAS, before this senseless policy of extermination was completed more than one million Armenian men, women, and children were murdered, while an additional half-million were exiled, virtually decimating a once large and proud ethnic minority; and

WHEREAS, although it is often painful to recall the sometimes inexplicable injustices committed against large groups of people, it is universally important to remain ever vigilant so that no similar destruction and suffering reoccur; and

WHEREAS, surviving descendants of the Ottoman government’s purges continue to remember past atrocities committed against the Armenian people so that the dire mistakes of the past are never again repeated.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rosemary I. Waldorf, Mayor of the Town of Chapel Hill, do hereby proclaim April 24, 1996 as ARMENIAN MARTYRS DAY and commend the efforts conducted by the Armenian National Committee to promote peace, dignity, and respect for human lives by commemorating this date.

GIVEN UNDER MY HAND AND THE SEAL OF THE TOWN OF CHAPEL HILL, ON THIS THE TWENTY FOURTH DAY OF APRIL, NINETEEN-HUNDRED NINETY-SIX.

Rosemary I. Waldorf, Mayor

City of Charlotte, North Carolina
Proclamation

WHEREAS, between 1915 – 1923 the deaths of more than one and one-half million Christian Armenians and the deportation of countless other Armenians took place by the Ottoman Empire; and

WHEREAS, during this atrocity, Armenians witnessed the loss of  their  relatives  and their ancestral homeland; and

WHEREAS, ancestral lands taken by the Ottoman Turks have not been returned to the Armenian people, and the struggle for cultural heritage continues; and

WHEREAS, Armenians have traditionally designated April 24th as Armenian Martyrs Day, in recognition and remembrance  of those who died  and

WHEREAS, the year 2006 marks the 91st Anniversary of this tragedy; and

WHEREAS, it is important to remember history so that mistakes of the past are not  repeated  in future generations:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Patrick McCrory, Mayor of Charlotte,  do  hereby  proclaim  April 24, 2006 as

“ARMENIAN MARTYRS DAY”

in Charlotte, and commend its observance to all citizens.

WITNESS  MY HAND  and the official  Seal of the City of Charlotte.

(Signed)

Patrick McCrory Mayor

Mecklenburg County
North Carolina
Proclamation

WHEREAS, 1.5 million Armenian lives were taken in the massacre of the Ottoman Turkish Government between 1915 and 1923; and

WHEREAS, the Armenian Genocide was the first genocide of this century; and

WHEREAS, the lack of penitence and reproach for these murderous crimes has made it easier for other governments around the world to commit similar crimes; and

WHEREAS, civilization’s failure to uphold each human life as sacred and precious deadens consciences and makes acceptable what is in fact, reprehensible, thereby removing the barrier that should prevent a society from perpetrating the evils of genocide; and

WHEREAS, as a community, we must stand against the individual and mass taking of human life; and

WHEREAS, the official, internationally recognized anniversary of the commencement of the Armenian Genocide atrocities is April 24, now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners does hereby formally acknowledge the 91st Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and expresses in the strongest terms possible, the conviction that such an evil as the Armenian Genocide should never be tolerated again, and hereby urges each member of our community to speak out against the blatant disregard for the value of human life occurring throughout the world even today.

This the 14th day of April 2006.
H Parks Helms, Chairman
Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners

CITY OF MONROE
P.O. BOX 69 • MONROE. NORTH CAROLINA 28111-0069
FAX 704-283-9098
CITY OF MONROE, NORTH CAROLINA PROCLAMATION
P-2006-09

WHEREAS, between 1915-1923, the deaths of more than one and one-half million Christian Armenians and the deportation of countless other Armenians took place by the Ottoman Empire; and

WHEREAS, during this atrocity, Armenians witnessed the loss of their relatives and their ancestral homeland; and

WHEREAS, ancestral lands taken by the Ottoman Turks have not been returned to the Armenian people, and the struggle for cultural heritage continues; and

WHEREAS, Armenians have traditionally designated April 24th as Armenian Martyrs Day, in recognition and remembrance of those who died; and

WHEREAS, the year 2006 marks the 9151 Anniversary of this tragedy; and

WHEREAS, it is important to remember history so that mistakes of the past are not • repeated in future generations.

NOW, THEREFORE, L Bobby G. Kilgore, Mayor of the City of Monroe, North Carolina, do hereby proclaim April 24, 2006 as

“ARMENIAN MARTYRS DAY”

in Monroe, North Carolina, and commend its observance to all citizens. WITNESS my hand and the official Seal of the City of Monroe.

Signed : Bobby G. Kilgore, Mayor

A Proclamation by the Mayor and Town Council

Pineville, N.C.

 

WHEREAS, between 1915 – 1923 the deaths of more than one and one-half million Christian Armenians and the deportation of countless other Armenians took place by the Ottoman Empire, and;

WHEREAS, during this atrocity, Armenians witnessed the loss  of  their  relatives  and their ancestral homeland,  and;

WHEREAS, ancestral lands taken by the Ottoman Turks have not been returned to the Armenian people, and the struggle for cultural heritage continues,  and;

WHEREAS, Armenians have traditionally designated April 24th as Armenian Martyrs Day, in recognition and remembrance  of those who died, and;

WHEREAS,  the year 2006 marks the 91st  Anniversary of this tragedy, and;

WHEREAS, it is important to remember history so that the mistakes of the past are not repeated  in future generations;

WE THEREFORE DO NOW PROCLAIM, April 24th, 2006  as

ARMENIAN MARTYRS DAY.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, we have hereunto set our hand and caused the GREAT SEAL OF PINEVILLE to be affixed.  Done at Pineville  this eleventh  day of April in the year  of our Lord two thousand and  six.

(SIGNED)

Mayor George C. Fowler

Mayor Pro-Tem Libby Boatwright

Deborah Fowler, Council

Les Gladden, Council

‘Town of Matthews, North Carolina
Office of the Mayor

WHEREAS, between 1915 – 1923 the deaths of more than one and one-half million Christian Armenians and the deportation of countless other Armenians took place by the Ottoman Empire; and

WHEREAS, during this atrocity, Armenians were forced to witness the slaughter to their relatives and the loss of their ancestral homeland; and

WHEREAS, ancestral lands taken by the Ottoman Turks have not been returned to the Armenian people, nor have the Armenians received compensation for their losses; and

WHEREAS, Armenians have traditionally designated April 24•h as Armenian Martyrs Day, in recognition and remembrance of those who died; and

WHEREAS, the year 2006 marks the 91s• anniversary of this tragedy; and

WHEREAS, it is important to remember history so that mistakes of the past are not repeated in future generations;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, R. Lee Myers, Mayor-of the Town of Matthews, do hereby proclaim April 24, 2006 as

ARMENIAN MARTYRS DAY

in Matthews, and encourage all citizens to honor this observance.
WITNESS MY HAND and the official seal of the Town of Matthews.

(SIGNED)

R. Lee Myers, Mayor

North Carolina’s Support for Survivors of the Armenian Genocide

North Carolina 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.

North Carolina facilitated its NER efforts through its state office headquarters located at 307 Robinson Building on Tyson Street in Charlotte.

On February 7, 1921, both the North Carolina Senate and the House of Representatives adopted a resolution endorsing the work of Near East Relief and expressed confidence in its work and mission to be carried forth by its citizens.

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

The Armenian Genocide in North Carolina Press