Oklahoma 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.

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

State Senate Resolutions

SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 68 BY ROBERTS of the SENATE
STATE OF OKLAHOMA
March 26, 1990

And

JOHNSON (Glen) of the HOUSE

A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION DEPLORING THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE; PROCLAIMING APRIL 24, 1990, THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THAT EVENT, AS ARMENIAN REMEMBRANCE DAY; AND DIRECTING DISTRIBUTION

WHEREAS, after almost 400 years of Turkish control a strong national and cultural renaissance swept across Armenia during the later part of the nineteenth century. The Turkish government ordered the first of many massacres and began a campaign to drive the Armenians from their homeland. From 1894 through 1896 approximately two hundred thousand Armenians were killed. The number of Armenian immigrants to the United States increased drastically; and

WHEREAS, during World War I, the Turks, who were part of the Central Powers regarded the Armenians as a dangerous ethnic element and decided to deport them all to what is now Syria. This deportation, similar to Oklahoma’s own Trail of Tears, was accomplished with the utmost barbarity. As many as one million Armenians may have died on this death march from lack of water and food or were killed by Turks or Kurds along the route; and

WHEREAS, during the period of April 20 through May 19, 1915, claiming that the Armenians were aiding the invading Russians, the Turks began a massacre of this Christian minority; and

WHEREAS, the number of Armenians killed at the hands of the Turks will never be known, but estimates as high as one million eight hundred thousand have been quoted; and

WHEREAS, the true number of Armenians who immigrated to the United States will never be known since Turkey prohibited Armenian emigration and most were listed as nationals of other countries by immigration officials. Today there are an estimated one million Armenian-Americans living in North America.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE 2ND SESSION OF THE 42ND OKLAHOMA LEGISLATURE, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE CONCURRING THEREIN:

THAT, the Oklahoma State Legislature deplores the Armenian genocide as one of the most disgraceful events in human history.

THAT April 24, 1990, the 75th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, be declared Armenian Remembrance Day in the State of Oklahoma.

THAT copies of this resolution be distributed to the Armenians National Committee, Armenian Rights Council of America, Armenian General Benevolent Union, National Association for Armenian Studies and Research, Armenian Assembly of America and the Society for Armenian Studies.

Adopted by the Senate the 26th day of March, 1990.

(SIGNED)

Bennet Cain, Jr.

Acting President of the Senate

Adopted by the House of Representatives the 29th day of March, 1990

(SIGNED)

Jim R. Glover, Speaker of the House of Representatives

Oklahoma’s Support for Survivors of the Armenian Genocide

Oklahoma 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.

Oklahoma facilitated its relief efforts from its NER headquarters at 409 Grain Exchange Building in Oklahoma City.

The Oklahoma NER Committee helped raise an impressive $300,000 to do its part to help save the impoverished refugees and orphans.

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

The Armenian Genocide in Oklahoma Press