Tennessee Armenian Genocide Recognition

Tennessee 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.

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

Tennessee Gubernatorial Proclamations

April 23, 2004

By Phil Bredesen, Governor, on behalf of the people of Tennessee By virtue of the authority vested in me, I hereby confer upon

Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide a Day of Recognition

Given under my hand and the Seal of the State of Tennessee

Phil Bredesen, Governor

Tennessee House

House Resolution No. 100 By Representative Moody
State Of Tennessee
April 21, 2015

Whereas, beginning on April 24, 1915, over 1.5 million Armenians became the victims of a genocide conceived and executed by the Ottoman Empire; and

Whereas, from 1915 to 1923, Armenians suffered untold agony and loss from brutal atrocities, including pogroms, deportations, forced death marches across Anatolia into the Syrian desert,  starvation, crucifixions, kidnappings, and  massacres en masse; and

Whereas, during the founding of modern Turkey, Armenians continued to be persecuted, and their towns-schools, businesses, churches, and homes-destroyed by Kemalist brigands under Mustafa Kemal Ataturk; and

Whereas, other ancient Christian minorities, namely ethnic Assyrians and Greeks, were also greatly persecuted under the Ottoman Empire and by the party known as the Young Turks; and

Whereas, in 1943, Polish author Raphael Lemkin first coined the term “genocide” based on the systematic campaign executed by the Ottoman Turks to annihilate the entire Armenian population; and

Whereas, it is imperative that the historicity of this first major genocide of the 20th century not be dismissed, but acknowledged as fact; and

Whereas, the Armenian Genocide was recognized by the United States Government in 1951 and 1981, by the United States Congress in 1975 and 1984, by forty-four states in America, by twenty-one countries worldwide, and by major international organizations such as the United Nations, Holy See (Vatican City), World Council of Churches,  International  Association  of  Genocide Scholars,   European Parliament, Anti-Defamation League, Presbyterian Church (USA), and the Permanent People’s Tribunal; and

Whereas, Tennesseans-elected officials, celebrities, laypersons, and Governor Austin Peay-mobilized unprecedented relief aid during and after the Armenian Genocide to rescue Armenian refugees in the Middle East; and

Whereas, on April 24, 2015, Armenians and non-Armenians in  Tennessee  will  observe  the  100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide by holding  a  solemn  commemoration  for  the  more  than  1.5  million Armenians  who  suffered  and  died; and

Whereas, commemoration of the Armenian Genocide Centennial  is  crucial  to  educating  Tennesseans  against  the  repetition   of  future  genocides;  now, therefore, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE ONE HUNDRED NINTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, that we hereby join with those Armenians and non-Armenians in Tennessee as they commemorate April 24, 2015, as the official Day of Remembrance for the Armenian Genocide Centennial.

Beth Hawell. Speaker of House Representatives
Debra Moody. Representative

Tennessee ‘s Support for Survivors of the Armenian Genocide

Tennessee was a staunch supporter of Near East Relief (NER), the American-led campaign that quickly sparked an international response with its unprecedented humanitarian endeavor, and which mobilized all segments of the American citizenry including elected officials, celebrities and laypersons alike to help rescue victims of the Armenian Genocide by Ottoman Turkey from 1915-1930.

Tennessee facilitated its relief efforts from Nashville headquarters of NER located at 304 Eve Building.

Miss M. L. Caldwell from Bristol, Tennessee eagerly distributed bales and bales of warm clothes donated by the citizens of Tennessee to the children overseas who had found shelter in the NER orphanages.

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

The Armenian Genocide in Tennessee Press

Your generosity empowers our advocacy, inspires our work, and sustains our momentum.