Texas legislators have recognized the Armenian Genocide on the state level. Gubernatorial proclamations as well as state and local legislation are provided below since 2007.  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.

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

Texas House

RESOLUTION H.R. No. 191
By: Sanford

WHEREAS, During World War I, the crumbling Ottoman Empire began a systematic campaign to eradicate its Armenian population, which then numbered more than two million; and

WHEREAS, Armenians and other minority populations had contributed to the prosperity of the once-mighty empire for centuries, but as its borders shrank and its influence diminished, ethnic tensions flared; after the Ottomans entered World War I, their armies suffered heavy losses to Russian forces in the Caucasus, and Armenians in the region were accused of aiding the Russian victory; on April 24, 1915, the government arrested several hundred Armenian intellectuals, who were later executed; Armenian soldiers were disarmed and transferred to labor battalions, in which they were worked to death or killed outright; and

WHEREAS, In the spring and summer of 1915, under the guise of “resettlement,” Armenians were driven from their homes in Armenia and Anatolia and herded through the Syrian desert to concentration camps; many of the deportees died along the way from hunger, thirst, and exhaustion, while others were massacred; by 1918, an estimated one million Armenians had lost their lives, and survivors endured tremendous hardships as refugees; and

WHEREAS, The end of the war brought a temporary respite, but in 1920, the atrocities resumed until the ultimate collapse of the empire and formation of the Republic of Turkey; as many as 1.5 million Armenians perished and today, only 3 million live in Armenia, a country that covers no more than 10 percent of the ancient Armenian homeland, while the Armenian diaspora numbers 8 to 10 million in countries around the world, including the United States; and

WHEREAS, In 1915, the governments of France, Great Britain, and Russia decried the slaughter of Armenians as “a crime against humanity”; American ambassador Henry Morgenthau, who led the humanitarian response, characterized the imperial deportation orders as “the death warrant to a whole race”; the persecution is considered genocide by most historians and has been officially acknowledged as such by numerous countries, among them France, Argentina, Greece, and Russia; this horrific event is a dark chapter in modern history, and the world must never forget the suffering of the Armenian people;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the 85th Texas Legislature hereby recognize the Armenian genocide.

Texas Senate

SENATE RESOLUTION
APRIL 24, 2005

WHEREAS, The Senate of the State of Texas joins the world community in observing Armenian Martyrs’ Day on April 24, 2005, and;

WHEREAS, This day commemorates the day 90 years ago when over 200 Armenian civic, political, religious, and intellectual leaders were arrested by the Ottoman authorities; they were later executed in Constantinople, and;

WHEREAS, Approximately 1.5 million Armenian citizens of the Ottoman Empire were killed in the years during and after World War I in atrocities that constituted the first large scale ethnic massacre of the 20th century, and;

WHEREAS, As a result of these tragic events, the Armenian people were displaced from their homes; most Armenian Americans are descended from families that immigrated to the United States as a result of this catastrophe, and;

WHEREAS, The commemoration of these events unites the Armenian community and encourages all people to reflect on the consequences of violence against our fellow man; it provides the opportunity for citizens to honor the memory of those who lost their lives and to pay tribute to those who survived;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Senate of the State of Texas, 79th Legislature, hereby recognize April 24, 2005, as Armenian Martyrs’ Day; and, be it further

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution be prepared in observance of this solemn occasion.

Texas Municipal

PROCLAMATION BY THE CITY OF AUSTIN
AUSTIN
APRIL 19, 2005

WHEREAS, Between 1915 and 1923, prior to the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, more than a million people of Armenian ancestry were victims of a genocide perpetrated by the governments of the Ottoman Empire, and;

WHEREAS, We join the Armenian-American citizens of Central Texas in opposing such atrocities, and;

WHEREAS, We, likewise, join with the Armenian Community of Austin in honoring the memory of these victims at ceremonies being held here today;

Now, Therefore, I, Will Wynn, Mayor of the City of Austin, Texas, do hereby proclaim

April 24, 2005 as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day in Austin.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto
set my hand and caused the seal of the City
of Austin to be affixed this 19th Day
of April in the Year Two Thousand Five

(SIGNED)
Will Wynn, Mayor, City of Austin

PROCLAMATION BY THE CITY OF HOUSTON
HOUSTON
APRIL 21, 2005

WHEREAS, on April 24, 2005, Armenians around the world will commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide; during the First World War, the Turkish Empire in an effort of general extermination and elimination of all traces of a thriving and noble civilization over 3,000 years old; of the Armenian population in Eastern Turkey, massacred approximately 1.5 million men, women, and children in the twentieth century’s first genocides, and;

WHEREAS, although the survivors of this massacre were scattered to all parts of the world, they have maintained their identity and unity through their church, passing along to each generation not only a strong Christian faith but a knowledge of their language, history and culture, and;

WHEREAS, the survivors and descendants of this genocide which drove them from their homeland, recall and commemorate April 24, 1915 as Armenian Martyr’s Day, and;

WHEREAS, the heroic struggles of the Armenian people inspire and challenge us to cherish and preserve the freedom that is ours, and;

WHEREAS, on April 24, 2005, City of Houston residents will be called together to commemorate the 90th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide of 1915, and;

WHEREAS, this commemoration will serve as an appropriate time for the people of the City of Houston and others to remember the 1.5 Armenian men, women and children who lost their lives, and;

THEREFORE, I, Bill White, Mayor of the City of Houston, hereby proclaim April 24, 2005, as

Armenian Martyrs Day

in Houston, Texas.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and have caused the Official Seal of the City of Houston to be affixed this 21st day of April, 2005, A.D.

(SIGNED)
Bill White
Mayor of the City of Houston

PROCLAMATION BY THE OFFICE OF THE MAYOR
CITY OF DALLAS
APRIL 24, 2005

WHEREAS, this year Armenians throughout the world, the United States and throughout Texas will commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, and;

WHEREAS, during the First World War, the Turkish Empire massacred approximately 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children in the twentieth century’s first genocide, and;

WHEREAS, the survivors of this massacre have maintained their identity through knowledge of their language, history and culture, and;

WHEREAS, Armenians from across Texas are gathering on the capital steps of Austin on April 24, 2005 to observe this event.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, LAURA MILLER, mayor of the city of Dallas, and on behalf of the Dallas City Council, do hereby proclaim April 24, 2005 as

ARMENIAN GENOCIDE REMEMBRANCE DAY

in Dallas, Texas.

 

(SIGNED)
Laura Miller
Mayor, The City of Dallas

PROCLAMATION BY THE CITY OF SAN ANTONIO
SAN ANTONIO 
APRIL 21, 2005

WHEREAS, ON APRIL 24, 2005, ARMENIANS AROUND THE WORLD WILL COMMEMORATE THE 90TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE, AND;

WHEREAS, DURING THE FIRST WORLD WAR, THE TURKISH EMPIRE MASSACRED APPROXIMATELY 1.5 MILLION MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN OF THE ARMENIAN POPULATION IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY’S FIRST GENOCIDES; AND,

WHEREAS, ALTHOUGH THE SURVIVORS OF THIS MASSACRE WERE SCATTERED TO ALL PARTS OF THE WORLD, THEY HAVE MAINTAINED THEIR IDENTITY AND UNITY, WHILE PASSING ALONG TO EACH GENERATION KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THEIR LANGUAGE, HISTORY AND CULTURE; AND,

WHEREAS, THE CITY OF SAN ANTONIO JOINS IN THIS OBSERVANCE, AND URGES ALL CITIZENS TO COMMEMORATE THIS TRAGIC EVENT IN WORLD HISTORY, AND TO STRENGTHEN OUR COMMITMENT TO THE CAUSE OF LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL; and,

NOW, THEREFORE, I, EDWARD D. GARZA, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF SAN ANTONIO, IN RECOGNITION THEREOF, DO HEREBY PROCLAIM APRIL 24, 2005, TO BE

ARMENIAN GENOCIDE REMEMBRANCE DAY

IN SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I HAVE HEREUNTO SET MY HAND AND CAUSED THE SEAL OF THE CITY OF SAN ANTONIO TO BE AFFIXED THIS 21ST DAY APRIL, 2005.

(SIGNED)
EDWARD D. GARZA
MAYOR

PROCLAMATION BY THE OFFICE OF THE MAYOR
CITY OF KILLEEN
MAY 3, 2005

WHEREAS, Between 1915 and 1923, prior to the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, more than a million and a half people of Armenian ancestry were victims of a genocide
perpetrated by the governments of the Ottoman Empire; and,

WHEREAS, Although the survivors of this massacre were scattered to all parts of the world, they have maintained their identity and unity through their church, passing along to each
generation not only a strong Christian faith but a knowledge of their language, history and
culture; and,

WHEREAS, We join with the Armenian-American citizens of Central Texas in opposing such atrocities and in honoring the memory of these victims; and,

WHEREAS, The heroic struggles of the Armenian people inspire and challenge us to cherish and preserve the freedom that is ours; and,

NOW THEREFORE, I, Maureen J. Jouett, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Mayor of the City of Killeen do hereby proclaim May I -7, 2005 as

Armenian Genocide Remembrance Week

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the City of Killeen to be affixed this 3rd day of May, 2005

(SIGNED)
Maureen J. Jouett,
MAYOR

PROCLAMATION BY THE OFFICE OF THE MAYOR
CITY OF COLLEGE STATION
APRIL 24, 2005

WHEREAS, on April 24, 2005, Armenians around the world will commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide; and,

WHEREAS, during the First World War, the Turkish Empire in an effort of general extermination and elimination of all traces of a thriving and noble civilization over 3,000 years old, massacred approximately 1.5 million Armenian men, women, and children in the twentieth century’s first genocide; and,

WHEREAS, although the survivors of this massacre were scattered to all parts of the world, they have maintained their identity and unity through their church, passing along to each generation not only a strong Christian faith but a knowledge of their language, history and culture; and,

WHEREAS, the heroic struggles of the Armenian people inspire and challenge us to cherish and preserve the freedom that is ours; and,

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ron Silvia, Mayor of the City of College Station, Texas, and acting on behalf of the City Council do hereby proclaim April 24, 2005, as

Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day

In College Station, Texas

(SIGNED)
Ron Silvia, Mayor

PROCLAMATION

We the Mayor and City Council, by virtue of the authority vested by the City of Galveston, Texas, do proclaim

April 24, 2005

as

ARMENIAN MARTYRS DAY

in the City of Galveston

WHEREAS, City of Galveston and Armavir region in Armenia have been sister cites since September 2001 through the University of Texas Medical Branch healthcare and disaster preparedness collaboration funded by AIHA-USAID; and,

WHEREAS, On April 24th, 2005 Armenians around the world will commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide; during the First World War, the Turkish Empire in an effort of general extermination and elimination of all traces of a thriving and noble civilization over 3,000 years old; of the Armenian population in Eastern Turkey, massacred approximately 1.5 million men, women, and children in the twentieth century’s first genocides; and,

WHEREAS, The survivors and descendants of this genocide which drove them from their homeland, recall and commemorate April 24, 1915 as Armenian Martyr’s Day; and,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Mayor and City Council for the City of Galveston, Texas does urge each and every citizen to join our sister city and commemorate this tragic event in world history and to strengthen our commitment to the cause of liberty and justice in this and all other nations of the world.

In testimony whereof, witness my hand and Seal of the City of Galveston, this 24th day of February 2005.

Texas’s Support for Survivors of the Armenian Genocide

Texas was a staunch 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.

Texas’ NER activities were facilitated through its NER state headquarters located at 611 Slaughter Building in Dallas.

Among NER’s personnel were Texas citizens who helped with the relief effort on the ground in the Near East. One such citizen was Earl H. Seeley of San Angelo, Texas who was in the Near East until December 1920.

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