Utah Armenian Genocide Recognition

Utah legislators have recognized the Armenian Genocide on the state 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.

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

Utah Gubernatorial Proclamations

Proclamation By The Governor

Whereas, many Armenians, including some who reside in Utah, will pay tribute to the 1.5 million victims of genocide on Armenian Martyr Day; and

Whereas, understanding the plight of the Armenian genocide, and educating the public, is one step toward eliminating possible future genocides; and

Whereas, the Salt Lake Symphonic Choir has undertaken an enormous task to turn an invited visit into a humanitarian cause benefiting the Armenian people; and

Whereas, Utahns have the capacity and resources to make a difference in the lives of the Armenian people; and

Whereas, the Choir’s visit provides Utahns with a rare opportunity to experience “one degree of separation” thus putting a face on the donor recipients in an humanitarian cause;

Now, Therefore, I, Michael O. Leavitt, Governor of the state of Utah, do hereby proclaim April 2001, as Armenian Awareness Month in Utah.

Governor Michael O. Leavitt


Whereas, on April 24, 1915, 200 leaders of the Armenian community in Istanbul, in what was then the Ottoman Empire, were arrested and most were later executed;

Whereas, this began a system of mass annihilation of Armenians within the Ottoman Empire, which resulted in the death of more than a million Armenians as victims of horrendous atrocities;

Whereas, a number of individuals and families, among them the Megerdichians, Kevorks, Aposhians, Orullians, Plowgians, Ozunians, Sheranians, Paronyans, Bekearians, Baranyans, and others, were able to escape from anti-Armenian hostilities to the United States and settle in Utah;

Whereas, the Armenian community in Utah, numbering about 1,500 people, continues to enrich our state in the arts, science, education, commerce, and government, and we honor and recognize their outstanding contributions and determination to overcome much not only to make Utah their home, but to make their new home an even better state; and

Whereas, this special occasion offers an opportunity to rededicate ourselves individually and collectively to the principles of individual freedom in a just society, which empowers us to remain vigilant against hatred, persecution, and tyranny;

Now, therefore, I, Gary R. Herbert governor of the state of Utah, do hereby declare April 24, 2015, as

Armenian Remembrance and Recognition Day

Governor Gary R. Herbert

Utah’s Support for Survivors of the Armenian Genocide

Utah 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.

Utah’s NER activities were facilitated through its NER state headquarters located at 120 E. First South Street in Salt Lake City.

As part of its public awareness campaign, the NER coordinated community meetings where those who had been part of the rescue missions overseas shared their experiences and all they witnessed to local audiences.

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

The Armenian Genocide in Utah Press

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