Washington Armenian Genocide Recognition

Washington 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 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.

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

Washington Gubernatorial Proclamations

April 20, 1990

WHEREAS, beginning in 1915, the Ottoman Empire initiated a reign of terror that ultimately resulted in the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians in eight years; and

WHEREAS, this systematic program of genocide and forced deportation was undertaken with the intent of annihilating the entire Armenian race; and

WHEREAS, this year marks the 75th anniversary of this tragic episode in history and it is appropriate that we become aware of the atrocities that were committed against the Armenian people so that future generations will learn from the past; and

WHEREAS, this event in history has just finally begun to be incorporated into Holocaust, genocide and human rights studies in schools throughout our nation; and

WHEREAS, while for many the memories are sad and painful in recalling the tragedy and inhumanity of the Armenian Genocide, we can help future generations better understand its impact and magnitude while ensuring that such an occurrence will never happen again;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Booth Garner, Governor of the State of Washington, do hereby proclaim April 24, 1990, as a

Day of Remembrance

in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and in remembrance of the innocent victims of this tragedy, and I urge all citizens to join in this important observance.

Governor Booth Gardner

Washington Municipal

Proclamation by the Governor

Seattle, WA

WHEREAS, more than one million Armenians were systemically exterminated by the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1923 in the Armenian Genocide; and

WHEREAS, these crimes against humanity removed all traces of the Armenians and other targeted people from their historic homelands; and

WHEREAS, Armenians and other targeted minorities survived the Genocide despite the attempt to annihilate them; and

WHEREAS, former Washington Governor Booth Garner proclaimed April 24th, 1990 as a “Day of Remembrance” in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide; and

WHEREAS, April 24, 2015 will mark the centennial anniversary of the Armenian Genocide; and

WHEREAS, the Armenian community in Seattle and throughout the world will remember those who suffered in this terrible atrocity; and

WHEREAS, every person should be made aware and educated about the Armenian Genocide and other crimes against humanity.


Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day


Mayor Edward B. Murray

Washington’s Support for Survivors of the Armenian Genocide

Washington 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.

Washington facilitated its relief efforts from its headquarters at 329 Burke Building in Seattle.

Under the leadership of Dr. Sherman L. Divine, chairman of Northwestern USA for NER, the Northwestern USA acted as foster parents to 6,750 Armenian orphan children, by providing the cost of feeding and clothing these children at $60 per child per year. Under this impressive mercy effort West Washington provided for 2,500 orphans, East Washington and North Idaho for 1,250 orphans, South Idaho for 834 orphans, Utah for 1,250 orphans, Montana for 834 orphans and Alaska for 83 orphans, raising a total of $405,000 annually.


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

The Armenian Genocide in Washington Press

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