Wisconsin 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.

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

Wisconsin Gubernatorial Proclamations

Governor Lucey of Wisconsin in Proclamation
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
April 17, 1973

WHEREAS, April 24. 1915, commemorates the forceful deportation of two and one half million Armenians and the deliberate and planned genocide of the Armenians by the Turks; and

WHEREAS, more than one and one half million Armenians were so massacred and murdered by the Turkish government plan and decree; and

WHEREAS, this martyrdom. brought about by the Armenian adherence to Christianity and their general cultural and educational advancement and accomplishment made the Armenians to become the first nation in the 20th century to be the victims of genocide; and

WHEREAS, American citizens of Armenian descent join other Armenians scattered throughout the world in observing and commemorating the 58th anniversary of those massacres paying tribute to the memory of those who gave their lives in the cause of religious and political freedom; and

WHEREAS, we as Americans have always cherished the rights of human beings to be free and have the blessings of liberty guaranteed to us under our Bill of Rights and the Constitution;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, PATRICK J. LUCEY, Governor of the State of Wisconsin, do hereby pro-claim April 24 through 30. 1973, as

ARMENIAN MARTYRS WEEK

in the State of Wisconsin and urge all citizens to be aware of this observation. 

As Printed in the Armenian Weekly, May 10, 1973

A PROCLAMATION BY THE OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
STATE OF WISCONSIN
April 24, 1990

WHEREAS, the Armenians are of ancient descent, whose history dates back over three thousand years, beginning in their homeland at the heart of which stands the Biblical Mount Ararat; and

WHEREAS, Armenians have been torchbearers of the democratic way of life and Western culture since their adoption of Christianity as their national religion in 301 A.D.; and

WHEREAS, few nations have had to make as great a sacrifice to maintain the ideals of a democratic way of life and their human right to their principles and national existence, as have the Armenians; and

WHEREAS, we mourn the more than one and one-half million innocent men, women and children who fell victim to the atrocities during the period from 1915 to 1923; and

WHEREAS, Americans of Armenian ancestry have contributed significantly to the enrichment of our nation and state in the fields of education, science, literature, parts, economics, and government;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, TOMMY G. THOMPSON, Governor of the State of Wisconsin, do hereby proclaim April 24, 1990

ARMENIAN MARTYRS’ DAY

in the State of Wisconsin, and commend this observance to the people of this State.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Wisconsin to be affixed. Done at the Capitol in the City of Madison this twenty-fourth day of April in the year one thousand nine hundred ninety.

(SIGNED)
TOMMY G. THOMPSON
Governor
DOUGLAS LA FOLLETTE
Secretary of State

State Senate Resolutions

SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION 71 – ENROLLED JOINT RESOLUTION
THE STATE OF WISCONSIN
January 30, 1990

Relating to a day of remembrance for the Armenian genocide of 1915-1923.

Whereas, 1,500,000 people of Armenian ancestry were victims of genocide perpetrated by the governments of the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923; and

Whereas, at the outbreak of World War I, the Young Turk regime decided to deport the entire Armenian population of about 1,750,00 to Syria and Mesopotamia; and

Whereas, Talaat Pasha, leader of the Young Turk movement, was principal author of the plan to exterminate the Armenians; and

Whereas, the plan of genocide consisted of deporting all Armenians of whatever age or condition of health to the totally barren Der-El-Zor region of what is now Syria; and

Whereas, the Armenians were deport to Der-El-Zor on foot, a death march in which more than 1,000,000 died of starvation or were killed; and

Whereas, Armenians were rounded up and brutally driven from their homes and their land, separated from families, robbed of everything they owned and stripped of all they carried with them; and

Whereas, thousands of Christian Armenians were tortured and murdered for refusing to accept Islam as their religion; and

Whereas, the atrocities inflicted on Armenians held in concentration camps and one the death marches to Der-El-Zor in the Syrian desert resemble those of the Holocaust of World War II; and

Whereas, the massacre of Armenians who escaped deportation and remained in Turkey was called the “most colossal crime of all ages” by the examining American military mission’s report to the U.S. congress; and

Whereas, in a telegram sent by U.S. Ambassador Henry Morgenthau to the secretary of state, Morgenthau warned that “a campaign of race extermination is in progress under a pretext of reprisal against rebellion”; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the senate, the assembly concurring, That the legislature of the state of Wisconsin proclaims April 24, 1990, as a day of remembrance of the 75th anniversary of the Armenian genocide of 1915-1923; and, be it further

Resolved, that the legislature calls upon the people of Wisconsin to observe that by remembering the 1,500,000 people of Armenian ancestry who lost their lives in the genocide of 1915-1923.

(SIGNED)
Representative Thomas A. Loftus Speaker of the Assembly
Senator Fred A. Risser President of the Senate
Donald J. Shneider Senate Chief Clerk

ENGROSSED RESOLUTION
2001 Senate Resolution 14

RELATING TO: designating April 24 of each year as Wisconsin Day of Remembrance for the Armenian Genocide of 1915 to 1923.

WHEREAS, a systematic destruction of thousands of Armenian communities, through massacres and death marches in which some 1,500,000 Armenians perished and hundreds of thousands more were uprooted from their homes and ancient homeland, was carried out from 1915 to 1923; and

WHEREAS, despite the overwhelming evidence borne out by a wealth of documentation, the Turkish government has never recognized nor accepted responsibility for the genocide of the Armenian people from 1915 to 1923; and

WHEREAS, by denying and trying to expunge the record of their genocide, the Turkish government deprives the Armenian people of their own history; and

WHEREAS, recognition of these instances of the Turkish inhumanity to the Armenian population is crucial to guarding against the recurrence of genocide and provides the Armenian people with a greater understanding of their heritage; and

WHEREAS, the discrimination against and the hardship of the Armenian people persist today as fundamental freedoms are eroded through various governmental administrative orders; and

WHEREAS, the differences between the Turkish and Armenian people remain and even today lead to the loss of human lives and numerous violations of human rights; and

WHEREAS, the government of Turkey denies its Armenian community religious freedom, the right to control its own schools, the right to teach its children its own language, and the right to express its ethnic identity; now, therefore, be it

2001 Senate Resolution 14       

Resolved by the senate, That the senate of the state of Wisconsin hereby designates April 24 of each year as “Wisconsin Day of Remembrance for the Armenian Genocide of 1915 to 1923”; and, be it further

Resolved, That the senate chief clerk shall provide a copy of this resolution to the Governor, the Armenian Genocide Commemorative Committee, and the President of the United States.

S t a t e C a p i t o l
Madison, Wisconsin
Senator Fred A. Risser
President of the Senate
Date
Donald J. Schneider
Senate Chief Clerk

Wisconsin Assembly

1993 Bill Text WI A.J.R. 130

THE STATE OF WISCONSIN BILL TEXT

Copyright © 1994 LexisNexis. All rights reserved. 1993 WI A.J.R. 130

WISCONSIN 91ST LEGISLATIVE SESSION — 1993-94 REGULAR SESSION ASSEMBLY JOINT RESOLUTION 130
1993-94 LEGISLATURE
STATE OF WISCONSIN
LRB-5862/1
1993 ASSEMBLY JOINT RESOLUTION 130
1993 Bill Text WI A.J.R. 130
VERSION: Introduced
VERSION-DATE: March 14, 1994
SYNOPSIS:  Relating to the Armenian genocide.

TEXT: Whereas, the extermination of more than 1,500,000 Armenians by the Ottoman Turks and the forced deportation of countless others has been remembered every year since 1915 on April 24 as Armenian Martyrs Day; and

Whereas, 79 years ago Armenians were forced to witness the slaughter of their relatives and the loss of their ancestral homeland; and

Whereas, Turkey continues to deny and distort the facts of the genocide and honors the perpetrators of that crime against humanity as national heroes; and

Whereas, the continuous denial of the Armenian genocide by the present-day Turkish government deprives the Armenian people of the right to their own history; and

Whereas, the Armenian people have not received reparations for their losses; and

Whereas, ancestral Armenian lands have not been returned to the Armenian people; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED BY THE ASSEMBLY, THE SENATE CONCURRING, THAT the members of the Wisconsin legislature commemorate this 79th anniversary of the Armenian genocide on April 24, 1994, and urge the citizens of Wisconsin to do the same; and, be it further

RESOLVED, THAT the members of the Wisconsin legislature call on the president of the United States to obtain from the present Turkish government an acknowledgment of the genocide that was perpetrated against the Armenians from 1915 to 1923; and, be it further

RESOLVED, THAT the assembly chief clerk shall provide a copy of this joint resolution to the president of the United States.

March 14, 1994 – Introduced by Representatives WIRCH, KREUSER and PORTER, cosponsored by Senator ANDREA.  Referred to Committee on Rules

SUBJECT:  LEGISLATIVE BODIES (91%); LEGISLATORS (90%); GENOCIDE (90%);
COUNTRY:  UNITED STATES (97%); TURKEY (94%);
STATE:  WISCONSIN, USA (97%);

1995 Bill Text WI A.J.R. 31
THE STATE OF WISCONSIN BILL TEXT STATENE
Copyright © 1995 by Information for Public Affairs, Inc.
1995 WI A.J.R. 31
WISCONSIN 92ND LEGISLATIVE SESSION — 1995-96 REGULAR SESSION ASSEMBLY JOINT RESOLUTION 31
STATE OF WISCONSIN 1995 – 1996 LEGISLATURE
1995 ASSEMBLY JOINT RESOLUTION 31
APRIL 3, 1995 – INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVE WIRCH, COSPONSORED BY
SENATOR ANDREA. REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON STATE AFFAIRS.
1995 Bill Text WI A.J.R. 31
VERSION: Introduced VERSION-DATE: April 3, 1995
SYNOPSIS: Relating to: the Armenian genocide.

WHEREAS, the extermination of more than 1,500,000 Armenians by the Ottoman Turks and the forced deportation of countless others has been remembered every year since 1915 on April 24 as Armenian Martyrs Day; and

WHEREAS, 80 years ago Armenians were forced to witness the slaughter of their relatives and the loss of their ancestral homeland; and

WHEREAS, Turkey continues to deny and distort the facts of the genocide and honors the perpetrators of that crime against humanity as national heroes; and

WHEREAS, the continuous denial of the Armenian genocide by the present-day Turkish government deprives the Armenian people of the right to their own history; and

WHEREAS, the Armenian people have not received reparations for their losses; and

WHEREAS, ancestral Armenian lands have not been returned to the Armenian people;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT, Resolved by the assembly, the senate concurring, That the members of the Wisconsin legislature commemorate this 80th anniversary of the Armenian genocide on April 24, 1995, and urge the citizens of Wisconsin to do the same;

RESOLVED, That the members of the Wisconsin legislature call on the President of the United States to obtain from the present Turkish government an acknowledgment of the genocide that was perpetrated against the Armenians from 1915 to 1923;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the assembly chief clerk shall provide a copy of this joint resolution to the President of the United States.

SPONSOR:
Wirch

1999 Assembly Resolution 42
ENGROSSED RESOLUTION

Relating to: designating April 24 of each year as “Wisconsin Day of Remembrance for the Armenian Genocide of 1915 to 1923”.

Whereas, a systematic destruction of thousands of Armenian communities, through massacres and death marches in which some 1,500,000 Armenians perished and hundreds of thousands more were uprooted from their homes and ancient homeland, was carried out from 1915 to 1923; and

Whereas, despite the overwhelming evidence borne out by a wealth of documentation, the Turkish government has never recognized nor accepted responsibility for the genocide of the Armenian people from 1915 to 1923; and

Whereas, by denying, and trying to expunge, the record of their genocide, the Turkish government deprives the Armenian people of their own history; and

Whereas, recognition of these instances of the Turkish inhumanity to the Armenian population is crucial to guarding against the recurrence of genocide and provides the Armenian people with a greater understanding of their heritage; and

Whereas, the discrimination against and the hardship of the Armenian people persist today as fundamental freedoms are eroded through various governmental administrative orders; and

Whereas, the differences between the Turkish and Armenian people remain and even today lead to the loss of human lives and numerous violations of human rights; and

Whereas, the government of Turkey denies its Armenian community religious freedom, the right to control its own schools, the right to teach its children its own language, and the right to express its ethnic identity;

Now, Therefore, it be Resolved by the assembly, That the assembly of the state of Wisconsin hereby designates April 24 of each year as “Wisconsin Day of Remembrance for the Armenian Genocide of 1915 to 1923”;

1999 Assembly Resolution 42

Be It Further Resolved, That the assembly chief clerk shall provide a copy of this resolution to the Governor, the Armenian Genocide Commemorative Committee and the President of the United States.

S t a t e C a p i t o l
Madison, Wisconsin

Representative Scott R. Jensen
Speaker of the Assembly
Date
Charles R. Sanders
Assembly Chief Clerk

2001 Assembly Joint Resolution 72
ENROLLED JOINT RESOLUTION
Relating to: the 1,700th anniversary of Armenian Christianity.

Whereas, in the first century, Armenia was evangelized through the missionary efforts of the Apostles Thaddeus and Bartholomew, and the seeds of Christian faith were sown in the land; and

Whereas, in the year 301 A.D., through the efforts of St. Gregory the Illuminator and King Tiridates, Armenia became the first nation in human history to adopt Christianity as its state religion;

Whereas, the Armenian people cherish the memory of St. Gregory, a witness to the Christian faith who overcame persecution and torture, by whom Christianity was revealed to King Tiridates and the Armenian royal family; and

Whereas, after his conversion and baptism, Tiridates and St. Gregory traveled throughout the country building churches and preaching the new faith to the people, as a result of which Christianity took firm root in Armenia; and

Whereas, in the year 406, the monk St. Mesrob Mashdotz, with the support of Catholicos Sahag and King Vramshabuh, devised a unique phonetic alphabet for the Armenian language with which the Holy Bible and other religious texts were rendered into Armenian, so that the tenets of Christianity could be taught to the people; and

Whereas, in the year 451 A.D., an invasion from Persia which threatened Armenian worship was heroically resisted by St. Vartan Mamigonian who, with 1,036 comrades, was martyred on the field of Avarayr; and

Whereas, in 484 A.D., the Armenians finally achieved victory over the Persians in the first war fought in defense of Christianity, and signed the Treaty of Nvarsak which allowed them to worship freely according to the tenets of the Christian faith; and

Whereas, the exquisitely beautiful and inspired artistic creations of the Armenian Church in the fields of painting, sculpture, architecture, liturgical music, and sacred literature comprise a permanent and noteworthy contribution of the Armenians to world culture; and

2001 Assembly Joint Resolution 72

Whereas, the Armenian people have remained steadfast in their Christian faith throughout the past 1,700 years, despite martyrdom, persecution, massacres, and genocide; and

Whereas, for the past 1,700 years, the Armenian Apostolic Church has been the unshakable anchor of the Armenian people throughout the world; and

Whereas, in the past half century the Armenian Apostolic Church, as an autocephalous branch of Oriental Orthodox Christianity, has played a leading role in international ecumenical dialogue that seeks to reconcile Christian denominations throughout the world; and

Whereas, Armenians began arriving in America as early as 1619, bringing with them their faith, and, beginning in 1898, established numerous churches from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific, where they could worship freely according to their tradition; and

Whereas, for over a century, Armenians fleeing religious and political persecution have sought refuge in Wisconsin, where they have lived in freedom, practiced their faith, and contributed to the progress of this state in every field of endeavor; and

Whereas, the year 2001 represents the 1,700th anniversary of the adoption of Christianity by the Armenian nation; and

Whereas, on October 13, 2001, the 4 parishes of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Wisconsin, Holy Resurrection of South Milwaukee, St. Mesrob of Racine, St. Hagop of Racine, and St. John the Baptist of Greenfield, will celebrate the Feast of the Holy Translators, by whose efforts the Armenian nation was evangelized;

Now, Therefore, be it Resolved by the assembly, the senate concurring, That the Wisconsin legislature designates October 13 of each year as “Armenian Christianity Day,” to be observed as recognition of the 1,700−year Christian heritage of the Armenian people.

Senator Fred A. Risser
President of the Senate
Representative Scott R. Jensen
Speaker of the Assembly
Date
John A. Scocos
Assembly Chief Clerk

ENROLLED JOINT RESOLUTION
2015 Assembly Joint Resolution 23
Relating to: remembrance of April 24, 2015, as the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

WHEREAS, 2015 marks the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, when the systematic destruction of thousands of Armenian communities in the Ottoman Empire, through massacres and death marches in which some 1,500,000 Armenians perished and hundreds of thousands more were uprooted from their homes and ancient homeland, was carried out from 1915 to 1923; and

WHEREAS, despite the overwhelming evidence borne out by a wealth of documentation, the Turkish government has never recognized nor accepted responsibility for the genocide of the Armenian people from 1915 to 1923; and

WHEREAS, by denying, and trying to expunge, the record of their genocide, the Turkish government deprives the Armenian people of their own history; and

WHEREAS, recognition of this atrocity is crucial to guarding against the recurrence of genocide and provides the Armenian people with a greater understanding of their heritage; and

WHEREAS, the discrimination against and the hardship of the Armenian people persists in Turkey today and has led to human rights violations and the loss of human life; and

WHEREAS, in the year 2000 the assembly of the state of Wisconsin and in the year 2002 the senate of the state of Wisconsin adopted resolutions designating April 24 of each year as “Wisconsin Day of Remembrance for the Armenian Genocide of 1915 to 1923”;

Now, Therefore, be it Resolved by the assembly, the senate concurring, That the assembly and senate of the state of Wisconsin hereby designate April 24, 2015, as “Wisconsin Day of Remembrance for the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 to 1923.”

(SIGNED)
Senator Mary Lazich
President of the Senate
Representative Robin J. Vos
Speaker of the Assembly
Date
Patrick E. Fuller
Assembly Chief Clerk

Wisconsin Municipal

GREENFIELD CITY HALL
GREENFIELD CITY
APRIL 24, 2015

Alder person Saryan said that being of Armenian ancestry, the 2015 ASSEMBLY JOINT RESOLUTION 23, which was adopted by the Wisconsin Assembly on April 14, 2015 and by the Wisconsin  Senate today,  April  21, 2015, is  particularly meaningful to her. She read the  following relating to remembrance of April 24, 2015, as the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and asked that it  be placed  in  the record.

Whereas, 2015 marks the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, when the systematic destruction of thousands of Armenian communities in the Ottoman Empire, through massacres an death marches in which some 1,500,000 Armenians perished and hundreds of thousands more   were uprooted from their homes and ancient homeland, was carried out from 1915 to 1923; and

Whereas, despite the overwhelming evidence borne out by a wealth of documentation, the Turkish  government has never recognized nor accepted responsibility for the genocide of the Armenian  people from 1915 to 1923; and

Whereas,  by denying, and trying to expunge, the recor of their genocide, the Turkish government deprives the Armenian people of their own history; and

Whereas, recognition of this atrocity is crucial to guarding against the recurrence of genocide  and provides the Armenian people with a greater understanding of their heritage; and

Whereas,  the discrimination against and the hardship of the Armenian people persists in Turkey  today and has led to human rights violations and the loss of human life; and

Whereas, in the year 2000 the assembly of the state of Wisconsin and in the year 2002 the senate  of the state of Wisconsin adopted resolutions designating  April  24 of each year  as “Wisconsin Day of Remembrance for the Armenian Genocide of 1915 to 1923”;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT, resolved  by the assembly, the senate  concurring, That  the  assembly and senate of the state of Wisconsin hereby designate April 24, 2015 as “Wisconsin Day of Remembrance for the 100th Anniversary  of the  Armenian  Genocide  of 1915 to 1923.

At this time, the Mayor continued with Item #8

Wisconsin’s Support for Survivors of the Armenian Genocide

Wisconsin 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.

Wisconsin facilitated its NER efforts from its state office headquarters located at 930 Caswell Block in Milwaukee.

Wisconsin native, Lester Wright was born in 1886 in Waukesha. Wright served as an agricultural missionary in NER’s Harpoot’s unit where he planned to introduce agricultural innovation to the refugees who although had survived the Armenian Genocide, were left without any sustainable resources.

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

The Armenian Genocide in Wisconsin Press