April 26, 2001
HOUSE BILL No. 4674
April 26, 2001, Introduced by Reps. Shulman, Cassis, Raczkowski, Bishop, LaSata, Ruth Johnson, Richner and Rocca and referred to the Committee on House Oversight and Operations.
A bill to establish the Michigan days of remembrance of the Armenian genocide.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:
Sec. 1. (1) The legislature recognizes that 1,500,000 men, women, and children of Armenian descent--more than 1/2 of the Armenian population at the time--were victims of a brutal geno- cide perpetrated by the Turkish Ottoman Empire from 1915-1923. The Armenian genocide represented a deliberate attempt to elimi- nate all traces of a thriving noble civilization over 3,000 years old.
(2) Recognition of the anniversary of this genocide and open condemnation of these crimes against an entire people are crucial to ensure against the repetition of similar future atrocities committed against any culture of people.
(3) Armenians all over the world commemorate this great tragedy on April 24, because it was on that day in 1915 when 300 Armenian leaders, writers, thinkers, and professionals in Constantinople (present-day Istanbul) were rounded up, deported, and killed. Also on that day, 5,000 of the poorest Armenians were butchered in the streets and in their homes.
Sec. 2. (1) The legislature declares that April 24 of each year shall be the Michigan day of remembrance of the Armenian genocide of 1915-1923, and that the period beginning on the Sunday before that day through the following Sunday shall be the days of remembrance in this state, in memory of the victims of the genocide, and in honor of the survivors.
(2) The legislature encourages the public schools of this state to develop educational programs similar to those already established in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York that focus on human rights, with specific attention given to the Armenian genocide.