The Armenian National Committee (ANC) is an outgrowth of the American Committee for the Independence of Armenia (ACIA) which came into being at the close of World War I. It was founded by Vahan Cardashian, the former Consul of the Ottoman Empire in Washington. Its membership included many prominent American and Allied leaders including James V. Gerard, the U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Charles Evans Hughes (later appointed Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court), Elihu Root and others. Its goal, as implied by its title, was to seek the independence of Armenia along the lines recommended by President Wilson. The ACIA had its central offices in New York City with 23 regional offices in 13 states. A regional office was established in Fresno in the late 1940?s.
History of the Armenian National Committee Central California, Fresno Chapter
It was these Regional Offices that gradually evolved into Armenian National Committees. The Fresno area ANC?s first major activity was its role in the commemorative activities o?n the 50th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The local ANC gradually expanded its activities to include public relations efforts to acquaint the local community about Armenian issues including the Armenian Genocide and Armenian National aspirations. Other activities included April 24th commemoration activities, public forums, voter registration efforts, support for local and state political candidates and updating the local community o?n Armenian issues.
In 1984, an ANC office was opened and Richard Darmanian was appointed Director. This enabled the ANC to expand its activities to include Genocide Curriculum workshops for local public school teachers, placement of books o?n Armenian history and the Genocide in local school libraries, soliciting proclamations o?n the occasion of April 24 from the Fresno City Council and the Fresno County Board of Supervisors, holding public forums for political candidates, soliciting aid for victims of the Armenian earthquake and solidifying contacts with media personnel. In addition, the Director worked as a social service liaison, assisting individuals with immigration problems, citizenship acquisition, incidents with local law enforcement and dealing with incidents of Anti-defamation.
Armenian National Committee Today
Today, the ANC Central California chapter consists of members representing a cross section of our Central California Armenian-American community. The ANC is a grassroots political organization representing the interests of the Armenian-American community and Armenia. Fresno ANC Members comprising of civic leaders, educators, businessmen, and college students are aspired in lifetime commitments o?n issues central to Armenians. The ANC Central California chapter collectively comprise of voters and activists of the two major American political parties Democrat, Republican, along with Independents. Legislation in state and congressional levels are initiatives in which we are keenly aware and help educate Armenian-Americans as well as non-Armenians. Decades long tireless efforts have bridged a mutual understanding at the local, state, and congressional levels with our elected officials.
The Central California Chapter will remain steadfast in furthering our interests through activities such as:
- Gaining support for the passage of a Congressional Genocide Resolution
- Panel Discussions
- ANC Endorsements
- Informational Press Conferences
- Armenian Christmas Open House inviting our local and state politicians and community leaders
- ANC Man Of the Year Award Banquet recognizing individuals who have brought attention to the Armenian Cause and Armenian issues
- April 24th Flag Raising Ceremony in front of Fresno City Hall
- Genocide Education forums and workshops for highschool and college students
- Armenian Heritage Walk - a tour of Fresno's historic Old Armenian Town
- Postcard campaigns to prospective Presidential Candidates
- Informative articles to Armenian and American publications
- Educational seminars
...and many other political and educational activities.
The Armenian National Committee has over 45 chapters in 25 states across the United States -- each working to ensure that the Armenian-American community's collective electoral voice is heard o?n the federal, state and local level. With its national headquarters located in Washington, DC and regional offices in Glendale, CA and Watertown, MA, the ANC has led the drive to increase community participation in the American political process for over 80 years.
We encourage the Armenian Community in the United States and around the world to support your local ANC.
For more about the Armenian National Committee of Central California, please visit their website at:
For more about the Armenian National Committee of America, visit their website at: