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Glendale schools first in U.S. to make Armenian genocide remembrance day an official holiday

Glendale schools first in U.S. to make Armenian genocide remembrance day an official holiday
Thousands march in Los Angeles' Little Armenia on April 24, 2012, to mark the Armenian genocide of 1915. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)

In a first for the nation, April 24 will be officially designated "Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day" in the Glendale Unified School District after a unanimous vote by school board members on Tuesday.

Glendale Unified is the first school district in the country to establish a day in remembrance of the genocide, which began in 1915 and resulted in the killing of 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire.

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Since the 2013-14 school year, students and teachers have been given the day off on April 24 — globally observed as the recognition of the Armenian genocide — because so many of them take part in genocide events, such as the annual remembrance march through Hollywood.

However, school officials wanted to locally brand the day, which until now was referred to only as a non-instructional day.

"Every calendar in the school district, it's going to be printed Armenian Genocide [Commemoration] Day," said school board member Greg Krikorian. "It's going to be embedded in there."

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