1. A thread on the Armenian genocide as Biden rightly moves to recognize it (finally) after Trump continued to deny its existence. The genocide was the systematic extermination of 1.5 million Armenians under the Ottoman Empire carried out between 1914 and 1923.
2. This is one small story from the genocide, from Frances Gage, a Christian missionary who was an alumni of @CarletonCollege in Northfield, Minnesota. She wrote in diaries at the time while she was teaching at a missionary school affiliated with Carleton in Marsovan, Turkey.
3. In the summer of 1915, Turks came to the school. They had already rounded up the men and boys, but they were there to take the girls. In the end, they rounded up 63 girls. They were likely going to be killed as part of the genocide. Gage couldn't stop them from being taken.
4. After the soldiers left, she immediately applied for a travel permit to go after them. It took 6 days before she was approved, but she then chased down the group after traveling 113 miles. She telegraphed ahead to the regional governor, pleading with him to hold the girls.
5. Accounts differ of how this next bit happened (persuasion or emptying the school coffers to pay a hefty bribe) but Gage was able to leave with 48 of the girls. They survived. She saved them. Gage was an unsung hero. She died 2 years later.
6. I studied Gage's diaries as part of my history thesis as an undergrad at Carleton College. They are a first-hand account of the genocide. Another Carleton professor who was an Armenian had returned to the Ottoman Empire and was beheaded. It was covered in the college newspaper
7. The genocide was real. Turkey's government is trying to bury its own past. And until now, cowardly politicians—including Trump—have allowed them to win. Biden is finally putting an end to that. It happened. It was a genocide. This story is just one tiny glimpse of atrocities.
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