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The Illinois Senate adopted a resolution acknowledging March as Bulgarian-American Heritage Month

27 March 2023 News

On March 24, the Illinois Senate unanimously passed a resolution acknowledging March as Bulgarian-American Heritage Month.

The resolution reaffirms the strategic relations between Bulgaria and the United States and marks the 20th anniversary of the ratification by the US Senate of the protocol for Bulgaria's accession to NATO, the 80th anniversary of the rescue of the Bulgarian Jews during World War II, 120 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, as well as 145 years since the Liberation of Bulgaria.

The role of the Bulgarian people, who in 1943 resisted Nazi pressure and prevented the deportation of 50 000 Bulgarian Jews to the death camps, is recognized as well.

For the first time, a U.S. legislature body considered the old and new Bulgarian emigration in its entirety, recognizing its achievements as part of America's cultural and historical heritage. Among the Bulgarians recognized are John Atanasov, as the creator of the first electronic computer; the aviators Stoyan Yurukov and Assen Yordanov, the latter considered as the "father of American civil aviation"; the writer Aleko Konstantinov and his novel "To Chicago and Back," which inspired generations of Bulgarians to emigrate to the Windy City.

For the first time, a political act in the United States considered the achievements of the Macedonian Bulgarians as part of the overall contribution of the Bulgarian emigration to the development of the New World. Among the successes of the Macedonian Bulgarians is noted the Macedonian Patriotic Organization, established in 1922, and its newspaper "Makedonska Tribuna". Recognition is given to the successes of individual personalities among the Bulgarian emigrants from the region of Macedonia, such as the banker Henry Karanjev and the writer and state senator Stoyan Hristov (Stoyan Chistowe).

The resolution notes the contribution of Bulgarian churches, schools, cultural clubs, dance groups, businesses and civic organizations to the development of social, economic and cultural life in the state of Illinois.

The Consulate General in Chicago expresses its gratitude to Senators Dan McConchie (R), Laura M. Murphy (D), Laura Fine (D), Christopher Belt (D), Erica Harriss (R), and Sally J. Turner (R) who were the official co-sponsors of the resolution.

The Consul General of Bulgaria in Chicago, Svetoslav Stankov, congratulated all the members and leaders of the Bulgarian community in Illinois who conducted an extremely positive campaign in support of the resolution. In addition, he said, "Along with strengthening the strategic relations with Bulgaria, for the first time a political act of an American legislative body accepts Bulgarian emigration as part of the cultural and historical heritage of the United States. This is a historic political recognition that opens a new chapter in Bulgarian-American relations."

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