On Monday, Armenian Americans throughout the Southland and around the world will commemorate the genocide committed against their people 91 years ago in the Ottoman Turkish Empire.

On April 24, 1915, the Ottoman government began the systematic arrest, deportation and wholesale slaughter of Armenian men, women and children by seizing hundreds of community leaders under cover of a news blackout imposed during World War I.

Scholars believe that as many as 1.5 million Armenians perished during the genocide, which one American ambassador there at the time described as “a campaign of race extermination.”

Despite these and other messages to the American government, federal lawmakers have yet to officially recognize the genocide. For a number of years, some in Congress — including Pasadena Democrat Adam Schiff — have pushed for genocide recognition, but such bills have failed to gain majority support.

Throughout the week, a number of local events will commemorate the genocide.

  • Artists and speakers are expected to gather at 7 p.m. Friday for a genocide commemoration event at Glendale High School, 1440 E. Broadway, Glendale. Call (818) 242-3161.
  • Congressman Adam Schiff is expected to speak at a genocide commemoration event which begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at United Community Church, 333 E. Colorado St., Glendale. Call (818) 502-3233.
  • Glendale City Council members are hosting a commemoration event at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale. Call (818) 243-2611.
  • Thousands are expected to gather at 10 a.m. Monday in East Hollywood for a march through Little Armenia. Call (818) 971-5065.
  • The Armenian Youth Federation is organizing a protest at 4 p.m. Monday at the Turkish Consulate, 6300 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. Call (818) 507-1933 or email ayf@ayfwest.org.