Congratulations on Upcoming Anniversary Celebration of Mirror-Spectator


By Hagop Vartivarian

During the beginning of the 20th century the generation of immigrants to America was already ceding its place to a new American-born generation, a generation which did not have the opportunity to attend Armenian schools. In those days, Armenian schools did not exist in America where one could learn the Armenian language. Although an Armenian-filled atmosphere still existed in Watertown, Worcester, Providence, New York and other towns, the Armenian language was already imperceptibly in retreat.

Baikar, the Boston daily newspaper published by the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party (ADL), remained sought-after by the Armenian-speaking generation, but it was necessary to provide the new generation a newspaper in the English language. In 1932, the leadership of the time, headed by Diradour Dikijian, was audacious enough to begin publication of the weekly Mirror. Later, in 1939, the Mirror merged with the Spectator in New York in order to better reach the younger generation in particular.

In addition to being the mouthpiece of democratic liberal ideology, the Mirror-Spectator became the unofficial organ of all national patriotic organizations, which believed in the creed of the ADL. Only one year after its establishment, the Primate of the day, Archbishop Ghevont Tourian, was martyred. From his demise until the present, the Mirror-Spectator has advocated the unity of the Church of Armenia and directed the unvarying respect of the Armenian Americans towards the Mother See of Echmiadzin.

For decades it has chronicled the wide-ranging activities of the Armenian General Benevolent Union, holding high their role in Armenian communities. Similarly, it praised the exemplary work of the brotherhood of the Knights of Vartan and later extensively reported on the activity of the Armenian Assembly of America, which was created as a result of Armenian national demands.

During the sad days of the Cold War, it focused the patriotism of the Armenian-American masses on the homeland, and filled the masses with enthusiasm over the cultural, educational, scientific and architectural successes of Armenia. During World War II, it recorded on a daily basis the heroic deeds of Armenian soldiers serving in the Red Army against Hitler’s armies. It championed repatriation to Mother Armenia from 1946 to 1948.

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It became the true voice of the Tekeyan Cultural Association and presented its educational, social and cultural life. It connected our communities of the diaspora to Armenia. And it trumpeted our independence, awaited for centuries, with the arrival of the third Republic of Armenia.

(Hagop Vartivarian is the chairman of the New York chapter of the Tekeyan Cultural Association and is the chairman of the ADL Press Committee.)

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