SR0013LRB103 04936 MST 49947 r


2    WHEREAS, Bulgaria and the United States are strategic
3partners and allies, sharing ties of culture, tradition, and
4common interest; and
5    WHEREAS, The year 2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the
6United States Senate's ratification of the Protocol for
7Accession of Bulgaria into the North Atlantic Treaty
8Organization (NATO), the 80th anniversary of the Bulgarian
9people's rescue of the Bulgarian Jews, the 120th anniversary
10of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the
11United States and Bulgaria, and the 145th anniversary of the
12liberation of Bulgaria; and
13    WHEREAS, The first Bulgarian emigrants to Illinois arrived
14in the second half of the 19th century; and
15    WHEREAS, Granite City hosts the oldest Bulgarian American
16community in the United States; and
17    WHEREAS, The prominent Bulgarian American banker, Henry
18Krandzhev, served as the president of the Granite City Trust
19and Savings Bank and as the president of the Masonic Temple
20Association, receiving the title of Scoutmaster; and



SR0013- 2 -LRB103 04936 MST 49947 r

1    WHEREAS, The first Bulgarian emigrants to Chicago, who
2began to arrive as early as the 1870s, were students sent by
3American protestant missionaries for study in the United
4States; and
5    WHEREAS, While most of these students returned to
6Bulgaria, some remained and created a Bulgarian American
7community in Illinois; and
8    WHEREAS, Bulgaria was admitted into and permitted to
9display an exhibit at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in
10Chicago, an event hailed by the Chicago Tribune as the first
11diplomatic recognition accorded to Bulgaria as an independent
12state; and
13    WHEREAS, Aleko Konstantinov, a famous Bulgarian writer,
14recounted his journey to the World's Columbian Exposition in
15Chicago in his book, To Chicago and Back, which became
16instrumental in encouraging generations of Bulgarians to
17emigrate to Chicago; and
18    WHEREAS, Tens of thousands of Bulgarians arrived in the
19United States from the geographic region of Macedonia at the
20beginning of the 20th century, pursuing freedom and fleeing
21the devastation and horrors occasioned by regional unrest; and



SR0013- 3 -LRB103 04936 MST 49947 r

1    WHEREAS, The first Bulgarian Mission with its own priest
2was established in Madison in 1907; and
3    WHEREAS, Madison is home to Illinois' oldest Bulgarian
4Orthodox Church, Holy Trinity, built by Macedonian Bulgarians
5with the current church building existing since 1910; and
6    WHEREAS, The Granite City Bulgarian community published
7the first Bulgarian newspaper in the United States, the Vox
8Populi, or Voice of the People, from 1907 to 1950; other
9Bulgarians newspapers, such as the New World (1908-1909),
10Emigrant (1909), Freedom (1914-1917), Macedonian Tribune
11(1927-present), and others, followed in its wake; and
12    WHEREAS, Stoyan Yurukov became the first Bulgarian pilot
13to fly in the skies above Chicago in 1912, charting the course
14for many other Bulgarian pilots who have lived and worked in
15the Windy City; and
16    WHEREAS, Bulgarian emigrants from the region of Macedonia
17founded the Macedonian Patriotic Organization in 1922; the
18organization continues to work for human, civil, and economic
19rights of all individuals, regardless of ethnicity, who hail
20from the geographic region; and
21    WHEREAS, Assen Hristov Jordanoff, a Bulgarian American



SR0013- 4 -LRB103 04936 MST 49947 r

1engineer and pilot, emigrated to the United States after World
2War I, becoming one of the fathers of civil aviation in the
3United States; and
4    WHEREAS, The Macedonian Bulgarian Stoyan Christowe, a
5journalist for the Chicago Daily News, wrote a book titled
6This is My Country, a semi-autographical book about the
7immigrants arriving in the United States from southeast Europe
8at the beginning of the 20th century and a book found on the
9bedside table of President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the time
10of his death; and
11    WHEREAS, John V. Atansoff, a Bulgarian American, created
12the first automatic electronic digital computer in 1939, an
13invention for which he was presented the National Medal for
14Science and Technology by President George H. W. Bush in 1990;
16    WHEREAS, In the Spring of 1943, the Bulgarian people
17resisted Nazi pressure to deport Bulgarian Jews to Nazi
18concentration camps and, in doing so, rescued approximately
1950,000 Bulgarian Jews from the worst terrors of the Nazi
20regime; and
21    WHEREAS, The Bulgarian people acknowledge with sadness,
22grief, and regret the deportation and confinement of over



SR0013- 5 -LRB103 04936 MST 49947 r

111,000 Jews from the Bulgarian administered Thracian and
2Macedonian territories during the war; and
3    WHEREAS, With the conclusion of World War II, Bulgaria
4fell victim to communism and was cut off from interaction and
5intercourse with the free world by the Soviet government's
6Iron Curtain, resulting in the expulsion and flight of some of
7its most educated, knowledgeable, and prosperous citizens; and
8    WHEREAS, Illinois became a safe haven for many Bulgarian
9political dissidents and refugees, fleeing from the repressive
10terrors of communism; and
11    WHEREAS, Communism maintained its firm grip on Bulgaria,
12holding the people captive, until the fall of the Berlin Wall
13in 1989; and
14    WHEREAS, The fall of the Berlin Wall and the following
15dissolution of the Soviet Union freed the Bulgarian people to
16proclaim and institute a democratic and multiparty political
17system; and
18    WHEREAS, Within 20 years of the fall of communism,
19Bulgaria became a member of NATO and an integral part of the
20European Union; and



SR0013- 6 -LRB103 04936 MST 49947 r

1    WHEREAS, Bulgaria, as a member of NATO, is a strategic
2partner to the United States and a key ally in eastern Europe,
3contributing to the stability of the Balkan Peninsula and
4Black Sea region; and
5    WHEREAS, Bulgaria and the United States entered into the
6U.S.-Bulgarian Defense Cooperation Agreement in 2006,
7providing the U.S. military access to specified Bulgarian
8military facilities, including the Novo Selo Training Area;
10    WHEREAS, In 2020, the United States and Bulgaria signed a
1110-year Roadmap for Defense Cooperation to foster increased
12military cooperation and preparation; and
13    WHEREAS, The U.S. and Bulgarian militaries conduct
14numerous military-to-military engagements, involving joint
15training exercises and peer-to-peer engagements to enhance
16interoperability and cooperation; and
17    WHEREAS, Bulgarian troops have stood alongside American
18soldiers in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, and
19Bosnia and Herzegovina; and
20    WHEREAS, In 1960, Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley
21proclaimed March 3 (Bulgarian Liberation Day) as Bulgaria Day



SR0013- 7 -LRB103 04936 MST 49947 r

1in Chicago, instituting an annual Bulgarian flag-raising
2ceremony at Daley Plaza in Chicago that continues until this
3day; and
4    WHEREAS, The Chicago metropolitan area is today considered
5the home of the largest Bulgarian diaspora; and
6    WHEREAS, The two Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Churches in
7the Chicago metropolitan area, St. Sophia (established in
81938) and St. John of Rila (established in 1996), along with
9the Bulgarian Evangelical Church (New Life), serve as social
10and religious centers, maintaining Bulgarian culture and
11traditions; and
12    WHEREAS, Illinois is home to 13 Bulgarian Sunday Schools
13that perpetuate Bulgarian language, culture, and history in
14our communities; and
15    WHEREAS, Bulgarian Americans have greatly enriched the
16cultural, technological, and civic life of Illinois,
17contributing through their cultural centers, schools,
18churches, dance groups, businesses, and other civic
19organizations to the social, cultural, civil, and economic
20development of the State of Illinois; therefore, be it



SR0013- 8 -LRB103 04936 MST 49947 r

1ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we send our warmest
2congratulations and best wishes to the people of the Republic
3of Bulgaria as they celebrate the 145th anniversary of their
4liberation on March 3, 2023; and be it further
5    RESOLVED, That we confirm the rich friendship that binds
6our peoples together; and be it further
7    RESOLVED, That we declare March of 2023 as Bulgarian
8American Heritage Month in the State of Illinois; and be it
10    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
11delivered to the Consul General of the Republic of Bulgaria in
12Chicago, President Joe Biden, and all members of the Illinois
13Congressional Delegation.