Saturday, July 22, 2017

56th annual Captive Nations Dinner

In the early months of 1959 US Senator from Ohio Frank J. Lausche and Congressman Michael Feighan had submitted the Joint Congressional Resolution 111 authorizing the United States President to issue the “Captive Nations ‘Week” Proclamation. That resolution condemned the aggressive Soviet policies that had caused the subjugation of many ‘captive’ nations to harsh communist regimes.

Then Cleveland Councilman Ralph J. Perk responded to Senator Lausche’s and Congressman Feighan’s request for support by bringing together a bi-partisan coalition of ethnic organizations that contacted nationality leaders all over the country and urged them to work for passage of Resolution 111. It took place on July 17, 1959 and was then signed by President Eisenhower.

The Resolution encouraged annual Presidential Proclamations focused on the plight of the captive nations with suggested appropriate ceremonies to be held every third week in July.

In 1990, the American Nationalities Movement held the first “freedom Celebration” and awarded “freedom” medals to its steadfast supporters including one to President George H. W. Bush.

The 56th annual Captive Nations Dinner was held July 20, 2017.

Irene Morrow, Kathleen Vencl and Judge Ralph Perk Jt.

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