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San Francisco Landmark #219: Mount Davidson Monument
25 January 2004
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San Francisco Landmark #219
Mount Davidson Monument
Mount Davidson
Built 1934

A plaque reads:

The Mt. Davidson Cross was designed and built by George Kelham and inaugurated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934. In 1997, the citizens of San Francisco voted to approve the sale of the monument to the Council of Armenian-American Organizations of Northern California, to preserve it as a historic landmark.

This revered site is cared for in memory of the 1,500,000 victims of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Turkish government from 1915 to 1916. Over half of the Armenian population on its ancient homeland was killed, and no Armenian community remained in historical western Armenia.

By honoring those lost, we honor all victims of injustice and cruelty. In their name we dedicate ourselves to the protection of human rights and the dignity of all peoples.

If evil of this magnitude can be ignored,
if our own children forget
then we deserve oblivion
and earn the world's scorn.

Avedis Aharonian
(writer and educator, 1866-1948)

Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day


April 24, 1998

A sign reads:

The flat cleared area at the top of Mount Davidson, including the land upon which the cross stands, is not owned or maintained by the City and County of San Francisco. The city sold this land in accordance with the constitutional principle of separation of Church and State, which is fundamental to our political system. Holding that the presence of the cross on public land violates the California Constitution, the city sold the land at a public auction to the Council of Armenian American Organizations of Northern California, a non-profit, secular corporation. The conveyance was approved by the San Francisco voters on November 4, 1997.

San Francisco Recreation & Park Department

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