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Governor Walz Recognizes Deaf History Month

State of Minnesota Proclamation for Deaf History Month, 2024

4/16/2024 10:41:44 AM

The State of Minnesota's seal with the text,

In recognition of National Deaf History Month, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has also proclaimed April 2024 to be Deaf History Month.

Proclamation Language 

WHEREAS: Minnesota has served as the home for several historic Deaf changemakers, including Olof Hanson (1862–1933), the first Deaf architect; Agatha Tiegel Hanson (1873–1959), first female graduate of Gallaudet University; Cadwallader Lincoln Washburn (1866–1965), a well-known Deaf artist; Gerald “Bummy” Burstein (1926–2018), a notable teacher and parliamentarian; Doug Bahl (1950–2014), a famous Deaf historian; and Blanche Wilkins Williams (1876–1936), the first African American woman to graduate from the Minnesota State Academy of the Deaf; and

WHEREAS: Minnesota is proud to be the home of historic national landmark Charles Thompson Memorial Hall, built in 1916 by Margaret Brooks Thompson in memory of her husband, both of whom were Deaf, and designed by architect Olof Hanson, a family friend, to be a space where Deaf Minnesotans and friends could gather, free of charge; and

WHEREAS: The Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf (MSAD), established in 1863 in Faribault, serves students who are Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing and has two buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places: the Administration and Girl’s Dormitory and Noyes Hall; and

WHEREAS: Metro Deaf School, a free public charter school serving students ages 0–22 in Saint Paul, was established in 1992 under Minnesota’s then-new charter school law, becoming the second charter school to officially open in the United States; and

WHEREAS: Organizations serving the Deaf community include the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division (DHHSD), the Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens, the Minnesota DeafBlind Association, the Hearing Loss Association of America – Twin Cities Chapter, the St. Paul/Minneapolis Black Deaf Advocates, the Minnesota Deaf Muslim Community, Deaf Women of Minnesota, Minnesota Deaf Queers, Minnesota Deaf Senior Citizens, Deaf Equity, ThinkSelf, and others; and

WHEREAS: The Minnesota Digital Library hosts an archive of 173 historical photos and documents donated from the Charles Thompson Memorial Hall, the Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens, and the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf Alumni Association Museum, under their Minnesota Reflections collection; and

WHEREAS: The Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing website hosts several collections of oral-visual history interviews with Minnesota advocates who are Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing so that every Minnesotan can learn more and get involved this Deaf History Month.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, TIM WALZ, Governor of Minnesota, do hereby proclaim April 2024 as: DEAF HISTORY MONTH in the State of Minnesota.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Minnesota to be affixed at the State Capitol this 3rd day of April.


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