In the beginning of 1976, HHRF decided to do something unprecedented in Hungarian emigré history: to organize a mass demonstration protesting the cultural genocide of the Hungarian minority in Romania, living in the region of Transylvania. The demonstration took place in front of the Romanian UN Mission, then located on East 93rd Street, on May 8th, 1976. Thousands of Hungarians from the New York area participated.
The previous day, the organizers – uniting under the name Committee for Human Rights in Rumania – had placed an almost full-page ad in the New York Times. The ad came to be regarded as the seminal underpinning of the movement we launched. It laid out briefly, factually and clearly the origins of the problem, Romania’s ongoing and increasingly harsh anti-Hungarian measures, and pointed to what Americans could do to help.