04/22/1985 at 01:00 AM EST
After Easter Mass had been celebrated at Manhattan's St. Vartan Cathedral, 2,000 worshipers gathered outside the church for an annual tradition. Usually Archbishop Torkom Manoogian, Primate of the Armenian Diocese of America, releases 12 white doves, symbolizing the apostles of Christ. But this time 70 doves would soar to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the deaths of more than a million Armenians under the Ottoman government.
As the archbishop released the first of the doves, Murphy's Law took over. Instead of flying off to circle the glittering dome atop the church, the bird returned to roost on what must have seemed like a custom-built nest.