Wednesday, March 29, 2017

GREEKS OF HOLLYWOOD - 10 articles in Journal of Modern Hellenism Vol 32/2016

Issue Vol. 32 / 2016 of the Journal of Modern Hellenism was published entirely on the subject of the GREEKS OF HOLLYWOOD.  This looks so interesting.  I haven't had time to read it myself, but plan on doing so over the next week.  Enjoy it!



The Greek American Image in American Film:  Creation of a Filmography by Barbara Saltz

From "Other" to "One of Us":  The Changing Image of Greek Americans in American film:  1943-1963 by Dan Georgakas

The Hollywood Films of Irene Papas by Gerasimus Katsan

Before and Beyond America America by Stathis Giallelis

And the Winner is Olympia Dukakis by Elaine Thomopoulos

Working Through and Against Convention:  The Hollywood Career of A. I. Bezzerides by Yiorgos Kalogeras

Creating Images for Hollywood Classics by Vicki James Yiannias

Forgotten Movie Theater Pioneer:  Alexander Pantages and Immigrant Hollywood by Taso G. Lagos

John Cassavetes and the Uneasy Conformism of the American Middle Class by Vrasidas Keralis

Promises, Trust, Betrayal:  The Art of Elia Kazan by Geoffrey Jacques

Explore Greek Manuscripts Online at the British Library

The Greek News Agenda published an article titled "Explore Greek Manuscripts Online at the British Library" on March 10, 2017.

"Historians, biblical scholars and students of classical Greece alike no longer have to make the trip to the British Library’s reading rooms since most of the British Library’s Greek manuscripts are now accessible online. As a result of the Library’s Greek Manuscripts Digitisation Project, which began in 2008 and is funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, full digital coverage and new catalogue descriptions of 905 Greek manuscripts are now available to researchers with high resolution colour images of each manuscript, including flyleaves and bindings, with an up-to-date description of its content and codicological features, and an extensive bibliography."  . . . .


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

PARISH PROFILE: New Hampshire's Mother Church - St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Manchester, New Hampshire

This profile was published in the April 20, 1998 Orthodox Observer, and can be read in full online -

PARISH PROFILE:  Saint George Greek Orthodox Cathedral

LOCATION:  Manchester, New Hampshire

FOUNDED:  1905

St. George Cathedral parish embodies the quintessential Greek experience of 100 years ago in this country.

New England, with its flourishing textile mills and shoe factories, attracted tens of thousands of the Greek immigrants who came to this land in the 1890s and early 1900s.  Today, Greeks comprise about 10 percent of Manchester's 100,000 people.

Manchester, sitting astride the Merrimack River in southern New Hampshire, was typical of many towns and cities in the region with plenty of low-paying factory jobs for newcomers, including children, willing to work 12 or more hours a day under grueling conditions.

The Amoskeag textile mills were among the largest in the world and employed hundreds of Greeks in the early years of this century.  A large number came from Sparta and from the mountain villages of northern Greece.  However, the first recorded Greek settler in the city was a doctor originally from Crete names Zevoudakis, in 1893.

In 1898, two brothers, George and Peter Xanthathis opened a candy shop.

According to a parish history, by 1905 there were 300 Greeks living in Manchester, when efforts began to organize a parish.  An ecclesiastical brotherhood, "St. George," was founded at a meeting in June and a board of directors was named the following year.

Church services were conducted in private homes beginning in 1896 when a Father Kaparellis visited Manchester several times over a three-year period to conduct Liturgy.  A room at City Hall also was used for a time. . . . .


Monday, March 27, 2017

1998 - 2017 Yearbooks - Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America website provides online access to the new 2017 Yearbook (294 pages), along with archives of Yearbooks back to 1998.  


General Information
Ecumenical Patriarchate
Archdiocese of America
Departments - Ministries
Archdiocesan Departments
Archdiocesan Institutions, Related Agencies and Organizations
Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops
U.S. Orthodox Communities Under the Ecumenical Patriarch

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Hellenic Organization: Pan-Rhodian Benevolent Society of NSW "Colossus" LTD. - New South Wales, Australia


Name of Organization:  Pan-Rhodian Benevolent Society of NSW "Colossus" LTD.

Location:  New South Wales, Australia


Website ?

The Pan-Rhodian Benevolent society of NSW is a non profit organization formed in 1958 by a group of Greek migrants whose origins were from the Greek Island of Rhodes in the Eastern Aegean sea. The society’s mission was to provide a platform where migrants from their community could come together in this new country and celebrate their “greekness”, memories of their heritage and to provide charitable assistance.

Today more than 54 years latter, the second and third generation of the families of those first men and women who formed the society continue to uphold the values and mission of the society. It’s year long list of social activities act as a means of bringing Australian Greeks together whilst raising money for those that are facing hardship and are less fortunate.

In the past year the society has made generous donations to the Queensland Flood relief appeal and the New Zealand earthquake to name just two causes.

Hellenic Organization: Pan Rhodian Society of America "Apollon", Inc.


Name of Organization:  Pan Rhodian Society of America "Apollon", Inc.

Location:  Chapters throughout United States



This Society was founded pursuant to Article 65 of Law 3534 of the State of Connecticut on
January 28, 1927, under the name PAN-RHODIAN SOCIETY “APOLLON." By amendment
of a Society Convention, the name was changed to PAN• RHODIAN SOCIETY OF


Aims and Objectives

a) To unite in one organization all individuals of Rhodian descent, regardless of sex or
religion, residing in the United States of America and Canada;
b) To promote greater unity within the Greek-American Community;
c) To encourage mutual aid and to promote solidarity and brotherly relations among its
d) To give financial assistance to patriotic, educational, religious, philanthropic, athletic, and
agricultural institutions in the United States and in Rhodes;
e) To grant scholarships to the children of member Rhodians or to those of Rhodian
descent attending accredited institutions of higher learning in the United States of
America and elsewhere.

The Dawn of Greek Stereotypes in Early American Cinema


Published in The National Herald, March 4 - 10 , 2017 Issue
Authored by Steve Frangos
TNH Staff Writer


We are excited to announce that The National Herald has given Hellenic Genealogy Geek the right to reprint articles that may be of interest to our group. 



It is difficult, from this historical distance, to decipher exactly what the average American first saw when attending the then-newly developed entertainment medium, the motion picture. Complicating our understanding even further for those concerned with Modern Greek Studies is that cultural stereotypes of Greeks are so fluid, many associations once inseparable image about Greeks in the average American mind are no longer recognized.

Unpacking these historically fixed images can seem, from time to time, unnecessarily complex. Nonetheless, working on these symbolic twist and turns, noting how they rise and then very often disappear without a trace, ultimately offers us insight into how stereotypes concerning Greeks in North America can form and momentarily function.

Early motion picture films were produced so quickly and the medium was so new that the films very rarely ran for very long at any one movie theatre location. Another point to emphasize is that these first black and white films were all silent. Music, when it was available, accompanied the moving images. Inserted within the films were cards with written dialogue or other relevant information. Talking pictures, i.e., movies with a soundtrack did not appear in American movie houses until 1929.

The running time of early films varied anywhere between a few minutes to rarely over half an hour. Movies were initially only part of the evening’s fare with live acts mixed with the “flickers,” as these early short films were commonly called. Most theatres at the time charged between five and ten cents a show depending on the film and other entertainment. When movies were the only scheduled entertainment it was so announced and anywhere between three and six films could be shown,

One of the very first blockbusters was the 1912 extravaganza Homer’s Odyssey. “Made at a reported cost of $200,000 this three reel cinematic sensation lasted for well over one hour and by the time it arrived, in say, Benton Harbor, Michigan it had already appeared for “5 months in New York at $1.00 and still showing. 3 months in Chicago at 50 cents and running indefinitely (News-Palladium June 18, 1912).”

As various reviews note the film was incredibly detailed for the era: “Ulysses of Ithaca (not the New York one) wanders and adventures around for over an hour in the Odyssey film which is exciting admiration at the Crystal theater now and he covers a marvelous amount of land and water and has all sorts of amazing adventures (Decatur Daily Review June 22, 1912).” This review is quite long and detailed noting the most fantastic elements in some detail such as: “The film shows the Greeks passing the Sirens their dash be tween Scylla and Charybals when each of the seven heads of the monster seizes the victim their slaughter of the herds of Helios the sun god and their consequent disaster. Ulysses has to finish this journey alone. He arrives after ten years and many vicissitudes to find his wife hard pressed by suitors. These he slays in a truly thrilling scene.” Ultimately, the reviewer contends that “the film is pronounced the best ever shown in Decatur. It certainly is the climax of wonders in motion pictures.”

Clearly this early version of the Odyssey drew on the then accepted notions of Classical Greeks, at least as the educated classes knew them. Yet it remains an open question as to how much the average American of the early 1900s may in fact have known of the Classical Greeks of history and myth.

Atonement (1917) offered another Greek stereotype, the dancing girl. The average Cheyenne reader soon learned that “Count Strezzi was so infatuated with Manuella, the beautiful Greek dancer that he was not above resorting to trickery and real crime in his effort to gain her for himself. But because Manuella was deeply in love with Lionel, her musician, her wits were sharpened and she managed to outwit Strezzi after all…Miss Regina Badet is the brilliant star in this production. She is known as the Vampire of France. Certainly she is one of the most beautiful women in that nation of beautiful women (Wyoming State Tribune June 28, 1918).”

Atonement can offer the film historian some considerable difficulties. As we shall see a beautiful woman as a vampire being the least of these issues. First this film was not made in America. Atonement is said to have finished filming, in France sometime in early 1917. Louis Mercanton (1879-1932) was a Swiss born naturalized French director who was educated in England and began an acting career in South Africa in 1904. His directorial debut was with the now internationally famous Queen Elisabeth (1912); Sarah Bernhardt’s (1844-1923) first film success. It is an accepted fact of film history that the receipts from this film’s distribution in the United States provided Adolph Zukor the funds to establish Paramount Studios. As one would expect Mercanton went on to direct other Bernhardt films; some to considerable success. Moving between England and France with each new success it is understandable that some of Mercanton’s films were shown in the United States. Atonement was among these films.

To begin with, the audience of the early American cinema was never composed solely of Americans. These silent films which cost most often five to ten cents to view came into being right when, what we now call, the massive wave of immigration 1880 to 1920 took place. Immigrants not only flooded the theaters but became deeply involved in all aspects of the new media from theater owners to filmmakers. New films for a ravenous audience put the pressure on film makers who at first made their motion pictures not in California but New York City, various places in northern New Jersey and the lake front neighborhoods of Chicago, Illinois to complete as many new films as possible. So any good film (and many, many bad ones) were shown regardless of their country of origin.

Regina Badet (1876-1949) was by all available accounts a stunning beauty whose unexpectedly short movie career 1910 to 1922 was filled with one popular success after another. An obvious favorite of Louis Mercanton, Badet appears in a number of his earliest films. The Jefferson Theatre (in Jefferson City, MO) advertisement had this to say about Atonement: “The wonder dance scenes in this production alone make it a truly exceptional offering. Regina Badet as a Greek dancer well justifies her title of “The Vampire of France.” You will enjoy this splendid attraction (Democrat-Tribune September 18, 1917).”

How a vampire translates into not simply a beautiful woman but a very specific type of alluring woman is itself a fixed period image. From around 1911, a vampire or vamp came to mean a female temptress. Rudyard Kipling’s poem “The Vampire” is credited with being the inspiration for the usage of vampire (and ultimately ‘vamp’) to mean a seductive sexually aggressive woman.

For Theda Bara, it was her stunning performance in A Fool There Was (1915) based expressly on the Kipling poem that established the stereotype of the ruthless femme fatale whose seduction inevitably leads to a man’s ruin. As The Vamp in A Fool There Was her command “Kiss me, my fool!” taken from a dialogue card seen in the film soon became a popular phrase.

But vamp and the juxtaposition of Regina Badet as a Greek dancer justifying her title of The Vampire of France involves yet another historically fixed cultural form. Among the sensation vaudeville acts of this era in North America was the vampire dance. This dance was described on more than one occasion as an Apache-style dance. The Apache dance like the Tango and the Maxixe, all introduced to the American public around 1910-1911, emphasized direct physical contact between dancers something new for the Wasp dancers of Decatur, Jefferson City or Cheyenne.

How all these stereotypes of Greeks as seen at the dawn of film as a popular entertainment inspired or influenced the average viewer has yet to be systematically studied, let alone understood. 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Public Historical Library of Andritsaina - Greece

I want to thank George Koleas for posting the following information on the Hellenic Genealogy Geek Facebook group, and bringing it to my attention so that I could share it with all of you.


"I recently learned that the Historical Archive of the Library in Andritsaina contains pre-revolutionary, revolutionary and post-revolutionary handwritten documents including:
• Manuscripts from the personal archive of Nikolaos Dimitrakopoulos
• Handwritten letters of 1821 warriors (Panagiotis Anagnostopoulos; Theodoros Kolokotronis; Panos, Gennaios and Markos Kolokotronis; Anagnostis and Panagiotis Kanellopoulos etc.)
• Manuscripts of Plapoutas family
• Minutes of the Peloponnesian Senate
• Manuscripts from the personal archive of Charalambos Christopoulos.
In the following link, you can find the biographies of revolutionary warriors. The biographies are in English
If anyone can read Greek and translate or know of an English translation, I would be very interesting in learning what is written in the manuscripts of Plapoutas family.
It amazes me that my Grandfather, Dimitris Koliopoulos, his friend, George Assimakopoulos, his sister, Nickoletta Koliopoulos and their uncle George Kavouras all listed Andritsiana as the last place they were before emigrating on their arrival records. I have passed through Andritsiana on my way to the family village Trypiti (Mpitzimpardi)."

Friday, March 17, 2017

The New York Public Library Digital Collections


This site has over 700,000 items digitized.  "It is a living database with new materials added every day, featuring prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, streaming video, and more."

I found some interesting old maps and pictures using the search terms Ottoman Empire, Greece,  Turkey, or Greek immigrant.  

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Hellenic Preservation Society of Northeastern Ohio


HPS was established November 11, 1991

HPS' goals are to enhance the knowledge of our rich history by presenting programs and lectures that provide a link to the past and illustrate the contributions of Hellenism in Western Civilization.

Through our collection and archival materials current and future generations are exposed to the objects that reflect the culture and history of the Greek immigrants and their ancestors.

The mission of the Hellenic Preservation Society is to present a unified voice of the Hellenes in Northeastern Ohio that will promote the Greek experience through programs, collections and preservation.