"Greeks in Battle Flee Before Cops - Bootblack Hurls Book at Merchant" article - Chicago Daily Tribune, April 21, 1912

Published in the Chicago Daily Tribune, April 21, 1912

Bootblack Hurls Book of 
Themistocles at Merchant
Who Sneers in Passing.
Fifty Braves Throw Bottles and
Use Spears Until Two
Policemen Appear.
It may now be added to history that the ancient battle of Thermopyle would have had an entirely different termination had a squad of Chicago police interfered at the critical point.

Authority comes from a clash between fifty Greeks, mostly bootblacks, on West Madison street, near Paulina street, yesterday.

When street cars had been stopped, windows smashed, and a crowd of hundreds attracted by unfamiliar war cries, tow patrolmen made an appearance, intimidated the belligerents, and had them corraled before two riot squads from Lake and Desplaines street stations arrived.

Fifteen Greeks in Jail.

It was Sparta fighting Athens again at the pass of Thermopylae, nothing more than ancient provincial prejudice starting the fight, say the police.  Fifteen of the Greeks were arrested, and one is in the county hospital badly cut by a bottle.

To begin, James Kalos was seated in his shoe shining "drawing room" at 1653 West Madison street, reading the precepts of Themistocles.  Thomas Manos, owner of a merchandise store at 1662 West Madison street, passed by.

"Kappa gamma omega psi," or something like that, snickered Manos to his companion, James Manos, brother and clerk in his store.

"Omicron omicron sigma zeta pi" shouted Kalos when his brother Tom of chair No. 1 in the shine store, relayed the comment of Manos.

Hurls Book in Enemy's Face.

But the retort did not exude from the soul of Kalos the full measure of wrath that burdened him.  So he flung his treasured Themistocles straight through the open door and in the face of the sneering Manos.

And so that carnage began.  From the bootblack parlor of Kalos came running his retainers, also some laborers who rented rooms from him upstairs.  The brother of Manos aroused his band at the store.

Among those held at the Lake street station are James Kalos, the two Manos brothers, Stavris Kaitamakis, bootblack, and John Speros, laborer.  Thomas Kalos was taken to the hospital unconscious.  It is not believed his bruises and cuts are dangerous.


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