Showing posts from 2020

The Murder of Greek Strongman Gus Lessis

by Steve Frangos
published in The National Herald March 21, 2020
The National Herald has given permission to post articles that are of interest to our group.
Few Greek strongmen have had as eventful a career in North America as Gust Lessis. For at least 13 years, as vaudevillian strongman, wrestler, boxer, and circus midway strongman Lessis successfully crisscrossed the United States. Unfortunately, newspaper accounts vary so markedly in their content on the facts of Lessis' life and professional career, that it is often difficult to clearly see this man's life even in broad detail, let alone agreed-upon documented fact. Nonetheless, such a disciplined athlete whose public performances served a host of charitable causes as much as they did his personal career deserves more attention than simply the inclusion of his name in some mere listing of the truly great strongmen of…

Strongman Gust Lessis: The Greek-American Samson

by Steve Frangos
Published in The National Herald March 7, 2020
Thank you to The National Herald for giving permission to post articles that are of interest to our group.
Without question Gust Lessis occupies one of the most unique roles in the history of Greek strong men in North America. In the very early 1920s, when Lessis first became widely known to the American public, the fabled strongmen of the 1890s had already astonished the world with their incredible feats of superhuman strength. Beginning with the legendary Eugene Sandow and quickly followed by George Hackenschmidt, Louis Cyr, and Louis Apollon audiences around the world were in equal measure thrilled and astonished by these legendary strongmen as they executed in full public view what were then called 'demonstrations of strength.' Such were the feats of strength Lessis executed across America that when…

New Book - The Greek Genocide in American Naval War Diaries

The Greek Genocide in American Naval War Diaries: Naval Commanders Report and Protest Death Marches and Massacres in Turkey's Pontus Region, 1921-1922
by Savvas "Sam" Koktzoglou (Editor), Robert Shenk (Editor), James Starvridis (Foreword)
Published February 29, 2020 by University of New Orleans Press
This book is a gripping collection of American naval war diaries recently found in the National Archives about what was happening on the northern coast of Turkey in 1921-1922. At the time, a series of American destroyers were continuously stationed at the port of Samsun, and the destroyer captains describe here many of the atrocities then being perpetrated upon the Asia Minor Greek minority by the ruling Nationalist Turks, along with local Greek reactions.
Available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Online Digital Collection of WWII Monuments in Epirus, Greece

The following was posted on the Modern Greek Studies Mailing List


I would like to share a project that I and two colleagues have been developing about WWII monuments in Epirus.
The interactive gallery, catalog and map is a work in progress, currently documenting 20 memorials. It is linked from Hollins University Library’s Digital Projects page,
Mark Mazower states that “the Second World War remains invisible for the visitors who flow into Greece during the summer, relaxing on the sunny beaches or getting accustomed to the ancient ruined temples and theaters” (Inside Hitler’s Greece, 1994, p. 407).
We hope this exhibit is a step toward reversing the invisibility.
Christopher J. Richter Associate Professor Communication Studies Hollins University PO Box 9652 Roanoke, VA 24020

American Reactions to the Asia Minor Deportations in 1922

by Stavros T. Stavridis
published in The National Herald June 10, 2006
The National Herald has given permission to post articles that are of interest to our group.
This article will outline how the eyewitness accounts of two American Near East Relief workers, Dr. Mark Ward and F. Yowell, concerning the deportations and massacres of Christians in Asia Minor had mobilized organizations and individuals in the United States into action. These eyewitness testimonies were published in the major U.S. newspapers. It should be noted that American organizations and individuals supported the British Government's initiative to establish an inter-Allied commission of inquiry into the atrocities committed in Asia Minor. 
Lobby groups, Churches, missionary organizations and private citizens organized meetings, sent letters and telegrams to the State Department regarding the im…

3,450 Greece born - Washington Deaths and Burials, 1810-1960

Image has a FREE database named WASHINGTON DEATHS AND BURIALS, 1810-1960.  There are 3,450 people naming Greece as their place of birth, and an additional 901 people naming Turkey.

This database consists of a searchable partial index that includes the following fields:  Name, Name Note, Event Type, Event Date, Event Place, Address, Residence Place, Gender, Age, Marital Status, Ethnicity, Race, Occupation, Birth Year, Birthplace, Death Date, Death Place, Funeral Home, Cemetery.  

To view the actual death certificate you will need to click the light blue box in the upper right corner and browse through the microfilmed copies that have been digitized.

Book on Sfakia, Crete: Tradition in the Frame - Photography, Power, and Imagination

TRADITION IN THE FRAME:  Photography, Power, and Imagination in Sfakia, Crete
by Konstantinos Kalantzis
Published by Indiana University Press, August 2019

Sfakians on the island of Crete are known for their distinctive dress and appearance, fierce ruggedness, and devotion to traditional ways. Konstantinos Kalantzis explores how Sfakians live with the burdens and pleasures of maintaining these expectations of exoticism for themselves, for their fellow Greeks, and for tourists. Sfakian performance of masculine tradition has become even more meaningful for Greeks looking to reimagine their nation's global standing in the wake of stringent financial regulation, and for non-Greek tourists yearning for rootedness and escape from the post-industrial north. Through fine-grained ethnography that pays special attention to photography, Tradition in the Frame explores the ambivalence of a society expected to conform to outsiders' perception of the traditional even as it stri…

Are You a Descendant of an Immigrant from Asia Minor?

In May of this year, researchers from the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program's Ottoman Greeks of the United States Project will be conducting interviews with second and third-generation descendants of immigrants to the US from regions of the former Ottoman Empire which constitute modern Turkey. We will be visiting Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Jersey City, Memphis, Orange-Connecticut, Philadelphia, and Toronto. If you know anyone who would be interested in being interviewed please have them contact me directly: ( 727-207-0623)
Established in 2017, the Ottoman Greeks of the United States Project is a Big Data project whose goal is to preserve the stories of Ottoman Greek immigrants in the United States. With this goal in mind our researchers have collected over 250 interviews and over 20,000 images of photographs, two and three-dimensional objects, and documents and books in English, Greek (Demotic and Katharevousa), Ottoman, modern Turkish, and Karam…

Fort Worth Hellenes - Where 'The West' Begins

by Steve Frangos
published in The National Herald January 11, 2020
The National Herald has given permission to post articles that are of interest to our group.
For well over a century the Greeks of Fort Worth Texas have not only lived but markedly changed the community they now call home. A convergence of unexpectedly dissimilar historical events gradually led to the establishment of this now vibrant Greek-American colony. In 1890, Demetrios Anagnostakis, a native of Crete, was the first Greek to settle in Ft. Worth. As community memories attest Anagnostakis was so influenced by his reading of Zane Grey novels that he came West to be a cowboy. Rather than a life on the trail driving the long horns to the rail heads Anagnostakis first worked for the “Fort Worth Trading Company as a yard man in the cattle pens. By 1904, Anagnostakis was general manager and part owner of th…

3,133 born in Greece - Passenger Lists of Displaced Persons, 1946-1971

Image ($) has a database titled AFRICA, ASIA AND EUROPE, PASSENGER LISTS OF DISPLACED PERSONS, 1946-1971 which includes 3,133 people who were born in Greece.  There are an additional 2,569 people born in Turkey, some with Greek sounding names.


The upheavals wrought by Nazi persecution and the Second World War caused mass uprooting of individuals and groups. Many of these individuals wished to emigrate from Europe in order to begin a new life – a goal supported and coordinated by the International Refugee Organization (IRO) and later by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Movements of Migrants from Europe (ICEM). This collection consists of passenger lists of immigrants leaving Germany and other European ports and airports between 1946-1971. The majority of the immigrants listed in this collection are displaced persons - Holocaust survivors, former concentration camp inmates and Nazi forced laborers, as well as refugees from Central and Eastern European countries an…

300 born in Greece - Texas, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1940-1947

Image has a FREE database titled TEXAS, WORLD WAR II DRAFT REGISTRATION CARDS, 1940-1947.  There are 300 people in these records that show Greece as their place of birth.  There are an additional 88 showing Turkey as their place of birth.

The collection consists of a name index and images of draft registration cards of men who registered during World War II with the exception of the Fourth Registration (see General Information below). It covers the years 1940 to 1945 and includes information of young men aged 18-44. The event place is the home of the registrant. This collection is part of the National Archives Records Administration’s (NARA) Records of the Selective Service System. 1940– Record Group 147: Records of the Selective Service. 

The following information may be found in these records:

Name, Serial Number, and Order Number
Age and date of birth
Place of birth
Country of citizenship
Name of person who will always know the address
Relationship of that person

546 born in Greece - Texas, Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at Corpus Christi, Texas and Vicinity, 1948-1959

t has a FREE database titled TEXAS, PASSENGER AND CREW LISTS OF VESSELS ARRIVING AT CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS AND VICINITY, JUNE 1948 - JANUARY 1959.  There are 546 people in these records that show Greece as their place of birth.  There are an additional 7 showing Turkey as their place of birth.
This collection contains passenger and crew lists of vessels arriving at Corpus Christi, Texas, and Vicinity, June 1948-January 1959. The records usually include the name of the vessel, ports and dates of departure and arrival, and the following information about each crew member: full name, position in ship’s company, age, gender, race, nationality. These records correspond with NARA publication A3458 and were filmed at the NARA facility in College Park, Maryland.

632 born in Greece - Arizona, Nogales, Index and Manifests of Alien Arrivals, 1905-1952

Image has a FREE database titled ARIZONA, NOGALES, INDEX AND MANIFESTS OF ALIEN ARRIVALS, 1905-1952.  There are 632 people in these records that show Greece as their place of birth.  There are an additional 206 showing Turkey as their place of birth, some with Greek sounding names.
DESCRIPTION This collection contains over 455,000 manifests and related index cards of permanent and temporary alien arrivals at Nogales, Arizona, 1905-1952. The cards are arranged alphabetically by surname and include such information as name, age, gender, marital status, occupation, citizenship, race, last permanent residence, birthplace, etc. The original records were filmed by the INS in August-October 1956 and then destroyed. The microfilms were later transferred to the National Archives under NARA publication M1769.