Greek History: April

 Greece has a long and valiant history. Just what happened in the month of April in Modern Greek history? Find out, as we commemorate important dates in our history.

April in Greek History

It’s a new month and it’s time for our regular commemoration of important events in Modern Greek history. So many events happened during the month of April. Let’s take a look back.


Greek flag flying in Chicago's Daley Plaza


April 1

1955 – The EOKA rebellion against the British Empire begins in Cyprus, with the goal of unifying with Greece.EOKA was a Greek Cypriot nationalist guerrilla organisation that fought a campaign for the end of British rule in Cyprus, for the island’s self-determination and for eventual union with Greece.

1959 – Iakovos was enthroned as Greek Orthodox Archbishop of America.

2004 – Ioannis Kyrastas, Greek footballer & manager, passed away. (b. 1952)

2010 – Tzannis Tzannetakis, Greek soldier & politician, 175th Prime Minister of #Greece, passed away. (b. 1927)

April 2

1948 – Dimitris Mitropanos, Greek singer, was born. (d. 2012)

1986– TWA Flight 840 wass bombed on the way to Athens, sucking out 4 on board; the plane landed safely.

1989 – Manolis Angelopoulos, Greek singer, passed away. He gained popularity during the 1960s through his love songs as well as songs about Greek refugees and exotic places. He also brought a mix of Greek-Gypsy-Arabian influences into the Greek music scene. (b. 1939)

2004 – John Argyris, Greek computer scientist, engineer, & academic, passed away. He was a Greek pioneer of computer applications in science and engineering, among the creators of the finite element method (FEM) (b. 1913)

April 3

1770 – Theodoros Kolokotronis, Greek general, was born. (d. 1843)

1834 – The generals in the Greek War of Independence stood trial for treason.

1881 – Earthquake strikes Chios. 3,550 people were reported dead.

1897 – Thrasyvoulos Tsakalotos, Greek general, was born. He was a distinguished Greek army Lieutenant General who served in World War I, the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922, World War II and the Greek Civil War.  (d. 1989)

1912 – Grigoris Lambrakis, Greek physician & politician, was born. (d. 1963)

1962 – Manolis Kalomiris, Greek composer & educator, passed away. He was the founder of the Greek National School of Music.  (b. 1883)



April 4

1821– Constantine Mourousis, Dimitrios Paparigopoulos, and Antonios Tsouras were decapitated by the Ottomans in Constantinople.

1913 – 1st First Balkan War: Greek aviator Emmanouil Argyropoulos became the first pilot to die in the Hellenic Air Force when his plane crashed.

1878 – Stylianos Lykoudis, Greek admiral & historian, was born. (d. 1958)

1968 – A.E.K. Athens B.C. became the first Greek team to win the European Basketball Cup.




April 5

1821– The Phanariotes Petros Tsigris, Dimitrios Skanavis and Manuel Hotzeris are decapitated, while Georgios Mavrocordatos is hanged by the Sultan forces in Constantinople.

1900 – Archaeologists in Knossos, Crete, discovered a large cache of clay tablets with hieroglyphic writing in a script they call Linear B.

1944 – World War II: Two hundred seventy inhabitants of the Greek town of Kleisoura, Kastoria were executed by the Germans.
2009 – Constantine Papadakis, #reekAmerican businessman, President of Drexel University, passed away. (b. 1946)

2013 – Nikolaos Pappas, Greek admiral & politician, Greek Minister for Mercantile Marine, passed away. (b. 1930)




April 6

1453 – Mehmed II began his siege of Constantinople (Istanbul), which fellon May 29.

1833 – Adamantios Korais, Greek philosopher & scholar, passed away. (b. 1748)

1886 – Athenagoras I of Constantinople, was born. (d. 1972)

1896 –  Opening ceremonies of the first modern Olympic Games in Athens, 1,500 years after the original games are banned by Roman emperor Theodosius I.

1919 – Georgios Mylonas, Greek politician, 11th Greek Minister of Culture, was born. (d. 1998)

1941 –  The German Army invaded Greece.

1957 – Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis bought the Hellenic National Airlines (TAE) and founded Olympic Airlines.

1995 – Ioannis Alevras, Greek banker & politician, President of Greece, passed away. (b. 1912)

2006 – Stefanos Stratigos, Greek actor & director, passed away. (b. 1926)


April 7

1614 – El Greco, Greek painter & sculptor, passed away. (b. 1541)

1917 – Spyridon Samaras, Greek composer & playwright, passed away. (b. 1861)

1943 – Ioannis Rallis became collaborationist Prime Minister of Greece during the Axis Occupation.

1992 – Antonis Tritsis, Greek high jumper & politician, 71st Mayor of Athens, passed away. (b. 1937)

2004 – Konstantinos Kallias, Greek politician, passed away. (b. 1901)

2005 – Grigoris Bithikotsis, Greek singer-songwriter, passed away. (b. 1922)

April 8

1798 – Dionysios Solomos, Greek poet & author, wrote “Hymn to Liberty”, was born. (d. 1857)

1885 – Dimitrios Levidis, Greek-French soldier, composer,& educator, was born. (d. 1951)

1942 – Kostas Skarvelis, Greek guitarist & composer, passed away. (b. 1880)

1959 – Marios Makrionitis, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Athens, passed away. (b. 1913)


April 9

1822  After a month’s resistance, the city of Naoussa was captured by Abdul Abud, laying the city to waste and massacring its Greek population. This marked the end of the Greek revolution in Macedonia.


April 10

1821 (Easter Monday) Ecumenical Patriarch Gregory V of Constantinople was hanged in the central outside portal of the Patriarchate by the Ottomans. The door has remained shut and out of use ever since. His body was thrown in the Bosphorus. 10-11, 1826 The Sortie of Messolonghi took place. Approximately 8,000 Greek soldiers and civilians perished.

1998 – Seraphim of Athens, Greek archbishop, passed away. (b. 1913)

2005 – Archbishop Iakovos of America passed away. (b. 1911)


April 11

1822 Chios Massacre: Ottoman fleet arrived on Chios, went on a rampage. 25,000 killed another 45,000 (mostly women and children) sold into slavery.

1859 – Stefanos Thomopoulos, Greek historian & author, passed away. (d. 1939)

1941 Battle of Vevi, also known as the Battle of the Klidi Pass, was part of the Greek campaign of World War II. Allied troops fought forces from Nazi Germany.

1990 Constantine Mitsotakis became Prime Minister, after his New Democracy won the elections.


April 12

1871 – Ioannis Metaxas, Greek general & politician, 130th Prime Minister of Greece, was born. (d. 1941)

1872 – Nikolaos Mantzaros, Greek composer & theorist, passed away. (b. 1795)

April 13

1926 – Ellie Lambeti, Greek actress, was born. (d. 1983)
1936 – Konstantinos Demertzis, Greek politician, 129th Prime Minister of Greece, passed away.  (b. 1876)
1983 – Theodore Stephanides, Greek physician, author, & poet, passed away. (b. 1896)
1924 – A plebiscite condones the change of constitution.


April 14

1837 – University of Athens was founded by Royal Decree by King Otto of Greece.

April 15

18252nd Siege of Messsolonghi.

1856 – Jean Moréas, Greek poet & critic, passed away. (d. 1910)

1935 – Stavros Paravas, Greek actor & producer, was born. (d. 2008)



April 16

1933 – Ike Pappas, GreekAmerican journalist & actor, was born. (d. 2008)

1996 – Stavros Niarchos, #reek businessman, passed away. (b. 1909)

April 17

1821 Former Ecumenical Patriarch Cyril VI was hanged in the gate of the Adrianople’s cathedral.

1897 The Ottoman Empire declared war against Greece. Greco-Turkish War.

1910 – Evangelos Averoff, Greek historian & politician, Greek Minister of Defence, was born.  (d. 1990)

1944 – Forces of the Communist-controlled Greek People’s Liberation Army attacked the smaller National and Social Liberation resistance group, which surrendered. Its leader Dimitrios Psarros was murdered.

2003 – Yiannis Latsis, Greek businessman, passed away (b. 1910)

2011 – Nikos Papazoglou, Greek singer-songwriter & producer, passed away (b. 1948)


April 18

1897 – The Greco-Turkish War was declared between Greece and the Ottoman Empire.

1941 The German Army advanced towards Athens. Prime Minister Alexandros Koryzis committed suicide.




April 19

1824 George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, (Lord Byron) died in what is now Greece, where he had traveled to support the Greek struggle for independence from Turkey. Even today, he is considered a Greek national hero.

2005 – George P. Cosmatos, Greek-Italian director & screenwriter, passed away. He found early success on Massacre in Rome with Richard Burton (b. 1941)

2016 – Milt Pappas, Greek-American baseball player, passed away. (b. 1939)



April 20

1907 – Augoustinos Kantiotes, Greek bishop, was born. (d. 2010)

1913 – Mimis Fotopoulos, Greek actor & poet, was born. (d. 1986)

1941   The Greek First Army surrendered to the Germans.

2011 – Chris Hondros, Greek-American photographer & journalist, passed away. He  was fatally wounded in a mortar attack by government forces in Misrata while covering the 2011 Libyan civil war. (b. 1970)


April 21

1941 The German forces managed to go through the Metaxas Line.

1967 – Greek military junta of 1967–74: A few days before the general election in Greece, Colonel George Papadopoulos led a coup d’état, establishing a military regime that lasted for seven years.



April 22

22-24, 1827  Battle of Phaleron. Georgios Karaiskakis was killed in action.

1894 – Kostas Krystallis, Greek author & poet, passed away. (b. 1868)

1906 – The 1906 Summer Olympics, not now recognized as part of the official Olympic Games, opened in Athens.

1909 – Spyros Markezinis, Greek politician, former Prime Minister of Greece, was born. (d. 2000)

1941 The King, the Royal family, & the Government fled Athens and went to Crete, evacuating Athens before the invading Wehrmacht arrived.

1944 – Nikolaos Roussen, Greek captain, passed away. (b. 1913)

1945 – Demetrio Stratos,  Greek-Egyptian lyricist, multi-instrumentalist, music researcher, & co-founder, frontman & lead singer of the Italian progressive rock band Area – International POPular Group, was born. (d. 1979)



April 23

1827 – Georgios Karaiskakis, Greek general, passed away after being fatally wounded by a rifle bullet in battle. (b. 1780)

1916 – Yiannis Moralis, Greek painter & educator, was born. (d. 2009)

1933  Kos was struck by an earthquake. 200 people died.
1998 – Konstantinos Karamanlis, Greek lawyer & politician, 172nd Prime Minister of Greece, passed away. (b. 1907)

1998 – Thanassis Skordalos, Greek singer-songwriter & lyra player, passed away. (b. 1920)

23–24, 1821  Battle of Alamana: After the Greek defeat, Athanasios Diakos was impaled on a spit.



April 24

1919 – Glafcos Clerides, Greek-Cypriot lawyer & politician, 4th President of Cyprus, was born. (d. 2013)

1944 – WWII: The SBS launched a raid against the garrison of Santorini in #Greece.

2004In a referendum, Greek Cypriots rejected the Annan Plan whereas Turkish Cypriots accepted it.



April 25

2002 – Athanasios Papoulis, Greek-American mathematician & engineer, passed away.  (b. 1921)


April 26

1904 – Xenophon Zolotas, Greek economist and politician, 177th Prime Minister of Greece, ,passed away.  (d. 2004)

1907 – Ilias Tsirimokos, Greek politician, Prime Minister of #Greece, was born. (d. 1968)

1944 Major Patrick Leigh Fermor, with his second-in-command, Captain W. Stanley Moss, and two Greek agents, orchestrated the kidnapping of Nazi General Heinrich Kreipe in Crete.

1944 – Georgios Papandreou became head of the Greek government-in-exile based in Egypt.


April 27

1894 Earthquake struck Atalanti. 255 people died.

1897 Greece lost the war, agreed to give up Crete to international administration, to minor territorial concessions in Thessaly in favor of the Turks, and to pay a large indemnity.

1904 – Nikos Zachariadis, Greek politician, was born. (d. 1973)

1906 – Yiorgos Theotokas, Greek author & playwright, was born. (d. 1966)

1935 – Theodoros Angelopoulos, Greek director, producer, & screenwriter, was born. (d. 2012)

1941  The German Army entered Athens. Greek writer Penelope Delta committed suicide. The Nazi flag was raised on Acropolis; and Evzone soldier on guard duty jumped off the Acropolis wrapped in the Greek flag.

1748 – Adamantios Korais, Greek philosopher & scholar, was born. (d. 1833)



April 28

1941 –  Nazi Germans began the wholesale looting of Athens.


April 29

2009 Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyianni presented a timely book entitled “The Macedonian Issue and Bulgaria – Classified Documents 1950-1967,” jointly published by the Thessaloniki-based Macedonian Studies Society and the State Archives of Bulgaria, during an event at the War Museum in Athens.

2013 – Marianna Zachariadi, Greek pole vaulter, passed away. (b. 1990)


April 30

1954 Sofades was struck by an earthquake. 25 people died.

2012 – Giannis Gravanis, Greek footballer, passed away. (b. 1958)


Greek History – April: Did we miss anything?

Did we miss an important date in modern Greek History? If yes, drop us an email and well add it to the list.


SOURCES: Wikipedia and other online listings

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