Greek History: August

Greek flag flying in Chicago's Daley Plaza

Join us as we commemorate Greece’s incredible history. Let’s take a look at what happened in August in Modern Greek history.


August in Greek History

Greek has a long, amazing history.  Let’s take a look at what happened in August in Greek History.


Greek flag flying in Chicago's Daley Plaza


1949:  Prime Minister Alexander Papagos launches a major counter-offensive against Communist forces in northern Greece, during the Greek Civil War.

1953: A series of earthquakes devastates the islands of Zakynthos and Cephallonia resulting in 476 deaths. The first relief efforts came from the recently established state of Israel.

2009: Attica is ravaged by wildfires.


August 1

 1878 – Konstantinos Logothetopoulos, Greek physician and politician, Prime Minister of Greece, was born. (d. 1961)

1893 – Alexander of Greece was born. (d. 1920).

1974 – Cyprus dispute: The United Nations Security Council authorizes the UNFICYP to create the “Green Line”, dividing Cyprus into two zones.

August 2

1943 – Marika Papagika, Greek singer passes away. (b. 1890)

1868 – Constantine I of Greece was born. (d. 1923)

August 3

1972 – Giannis Papaioannou, Greek composer passed away. (b. 1913)

1975 – Andreas Embirikos, Greek poet and photographer passed away. (b. 1901)

1977 – Makarios III, Greek-Cypriot archbishop and politician, 1st President of the Republic of Cyprus, passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack. (b. 1913) 

1979 – Angelos Terzakis, Greek author and playwright passed away. (b. 1907)

1989 – Short 330 of the Olympic Airways from Thessaloniki to Samos crashes in the Kerketeus range of mountains. All 34 people on board are killed.

2003 – John Roger Voudouris, GreekAmerican singer-songwriter and guitarist passsed away. (b. 1954)

2009 – Nikolaos Makarezos, Greek soldier and politician, Deputy Prime Minister of Greece passed away. (b. 1919) 

August 4

1824 – The Battle of Kos was fought between Turkish and Greek forces.

1936 – Coup by General Ioannis Metaxas. Declaring a state of emergency, he suspended parliament. He decreed martial law, annuled various articles of the Constitution. Later, he established a crisis cabinet to put to an end the growing riots and to restore social order. This was the 4th of August Regime.

1991 – The Greek cruise ship MTS Oceanos sunk off the Wild Coast of South Africa.

1991 – Nikiforos Vrettakos, Greek author and poet passed away. (b. 1912)


August 5

5-17, 1824 – Greek War of Independence: Constantine Kanaris led a #Greek fleet to victory against Ottoman and Egyptian ships in the Battle of Samos. 

1921 – Dimitrios Rallis, Greek lawyer and politician, 78th Prime Minister of #Greece passed away. (b. 1844) 

1936Giorgos Zographos, Greek singer and actor, was born. (d. 2005)


August 6

1765Petros Mavromichalis, Greek general and politician, 2nd Prime Minister of Greece, was born. (d. 1848)

1970 – Nikos Tsiforos, Greek director and screenwriter, passed away. (b. 1912) 


August 7

480 BC Battle of Thermopylae. (Not Modern Greek history, but we couldn’t not list it!)

1948 – Antonis Vardis, Greek singer-songwriter was born. (d. 2014)

1972 – Aspasia Manos, Greek wife of Alexander of Greece, passed away. (b. 1896)


August 8

1898 – Alexis Minotis, Greek actor and director was born. (d. 1990) 

2004 – Dimitris Papamichael, Greek actor and director,passed away. (b. 1934)


August 9

1500Ottoman–Venetian War (1499–1503): The Ottomans captured Methoni, Messinia.

1580 – Metrophanes III of Constantinople passed away. (b. 1520)


August 10

1913 – Singing of the Treaty of Bucharest. End of the Second Balkan War. Much of Macedonia was transferred from Bulgaria to Greece.

1920 – Signing of the Treaty of Sevres, during the Greco-Turkish War. Greece acquired Eastern Thrace and the area of Smyrna.

1987 – Georgios Athanasiadis-Novas, Greek lawyer and politician, 163rd Prime Minister of Greece, passed away. (b. 1893)


August 11

1996 – During demonstrations in Cyprus, activist Tassos Isaac was murdered by members of the Grey Wolves, a Turkish ultra-nationalist, neo-fascist youth organization.

2017 –  Haridimos Hatzidakis, Greek winemaker at Hatzidakis Winery, passed away. (b. 1967)


August 12

1920 – First assassination attempt against Venizelos in the Gare deLyon railway station in Paris.

1949 – Panagiotis Chinofotis, Greek admiral and politician was born. 

2005 – Giorgos Zographos, Greek singer and actor, passed away. (b. 1936)


August 13

1920 – Prominent royalist Ion Dragoumis was assassinated in Athens.

1944 – World War II: German troops began the pillage and razing of Anogeia in Crete that would continue until September 5.

1968 – Alexandros Panagoulis attempted to assassinate the #Greek dictator Colonel Georgios Papadopoulos in Varkiza, Athens.

1913 – Makarios III, Greek archbishop and politician, 1st President of Cyprus, was born. (d. 1977)

13-29, 2004 –Athens hosted the 2004 Summer Olympics.


August 14

1954Demetrius Constantine Dounis, Greek violinist and mandolin player, passed away.  (b. 1886)

1974 –2nd phase of the Attila Operation in Cyprus. During demonstrations in Cyprus, Turkish forces advanced, capturing the 37% of the island. A total of about 3,000 were killed or missing. Another 200,000 became refugees.

1974 – Greece withdrew its forces from NATO’s military command structure, as a result of the Turkish invasion on Cyprus.

1996 – Activist Solomos Solomou was murdered by members of the Grey Wolves, a Turkish ultra-nationalist, neo-fascist youth organization, during demonstrations in Cyprus.

2005 – After fears that it could crash in Athens’ center, Helios Airways Flight 522 crashed in Grammatiko, East Attica, killing all 121 people on board. This was the deadliest aviation accident in the history of Greece.

2010Panagiotis Bachramis, Greek footballer, passed away. (b. 1976)


August 15

1907 – Ordination in Constantinople of Father Raphael Morgan, the first African-American Orthodox priest, “Priest-Apostolic” to America and the West Indies.

1922 – Giorgos Mouzakis, Greek trumpet player and composer, was born. (d. 2005)

1926 – Konstantinos Stephanopoulos, Greek lawyer and politician, 6th President of Greece, was born. (d. 2016)

1940 – Greek light cruiser Elli was torpedoed and sunk in Tinos harbor (on a national religious holiday), by an Italian submarine. The Greek government announced that the attack had been carried out by a submarine of “unknown nationality”, in an attempt to keep Greece neutral.


August 16

1943 – Nazis murdered the 317 inhabitants of Kommeno, in the prefecture of Arta, then torched the village.

1960Cyprus gained its independence from the United Kingdom.

1968 – Assassination attempt against Dictator Papadopoulos by Alexandros Panagoulis.

1971 – Spyros Skouras, Greek-American businessman, passed away. (b. 1893) 

2010 – Dimitrios Ioannidis, Greek general, passed away. (b. 1923)


August 17

1999 – Powerful earthquakes struck the Turkish city of Izmit. Greece was the first foreign country to pledge aid and support to Turkey.

August 18

1889 – Jacques Damala, Greek-French actor, passed away. (b. 1855)

1917 – The Great Fire of Thessaloniki destroyed most of the city.

2017 –  Iconic Greek Actress and former beauty queen, Zoe Laskari, passed away. (b. 1944)


August 19

1928 – Stephanos Skouloudis, Greek banker and diplomat, 97th Prime Minister of Greece, passed away. (b. 1838)

1913 – John Argyris, Greek engineer and academic, was born. (d. 2004) 

1941Mihalis Papagiannakis, Greek educator and politician, was born. (d. 2009)

1960 – Cyprus became the Republic of Cyprus.

August 20

1949 – Nikolas Asimos, Greek singer-songwriter and guitarist, was born. (d. 1988) 


August 21

1903 – Kostas Giannidis, Greek pianist, composer, and conductor, was born. (d. 1984) 

1993Tatiana Troyanos, Greek-American soprano and actress, passed away. (b. 1938)


August 22

1921 – Sotiria Bellou, Greek Rembetiko singer, was born. (d. 1997)

1921 – Dinos Dimopoulos, Greek actor, director, and screenwriter, was born. (d. 2003)  He directed 47 films between 1953 and 1993.

1922 – Theoni V. Aldredge, Greek-American costume designer, was born. (d. 2011)

1933 – Alexandros Kontoulis, Greek general and diplomat, passed away. (b. 1858)

1944 – World War II: Holocaust of Kedros in Crete by German forces. 

2014 – Emmanuel Kriaras, Greek lexicographer and philologist, passed away. (b. 1906)


August 23

1864Eleftherios Venizelos, Greek lawyer, jurist, and politician, 93rd Prime Minister of Greece, was born. (d. 1936)

1926 – General Pangalos was overthrown after a coup. Caretaker government was established under Georgios Kondylis.


August 25

1886 – Zinovios Valvis, Greek lawyer and politician, 35th Prime Minister of Greece, passed away. (b. 1791)

1898 – A Turkish mob in Heraklion, Greece killed 700 Greek civilians, 17 British guards and the British Consul of Crete.


August 26

26-30, 1922 – Battle of Dumlupinar, the last battle of the Greco-Turkish War. Turkish army launched what has come to be known to the Turks as the “Great Offensive” (Büyük Taarruz). The major Greek defense positions were overrun.

2015 – Stefanos Manikas, Greek politician, passed away. (b. 1952)


August 27

1905Aris Velouchiotis, Greek soldier, was born. (d. 1945)

1922Greco-Turkish War: The Turkish army took the Aegean city of Afyonkarahisar from the Kingdom of Greece.


August 28

1991Alekos Sakellarios, Greek director and screenwriter, passed away. (b. 1913)


August 29

1931 – Stelios Kazantzidis, Greek singer and guitarist was born. (d. 2001) 

1934 – Dimitris Papamichael, Greek actor and director (d. 2004) 

1944 – Attik, #reek pianist and composer, passed away. (b. 1885) 

August 30

1916 – Successful anti-royalist coup by the Movement of National Defense. Venizelos returned to the Greek mainland. Henceforth, Greece had two governments: the royalist government in Athens led by the King, and the “Temporary Government of National Defense” led by Venizelos in Thessaloniki.

1922 – Battle of Dumlupınar: The final battle in the Greco-Turkish War (“Turkish War of Independence”).

August 31

1923 – The Corfu Incident. Mussolini’s forces bombarded and briefly occupied the Greek island of Corfu.

1949 – The Democratic Army of Greece in Albania retreated after its defeat on Gramos mountain. This marked the end of the Greek Civil War.

2008 – Ike Pappas, American journalist, passed away. (b. 1933) 


Greek History – August : Did we miss anything?

Did we miss an important date in Greek history? Help us to round out this listing. Email us.

SOURCES: Wikipedia and other online listings


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