Greek History: March

Greek flag flying in Chicago's Daley Plaza

What happened in March in Modern Greek history? Find out, as we commemorate important dates in our history.

March in Greek History

We’re back, with our monthly commemoration of important events in Modern Greek history. Let’s take a look back at what happened during the month of March in Greek history.


Greek flag flying in Chicago's Daley Plaza


1823 –The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland under George Channing, recognizes the Greeks as a nation at war, thus recognizing de facto the Greek Independence.

1933 – Failed pro-Venezelist coup.

1935 – Failed coup led by Eleftherios Venizelos and Nikolaos Plastiras.  Venizelos flees to France and dies in Paris the following year, the armed forces are purged of Venizelist and Republican officers.

1943 – The Germans began mass deportations of the Jews of Thessaloniki to Auschwitz. By the end of the war, an estimated 60,000 Greek Jews were murdered. Some estimates are much higher.

1946 – Fighting resumed between the Government and the Communists during Greek Civil war.


March 1

1842 – Nikolaos Gyzis, Greek painter & academic, was born. He’s considered one of Greece’s most important 19th-century painters. (d. 1901)

1896 – Dimitri Mitropoulos, Greek pianist, composer, & conductor, was born. From 1937 to 1949 he served as principal conductor of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra (d. 1960) (forerunner of today’s Minnesota Orchestra

1941 – Orchestra Earthquake occured in Larissa leaving 40 people dead and thousands homeless.


March 2

1924 – Renos Apostolidis, Greek philologist, author, & critic, was born. (d. 2004)

2013 – Giorgos Kolokithas, Greek basketball player, passed away. (b. 1945)


March 3

1882 – Prime Minister Alexandros Koumoundouros resigned.


March 4

1813 – Cyril VI of Constantinople was elected Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.

1851 – Alexandros Papadiamantis, influential Greek novelist, short-story writer& poet, was born. (d. 1911)

1913 – First Balkan War: The Greek army engaged the Turks at Bizani, resulting in victory two days later.


March 5

1417 – Manuel III Megas Komnenos, Emperor of Trebizond, passed away. (b. 1364)

1871 – Konstantinos Pallis, Greek general & politician, Minister Governor-General of Macedonia, was born.  (d. 1941

2011 – Manolis Rasoulis, Greek singer-songwriter, passed away. He frequently collaborated with famous musicians such as Manos Loizos, Stavros Kougioumtzis, Nikos Xydakis, and Christos Nikolopoulos, and singers such as Vasilis Papakonstantinou, Haris Alexiou, Sokratis Malamas, and Nikos Papazoglou.h (b. 1945)


March 6

1964 – The palace announced the death of King Paul. Rumors circulate in Athens that in fact he had died several days earlier. He is succeeded by his son Constantine, and Constantine II becomes King of Greece.

1994 – Greek actress, singer, political activist of the anti-dictatoric struggle and Minister of Culture, Melina Mercouri died of cancer. She received a state funeral equivalent to that of a Prime Minister, which was attended by hundreds of thousands of people.


March 7

1938 – Andreas Michalakopoulos, Greek politician, 116th Prime Minister of Greece, passed away. (b. 1876)

1941 – WWII: First British troops landed in Greece, at Piraeus.


March 9

9-20, 1941 – The Italian Spring Offensive failed to dislocate the Greek forces during the Greco-Italian War and Battle of Greece of WWII.


March 10

1900 – Pandelis Pouliopoulos,#Greek lawyer & politician, was born. (d. 1943)

1944 –  Greek Civil War: The Political Committee of National Liberation was established in Greece by the National Liberation Front.

1967 – Yiorgos Batis, Greek bouzouki player & composer, passed away. He was one of the first rebetes influential to rebetiko music. (b. 1885)

1992 – Giorgos Zampetas, Greek bouzouki player & composer, one of the greatest bouzouki artists of all time, passed away. (b. 1925)

2004 – Renos Apostolidis, Greek philologist, author, & critic, passed away. (b. 1924)


March 11

1927 – Xenophon Stratigos, Greek general & politician, Greek Minister of Transport, passed away. (b. 1869) 

1949 – Anastasios Charalambis, Greek general & politician, 109th Prime Minister of Greece, passed away. (b. 1862)


March 12

1910 – Greek cruiser Georgios Averof wass launched at Livorno. The ship served as the Greek flagship during most of the first half of the century. Although popularly known as a battleship (θωρηκτό) in Greek, she is in fact an armored cruiser (θωρακισμένο καταδρομικό), the only ship of this type still in existence.

March 13

1923 – Dimitrios Ioannidis, Greek general, was born. (d. 2010)


March 15

1925 – Successful coup led by General Theodoros Pangalos. President Pavlos Kountouriotis resigned. 

2006 – Georgios Rallis, Greek lieutenant & politician, 173rd Prime Minister of Greece, passed away. (b. 1918)


March 17

1821 The Maniots declared war on the Ottomans.


March 18

1913 – King George I was assassinated in Thessaloniki. (b. 1845)

1936 – Eleftherios Venizelos, Greek journalist, lawyer, & politician, 93rd Prime Minister of #Greece, passed away. (b. 1864)


March 20

1948 – Nikos Papazoglou, Greek singer-songwriter & producer, was born. (d. 2011)

2018 – Peter G. Peterson, Greek-American businessman, investment banker, philanthropist, & author, who served as U.S. Secretary of Commerce from February 29, 1972-February 1, 1973 under the Richard Nixon administration, passed away. (b. 1926)


March 21

1821 – An army of 2,000 Maniots under the command of Petros Mavromichalis, which included Kolokotronis, his nephew Nikitaras and Papaflessas advanced on the Messenian town of Kalamata. After a brief two day siege it fell to the Greeks on the 23rd.  

1829 – In the London Protocol, the three protecting powers (United Kingdom, France and Russia) established the borders of Greece.

1904 – Nikos Skalkottas, Greek violinist & composer, was born. (d. 1949)

1920 – Manolis Chiotis, Greek singer-songwriter & bouzouki player, was born. The late Jimi Hendrix has often been named the world’s greatest guitarist, an elite acknowledgment given the stiff competition. But when he was asked by American reporters who his choice was, he surprised them by saying, “You believe I’m the best because you have not listened to Greek Manolis Chiotis playing his bouzouki.” (d. 1970)


March 22

1947 – The Greek government imposed martial law in Laconia and southern #Greece.

1987 – Odysseas Angelis, Greek general & politician, passed away. (b. 1912)

2014 – Tasos Mitsopoulos, GreekCypriot politician, Cypriot Minister of Defense, passed away (b. 1965)


March 23

1821 – Petrompeis Mavromihalis, Kolokotronis and Papaflessas liberate the city of Kalamata.

1905 – Eleftherios Venizelos calls for Crete’s union with Greece, and begins what is to be known as the Theriso revolt.

1985 – Peter Charanis, Greek-American scholar of Byzantium and the Voorhees Professor of History at Rutgers University, passed away. (b. 1908)


March 24

1821 – In Patras, Bishop Germanos declares Greek Revolution. Turks find refuge in the castle in the city.

1821 – Phocis is the first city in Central Greece to revolt.

1943 – WWII Greece: Archbishop Damaskinos of Athens penned a letter to Guenther von Altenburg, the German diplomat in the Italian-administered city of Athens, appealing to suspend the expulsion of Jews from Greece.

24-25, 1944 – WWII Greece: Jews from all over Greece were arrested in large numbers.


March 25

1821 – Metropolitan Germanos of Patras blesses a Greek flag at the Monastery of Agia Lavra. Greece declares its independence. It’s the beginning of the Greek War of Independence.
1913 – Reo Stakis, Greek-Cypriot-Scottish businessman, founder of Stakis Hotels, was born. (d. 2001)

1924 –  Alexandros Papanastasiou proclaimed the 2nd Hellenic Republic. King George II was asked to leave the country. Pavlos Kountouriotis became the first President of Greece.


March 26

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

26-31, 1921 –  Second Battle of Inonu begins. It’s the first battle of the in the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922), part of Turkish War of Independence.

1940 – Spyridon Louis, Greek runner, passed away. (b. 1873)


March 27

1883 – Dimitrios Semsis, Greek violinist, was born. He was known as best violinist in Rembetiko and Smyrnaic style. He recorded and toured with Roza Eskenazi. (d. 1950)

1821 – Panourgias liberated Salona (Amfissa).


March 28

1884 – Angelos Sikelianos, Greek poet & playwright, was born. (d. 1951)

1893 – Spyros Skouras, Greek-American motion picture pioneer & movie executive who was the president of the 20th Century Fox from 1942 to 1962, was born. (d. 1971)

1969 – Greek poet & Nobel Prize laureate Giorgos Seferis made a famous statement on the BBC World Service opposing the junta in #Greece.

1992 – Nikolaos Platon, Greek archaeologist & academic, passed away. He discovered the Minoan palace of Zakros on Crete. (b. 1909)

2013 – Gus Triandos, Greek-American baseball player & scout, passed away. (b. 1930)


March 29

1430 – The Ottoman Empire under Murad II captured Thessalonica from the Republic of Venice.

1553 – Vitsentzos Kornaros, Greek (Cretan) poet & playwright, was born. Wrote the romantic epic poem Erotokritos. He was a leading figure of the Cretan Renaissance.  (d. 1614)

1870 – Pavlos Melas, Greek-French captain, was born. He was an officer of the Hellenic Army, and he was among the first who organized and participated in the Greek Struggle for Macedonia. (d. 1904)

1965 – Emilios T. Harlaftis, Greek astrophysicist, astronomer, & academic, was born, (d. 2005)

2011 – Iakovos Kambanelis, Greek author, poet, playwright, & screenwriter, passed away. He was one of most prominent Greek artists of the 20th century. (b. 1921)


March 30

1841 – The National Bank of Greece is founded in Athens.

1896 – Charilaos Trikoupis, Greek politician, 55th Prime Minister of Greece, passed away. (b. 1832)

1992 – Manolis Andronikos, Greek archaeologist *academic, passed away. (b. 1919)


March 31

1821 – Athanasios Diakos liberated Livadia.

1822 – Chios massacred by soldiers of the Ottoman Empire following an attempted rebellion, depicted by the French artist Eugène Delacroix.

1833  – The Greeks drew up a constitution as a republic and the Turkish troops who have been occupying the Acropolis left.

1939 – Ioannis Tsangaridis, Greek general, passed away. (b. 1887)


Greek History – March: 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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