Greek History: October

Greek flag flying in Chicago's Daley Plaza

Greece has a rich and storied history. Every month at WindyCity Greek, we commemorate these important dates. Read on to learn about Greek History for the month of October.

October in Greek History

Let’s take a look back at what happened in October in modern Greek history.


Greek flag flying in Chicago's Daley Plaza


1915 – French and British forces landed in Thessaloniki, establishing the Salonika Front.

1923 – Failed anti-Venizelist military coup, sparked out of fear for the upcoming elections’ result.

1944 – German forces withdrew, and the government in exile returned to Athens.



October 1

1846 – Nectarios of Aegina, Greek metropolitan and saint, was born. (d. 1920)

1965 – Royal Coup, involving King Constantine II and a group of politicians, known as Apostasia of 1965. Prime Minister George Papandreou forced to resign.

1974 – Spyridon Marinatos, Greek archaeologist & academic, passed away. (b. 1901) His most notable discovery was the site of Akrotiri in Santorini. 

1988Alec Issigonis, Greek-English car designer who designed the Mini, passed away. (b. 1906)


October 2

1991 – Demetrios I of Constantinople, passed away. (b. 1914)


October 3

1947 – Takis Michalos, Greek water polo player & coach was born. (d. 2010) 

1979Nicos Poulantzas, Greek-French sociologist & philosopher, passed away. (b. 1936)

1993Katerina Gogou, Greek actress, poet, & author, passed away. (b. 1940)

2001 – Costas Hajihristos, Greek actor, director, producer, & screenwriter, passed away. (b. 1921) 


October 4

1827Grigorios Zalykis, Greek-French lexicographer & scholar, passed away. (b. 1785)

1955 – Alexander Papagos, Greek general & politician, 152nd Prime Minister of Greece passed away.  (b. 1883) 

1982 – Stefanos Stefanopoulos, Greek politician, 165th Prime Minister of Greece passed away. (b. 1898) 


October 5

2006 – George Zervanos, Greek tenor & educator, passed away. (b. 1930) 


October 6

1910 – Eleftherios Venizelos was elected Prime Minister of Greece for the 1st time (7 times in total). 

1943 – World War II: 13 civilians are burnt alive by Friedrich Schubert‘s paramilitary group in Kali Sykia, Crete.


October 7

1828 – Morea expedition: The city of Patras, Greece was liberated by the French expeditionary force in the Peloponnese under General Maison. 

1860 – Leonidas Paraskevopoulos, Greek general & politician was born. He played a major role in Greece’s war effort during World War I, and was the commander-in-chief of the Greek Army of Asia Minor in 1919–20 (d. 1936) 

1966Grigoris Asikis, Greek singer-songwriter, passed away. (b. 1890)


October 8

1908 – Ezekias Papaioannou, Greek-Cypriot politician was born. (d. 1988) 

1912 – The Balkan League, after issuing ultimata, declared war on Turkey, beginning the First Balkan War.

1973 – Greek military junta of 1967–74: Junta strongman George Papadopoulos appointed Spyros Markezinis as Prime Minister of Greece with the task to lead Greece to parliamentary rule.

1977 – Giorgos Papasideris, #Greek singer-songwriter, passed away. (b. 1902)

1987 – Konstantinos Tsatsos, Greek scholar & politician, 2nd President of Greece, passed away. (b. 1899)

2007 – Constantine Andreou, Greek painter & sculptor, passed away. (b. 1917)


October 9

1328 – Peter I of Cyprus was born. (d. 1369)

1831 – Ioannis Kapodistrias, Gree lawyer and the first head of state of independent Greece, was assassinated. (b. 1776)

9-10, 1912: Battle of Sarantaporo: the first battle fought between the Greek and Ottoman armies in the First Balkan War, and resulted in a Greek victory.

2012 – Harris Savides, Greek-American cinematographer, passed away. (b. 1957)


October 10

1872 – Dionysios Kasdaglis, Greek-Egyptian tennis player, was born. (d. 1931)

1922 – Andreas Karkavitsas, Greek physician & author, passed away. (b. 1866)

1935 – A coup d’état in Athens led by the Georgios Kondylis abolished the Republic. The government of Panagis Tsaldarisis overthrown and  regency was established a regency under Georgios Kondylis, effectively ending the Second Hellenic Republic.

1990 – Nikolaos Pavlopoulos, Greek sculptor & academic, passed away. (b. 1909)

2012 – Alex Karras, Greek-American football player, wrestler, & actor passed away. (b. 1935) 


October 12

1320 – Michael IX Palaiologos, Byzantine emperor, passed away. (b. 1277)

1862 – King Otto left the throne and the country.

1924 – Leonidas Kyrkos, Greek politician, was born. (d. 2011)

1943 – Kostas Tsakonas, Greek actor, was born. (d. 2015)

1944 – Athens and Piraeus were liberated from the German occupation troops, amidst a huge popular frenzy.

1944 – World War II: The Axis occupation of Athens comes to an end.

October 13

1873 – Georgios Kafantaris, Greek politician & Prime Minister of #Greece, was born. (d. 1946)

1904 – Pavlos Melas, an officer of the Hellenic Army, who was among the first who organized and participated in the Greek Struggle of Macedonia, was killed in Macedonia.

1993 – Andreas Papandreou’s PASOK won the general elections.

1944 – Athens was liberated and the Greek government-in-exile returned, with George Papandreou at its head.


October 14

2004 – Vlassis Bonatsos, Greek actor & singer passed away. (b. 1949) 

2015 – Chris P. Tomaras, #Greek-American businessman and philanthropist, founder of the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation, passed away.


October 15

1564 – Andreas Vesalius, Greek-Belgian anatomist, physician, & author, passed away. (b. 1514)

1920 – Chris Economaki, Greek-American sportscaster and actor was born. (d. 2012) 

1980 – Apostolos Nikolaidis, Greek footballer and volleyball player, passed away. (b. 1896)

2012 – Maria Petrou, Greek-English computer scientist & academic, passed away. (b. 1953)


October 16

1949 – Nikolaos Zachariadis, leader of the Communist Party of Greece, signed the treaty that marked the end of the Greek Civil War.

2013 – George Hourmouziadis, Greek archaeologist & academic, passed away. (b. 1932) 

2014 – Ioannis Charalambopoulos, Greek colonel & politician, Deputy Prime Minister of Greece, passed away. (b. 1919)


October 17

1912 – Bulgaria, Greece, and Serbia declared war on the Ottoman Empire, joining Montenegro in the First Balkan War.

1945 – Archbishop Damaskinos of Athens became Prime Minister of Greece during the period between the pull-out of the German occupation force in 1944 and the return of King Georgios II to Greece.

1955Dimitrios Maximos, #Greek banker & politician, passed away. (b. 1873)

1999 – Nicholas Metropolis, Greek-American mathematician and physicist passed away.  (b. 1915) 


October 18

1918 – Constantine Mitsotakis, Greek lawyer & politician, 178th Prime Minister of Greece, was born in Hania, Crete. (d. 2017)

1920 – Melina Mercouri, Greek actress, singer, & politician, 9th Greek Minister of Culture, was born.  (d. 1994) 

1944 – Prime Minister George Papandreou and his national unity government repatriated.

2012 – George Mattos, Greek-American pole vaulter, passed away. (b. 1929)


October 19

1814 – Theodoros Vryzakis, Greek painter, was born (d. 1878).

1916 – Ioannis Frangoudis, Greek general & target shooter, passed away. (b. 1863) 

1995 – Harilaos Perpessas, Greek pianist & composer, passed away. (b. 1907) 


October 20

1505 – Paul Scriptoris, #German mathematician and educator, was born. (b. 1460)

1827 – Battle of Navarino. A combined Ottoman and Egyptian armada was destroyed by a combined British, French and Russian naval force. It was the last major naval battle in history to be fought entirely with sailing ships. The Allied ships were better armed than their Egyptian and Ottoman opponents and their crews were better trained, contributing to a complete victory.

1957Michalis Dorizas, Greek-American javelin thrower & football player, passed away. (b. 1890)

1968 – Former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy married Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis.

2015 – Makis Dendrinos, Greek basketball player & coach, passed away. (b. 1950) 


October 21

1981 – Andreas Papandreou of PASOK became Prime Minister of Greece, ending an almost 50-year-long system of power dominated by conservative forces. 

1907 – Nikos Engonopoulos, Greek painter& poet, was born. (d. 1985) 

1996 – Georgios Zoitakis, Greek general & politician, passed away. (b. 1910) 


October 22

1923 – The royalist Leonardopoulos–Gargalidis coup d’état attempt failed in #Greece, discrediting the monarchy and paving the way for the establishment of the Second Hellenic Republic. 

1925 –The brief War of the Stray Dog with Bulgaria. Greece was imposed a fine. Allegedly, a Greek soldier ran after his dog, which had strayed across the border from Macedonia. The border was guarded by Bulgarian sentries, and one of them shot the Greek soldier. According to the Greek army, a Greek captain was also shot.

1934 – Rita Sakellariou, Greek singer, was born. (d. 1999)

1949 – Vasilios Magginas, Greek politician & Minister of Employment, was born. (d. 2015) 

1959 – George Bouzianis, Greek painter & educator, passed away.  (b. 1885) 


October 23

1919 – Manolis Andronikos, Greek archaeologist & academic, was born. (d. 1992) 

1925 – Manos Hatzidakis, Greek composer & theorist, was born. (d. 1994) 

24-25, 1941 – Massive executions of the inhabitants of the villages Mesovouno, Cleisto, Kidonia and Ambelofito by the Nazis.

1945 – Greece is one of the founding members of the United Nations.

1994 – Yannis Hotzeas, Greek theoretician & author, passes away.  (b. 1930) 


October 25

1822 – Greek War of Independence: The First Siege of Missolonghi began. 

1920 – King Alexander I died suddenly of infection caused by the bite of a monkey of the Royal Gardens.

1939 – Nikos Nikolaidis, Greek director, producer, & screenwriter, was born. (d. 2007) 

1952 – Ioannis Kyrastas, Greek footballer & manager,was born. (d. 2004) 


October 26

1795 – Nikolaos Mantzaros, Greek composer & theorist, was born. (d. 1872) 

1926 – Panos Gavalas, Greek singer, was born. (d. 1988) 

1933 – Takis Kanellopoulos, Greek director, producer, & screenwriter, was born. (d. 1990) 

1957 – Nikos Kazantzakis, Greek philosopher, author, & playwright passed away. (b. 1883)

1946Ioannis Rallis, Greek lawyer & politician, Prime Minister of Greece, passed away. (b. 1878)


October 27

1880Thrasyvoulos Zaimis, Greek soldier & politician, 48th Prime Minister of #Greece, passed away. (b. 1822)

1966 – Grigoris Asikis, Greek Rembetiko singer-songwriter, passed away. (b. 1890) 


October 28

1917 – Dimitrios Votsis, Greek lawyer & politician, passed away. (b. 1841)

1932Spyros Kyprianou, Greek-Cypriot lawyer & politician, 2nd President of Cyprus, was born. (d. 2002)

1940 – OXI Day. Greek premier Ioannis Metaxas rejected an Italian ultimatum demanding the occupation of Greek territory. Italian forces invaded Greece through Albania. It was the beginning of the Greco-Italian War, and Greece’s entry into World War II.


Related: Remembering OXI Day: Metaxas’ OXI Changed the Course of WWII

October 29

1986Mimis Fotopoulos, Greek actor, singer, & academic, passed away. (b. 1913)

1997 – Andreas Gerasimos Michalitsianos, Greek-American astronomer and astrophysicist, passed away. (b. 1947)

1999Antonios Katinaris, Greek singer-songwriter, passed away. (b. 1931)


October 30

1448 – John VIII Palaiologos, Byzantine emperor, passed away. (b. 1390)

1888 – Konstantinos Tsiklitiras, Greek footballer & high jumper, passed away. (d. 1913)

1896 – Kostas Karyotakis, Greek poet & educator, was born. (d. 1928)

1918 – Armistice of Mudros was signed, ending ended World War I in the Near East.

1966Yiorgos Theotokas, Greek author & playwright, passed away. (b. 1906)


October 31

1888Napoleon Lapathiotis, Greek poet & author, was born, (d. 1944)

1932 – Government of Venizelos fell.

1985 – Nikos Engonopoulos, Greek painter & poet, passed away. (b. 1907) 

2002 – Michail Stasinopoulos, Greek jurist & politician, President of Greece, passed away. (b. 1903)


Greek History – October: 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

More Greek History:




OXI Day: Still Important Today