Thursday, May 23, 2013

Women's Rights: Marika Botsi, the First Woman Mayor in Greece (c. 1944)

This was originally printed in the GREEK NEWS AGENDA - March 8, 2013

Women's Rights:  Marika Botsi, the First Woman Mayor

Although women in Greece did not get the right to vote in national elections until 1952, they were granted the right to vote in local elections in 1934.  This first timid participation (only about 12,000 voted), eventually led to the first woman holding office in modern Greek history:  Marika Botsi.

Born in 1904, she received a degree in Pharmaceutics from the Athens University, founded the first Women Scientists' Organization, and returned to her native Amaliada, where she opened a pharmacy.  Following the liberation of Amaliada from Nazi occupation, in 1944, Marika Botsi was appointed mayor, thus becoming the first female mayor in Greece.

Monday, May 20, 2013

New website for THE GREEK MUSEUM - The Center for Greek American Heritage in New York

New website for THE GREEK MUSEUM - The Center for Greek American Heritage in New York.

Brought to my attention by Katherine R. Boulukos on Facebook.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Greek immigrants and U.S. Immigration & Citizenship Laws

The following are excerpts from article "Timeline of U.S. Immigration & Citizenship Laws"
Expatriation Act of 1907 (2 March 1907):
Under this act, all women acquired their husband's nationality upon any marriage occurring after that date. This meant that U.S.-born citizen women could now lose their citizenship upon marriage to any alien. They were, however, able to regain their U.S. citizenship when said alien husbands naturalized, unless they married Chinese, Japanese, or other men racially ineligible to become naturalized citizens. Additionally, because the husband's nationality now determined that of the wife, a married woman could no longer legally file for naturalization under her own right.
Children born abroad to alien parents could acquire U.S. citizenship upon the naturalization of their parents during their minority, once the minor child him or herself began to reside permanently in the U.S. Children born abroad to U.S. citizens would be required to swear an oath of allegiance before a U.S. consul upon reaching the age of majority if they wished to retain U.S. citizenship.
U.S. citizenship could also be lost under the 1907 Expatriation Act for (1) naturalization in a foreign state, (2) taking an oath of allegiance to a foreign state, or (3) for residing for five years in a foreign state, or two years in the foreign state from which he came. However, no American citizen was to be allowed to "expatriate himself when this country is at war."
...That any American woman who marries a foreigner shall take the nationality of her husband. At the termination of the marital relation she may resume her American citizenship, if abroad, by registering as an American citizen within one year with a consul of the United States, or by returning to reside in the United States, or, if residing in the United States at the termination of the marital relation, by continuing to reside therein...


Immigration Act of 1917 (5 February 1917):
Congress levied a head tax of $8 for every alien entering the United States, with the exception of children under the age of sixteen accompanying their mother or father. It also denied entry to immigrants from what was called the Asiatic Barred Zone, "any country not owned by the U.S. adjacent to the continent of Asia" (including much of Asia and the Pacific Islands), as well as banning entry for certain 'undesirables,' including, among others, idiots, feeble-minded persons epileptics, paupers, alcoholics, convicts, polygamists, and anyone with a physical or mental defect that might impair their ability to earn a living. Prostitutes and anyone involved in or with prostitution were also restricted from immigration under this act. Children under the age of sixteen were not allowed to enter unless accompanied by a parent, or somehow otherwise able to demonstrate that they were not likely to become a public charge. Individuals who did not pay for their own tickets came under extra scrutiny.
In addition, the 1917 Immigration Act required all alien immigrants over the age of sixteen, other than those who met certain exceptions, to demonstrate their literacy in the language of the aliens' choosing. If they were unable to pass the provided reading test, they were subject to exclusion from admission to the United States. However, any alien who was admissible, or had been previously admitted, could bring in his father or grandfather over fifty-five years of age, his wife, his mother or grandmother, or his unmarried or widowed daughter, whether or not they could read.
...That the following classes of aliens shall be excluded from admission into the United States: All idiots, imbeciles, feeble-minded persons, epileptics, insane persons....persons of constitutional psychopathic inferiority; persons with chronic alcoholism; paupers; professional beggars; vagrants; persons afflicted with tuberculosis in any form or with a loathsome or dangerous contagious disease; persons...certified by the examining surgeon as being mentally or physically defective, such physical defect being of a nature which may affect the ability of such alien to earn a living; persons who have been convicted of or admit having committed a felony or other crime or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude; polygamists...; anarchists...; persons who are members of or affiliated with any organization entertaining and teaching disbelief in or opposition to organized government...


School Project Connects (Greek-American) Students With Their Heritage

Socrates Day School 5th grader Angelina Kalamaris with her grandmother Angeline Beladakis following Angelina's heritage presentation.

"The following article is reprinted with permission from The Greek Star" -


Last month fifth grade students at the Socrates Day School at the Hellenic American Academy (HAA) delivered "A Celebration of Life,: the culmination of a month-long project in which students learned about their heritage through original research while developing valuable written, visual and spoken communication skills.

Immigration stories were the most common theme among the presentations.  "Many of our students' families have overcome great adversity to arrive where they are today," said fifth grade teacher Mary Giannetos, "but families do not always find the forum to share these stories with their children and grandchildren.  The Hellenic American Academy believes it is important for our students to appreciate their heritage and the sacrifices of their ancestors.  School presentations on family history provide a valuable opportunity for students to make these connections."

Student presentations included visual, written and oral histories based on interviews conducted with living relatives.  As part of the project, each student learned to create interactive PowerPoint presentations covering a family member's early life, teenage years, education, work experience, adult life, and lifetime aspirations.  Collectively, the presentations provided a snapshot of HAA students' dynamic and accomplished family heritage, which includes military officers, Hall of Fame athletes, entrepreneurs, college professors, polio survivors, war survivors, artists, tennis players, artists, homemakers, restaurant owners, and chefs.  "I was amazed to discover that m grandmother survived polio," said student Angelina Kalamaris, whose grandmother Angeline Beladakis attended the presentation.  "I'm so glad this project gave me with the opportunity to celebrate her life."

Audience members were impressed with both the process and the end result.  "I feel closer to each of these families," said parent Kyle Kinzy.  "What's more, my daughter is closer to her grandfather.  Until she worked on this project, she had no idea her very existence had been in jeopardy years ago when Nazis threw her infant grandfather out a second story window.  Now she's looking at her grandfather and history itself with a new perspective."

For Kyle's daughter, Stephanie Kinzy, that perspective also included imagining her grandparents as young, romantic adults:  "I was so surprised to learn that my grandmother ran away with my grandfather because her parents didn't approve of the marriage," she remarked.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

MUNICIPALITY OF THERAPNON, REGION OF LACONIA, GREECE - Part 3 of 3 - 1872 General Election Lists - Includes Village of Tzitzina - Greek/English Translation




The digital collections of the Greek State Archives offer a wealth of information to those of us interested in Greek genealogy.  Included are the "1872 General Election Lists" for the Municipality of Therapnon - Part 3 of 3

Each row includes:  Line # - Given Name, Surname - Age - Father's Name - Occupation.

This is a GREAT resource, but very difficult to navigate for those who do not read Greek.  I have translated these records into English for your reference.  

Follow the Lulu link below to view a FREE preview. 

Ebook available for download in PDF format 

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.


You may also be interested in other ebook translations at

Monday, May 6, 2013


Article printed in the Detroit Free Press, April 12, 2013 - by staff writer Christine Hall

"For Karla Scherer, the new Hellenic Museum of Michigan -- opening Saturday in Midtown Detroit's Cultural Center with an exhibit about the history of Greektown -- is "just serendipity."

The museum -- which celebrates Greek history and culture in the region and state -- is in her grandparents' historic home, the Scherer House on Kirby Street, where in the basement her father invented the machine for the manufacture of soft gelatin capsules.

The museum's mission also holds a special place because her late husband, Michigan Supreme Court Justice Theodore Souris, was the state's only Greek-American justice.

"It's wonderful how the circle completed itself," said the 76-year-old, fourth-generation Detroiter who now lives in Chicago. "In a city in which so many things are being demolished, the fact that the house will live on is the most gratifying thing to me of all." . . . . . . Read entire article