Greek Texans

A Taste of Texas Project


By Connie Fralick

GT History 7

Period 5

Greek Texans

MLA Bibliograpy

"World Factbook." Central Intelligence Agency. USA Government, 10 Feb. 2013. Web. 10 Feb. 2013.

Sakoulas, Thomas. "Map of Ancient Greece." N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2013.

"Greek Texans." Narrative Texts. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2013. <>.

Col, Jeananda. "Texas: Facts, Map and State Symbols." Enchanted Learning, 1996. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.

Barrett, Matt. "Greek Food: A Complete Guide." Greek Food., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.

Niarchos, James. "Entertainment Dance." Marietta Greek Festival. Orthodox Church, n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.

"Research In The Lonestar State Immigration to Texas." LoneStar Genealogy, Comprehensive Texas History & Genealogy Web Site. LoneStar Genealogy, 1996. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.

"The Greek Texans." Institute of Texan Cultures Publications Collection. University of Texas Institute of Texan Cultures at San Antonio, 26 June 2012. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.

Papanikolas, Helen Z. "The Exiled Greeks." Utah History To Go., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.

Gibbs, Neil W. "Greek Fun Facts." University of Louisville. N.p., 30 Aug. 2012. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.

Hubbell, Kent L. "DOS: Greek Facts." Cornell University. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.

Namee, Matthew. "Fr. Theoclitos of Galveston on Charity." WordPress, 8 Feb. 2012. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.

Greek Culture

The Greek didn't use the Roman alphabet-theirs was based of φ, Ω, Ψ, Σ (AKA, the phi, omega, psi, and sigma.)

Almost all the Greeks are Christians that belong to the Greek Orthodox Church.

New Year's Day, in the Greek church, known as St.Basil's Day. On this day, they give gifts and do the cutting of the St.Basil's cake that has a lucky coin baked inside of it. They believe that the person who finds the coin will have good luck for a year.

Easter is also celebrated greatly in the Greek communities. They have midnight candlelit services and give red-dyed eggs that symbolize the gift of Mary Magdalene to Tiberius, the Greek Emperor.

Lamb, fish, goat's milk cheese (called feta), olives and olive oil, and shish kabob (or souflaki), are all foods common in the Greek diet. Casseroles made with eggplants and lamb are considered a treat. (Thats their opinion.)

Significant Greek Texans

The first known Greek to come to Texas was known as Captian Nicholas. In 1817, he came with the pirate Jean Lafitte to Galveston Island. Settling in Turtle Bayou, Texas, he lived selling oysters, fish, and charcoal for 50 years before dying, almost at the age of 100, in the Galveston storm of 1900.

George Economou (George Papaeconomou) went to school to learn to be a sea captian, but ended up leaving his ship and enlisting in the U.S. Navy. He married a Greek woman and settled in Galveston. He served in both World Wars (1 before he got married, 2 after), and led the first convoy (a travelling group of ships/vehicles usually accompanied by armed troops, warships, etc.) into Hiroshima following the dropping of the atomic bomb. He died in 1951 on duty.

The Reverend Theoclitos Triantafilides was the first preist of the Serbian, Greek, and Russian Eastern Orthodox church of the SS. Constantine and Helena, in Galveston. He was also the first Orthodox preist in America (and possibly the first) to actively try to convert Americans.

Colonel Francisco Garay was a Greek serving in the Mexican army. During the Goliad Massacre, he saved twenty doctors and carpenters by way of hiding them inside of his tent on the day that Santa Anna ordered the execution. He is even called "The Angel of Goliad", and has obviously impacted the lives of the scions of those doctors/carpenters, for if he had not saved their ancestors, they would not exist.

Reverend Theoclitos Triantafilides

Trivia on Greek Texans

1. What day is Greek Independence Day?

2. After Christmas and Easter, what is the most important Greek holiday? And what day is it celebrated on?

3. How may Presidents of the U.S. were Greek? How many Vice Presidents?

4. Since 1900, what percentage of the U.S. President's Cabinet have been Greek?

5. What percentage of ALL the U.S. Presidents have been Greek?

6. What percent of U.S. Congressmen and Senators are Greek?

7. Which of these people are Greek and which are NOT Greek? Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, Martin Luther King, Jr., Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Brad Pitt, Steven Speillberg, David Letterman, Harrison Ford, Jerry Lewis, Neil Armstrong, "Babe" Ruth, and Robert Frost.

8. About what percentage of top executives of Fortune 500 companies are Greek?

9. Considering all this, what percentage of Greeks make up the population in the United States?

Trivia Answers

1. March 25

2. The Dormition (death) of the Virgin Maria, 'Dekapedavgoustos'. August 15th.

3. 33 Presidents and 17 Vice Presidents.

4. 63%

5. 48%

6. 76%

7. Trick question. They are all Greek. (Or part of a fraternity or a sorority. (AKA, a Greek Letter Organization))

8. 85%

9. Only 3%. This is (obviously) a very powerful group of individuals.

Analysis Paragraph 1

There is not an abundance of Greeks in Texas, or in the U.S. for that matter, but I believe that they have still made a large impact on Texas, and the United States. I think that the Greek culture has impacted our way of life greatly.
Reverand Theoclitos Triantafilides was the first Orthodox preist in America to actively attempt to convert Americans, and so, most likely, was the driving factor in bringing the Greek Christian Orthodoxy to America. He is probably the main reason there is Orthodoxy in the U.S., and has obviously impacted the lives of those who have that religion because of him. Just the fact that Orthodoxy exists in Texas and in the U.S. is evidence of Triantafilides' affect.

Colonel Francisco Garay, even though he didn't make some amazingly drastic change to Texas, he has most definately affected Texas-his descendants are evidence enough of that. It doesn't matter that his scions didn't make some huge impact on everybody's lives, he impacted their lives (the descendant's) greatly, and, without him, they wouldn't be here today.

Also, considering that many of the presidents in U.S. history were Greek, those Greek individuals have obviously made a very large impact on the way we live today. All the decisions made by those 33 Greek Presidents and 17 Vice Presidents that affected Texas can be considered as "evidence of how Greeks have impacted Texas."

Ananlysis Paragraph 2

I firmly believe that Texas is better off with immigration. So many things wouldn't have happened were it not for immigration. For one, if no immigration, period, had happened, well then, Texas might not have even been part of the U.S. You see, if nobody had immigrated to Texas, then it might have just ended up Indian territory. Or, permanetly a part of Mexico, or some European country. You never know.

Moving further along, and more specific to the Greeks that emmigrated here, a lot of people would have a different religion were it not for Reverend Theoclitos Triantafilides. Plus, those descendants of the people Colonel Francisco Garay, as explisitly stated earlier, would not exist. All the small things that each and every Greek person, or any nationality for that matter, contributes to society, and the state and county as a whole, would not be there. And, all those people, while maybe small and "insignificant" alone, when all together, if collectively "erased" from Texas and U.S. history, make a huge difference. Texas and the U.S. would not be where it is today if not for Greek Texans.