105 Years of Our Community’s History At Your Fingertips

Being that it's 2020, it's very easy to feel like the earth below us is ever-shifting. Nothing seems to be the same as it once was, COVID-19 and inflamed racial tensions in the United States and the conversion of Aghia Sophia from museum to a mosque have led us to a national and global reckoning. In these times, we all look for a life vest or at the very least, something to cling onto to remember there were once days unlike the ones we are currently living through. Memories often fade with time, it’s only natural. What if I told you however that the long journey of the Greek diaspora community in the United States has been documented on a daily basis almost since the Greeks came en masse to America at the turn of the 20th century?

It is my great pleasure and honor to present to you, a truly monumental moment in the history of the Diaspora. Beginning this weekend, the 105-year-old archives of The National Herald will be fully digitized thanks to the generous support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. This undertaking, though time-consuming, was a labor of love by those who cherish our Hellenic heritage and want to preserve these newspaper issues spanning over a century for the next generations to not only be able to access, but to learn from them. Within these pages, readers, academics, and philhellenes alike will be able to search through and see what mattered to our community over the decades and perhaps along the way see their own relatives' names appear. I do not consider it to be hyperbole when I say that over the last 105 years this publication along with the Greek Orthodox Church have built the strongest bridges in both the preservation of Hellenism far from Greece’s shores and the retention of our connection with the homeland in a daily sense.

The National Herald not be where it is without the support and loyalty of our Community and for that we thank you to no end. Our publication promised last year when leadership changed for the first time in 43 years, that a new digital age was coming, while preserving our print edition identity. Earlier this summer, we unveiled two state-of-the-art websites for our publications and work on them daily to offer our readers the best product possible day in and day out. In digitizing our archives, a process that took well over a year, we have further moved the goal posts on our mission to bring our mission to the entire world and earnestly usher in a new digital age. We acted so that our community’s past will be preserved for the future. 105 years ago the National Herald’s founder Petros Tatanis and his team embarked on a daring journey in making this publication. My sister and I are heirs to a heavy historical burden to our Community, but it is one we relish. From Tatanis, to Rossides, to Antonis Diamataris to today we stand on the shoulders of giants. Every Greek who left Greece for the promise of a better future in America and the global Diaspora had a story to tell. Like them, our pages tell our story and we are delighted to be able to share them with the world in this new format. May we continue to write golden pages in the history of our community together.


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