It was Holy Week then, just like now. In fact, it was Good Friday. Hundreds of people had gathered early, on 26th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues in Manhattan, outside the newspaper’s office that remained there for 64 years.
There, on the West Side, was where the Greek-American community lived, and where the offices of the then-powerful newspaper Atlantis, founded in 1904, were also located.
It was on that day, April 2, 1915, on which the National Herald-Ethnikos Kyrix was born. The newspaper that would support Eleftherios Venizelos with faith and consistency became flesh and bone. When that first edition’s first page was released early in the afternoon, the crowd broke into enthusiastic applause. Everyone was happy.
But who could have imagined on that day, that the creation of the young (29-year-old) businessman Petros Tatanis, who founded the Herald, and its editor Demetris Kallimachos, would still exist 103 years later?
And not only exist, but have readers in every corner of the earth?
Take Greek-Australian Peter Katsampanis, a member of the Western Australian Legislative Council, representing the Liberal Party. He is a Herald reader and was profiled in the March 31 weekend edition. On a recent trip to Greece, he visited our offices in Athens to meet and get to know the people who publish this newspaper.
The National Herald has made such an impression on him that he took precious time from his trip to meet us. That is an important example, but Mr. Katsampanis is one of the thousands of examples of our readers who are literally scattered all over the earth and who trust their information needs to the Herald.
That the Herald would reach all parts of the earth, could not, of course, have been imagined by Petros Tatanis. It was unfathomable.
The Herald proudly introduced the then-revolutionary telegraph technology, a novelty for the Hellenes Abroad. It was only a few lines.
The telegraph was then a groundbreaking method of communication. As revolutionary a development as were the invention of radio, television, computer, offset printing and now digital technology. And through all of this, the Herald has survived – unlike so many other newspapers – to leave us the most precious of all its services, its archives!
Through those archives, the history of Greek America is preserved, and our community lives on and will always live on.