On this day in 1962, Greek-Canadian actress and Oscar nominee Nia Vardalos was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She is best known for her film My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002), which earned her an Academy Award nomination for best screenplay. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 filmed its principal photography in Greece from June 22-August 10 this year.
On this day in 1947, Greek diplomat and politician Giannos Kranidiotis was born in Nicosia, Cyprus. The son of the Cypriot diplomat, poet, and writer Nikos Kranidiotis, he was a member of PASOK from 1976, an advisor on Cyprus to PM Andreas Papandreou, and held important posts at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On September 14, 1999, Kranidiotis, his son Nikolas, and four other people died aboard the presidential Dassault Falcon 900 airplane on their way to a six-nation Balkan foreign ministers’ regional cooperation meeting in Bucharest.
On this day in 1687, the Acropolis in Athens was attacked by the Venetian army attempting to eject the Turks from the city, ultimately severely damaging the Parthenon.
Also on this day in 1904, Koizumi Yakumo, born Patrick Lafcadio Hearn (Greek: Πατρίκιος Λευκάδιος Χερν), passed away due to heart failure at the age of 54. Hearn was a Greek-Irish-Japanese writer, translator, and teacher who introduced the culture and literature of Japan to the West. Hearn was born on the Greek island of Lefkada on June 27, 1850, to a Greek mother named Rosa Cassimati, a native of the Greek island of Kythira, while his father was a British Army officer of either Irish or mixed English-Irish descent, who was stationed in Lefkada during the British protectorate of the United States of the Ionian Islands.
At age 19, Hearn immigrated to the United States and became a newspaper reporter. He eventually went to Japan, where he would remain for the rest of his life, marrying a Japanese woman with whom he had four children.
Also on this day in 1989, Pavlos Bakoyannis, the Greek politician and magazine publisher, was gunned down and murdered outside of his office building in Athens by the terrorist organization 17 November. Bakoyannis was born in 1935 in a small village in Evritania, where his father was the priest. He studied in Athens and Munich and distinguished himself as a broadcaster. He married Theodora (Dora) Mitsotakis, the daughter of politician Konstantinos Mitsotakis and a few months before his death Bakoyannis entered politics as an elected member of parliament. Dimitris Koufodinas, Iraklis Kostaris, and Alexandros Giotopoulos were sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder.
On this day in 1831, Ioannis Kapodistrias was assassinated at the age of 55. The son of Komis (Count) Antonio Capo d’Istria, he was born in Corfu (then under Venetian rule), studied at Padua, and then entered the Russian government services. Kapodistrias had a deep sympathy for the cause of Greek independence, and was eventually elected as the first head of state of independent Greece. He worked to organize an effective government and to subordinate powerful, semi-autonomous local leaders to the authorities of the new state. He thus acquired enemies – including Konstantis and Georgios Mavromichalis, who assassinated him on the steps of the church of Saint Spyridon in Nafplion. Kapodistrias is considered the founder of the modern Greek state.