John Apostolides: A Greek American Making His Way

As we looked through the U.S. census data from the City of Alexandria in 1920 and 1940 searching for immigrants from Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey, the name John Apostolides stuck out considerably. Found in Ward 6 in the 1940 Census, Apostolides was a 40-year-old FBI lawyer who had lived previously in Washington, D.C. As I searched for more information on his life, I consulted the Washington Post in hopes that there would be something written about this uncharacteristic Greek immigrant. What I found was not at all what I expected, but was still extraordinary in its own right. The census taker in 1940 recorded Apostolides as employed with the FBI and was from Greece, but my research into the Washington Post turned up an Apostolides who had migrated to the US from Cyprus in 1921 and had since then worked as a detective in the Washington Metropolitan police force.[1] The disparity in information here could be explained by the fact that Washington, D.C. is a federal city and therefore, D.C. Metropolitan Police officers could have been considered federal agents.[2]

John Apostolides began his career with the Washington Metropolitan Police in the 1930s as a member of the subversive squad.[3] These squads could be found in most major cities in the United States as the country feared individuals who embraced radical philosophies like socialism, communism, and anarchy. In this period of paranoia, subversive squads were in charge of the surveillance of anyone deemed to have ties to philosophies that were believed to threaten capitalism and democracy. The people that were subject to surveillance were oftentimes foreign born and therefore subject to much scrutiny during this period.[4] Apostolides was valuable to this particular squad due to his mastery of four different languages and his personal experiences with immigrant communities.[5] After several years serving in the subversive squad, Apostolides transferred over to the check and fraud squad.[6]

While with the check and fraud squad, Apostolides had a very exciting and not at all laid back career. One article in the Washington Post details how Apostolides helped to bring down a man who had embezzled $8,500 from his employer.[7] Likewise, the Post applauded Apostolides for his work in bringing in a serial check forger who had disguised himself as a woman in order to rip off dress shop owners.[8] Alongside several other instances of good police work documented in the Washington Post, Apostolides also had one particularly harrowing apprehension of a suspect. While responding to a case of check fraud, Apostolides ran into the criminal in question on the street as he entered his stolen Cadillac. Thinking quickly, Apostolides hailed a cab, commandeered it, and proceeded to chase the man down and force him to pull over a few blocks later.[9]

Clearly John Apostolides was an exceptional man, and one who probably gave Greek and Cypriot immigrants a good name in and around Washington, D.C. While many of his fellow countrymen were seeing success in the private sector as restaurant operators, movie theater owners, etc., Apostolides was a public figure who brought good publicity to the Greek/Cypriot American community while simultaneously serving as a key member of DCPD.

[1] “John Apostolides, 64; Noted Detective Here,” The Washington Post, November 1, 1963, C6.

[2] Metropolitan Police Department: Cooperative Agreement: Federal Bureau of Investigation Police and MPDC, accessed October 12, 2015,

[3] “John Apostolides, 64; Noted Detective Here,” The Washington Post, November 1, 1963, C6.

[4] Randi Storch, Encyclopedia of Chicago: Red Squad, accessed September 30, 2015,

[5] “John Apostolides, 64; Noted Detective Here,” The Washington Post, November 1, 1963, C6.

[6] Ibid.

[7] “$8,500 D. C. Fraud Suspect Found in Reno,” The Washington Post, November 30, 1946, 3.

[8] “Check Bogus Like Figure of Their Passer,” The Washington Post, January 3, 1950, B11.

[9] “Detective in Taxi Wins Auto Chase,” The Washington Post, June 8, 1949, B2.

John Apostolides: A Distinguished Greek and a Sign of Community

Located in the 1940 U.S. Census for Alexandria, Virginia is a John Apostolides, a 40-year-old Greek immigrant living alone. I decided to research him because of his profession as a FBI lawyer. This was highly unusual; most Greek immigrants worked in restaurants, and other small businesses owned by other Greek immigrant families prior to World War II.¹ So, I wanted to learn more about this man.  Upon searching through the Washington Post database hosted by ProQuest, I found a handful of articles that discussed Apostolides and some of the cases he worked as a detective in Washington, D.C. The first article that I found was in 1941 where he was promoted from private to a detective.²

Clipping from Washington Post

By 1946, he had reached the rank of sergeant detective, and also was on the check squad, which had to deal with fraud and bad check writing.3 This article also discussed Apostolides catching a man who embezzled around $8,500 from his employer and who was arrested in Reno, Nevada.4

Apostolides is interesting because he represents that the Greek immigrant community was establishing itself in Alexandria and diversify their occupations. In previous censuses, many Greek immigrants were not naturalized and lived as “lodgers,” renting or living with someone else. These Greek immigrants usually sent money back to Greece to support their families with the intentions of going back. The appearance of Apostolides as well as other Greek immigrants and their children show that some members of the Greek-American community were beginning to make Alexandria, Virginia their home.

1. Lazar Odzak, Demetrios is now Jimmy: Greek Immigrants in the Southern United States, 1895-1965 (Durham, NC: Monograph Publishers, 2006), 18.

2.“Kelly Promises Washington Nation’s Best Police Force: Kelly Pledges Finest Police Force to D.C.,” The Washington Post, Nov 2, 1941. 1.

3. “$8500 D.C. Fraud Suspect Found in Reno,” The Washington Post, Nov 30, 1946, 3.

4. Ibid.

Greeks and Confectionery in Alexandria

Greek immigrants who settled in the cities of the American South sought to fill a niche in their adopted communities. Food service proved to be an efficient way to accomplish this goal.[1] The vast majority of self-employed Greeks owned restaurants, candy stores, fruit stalls, grocery stores, and other businesses that fed the communities they settled in.[2] These businesses were easy to establish; they did not require a large amount of skill, money, or English language  to operate, and allowed Greek immigrants to adapt to the ways of their American clientele.[3] Through food service, Greeks benefited from the expanding populations in Southern cities. Most Greeks in this field chose to open restaurants and lunchrooms, since those were sorely needed by industrial workers on their lunch breaks.[4] Although Greeks owned restaurants and lunchrooms in Alexandria, I decided to focus my post on Greek confectioners and their presence in Alexandria.


 While examining the U.S. Censuses for Alexandria from 1920 and 1940, I was surprised by the apparent lack of Greek immigrant confectioneries in Alexandria during this period. The only two examples that I found in the 1920 census were both in Ward 4. One, listed as “James” with an illegible surname is described as a confectioner, and the other, Antone Somoragas, is listed as a partner in a confectionary. Twenty years later, a James Constantinople can be found in Ward 4 of the 1940 U.S. Census, with an age that matches him to the “James” in the 1920 census, but he is listed as a clerk in a restaurant, probably owned by Antone’s wife, Helen. The lack of Greeks in the Alexandria candy business is unusual when compared with the rest of the United States. Through the course of my research, I discovered a translated article in the Foreign Language Press Survey that was originally published in a Greek language newspaper, The Saloniki-Greek Press, in 1915. The article was an opinion piece emphasizing the importance of confectionary businesses in the Greek immigrant community of Chicago. “One of our vital Greek businesses. Next to the restaurant and lunchroom business, the candy stores and soda fountains are the Greeks’ main sources of livelihood.”[5] If so many Greeks in other cities supported themselves by selling candy, ice cream, and other treats, why was the same not true in Alexandria?

The number of Greek confectioners in early twentieth century Alexandria may have been affected by both the size of Alexandria, the needs of its population, and the presence of well-established, non-Greek confectioners. While Alexandria expanded fairly rapidly after the Civil War, it was still a comparatively small city. Restaurants and quick lunch eateries, as well as grocery stores, were a more profitable venture for Greek immigrants. Alexandria’s growth stemmed from the expansion of the federal government and industrialization, bringing more and more workers into the Washington Metropolitan Area.[6] As previously discussed, the workers needed fast lunches during their noon breaks, and Greeks could provide them with what they needed. Businessmen such as James Constantinople may have wanted to work in several types of food services, rather than confectionery, to maximize profits.  If Greeks moved from one type of food service to another as the needs of the community changed, they could potentially do better for themselves. While Greek immigrants in other cities may have enjoyed success in the candy business, the environment of Alexandria did not make sweets a priority for Greek entrepreneurs.

Image 1-Typed translation of “The Greek Confectionery Business” from The Saloniki-Greek Press, Foreign Language Press Survey

[1] Lazar Odzak, Demetrios is Now Jimmy: Greek Immigrants in the Southern United States, 1895-1965 (Durham, NC: Monograph Publishers, 2006), 60.

[2] Ibid, 32.

[3] Ibid, 60.

[4] Ibid, 31.

[5] “The Greek Confectionery Business,” The Saloniki-Greek Press, May 19, 1915, accessed September 30, 2015.

[6] Alexandria in the 20th Century, accessed October 13, 2015,

The Constantinople Family

When initially studying the Greek community in Alexandria, I noticed that there were not many Greeks in the early twentieth century. According to the 1920 US Census, there were approximately twenty Greeks living in Alexandria. Most of these immigrants were younger, single men coming to the city for work  in the food service industry. The time frame that these immigrants were coming to the U.S. also caught my attention. Most of them immigrated between 1905-1915. Early twentieth-century Greece was not a stable place to be.  Between border wars and revolutions, Greece was fairly dangerous. When briefly looking at Greek history, I saw that there was a revolution going on in Greece in 1905 known as the Theriso Revolt.[1] This revolution sought to see Crete unify with Greece and resulted in martial law on the island.  This outbreak of fighting was then followed by World War I, in which Greece tried initially to be neutral and then joined the Allied Powers.

Not all Greek immigrants were single men working wage jobs who came as the result of the region’s instability. The Constantinople family had roots in Alexandria for a long time. Having settled in the U.S. in 1893 and naturalizing in 1898, James Constantinople quickly established his life in Alexandria. The Constantinople family lived at 523 King Street in 1920, which was part of the central business district. James, his wife, Georgia, and their two children as well as Georgia’s brother and sister-in-law lived together, which was not unusual for immigrant families. The Constantinoples seemed like a typical Greek immigrant family in the 1920s that had chosen to live in the U.S. They were small business owners and were involved in their community and church.[3]

As far as his occupation went something struck me. He was not working in the food industry in the 1920s. The 1920 U.S. census lists James’s occupation as a merchant. This information in the census caused me to look deeper and see what jobs he worked prior to 1920. In a newspaper clipping from the Washington Post published in 1908, I found that James owned a fruit stand.[4] In the article, James (along with another fruit stand owner) were fined for being open on Sunday.


Through my investigation on the Constantinople family, I was surprised to see little documentation. For a family that had been in Alexandria for such a long time, it was mildly disappointing that I was only able to find more information.

[1] C. Kerofilas, Eleftherios Venizelos, His Life and Work, trans. Beatrice Barstow (London: John Murray 1915).

[2] Ibid.

[3] “Orthodox Greeks To Hold Service: Feast of Transfiguration to Be Observed With Special Mass,” The Washington Post August 8, 1929.

[4] “MUST CLOSE ON SUNDAYS: Fruit Dealers Fined for Keeping Stores Open on Sabbath,” The Washington Post June 11, 1908.

The Summers Family

Two of the few Greek immigrant families present in Alexandria at the time of 1920 U.S. Census were the Constantinople and Samartzopulos (which looked like Somoragas) families. These two families shared a domicile on King Street in Ward 4; what brought them together was the fact that Helene Samartzopulos and Georgia Constantinople were sisters. Interestingly, Georgia was the first person listed in the household, but also was married, not a widow. I then realized her husband was in the census at a different location–possibly where he owned a business–but his surname was not legible. Antone and his wife, Helen, were also born in Greece.  Peter Constantinople, Georgia’s 18-year-old son, was born in Greece and immigrated with his mother in 1905.  His younger sister, Mary, was born in Virginia.

When looking into the 1940 U.S. Census, I once again found the families but a few things had changed. Firstly the Samartzopulos’ were now listed as the Summers, obviously an attempt to Americanize their name. Then Georgia’s husband–James–was present in the home. The most notable difference was that Helen was now the head of household; her husband, Antone, was not present, and she was not listed as widowed or divorced. She also had two sons–Thomas and Gus–living with her.  Everyone was now living on Duke Street together.

After searching for more information on the Summers family on the internet, I stumbled across an obituary for Thomas Anthony Summers, the son of Greek immigrants Anthony and Helen Samartzopulos from Alexandria, Virginia. Summers served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was best known as a country music singer[1]. By researching Thomas’s two groups, the Capitol Hillbillies and Cameron Valley Boys, I was able find mention to the song “It Rained Down Sorrow” by the Capitol Hillbillies and Tommie Summers in The Billboard magazine.[2]

Mr Thomas Anthony Summers

The only references I could find to Helen and Anthony Samartzopulos were later in the century. One article in the Washington Post was the obituary of Anthony Samartzopulos, which mentioned he owned multiple lunch rooms, including one named the the George Washington Lunch on the 400 block of King Street.[3] The article also credited Anthony with being a creator of the Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Washington, DC and later Saint Katherine’s in Falls Church, Virginia. Another article noted that Helen, his wife, and her part in helping setting up the church. Apparently, the couple had gone through the phonebook in search of Greek names to call and ask for their help in setting up the church [4].

[1] Obituaries, Everly Funeral Homes, accessed October 2, 2015,

[2] “Advance Record Releases,” The Billboard, May 10, 1947, accessed October 2, 2015,

[3] “Anthony Samartzopulos, Owned Food Stores,” Washington Post, October, 9, 1976.

[4]” Pillows, Plants, and ‘thank you God,'” Washington Post, June, 10, 1976.


“Tommie Summers.” Everly Wheatley. (Accessed 10/14/2015).

The Trahos’s

In the 1940 US Census, 36 year old, Christ Michael (Chris) Trahos lived in Ward Three at 705 King Street in a hotel. He was a restaurant owner and single. In the same building lived Norman Trahos a 25-year-old who was also single but unemployed. Norman was most likely Christ’s brother or perhaps his cousin, due to their same last name and closeness in age.

The Trahos’ had recently moved to Alexandria. Only five years prior to 1940 Christ was living in Flint, Michigan, while Norman was living in Greece. When Christ moved to Alexandria to work in a restaurant, Norman possibly came to Alexandria to join him. Looking for more information on the Trahos’s lives, it turns out that Chris’s actual name was Christ.[1] As often happened, a census taker misspelled his actual name.

A conflict with a waitress over hours in 1939 was the first time that Christ appeared in the Washington Post.[2] Trahos hired an attorney in the case since a labor inspector pressed charges.

man fined

Christ Trahos died on September 18, 1987 at Jefferson Memorial Hospital, in Charlestown, West Virginia.[3] In Christ’s obituary we can find additional information about his family. At the time of the 1940 U.S. Census, Christ was single; however, he eventually married a woman named Aleke and had three children.


There is little information about Norman Trahos from the the Washington Post other than one article from September 20, 1943.[4] He was among forty-four men reporting to serve in the armed forces during World War II after being inducted on August 31.  It is likely that Norman simply moved away after joining the army and left the Alexandria area.

enter army

Both of the Trahos’s show up in primary sources, through which we can track some aspects of their lives.  It is clear that Christ had owned the restaurant some time before the 1940 U.S. Census because he appeared in the newspaper a year earlier. His 1987 obituary is the only other time he appears in the Washington Post. Less information is available about Norman Trahos who joined the army in 1943; this is the only mention of Norman in the Washington Post. Christ and Norman were never mentioned together in the Washington Post or in any documents aside from the 1940 U.S. Census. The fact that they share the same last name and live in the same home are the only evidence that point to the possibility that they were related to one another.

[1] “Obituary 3 — No Title,” The Washington Post September 19, 1987, sec. METRO.

[2] “State Meet Groups Chosen At Alexandria: Will Compete in Literary, Athletic Contests Today,” The Washington Post May 12, 1939.

[3] “Obituary 3 — No Title.” The Washington Post September 19, 1987, sec. METRO.

[4] “44 District Men To Enter Army, Navy Tomorrow,” The Washington Post September 20, 1943, sec. Local News Women’s Activities Classified Advertising Comics.


The Constantinople Family

After our discussions of Greek immigration and review of the US census data from 1920 and 1940, I wanted to learn a little more about the Constantinople family.

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 2.07.31 PMThe family appears in both census records, so I did some digging on the Chronicling America website to see what else I could learn. I came across a few articles in the Alexandria Gazette mentioning James Constantinople and his business. The first article entitled “Petty Thieves,” talk about James’ store on King Street where two young “colored boys” tried to steal bread from a box outside of his store. They were caught by police officers later.[1] According to our analysis of the 1920 census data, the block where the Constantinople family lived and had their store (King Street) was a racially heterogeneous one, so it makes sense that there would be African Americans in the neighborhood who might also shop there. The second article about the incident noted that the two boys have been sent off to reform school.[2]

In the 1920 U.S. Census, the members of the Constantinople family listed are Georgia, and her children Peter and Mary, as well as her brother-in-law and his wife, Antone and Helen Somoragas. James is listed elsewhere on the census.  This entire extended family lived together on King Street. By 1940, the family had moved to Duke Street. Helen is listed as the head of the household, with her two sons, Thomas and Gus. James and Georgia, and their daughter Mary (listed as Marie) also live with them.

The way the Constantinople family lived  in Alexandria was very common among Greek immigrants. Large, extended families often stayed in the same home, and often worked in the same family business. Both James and Antone are listed as “confectionaries,” on the census in 1920, which could mean a variety of things (such as candy, cookies, and or ice cream), but Antone for a time probably worked with James in his store. Sometimes, Greeks worked in each other’s businesses in order to le particular trade or business. Then they might open their own.[3] By 1940, Helen is listed in the census as a restaurant owner, which could explain why Helen and Antone changed their last names from Somoragas to Summers. When Greeks opened their own businesses, they often “Americanized” their names to make it so that they would be more accepted by native-born Americans.[4] Summers is more easily pronounced than Somoragas for native-English speakers. James is also listed as a clerk in Helen’s restaurant in the 1940 U.S. Census.

The Constantinople family is a good example of the patterns we see in Greek immigration. They were a large extended family living together in one home, and at some point they each worked in the other’s business. Helen and Antone also changed their ethnically Greek surname to a simpler, “American” one. They all worked within the food/service industry, which was a niche the Greek community thrived in.[5] The comparison of the two census records shows that the Constantinople family continued to grow and thrive socially and economically within Alexandria prior to World War II.

[1] “Petty Thieves,” Alexandria Gazette, December 17, 1908.

[2] “Sent to Reform School,” Alexandria Gazette, December 17, 1908.

[3] Lazar Odzak, Demetrios Is Now Jimmy”: Greek Immigrants in the Southern United States, 1895-1965 (Durham, NC: Monograph Publishers, 2006), 34-36.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Odzak, 37.

Greek Families

The U.S. Census can tell someone a lot about the ways in which a person lived in the past. Combine that data with geographical information, and a whole world appears before a researcher. For example, we can learn a lot about Greek immigrants in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries using these two primary sources. Greek immigrants began arriving in the United States around 1870. During the 1890-1910 period, young Greek men immigrated to the United States in search for economic opportunity, but also intended to return home after working for a while and saving money. With the outbreak of World War I, Greek immigrants decided to stay with the hope of returning after the war.  Many, however, did not. With the passage of the National Origins Quota Act in 1924, there was a decline in immigration generally, especially Greeks, who, along with other southern and eastern Europeans were the target of federal regulations. There was a second wave of Greek immigration in 1965-1999 as a result of the 1965 Immigration Act, which ended the national- quota system.[1] It is clear that there were different patterns for Greek immigrants based on the years that they arrived in the United States.

Greek Immigration to the United States
Era Approx. Total Approx. Annual Average
Early migration 1873-1899 15,000 500
Great Wave 1890-1917 450,000 25,000
Last Exodus 1918-1924 70,000 10,000
Closed Door 1925-1946 30,000 1,300
Postwar Migration 1947-1965 75,000 4,000
New Wave 1966-1979 160,000 11,000
Declining Migration 1980-1989 25,000 2,500
Source: Charles Moskos, Greek Americans: Struggle and Success, p.156. It should be noted that it is very difficult to determine exact numbers of Greek immigrants because many of them were expatriated Greeks who came to the United States from Turkey.

Although a general understanding of the waves of Greek immigration to the U.S. is important, there are some regional differences.  Greek immigrants who migrated to the South, for example, led very different lives than the ones of those that lived in the North.[3] In the south, Greeks lived in communities based on their economic and “social commercial circles” rather than enclaves.[4] Although Greeks did not live in a large Greek communities, customary values and practices that connected them to their homeland were still very important to Greeks. Greeks who migrated to the U.S. South continued to uphold family structures, which included caring for extended family.

The United States census gives information that can be helpful to understanding the structure of Greek homes. The 1940 United States census asked a variety of questions that would be useful for a researcher. For example, two Greek American families lived in Alexandria, Virginia in Ward Six, a area which was annexed from Alexandria County (now known as Arlington County) in 1930.  They were also neighbors on the same street, and may have even known each other previously since they all emigrated from Turkey or in the U.S.. The two families also migrated from New York and New Jersey to Virginia.

Edward Kapvelian, the head of his household, was born in the U.S. though his wife, her mother and sister, were from Turkey. It is difficult to know whether he was second generation or not, because the census does not ask the birthplace of one’s mother and father as it did in earlier censuses. Kapvelian worked as an patent examiner for the Department of Commerce and was well educated.  Based on the census, he even attended graduate school of some kind.[5]

Although it is possible that these families are part of the Greek ethnic minority in Turkey, it is also possible that they were Armenians.  Without information in the census on the language spoken at home or other ethnic identifiers, it is unclear.

[1] Ann Korologos Bazzarone, A Timeline of Greek Immigration, accessed October 11, 2015

[2] Ibid.

[3] Lazar “Larry” Odzak, “Demetrios Is Now Jimmy: ” Greek Immigrants in the Southern United States, 1895-1965 (Durham, N.C: Monograph Publishers, 2011), 61.

[4] Ibid.

[5] 1940 U.S. Census, Alexandria, Virginia.

Education and the U.S. Census

While looking at the 1940 U.S. Census, I noticed one of the questions was: “Attended school in 1940.” I found this question interesting because I did not see this type of question in earlier censuses. Most Greek immigrants who we were researching were adults, and it is not surprising that the answer to the question was “no.” I then looked at the highest level of school completed. Four Greek immigrants in the 1940 U.S. Census for Alexandria had completed college, which was somewhat extraordinary.

Nick Hapsas naturalized citizen proprietor of a restaurant Head of the household Age 48
Fanny Hapsas alien no job listed Wife Age 40

The Hapsas family in Ward 1 was the only instance I found that both husband and wife who completed four years of college. To me, this was very impressive, because many Greek Immigrants did not have access to higher levels of education.  They also had two children, Charlie, age 13, and Mary, age 15, both of whom were in school.


Pearl Vaylos nothing was listed for citizenship Wife Age 56
Gus Vaylos nothing was listed for citizenship Pharmacist at a drug store Son Age 32


The Vaylos family in Ward 5 consisted of Dennis, the father (56), Pearl, his wife (56), and their two sons: Gus (32) and Andy (26). All the members of the Vaylos family were born in Greece except for the youngest, who was born in Virginia.

In 1935, the Hapsas family was residing in Columbus, Georgia while it states the Vaylos family was residing in the same house in Alexandria. The Vaylos family did not appear in the 1920 U.S. Census for Alexandria, but they might have been living elsewhere in the country since their 26-year old son was born in Virginia. The Vaylos family lived into Ward 5, which did not exist in the 1920 U.S. Census.  That area was part of Alexandria County, now known as Arlington County.  It could be that they were there before annexation.[2]

The maps below from 1941 are of the Hapsas and Vaylos families’ homes:



Vaylos Family on Russell Road


Hapsas Family 917 Franklin Street  


[1] 1940 U.S. Census, City of Alexandria.


[2] Digital Sanborn Maps, Accessed October 1, 2015.


Single Greek Immigrants in 1920 Alexandria, Virginia

In the early twentieth century, a large number of Greek immigrants entered into America.[1] They saw the United States as an opportunity to make more money than they could in Greece. Looking through U.S. census data for Alexandria, Virginia in 1920, it is clear that the majority of Greek immigrants in the city were single males.[2] Many of these men were able to find jobs and send back money to their families in Greece with hopes that they would eventually return too. Because many Greek immigrant men did not plan to settle permanently, they had no reason to set down roots. They stayed in boarding houses, usually with other single Greek men.This phenomenon also appears in the U.S. 1920 Census for Alexandria.[3] One example, shown below, shows a group of four men living together. The men lived with David and Fanny Dudley in their boarding house at 207 North Royal Street. Using a Sanborn Map of Alexandria from August 1921, I was also able to find the location of the boarding house shown below.


Figure One: Greek Immigrant Boarders at 207 North Royal Street in Alexandria, Virginia from the 1920 U.S. Census


Figure Two: Sanborn Map of the 200 block of North Royal Street in Alexandria from 1921

Many Greek immigrant men Americanized themselves as little as possible in the early 1900s because they were uninterested in staying. They also lived with other Greeks, married other Greeks, and worked with other Greeks. In the U.S. South, Greek immigrant men often worked in lunch rooms, which required minimal English language skills. This phenomenon also appears in the 1920 U.S. Census for Alexandria. Louis Rams, Thomas Demos, James Thomas, and Chris Thomas all worked in a lunch room, and probably were living and working together.[4]


Figure 3: Information on Occupation from the 1920 U.S. Census for Greek Immigrants in Alexandria


[1] Lazar Odzak, Demetrios is Now Jimmy (Durham, NC: Monograph Publishers, 2011).

[2] 1920 U.S. Census, Alexandria, Virginia.

[3] Ibid.

[4[ Ibid.