The History of the White House Greek Independence Day Celebration

Continuing a long tradition at the White House, President Donald Trump is hosting a Greek Independence Day Celebration on March 22.

Hundreds of Greeks and Greek Americans will attend the event to honor the men and women who fought for Greece’s independence against the Ottomans as well as the bond between U.S. and Greece.

The celebration was first started by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 with the help of Father Alex Karloutsos, Tom Korologos and Andy Manatos and has become a White House tradition ever since.

A year later, in 1987, Reagan issued Proclamation 5623 on Greek Independence Day:

Those who framed our Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution whose bicentennial we celebrate this year, drew upon the political and philosophical experience of the ancient Greeks and their followers through the centuries. By joining in the independence celebration of the Greek people, we pay special tribute to the democratic values that we in the United States, together with our friends and allies such as Greece, are committed to defend.

Ronald Reagan congratulates Archbishop Iakovos on Greek Independence day

For the last 32 years, Greek Independence Day has became a constant item in the calendar of the White House. George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump have hosted the event.

Watch our interview with Andy Manatos and Mike Manatos:

President Clinton with Andy Manatos
President Bush and Archbishop Demetrios
President George W. Bush smiles as he welcomes Archbishop Demetrios to the White House Friday, March 23, 2007
The Bush Family with Andy and Mike Manatos
President Barack Obama visits with Archbishop Demetrios in the Green Room of the White House prior to the 2011 reception.
President Donald Trump at 2017 Greek Independence Day celebration