Although a few Greeks immigrated to the United States during the 1800's, it was not until the last decade of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th that they began to arrive in large numbers. Ultimately, between 1900 and 1920 about 350,000 Greeks came to America as part of the flood of East European immigrants. The majority of these early immigrants were single young men who came from the southern peninsula of Greece known as the Peloponnesus. Others came from Macedonia in northern Greece and from the Aegean and Ionian Islands. Following the Immigration Act of 1924, the number of Greek arrivals drastically fell and did not rise again until the 1950's.
Today Greek Americans can be found throughout the United States, but the majority remain in the large cities to which their ancestors and family members immigrated. While the stories of Greek American immigrants are varied and diverse, and their ethnic ties, traditions and customs have changed over time, this particular ethnic group has managed to maintain a distinctive ethnic identity by continuously negotiating between Greek and American cultures and by creating vibrant Greek American communities.
To learn more, explore A Time Line of Greek Immigration or read a story about immigration and early settlement in the United States.
Tell your story about your family's immigration and early settlement in the United States.