author: IRENA FRACZEK
ABOUT POLISH HERITAGE MONTH
October was Polish Heritage Month, a month in which Americans of Polish descent (about 10 million strong) are especially proud of their roots, Polish achievements and over 400 years of their presence in the lands of the contemporary USA.
The story goes back to the first celebration of Polish Heritage that took place in Philadelphia in August 1981. The event was organized by Michael Blichasz, the President of the Polish American Cultural Center in Philadelphia, with assistance of Polish American Congress, Eastern Pennsylvania District (and since 1986, the national Polish American Congress).
Amid the event's rising popularity, growing national interest and succeful lobbying, U.S. Representative Robert Borski (D-PA-03) sponsored House Joint Resolution 577 aiming to designate the month of August as "Polish American Heritage Month." The H.J.R 577 became public law after President Ronald Reagan signed it on August 7, 1984.
Just ten days later, he issued Proclamation 5229 in observance of this occasion and paying tribute to four great sons of the Polish nation: Tadeusz Kościuszko, Kazimierz Pułaski, Pope John Paul II and Lech Wałęsa.
President Reagan continued to issue similar proclamations every year through the end of his presidency but in 1986, the Polish American Heritage Month was moved to October. This was done partly to help schools organize celebrations during the school year, and in part to coincide with the arrival of the first Polish settlers in Jamestown, Virginia on October 1, 1608 (twelve years before the Pilgrims reached the Massachusetts). October is also the time to commemorate the deaths of Polish heroes of the American fight for independence: Kazimierz Pułaski (October 11, 1779) and Tadeusz Kościuszko (October 15, 1817).
A Polish Mistress of the Brush: OLGA BOZNAŃSKA, a Kosciuszko Foundation webinar about one of the most renowned Polish female painters taking place on October 7, recording is now available on youtube .
Here is another video worth exploring:
► Olga Boznanska: A collection of 155 paintings ◄