Pulaski Day

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Pulaski Day

October 11; first Sunday in October
Count Casimir Pulaski was already a seasoned fighter for the cause of independence when he first arrived in America in 1777 to help General George Washington and the Continental Army overthrow the British. While still a teenager he had fought to preserve the independence of his native Poland, and when he was forced to flee his country he ended up in Paris. There he met Benjamin Franklin and Silas Deane, who were impressed by his military background and arranged for him to join the American revolutionaries.
Although he was put in charge of the mounted units and given the title Commander of the Horse, Pulaski had trouble maintaining his soldiers' respect. He spoke no English and was unwilling to take orders from anyone, including Washington. Eventually he resigned from the army and raised an independent cavalry corps, continuing his fight for the colonies' independence. It was on October 11, 1779, that the Polish count died while trying to free Savannah, Georgia, from British control.
The president of the United States proclaims October 11 as Pulaski Day each year, and it is observed with parades and patriotic exercises in communities in Georgia, Indiana, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. The biggest Pulaski Day parade takes place in New York City on the first Sunday in October, when more than 100,000 Polish Americans march up Fifth Avenue.
CONTACTS:
General Pulaski Memorial Parade Committee Inc
295 Greenwich St., Ste. 353
New York, NY 10007
212-254-1180
www.pulaskiparade.org
SOURCES:
AmerBkDays-2000, p. 184
AnnivHol-2000, pp. 39, 171