Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Casimir Pulaski Day!!

When I was in elementary school I LIVED for "school holidays". Now that I'm older with kids in elementary school, I can honestly say...I HATE THEM!! This week the kids were off for Presidents Day. Next week they are off on Friday and the following Monday for Casimir Pulaski Day!

When we first moved here--I had never heard of the holiday--as I'm betting most of you across the country have never heard of. For those of you who want to know more--I Wiki'd it for you!! (yes, that is a new verb--enjoy it!!)

Casimir Pulaski Day is a regional United States holiday celebrated on the first Monday of every March to commemorate Casimir Pulaski, a Revolutionary War cavalry officer born March 4, 1747. It is celebrated mainly in areas which have large Polish populations. This is a separate holiday from the federal holiday, General Pulaski Memorial Day, that commemorates Pulaski's death at the Siege of Savannah on October 9, 1779.

Illinois enacted a law on June 20, 1977 to celebrate the birthday of Casimir Pulaski and held the first official Pulaski Day celebrations in 1978. The bill was introduced by Senator Leroy W. Lemke (D)- Chicago. Chicago celebrates Pulaski Day with an annual parade, and many Illinois school children are given the day off. However, as the percentage of Polish Americans in Illinois drops and as fewer Polish Americans are elected to office, more and more schools in the state are opting out of observing the holiday. The holiday is also a special observance day in Wisconsin public schools, celebrated March 4th, as outlined in state statute 118.02 (although this is not universally observed). While not a state holiday, Indiana also marks the day as a commemorative day by governor's proclamation.