There were several honors and parades for Count Pulaski before, but the first annual Pulaski Day Parade was in October 1937. It is one of the city's oldest continuing ethnic parades.
General Pulaski Memorial Parade Committee, Inc.
The 68th Annual Pulaski Day Parade will be held on
Sunday, October 2, 2005 on 5th Ave. New York City
We at the General Pulaski Memorial Parade Committee feel that Polish culture and heritage should be emphasized within our community and propagated among our youth. There are many fine examples of Polish men and women who exemplify the best our countrymen have to offer and set the example for all of us to follow, but one person in particular comes to mind. He is General Casimir Pulaski, our committee's namesake, a person who not only contributes to the Polish experience in our native Poland, but also in our adopted country, the United States.
The parade is named in honor of this great Polish champion who gave his life in the struggle for American freedom. Like many of us, he came from Poland to make a name for himself here. Like many of us, he came from Poland during unfortunate times to find work in this land of plenty.
In Poland, the general (then a young officer) and his father were heroes fighting against the Russian czar and both were successful in leading Polish patriots in the Uprising of 1768. Pulaski rose through the ranks to become Commander-in-Chief of the Insurrectionary Forces, before the revolt had calmed. In time, Pulaski gained recognition as "the most brilliant military genius of his time."
Pulaski came to the American shores to fight for America's freedom. General George Washington recognized Pulaski's military genius and bestowed upon him the rank of Brigadier General in the Continental Army. General Pulaski went on to organize the first American cavalry unit, the Pulaski Legion.
Pulaski's service to the United States and Poland is remarkable. His extraordinary achievements are taught in schoolbooks all across the country and this Polish man's legacy is revered in American history. Americans have named bridges and built memorials in his memory. In Boston's Harvard Square alone, a bastion of American intelligentsia, two memorials stand in honor solely to Casimir Pulaski, and his fellow officer Tadeusz Kosciuszko. This speaks volumes of how Americans feel about these Polish-Americans. To us, we will forever revere his memory for what he has done for us. They set the example; these were to first to take advantage of the opportunities here in America. They paved the road for us to follow.
14 October 1929, New York Times, pg. 23:
25,000 PAY TRIBUTE
TO PULASKI HERE
Walker and McKee Among the
Speakers in City Hall Park on
150th Death Anniversary.
5,000 CHILDREN PARADE
11 October 1937, New York Times, pg. 38:
PARADE FEATURE OBSERVANCE OF PULASKI DAY HERE
30,000 IN PARADE
TO HONOR PULASKI
Polish Americans March Up
5th Avenue in Tribute to Hero
of Revolutionary War
16 October 1938, New York Times, pg. 41:
PARADE OF 75,000
TO HONOR PULASKI
Fourteen divisions of Polish-Americans from the metropolitan area, expected to number 75,000, will march today in the second annual Pulaski memorial Day parade. The line of march will be from Washington Square up Fifth Avenue to Fifty-fourth Street, starting at 2 P. M.