Friday, April 28, 2017
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People in History

Polish Heroes Honored in Washington D.C. in 1910

General Casimir Pulaski died fighting in the American War for Independence on October 11, 1779. The U.S. Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia received word of the Pole's death and on November 29, 1779 passed a resolution to erect a memorial to honor the hero. Alas, no money was appropriated for it, due to the fact that the United States' finances were stretched so thinly in those early years.

    More than a hundred years passed. Around the turn of the 20th century, Polish Americans rediscovered the Pulaski Memorial resolution, and Polish American organizations petitioned Congress to again consider the issue. They were successful. An act of February 27, 1903 signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt appropriated $50,000 for erection of a statue of Pulaski in Washington, D.C.

Read more: Polish Heroes Honored in Washington D.C. in 1910


Maria Sklodowska's Studies in Paris

Read about Marie's adolescence in Poland in the earlier article.  

After the finish of love affair with Casimir Zorawski and due to better financial situation in Sklodowski's household Manya was able to buy a 3rd class train ticket, pack up lots of belonging - cloths, food and even a quilt and take a 3-days trip to Paris in Fall 1891.

Since the very beginning Manya took her scientific studies at the Sorbonne University very seriously. She was always sitting in the first row during Physics classes to be able to listen and understand as much as she could. Still, it was not easy start. She had to get used to study in a different country, in different language and culture. She was one of the very few women - there were only 23 women among 1,800 students in Faculty of Science, so naturally she attracted lots of attention. Besides, she was a foreigner from a Slavic country, with beautiful ash-blond hair. But the boys were the last thing on Maria's mind in that moment. She had to study a lot to compensate for lack in some education fields from her Russian only female gymnasium many years ago. She took also laboratories courses. They were not easy, but the fact that she was able to conduct some experiments at The Museum of Industry and Agriculture which was run by Joseph Buguski, her cousin, helped her to get her some technical experience before starting the university studies in Paris.

Read more: Maria Sklodowska's Studies in Paris


Stojowski - Pianist and Polish Patriot

StojowskiOf course, the phrase "pianist and Polish patriot" brings to mind the great Ignacy Jan Paderewski. But overshadowed by this illustrious man was another accomplished musician and proud Pole, a resident of America for the last forty-one years of his life.
Zygmunt Dyonizy Antoni Jordan de Stojowski was born in Strzelce near Kielce in southern Poland in 1870. His family had noble roots and his parents were well educated landowners. His first piano teacher was his mother before he went on to more formal training. By age seventeen, he had already become such an accomplished pianist and composer that he gave his first formal concert, in Kraków.

Mazzei - Italian American In Service to Poland

Philip Mazzei left his native Italy in 1756 at age 26, seeking greater freedom in more liberal England. A trained surgeon, Mazzei set up an importing business in London. When liberties there became curtailed, he moved to America, where the cause of true freedom was gaining a foothold.

MazzeiMazzei met Thomas Adams, a friend of Thomas Jefferson, and in 1773 bought a plantation next to Jefferson's Monticello. The two became great friends and neighbors. When the revolution came , he took up arms against England and became an American citizen. He soon entered politics and became a political writer whose ideas influenced the course of government.

He landed a position as Virginia's agent in Europe in 1780 and traveled to Paris and Italy. His mission: to raise money for the American cause. But at this he failed and was recalled.

When Jefferson became U.S. Minister to France, Mazzei returned to Paris in 1785, hoping to secure a diplomatic post. In France, he promoted favorable views of America and vocally defended the U.S. at every opportunity. He eventually published a four volume work of his own about America, in essence becoming a publicist for this country. One of the readers of Mazzei's writings was King Stanisław August Poniatowski of Poland.

Read more: Mazzei - Italian American In Service to Poland


Maria Sklodowska’s Adolescence in Poland

. In 1878 when Manya (Maria Sklodowska) was only 11 years old, she already lost her beloved mother and Zosia, her oldest sister. For Manya the death of mother, the most important person in every child's life, started the episodes of depression which were continuing on and off through her whole life. With the death of her beloved mother, Manya also lost some of her faith. She stopped believing in the benevolence of God, she could not comprehend why God could take away her mother. Read about Maria's childhood

Read more: Maria Sklodowska’s Adolescence in Poland


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