Polish American Heritage Month

Polish American Heritage Monthheritage

Polish American Heritage Month was first celebrated in 1981 in Pennsylvania. Originally, August was the month selected to focus in on the contributions of great Americans of Polish descent that were often not recognized. Michael Blichasz of Philadelphia, a fourth generation Polish American, started in an effort to bring to the forefront the strong pride he believed all Americans of Polish heritage should have in the successes that Polish Americans have made in America.. Polish American Heritage Month became a great success in Pennsylvania and in 1986, it was made a national campaign and the date moved into the month of October. The change was made to allow school children to take part in the month long celebration. Polish Americans and Poles in America now had a way to express their spirit in a truly American way. In Chicago, streets, parks, schools, government buildings, have been named in recognition of the contributions of Polish Americans but now an entire month focuses the attention of all on ourselves. It is important not to single out those like Pulaski and Kosciuszko, heroes to both Poland and America, but to focus in on your friends, family and yourself.

As everyone of us have contributed to the success of America, now is the time to show others who you are, where you came from, and what you do. Teachers, scientists, athletes, businessmen, politicians and diplomats, artists, writers, actors,.. the list goes on for ever and in it, include yourself.
Speaking to others, let them know you are proud of your heritage, from where you, your parents, grand-parents, great grandparents come from. The contributions made to America, from the first Polish settlers in Jamestown, Virginia as craftsmen and artisans, and leaders in the fight for representation, to astronaut Dr. James Pawelczyk, third generation Polish American and mission specialist for the latest missions of the space shuttle, are immense.

Just an example of a few:

scientist/inventor – Mieczyslaw Bekker, moon rover, first vehicle on the moon;
baseball – Stan Musial and Carl Yaztremski;
diplomacy – Zbigniew Brzezinski;
religion – John Cardinal Król;
music – Leopold Stokowski, conductor, and Bronislaw Kaper, Hollywood composer;
engineering – Tadeusz Sendzimir, steel production, and Ralph Modjeski, bridge builder including the San Francisco Bay Bridge;
football – Chicago Bear Bronko Nagurski.

The list is endless – from the first governor of Alaska, Wladimir Krzyzanowski, to actress Stefanie Powers.

Things to Do During Polish American Heritage Month.
Listed below are suggested activities for your October celebration

Community Wide
1. Contact your local Polish American organizations to see how you can work together to sponsor a successful Polish American Heritage Month event.
2. Request local elected officials to present a proclamation or special greetings to Polish American Community leaders during a local public event. (They ask for our vote, so it is only appropriate for them to recognize the Polish American taxpayers during their local Polish American Heritage Month Celebration). (Sample proclamations are available upon request). Invite your area Polonia and local news media to attend.
3. Offer a Mass at your local church for the intention of your area Polish American Community and invite everyone to attend. Following the Mass, hold a reception with Polish pastries and refreshments welcoming all in the spirit of Polish hospitality.
4. Sponsor an event to honor great men and women of Poland. Since we commemorate the death of American Revolutionary War Hero General Casimir Pulaski on October 15th, may we suggest you organize a wreath laying ceremony next to a portrait of Pulaski or consider honoring people such as Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Fryderyk Chopin, Marie Sklodowska Curie and others.
5. Encourage people to display Polish and American flags and Polish American Heritage Month posters in their homes, organizational headquarters, banks, businesses, etc. Flags, posters and banners help bring attention to the fact that October is National Polish American Heritage Month and that Polonia is celebrating proudly. (Sample posters available upon request).
6. Sponsor a lunch or dinner social with Polish food, music and entertainment.

Youth Activities
1. Organize an essay contest in your local schools. (Complete information on sponsoring an essay contest is available from the national committee). You can award prizes during a school assembly or public event to encourage participation from parents and students alike. Ask local businesses and organizations to help sponsor the event and offer prizes. This is also a way to involve local teachers as judges of the essay contest.
2. Sponsor a coloring contest. (Art works are available upon request from the national committee). The coloring contest has become very popular in elementary schools. Ask local art students to organize and judge the entries. Ask a local printer to reprint the artwork for your committee at no charge with the name of his business at the bottom as an advertisement.
3. Sponsor a children’s music or dance recital in a local auditorium, school hall or recreation center. There are children’s groups that would appreciate this type of exposure for their students. Request them to highlight Polish music or dance during their recital. Invite the general public and Polonia to attend.
4. Sponsor a children’s art contest requesting area schools to highlight Polish history and culture through student art. Display their art works and sponsor an award ceremony.

Cultural Displays
1. Organize a display at your local shopping mall or library featuring Polish books, arts and crafts, wycinanki and paintings by Polish American artists. Contact local artists and request them to display their works at the local library, parish hall, organization hall, public or office building lobby.

Media Contact & General Advertising
1. Display Polish American Heritage Month posters. Sample posters are available from the National Committee at the address listed on this letterhead. You can reprint these posters and encourage local stores, banks, supermarkets, churches and organizations to display the posters throughout the month of October.
2. Contact your local radio, TV and newspapers to tell them about National Polish American Heritage Month and activities scheduled in your area. When they advertise your activities as a public service, call to compliment the stations’ managers. If they do not announce your local events, call to express your disappointment. (Sample Radio & Newspaper Press Releases are available from the National Committee).
3. Ask local radio programs to mention your area Polish American events during October as part of their community bulletin board or public service announcements. (Every radio station is required to give time for public service announcements). You can also ask your radio stations to play a few selections written by Polish composers over the centuries and recorded most recently by internationally famous artists. This is a way for them to bring attention to Polish American Heritage Month and highlight the work of Polish composers.
4. Ask local organizations, banks, businesses and elected leaders to place a „POLISH AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH SALUTE” advertisement in your local newspapers or on local radio or TV programs. Placing these salutes each week during the month of October will remind everyone about POLISH AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH. (The national committee has an artwork for the newspaper, radio and TV salutes). They are available upon request.
5. Ask area high school and college students of Polish descent to assist you with press releases and other activities. Often this is a way for them to get additional credits for school and will allow them to be part of the Polish American Heritage Month Celebration. Possibly there are individuals in your community with children or grandchildren who could be called upon to assist you with publicity and other efforts.
6. Solicit several area businesses to donate towards a highway billboard that reads „DURING OCTOBER, WE SALUTE OUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS CELEBRATING POLISH AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH”. (To recognize their financial support, list their names on the bottom of the billboard message. It is great advertising; a sample billboard artwork is available upon request).

Family & Friends
1. Start your family tree and invite all the members of your family to get involved.
2. Review a map of Poland and learn more about the town or city of your ancestors.
3. Read a book on Polish history and share that information with family and friends.
4. Attend a Polish American event and invite others to attend with you.
5. Display a Polish and American flag, a red and white bow, or a Heritage Month poster in your home or place of business.
6. Learn more about a Polish custom, and share that information with others.
7. Join a Polish American organization and get involved in some way.


  pahmAs one may or may not know, Christine Baranski is an actress of Polish heritage that has won numerous awards. She is a two-time Tony, Emmy, Screen Actors’ Guild Award, and American Comedy Award winner and has been in such movies as „Bulworth,” „Cruel Intentions,” and „Bowfinger.” During Thanksgiving, Jim Carrey and she are releasing director Ron Howard’s film „How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Her next TV appearance is a lead role in the upcoming CBS series „Welcome to New York.”
She fell in love with acting while working on high school play productions. After high school she attended Julliard School of acting and after graduating she earned roles in off-Broadway and regional productions. She hit it big when she landed a role in Tom Stoppard’s Broadway comedy „The Real Thing.” She won a Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for her work and also married and gave birth to her first child, all in the same year.
She went on to win another Tony and two more Drama Desk Awards for her work on such Broadway plays as „Rumors,” „Lips Together Teeth Apart,” „Hurlyburly,” and ” The House of Blue Leaves.” She won a Screen Actors’ Guild Award for her fantastic work on the highly acclaimed „The Birdcage.” Some of her other great works are „Jeffrey,” „Reversal of Fortune,” „Legal Eagles,” „The Ref,” „Lovesick,” „Addams Family Values,” „Life with Mickey,” and ” 9 and a Half Weeks.”
However, most remember her for her comical work on the hit CBS series CYBIL, for which she received an Emmy, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and an American Comedy Award. In addition, she also received three Golden Globe and three Emmy nominations.
She returned to live theater while in Los Angeles in ” Sweeny Todd.” She also was a guest on Frasier this season, for which she received a fifth Emmy nomination.
She has been married for fifteen years to Matthew Cowles, a former actor, and lives with her two children in an eighteen-century farmhouse in the scenic and rural hills of Connecticut.

Wybrana przez Kongres Polonii Amerykanskiej
na Stan Illinois

    Christine Baranski, aktorka amerykanska polskiego pochodzenia zostala tegoroczna laureatka nagrody Dziedzictwa Polskiego, przyznawana dorocznie przez Wydzial Stanowy Kongresu Polonii Amerykanskiej w czasie trwania Miesiaca Dziedzictwa Polskiego, przypadajacego w miesiacu pazdzierniku.
Christine Baranski jest aktorka filmowa, telewizyjna i teatralna, laureatka nagród Emmy (1994 i 1995), Tony (1984 i 1989), Obie (1982/83), Stowarzyszenia Aktorów Scenicznych (1995 i 1996) oraz wielu innych nagród. Zakonczyla wlasnie swój udzial w programie telewizyjnym „Cybil”, za który otrzymala American Comedy Award (1995) za najzabawniejsza role kobieca, a jesiena biezacego roku zamierza zadebiutowac swoim wlasnym serialem telewizyjnym.
Christine Baranski pochodzi z rodziny o polskich korzeniach, gleboko zaangazowanej w sprawy Polonii amerykanskiej.

Urodzila sie i wychowala w polskiej rodzinie w Buffalo w stanie New York. Jej ojciec, Lucjan Baranski, wydawca polskiej gazety, zmarl gdy mala Christine miala zaledwie 8 lat. Na krótko przed smiercia zabral córke na przedstawienie grupy tanecznej „Slask” z Polski. Goracy aplauz i uznanie dla arystów, wyrazone lzami wzruszenia, tak gleboko zapadly w pamieci malej Christine, ze postanowila sama wystepowac w przyszlosci na scenie, aby zaskarbic sobie uznanie ojca.
Wkrótce tez dotrzymala danego sobie slowa. Za otrzymane stypendium skonczyla szkole Juilliard w Nowym Yorku (matka po smierci meza zmuszona byla rozpoczac ciezka prace w fabryce, aby utrzymac Christine i jej brata).

Christine przed dwoma laty zwrócila otrzymane kiedys stypendium. Wysylajac czek na $ 25,000 do swojej bylej szkoly, zalaczyla list ze slowami: ” Poniewaz nastaly dla mnie teraz czasy dobrobytu, chcialabym wynagrodzic swoja byla szkole z nadzieja, iz teraz ktos inny bedzie mógl otrzymac takie wyksztalcenie jakie ja niegdys otrzymalam”. „To byl wspanialy moment w moim zyciu”, wspomina Christine Baranski.
Oprócz ról w programach telewizyjnych oraz na Broadway’u, Baranski zdobyla uznanie jako aktorka w glosnych filmach fabularnych, takich jak: „Bulworth”, „Cruel Intentions”, „Bowfinger’s Big Thing”, „The Birdcage”, „Addams Family Values”, „The House of Blue Leaves”, „9 1/2 Weeks”, „All My Children”, a ostatnio: „How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, „Bowfinger” i „Cruel Intentions”.


Illinois Division
The 32nd Annual
Polish American
Heritage Award Dinner
On Friday, November 3, 2000

Salute to the Stars

Heritage Award
Christine Baranski
Film, Television & Broadway Star Emmy, Tony, & Screen
Actors Guild Award Recipient

Freedom Award
Colonel Francis Gabreski
Most Decorated Pilot in WWII – Flying Ace

Independance Award
Tomasz Malinowski Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Foreign Policy Speechwriting, National Security Council

Freedom Award
Colonel Francis Gabreski
Most Decorated Pilot in WWII – Flying Ace

Air Force Colonel Francis S. Gabreski (Gabbi) Colonel Gabreski is America’s top living fighter ace. He shot down 28 German aircraft during World War II and 7 aircraft in Korea. He was the top air ace in the European theater of operations during World War II. His distinguished career exemplifies the finest characteristics of Polish Americans who dedicated their lives to the United States and Poland.-During World War II he was assigned to the Polish Air Force as a liaison officer and flew with the Polish Air Force in ‚England. After crash landing on one of his missions, he became a prisoner of war in Germany. When the Korean war broke out, Colonel Gabreski again became an air ace with seven victories.

Nagroda Wolnosci
Pulkownik Francis Gabreski
Najliczniej Odznaczony Pilot Drugiej Wojny Swiatowej – Ekspert Lotnictwa

Pulkownik Franciszek Gabreski (Gabryszewski), pseudonim: Gabby, as lotnictwa amerykanskiego, urodzil sie 28 stycznia 1919 roku w Oil City w Pensylwanii w rodzinie polskich emigrantów. Po dwóch latach studiów medycznych wstapil do Parks Air College, która opuocil w roku 1941, tuz przed przystapieniem Stanów Zjednoczonych do wojny. Atak japonski na Pearl Harbor zastal go na Hawajach, gdzie odbywal sluzbe w 45 eskadrze mysliwców na lotnisku Wheeler Field. W listopadzie 1942 roku, poszukujac mozliwooci walki z Niemcami, udal sie do Anglii, gdzie najpierw pelnil funkcje oficera lacznikowego przy polskich silach lotniczych, a nastepnie latal w amerykanskiej 56 Grupie Mysliwców.

Podczas walk nad Francja i Niemcami odbyl 166 lotów bojowych, w czasie których zestrzelil 28 samolotów wroga (zniszczyl takze 3 samoloty na ziemi). Podczas ostatniego lotu, do którego zglosil sie ochotniczo w oczekiwaniu na transport do Ameryki w czerwcu 1944, jego maszyna ulegla uszkodzeniu. Zmuszony do awaryjnego ladowania na terytorium wroga ukrywal sie przez piec dni przed Niemcami, ale w koncu zosta ujety i trafil do obozu jenieckiego. W kwietniu 1945 zostal wyswobodzony przez Armie Czerwona i wrócil do domu. W roku 1946 podjal prace w zakladach Douglas Aircraft, ale gdy wybuchla wojna w Korei, zostal ponownie powolany do sluzby. W czerwcu 1950 zostal mianowany dowódca skrzydla w 51 Grupie Mysliwców. Latal na samolotach odrzutowych F-86 Sabrejet i uzyskal kolejne 6 zestrzelen. Ogólna suma 37 zniszczonych samolotów przeciwnika zapewnila pulkownikowi Gabreskiemu zaszczytne ósme miejsce wsród asów lotniczych w USA. Po wojnie koreanskiej pelnil sluzbe w wielu bazach US Air Force, a latem 1963 roku mianowany zostal inspektorem sil powietrznych USA na Pacyfiku. Jego ostatnim przydzialem bylo stanowisko dowódcy 52 Grupy Mysiwskiej na Long Island. Na emeryture odszedl w roku 1967. Jest ojcem dziewieciorga doroslych juz dzieci. Synowie poszli sladami ojca. Najstarszy, Donald, stacjonuje w Europie, dwaj mlodsi równiez zwiazani sa z lotnictwem. (K.R)

Nagroda Niepodleglosciowa
Tomasz Malinowski
Czlonek Rady D/S Bezpieczenstwa Narodowego w Bialym Domu

Tomasz Malinowski od 1998 roku jest specjalnym asystentem prezydenta Clintona do Spraw Bezpieczenstwa Narodowego oraz dyrektorem Miedzynarodowego Protokolu Przemówien przy Radzie do Spraw Bezpieczenstwa Narodowego. To wlaonie on przygotowuje przemówienia dla Prezydenta oraz dla Doradcy Bezpieczenstwa Narodowego, a takze oowiadczenia i artykuly prasowe dotyczace polityki zagranicznej i obronnej. Od 1994 do 1998 roku Tomasz Malinowski zajmowal sie pisaniem przemówien dla Sekretarzy Stanu: Warrena Christophera i Madeleine Albright. Byl tez czlonkiem Komisji Planowania przy Departamencie Stanu, skoncentrowanej glównie na wysilki rozszerzenia paktu NATO, pozycji wobec Balkanów, oraz poszanowania praw czlowieka. Pracowal tez dla Fundacji Forda oraz w biurze Senatora Daniela Patricka Moynihana w Nowym Jorku. Tomasz Malinowski urodzil sie w Polsce, w miejscowooci Slupsk w 1965 roku. Do Stanów Zjednoczonych wyemigrowal w roku 1971. W 1987 roku ukonczyl University of California w Berkeley, a tytul Magistra Filozofii w dziedzinie polityki otrzymal w 1991 roku na Uniwersytecie Oxford. Obecnie mieszka w Waszyngtonie, DC, z zona Myaing oraz córka Emily.

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