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Casimir Pulaski Day in the United States

Casimir Pulaski Day is a legal holiday in Illinois, in the United States, on the first Monday of March. It celebrates the birthday of Casimir Pulaski, a Polish born soldier who contributed to the United States' independence.

Is Casimir Pulaski Day a Public Holiday?

Casimir Pulaski Day is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours.

Pictured above is an image of Casimir Pulaski charging with cavalry.

©iStockphoto.com/duncan1890

Celebrate Casimir Pulaski Day

Casimir Pulaski Day is included in classroom studies in some schools in Illinois. Some classes engage in historical activities related Casimir Pulaski's role in the American Revolutionary War in the late 18th century.

The day is also celebrated among Americans in other states, including Polish-American communities. Various events may include group gatherings, street parades, and public ceremonies.

Public Life

Casimir Pulaski Day is a legal holiday in Illinois so some schools, libraries, banks and courts are closed.

Federal and state offices, as well as many commercial operations, usually remain open. People wishing to travel via public transport in Illinois on Casimir Pulaski Day may need to check with the local public transit authorities on possible timetable changes.

About Casimir Pulaski Day

Casimir Pulaski (Kazimierz Pułaski) is known for his contributions to American independence. He was known as the “Father of American Cavalry”. He was born in Warka, Poland, on March 4, 1747. His father was one of the founding members of the Confederation of Bar, which begin in 1768 and took up arms against Russia, which controlled Poland at the time. After his father’s death, Casimir took over military command and his brilliance earned him an impressive reputation. However, it was not long before he was accused of being involved in a plot to kill the king and was forced into exile.

Pulaski travelled to Paris and met Benjamin Franklin, who enlisted him to help in the American Revolution in North America. He soon joined George Washington’s army. His first military engagement against the British troops was at the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777. After a dashing charge at Brandywine that allowed the American army to escape from the British, he was rewarded with a commission as brigadier general and the command of all American cavalry.

In 1779 Pulaski and his troops broke the British siege of Charleston, South Carolina. He was then sent to Savannah in a joint campaign with French allies. Seeing the French attack failing, Pulaski went into battle to rally the soldiers and was hit by a shot from a cannon. He died two days later (October 11, 1779) and was buried at sea. The United States Congress passed a joint resolution conferring honorary US citizenship on Pulaski in 2009, sending it to the president for approval. President Barack Obama signed the bill on November 6, 2009.

Casimir Pulaski Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2010MonMar 1Casimir Pulaski DayLocal observanceIllinois*
2011MonMar 7Casimir Pulaski DayLocal observanceIllinois*
2012MonMar 5Casimir Pulaski DayLocal observanceIllinois*
2013MonMar 4Casimir Pulaski DayLocal observanceIllinois*
2014MonMar 3Casimir Pulaski DayLocal observanceIllinois*
2015MonMar 2Casimir Pulaski DayLocal observanceIllinois*
2016MonMar 7Casimir Pulaski DayLocal observanceIllinois*
2017MonMar 6Casimir Pulaski DayLocal observanceIllinois*
2018MonMar 5Casimir Pulaski DayLocal observanceIllinois*
2019MonMar 4Casimir Pulaski DayLocal observanceIllinois*
2020MonMar 2Casimir Pulaski DayLocal observanceIllinois*

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