The 86th annual Pulaski Day Parade on the Parkway on Sunday celebrated the history, culture and pride of the Polish American community in Philadelphia and honored Revolutionary War hero Gen. Casimir Pulaski.
Hundreds of Polish American members of churches, cultural organizations, folk dance and song groups, and Polish language schools marched.
The parade also marked the 411th year since Polish settlers first came to America. Invited to establish a glass industry in the colonies, the Polish craftsmen arrived in Jamestown, Va., in October 1608 — 12 years before the pilgrims. They opened a glassblowing shop, which became the first American industry to produce commercial items exported from America to Europe.
Gen. Pulaski, considered the father of the U.S. cavalry, was born in Poland in 1745 and came to America to join the fight for independence. He was commissioned as a brigadier general and his cavalry first defended Minisink Island in the Delaware River, and Little Egg Harbor in New Jersey, before being dispatched to the South. On Oct. 9, 1779, during the Battle of Savannah, Pulaski was mortally wounded by a cannon blast while charging into battle on horseback.