Decanter information and metadata
The Pulaski Decanter
The Pulaski Decanter was given to the members of the Polish Legion of American Veterans as a celebration for the bicentennial of the United States in 1976. As part of the celebration, a copy of the decanter was also given to, among others, President Gerald Ford in 1975.
Polish Legion of American Veterans
Following the end of World War I, Polish Americans created a number of veteran organizations to foster cooperation, friendship and fraternity that arose of out fighting in the Armed Forces of the United States. It was also the objective of these organizations to help rebuild the newly independent Poland that reemerged after over a century of foreign rule under the leadership of Marshall Piłsudski.
The Polish Legion of the American Army grew and prospered on the East Coast, especially in New York and New Jersey. At the same time, the Alliance of Polish American Veterans organization started operating and Chicago and encompassed the states of Illinois, Wisconsin and Ohio. In 1921, it changed its name to the Alliance of American Veterans of Polish Extraction. In September 1923, the Ladies Legion was formed to foster Americanism and benefit Polish-American veterans.
In 1930, Stanley A. Halick of the Chicago-based organization visited New York and initiated cooperation talks between the groups which resulted in the merging of the three different organizations into the Polish Legion of American Veterans in 1931.
As part of celebration of the American bicentennial in 1976,, the PLAV made decanters featuring Gen. Pulaski who fought in the American Revolution and organized the American cavalry into a highly skilled and organized unit. He was killed in battle in Savannah, Georgia. The decanter was presented to members of the organization during a ceremony in Chicago. The decanter was also presented to President Gerald Ford in November 1975 by Congressman Clement J. Zablocki (D-Wisconsin), Frank Tadrzynski, National Commander of the Polish Legion of American Veterans and Richard L. Gralinski, immediate past National Commander of the Polish Legion of American Veterans.
In 1982, by Act of Congress, President Ronald Reagan granted a Federal Charter to the organization and in 1992 the ethnic requirement was dropped due to federal regulations.
Casimir Pulaski was a Polish military commander who has been lauded as a hero for his involvement in the American Revolutionary War and is frequently revered as the “the father of the American cavalry”. Pulaski was born on March 6th, 1745 to a noble family in Warsaw, Poland. Pulaski began his distinguished military career in the Polish army but later became involved in the rebellious Bar Confederation in 1767. This Confederation arose as a response to perceived overbearing Russian influence via the newly elected Polish king, Stanislaw II. Although the Confederation failed to depose the king, Pulaski garnered a reputation as a fierce and skilled soldier while fighting in this revolt.
This prestige inspired Benjamin Franklin to recruit Pulaski to join the Continental Army cavalry in 1777. Pulaski’s heroic status was fortified at the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777 as his charge against the British during this combat is credited with both saving the fledgling American cavalry as well as George Washington’s life. Pulaski was instrumental in implementing reforms amongst the cavalry and eventually formed his own unit, the Pulaski Cavalry region, on March 28, 1778. Pulaski was involved in several battles during the course of the American Revolution but ultimately perished at the Battle of Savannah in Georgia on October 11, 1779.
Pulaski is honored as hero in the United States with numerous monuments, statues, and celebrations. Congress passed a resolution in 1929 recognizing October 11th as “General Pulaski Memorial Day” and Pulaski was conferred in 2009 with honorary U.S. citizenship. He is one of only eight people throughout American history to receive such a distinction.
“Casimir Pulaski.” Wikipedia.org. Last modified November 22, 2014.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casimir_Pulaski. Last Accessed 11/29/2014
"History." Polish Legion of American Veterans. http://www.plav.org/plavhist.htm Last Accessed 11/29/2014
"Presidential Diary, November 20th, 1975 http://www.fordlibrarymuseum.gov/library/document/diary/pdd751120.pdf Last Accessed 11/29/2014
“Pulaski’s Legion.” Wikipedia.org. Last modified July 4, 2014.http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Pulaski%27s_Legion&redirect=no. Last Accessed 11/29/2014