Each October since 1981, American Polonia celebrates Polish American Heritage Month. It was first organized by Michael Blichasz, President of the Polish American Cultural Center in Philadelphia. Originally it was celebrated in August at various gatherings, travel events, and culturally significant locations in Pennsylvania. In 1984, House Joint Resolution 577 passed, making August Polish American Heritage Month. The month was changed to October in 1986 in order to aid participating schools in organizing their celebrations during the school year, and to commemorate the month when the first Polish settlers came to Jamestown, Virginia in 1608.
Heritage represents the past history, culture, language, and religion of a nation. Those values influence how we approach living and create the invisible bond which ties people together – a sense of unity and belonging within a group, as well as support from the community to which one belongs. Polish Americans can be especially proud of all of their ancestors’ achievements, both in Poland and in the United States – the country with the largest Polish diaspora in the world.
This month, we celebrate the national heroes of two countries, like Pułaski and Kościuszko, founders of many Polish American churches, schools, and organizations such as the Polish American Congress, which will celebrate its 75th anniversary on November 14, 2019, and the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America, which celebrates its 146th anniversary this year. We also honor the many generations of Polish immigrants and Polish Americans, who throughout their hard work, determination, deep commitment, and unaccountable contributions, helped shape America into a better, more prosperous, and stronger nation.
In celebration of Polish-American Heritage Month, PRCUA sponsors an annual coloring contest for children ages 3-18. Click here for more information.