Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- May 05, 1891Poland's National Festival
The main event of yesterday's great Polish festival, the third day of its celebration, was given in the large hall of St. Stanislaus School, corner Noble and Bradley Streets.
On May 4, 1791, the Polish constitution was proclaimed; it provided that "every man who enters Poland shall be regarded as a free man". Since this noteworthy courageous statement was made, one hundred years have elapsed and the Poles of America, and especially Chicago's Polish population, excelled in its display of patriotism by giving a great parade and numerous celebrations.
The festival which was given yesterday at St. Stanislaus Hall was highly elevating, and the words we heard there will undoubtedly leave a permanent impression in the hearts of every Pole. The hall was profusely decorated and in conformity with the mailed invitations which announced that "every friend of liberty is welcome", we noted next to the American and Polish banners, also the German, Swiss and the Irish colors.2
Amongst the multitude which filled the spacious hall, the young girls of St. Stanislaus School, dressed in white with red bands fluttering from their waists, made a most pleasing appearance; also two companies of Polish military clubs joined in their parade uniforms.
At the beginning of the festival, the orchestra played a march, which was followed by a short opening address by the Rev. J. T. Szukalski. After the singing of the national hymn, "Columbia", Judge Moran, who accepted the presidency for the festival, spoke to the assembly. He congratulated the Poles upon their love for their native land, and complimented America for its fortunate possession of such a diligent, energetic, law-abiding and liberty-loving people as the Poles.
The regular festival speech was given by the bishop, Rev. I. W. Spalding of Peoria, and his masterly, limitless perceptions, his effective and convincing arguments and citations, deserve recognition as a work of profound importance. The speaker gave a chronological account of the history of mankind as far back as the Aryan and Semitic tribes; from the latter we inherited religion, from the former, culture and progress in the arts were given to the human race. In a fascinating manner he mentioned the importance of the Poles upon culture and ended his enthusiasm 3creating speech by referring to Copernicus, a Catholic priest and Pole, whose scientific knowledge and discoveries in astronomy proved to be epochal. Speaking of Poland in regard to its former political position, Bishop Spaulding quoted the reasons which led to Poland's dissolution. The main cause was to be found in its geographical location; it had no natural boundaries, but was wedged between two monarchies, who had to sacrifice this bulwark of liberty. Our own America should thank Providence that oceans separate it from warring kingdoms and Czarist empires. Finally, the speaker considered the school question. He spoke with enthusiasm and declared that the teaching of one's hereditary language in the public schools is a serious thought which can not be eradicated anymore.
Great applause interrupted nearly every sentence of this highly interesting part of his discourse.
W. J. Onahan, former city comptroller, gave a short talk on the accomplishments of the Poles as American citizens.
Among the musical offerings, we must first mention the duet of Mrs. and Miss Kiolbassa, which was given a tumultous welcome in recognition of its excellence.4
The church choir (ladies, gentlemen), which sang Polish national songs and the patriotic composition, "The Song of our Land", also gave us a magnificent presentation. The school children intoned "The Star Spangled Banner", which was followed by a mass-chorus which sang the prayer; and so this memorable celebration came to a glorious end.
The Committee consisted of Mr. P. Kiolbassa, Rev. Barzynski, and others.
III B 3 a, I A 2 b, I C, III C, III H, IV
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