Monday, March 2, 2009

Casimir Pulaski Day

In many parts of the United States, the first Monday in March has been designated Casimir Pulaski Day, in order to honor the "Father of the American Cavalry," the Polish general Kazimierz Pułaski. Growing up, I used to visit my paternal grandparents just about every weekend and they lived not too far from Patterson Park in Baltimore. In the park, there's a large monument dedicated to Pulaski's memory, just as US Route 40 is known locally as Pulaski Highway. Consequently, this man and his contributions to American history have long been a minor fascination of mine. Strictly speaking, I suppose there's not much connection between Pulaski and the subject matter of this blog, but I do allow myself the occasional personal indulgence here from time to time. Plus, I'm sure someone who reads this can recall a classic wargame in which Pulaski plays a part, right?

In any case, Happy Casimir Pulaski Day!

14 comments:

  1. You know, this make's the song "Pulaski Skyway" by Clutch make a lot more sense now. 8)

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  2. Thanks for the tribute to the Count. In addition to RPGs, I am an avid miniature wargamer. My favorite period is the American War for Independence. My 28mm vignette of Polaski's Legion salutes you from their display cabinet.

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  3. Happy Pulaski Day, James!
    A would-be Garibaldi from the Old World who came to help make the New one, alongside the Frenchman Lafayette and German Von Steuben, leaving the old rivalries behind. A great exampleof what America is all about.

    On the note, more relevant to you BLOG, another great son of Poland is author Henrick Sinkiewicz, he did for historic fiction what Stanislaw Lem did for Sci Fi, and no fan of Traveler space travel should be ignorant of his work. Anyway, one of Sinkiewicz's notable works is called Crusaders. It covers a later period that King Arthur, and is quiterealistic about how the knights lived, schemed for power, and died. I can't see any serious fan of fantasy not liking it.

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  4. Near times when Puławski lived, is Polish RPG system "Dzikie Pola" ("Wild Fields").

    And about Polish Cavalry (one of the best in Europe thru ages):

    Poles: The main arm of the Polish is their cavalry, about three-quarters of whichre medium horse armed with lances. The other part are light, 10% of the total horse being light, crassbow-armed cavalry. The Poles also have both heavy and light foot. Treat all Polish troops as either elite or one class above their actual rating for purposes of morale.

    It's from original Chainmail (3rd Edition)

    Cheers from Poland.

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  5. @Brooze The Bear

    It's not "Crusaders" title in English, it's "Teutonic Knights" - book is awesome and canonical in every inch. :)

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  6. I too love those foreign disciples of freedom and revolution who cast their lot with the American revolution. I mean, how crazy is that?

    Lafayette is my favorite professional revolutionary of the 18th century, but Pulaski pulls a close second.

    Happy Pulaski Day James!

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  7. Bleedin' Poles. Who do they think they are? Turning up everywhere and putting the world to rights without so much as a by-your-leave, confirming heliocentrism, inventing helicopters, discovering Radium, supporting Washington. The nerve of it!

    "For our freedom and yours" indeed. ;-)

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  8. I remember we used to have that day off from school, in Illinois!

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  9. Indeed, my fiance is a teacher for Chicago Public Schools, and she is at this very moment enjoying Pulaski Day by sleeping in while I'm at work.

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  10. For five years I lived very nearly in the shadow of the Pulaski Bridge that spans the canal between Brooklyn and Queens. I was the only person I knew who knew who Pulaski was, and that included all my local Polish friends.

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  11. On the note, more relevant to you BLOG, another great son of Poland is author Henrick Sinkiewicz

    I know him primarily through his historical novel Quo Vadis?

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  12. It's from original Chainmail (3rd Edition)

    That's right. How could I have forgotten that?

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  13. Well, James, I've once again been edified by your blog. Until now, I had been under the assumption that the Casimir Pulaski Highway in Utica, NY, over which I've traveled more times than I can count, was uniquely named. Until now, I had never thought to question who the man was - beyond my youthful questioning of his name on the signs along that stretch of highway. Thanks to this post, however, this situation has been rectified. Color me enlightened.

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  14. So what was the classic wargame he was in? 1776?

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