U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky | Contributed photo
U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Dist. 9) recently released a statement recognizing Polish-American Heritage Month.
"October marks Polish-American Heritage Month, a time for our nation to celebrate the critical role and many important contributions by members of the Polish-American community today, and over hundreds of years of American history.
"Chicago and its surrounding suburbs are home to over a million Americans who trace their roots back to Poland -- whether they came here themselves or had ancestors that made the trek in search of a better life. They are an essential piece of the diverse fabric that makes up the Ninth Congressional District of Illinois, and of the United States as a whole. From General Casimir Pulaski’s contributions in the Revolutionary War to the good done by Polish-Americans, like AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and so many others, I am grateful to have so many Polish-Americans in America’s melting pot."
Polish-American Month began in August 1981 as an event organized by Michael Blichasz, president of the Polish American Cultural Center in Philadelphia. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation declaring August as Polish-American Heritage Month. Because October is the month when the first Polish settlers reached America, the month was changed to October in 1986.