On the 22nd of September 1933, the lovely park formerly known as Tremont Common,
located between Pine and Union Streets, was officially renamed Pulaski Park. Several petitions had been drawn previously, and the project had the approval of Manchester’s significant Polish-American population. Pulaski refers to of course, Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski, a hero of the American Revolution, and one of the most highly recognized heroes of that time.
On October 12, 1933 dedication ceremonies were arranged, and took place with about 2,000 Polish-American residents in attendance. City officials, school children and military bands made the day a special one, with a dance following at the Cocoanut Grove ballroom.
An equestrian statue of Pulaski that was placed in the park was the work of Lucien H. Gosselin (whose Manchester works also include the World War Memorial at Victory Park, the Sweeney Memorial, the Jutras Memorial and the marble statues in St. Joseph’s chapel).
Each year in October a Pulaski Day celebration is held in Manchester, in his honor. Watch the local newspaper for updates on when and where (usually there is an event in the park itself).
Who was Casimir Polaski? A great deal has been written about Kazimierz Michal Wladyslaw Wiktor Pulaski. He was born in 1745 in Warsaw, Poland. Driven into exile after supporting a failed uprising against Russian domination, he met Benjamin Franklin in France. He removed to the American colonies, and joined the American Revolutionary forces, becoming distinguished for his leadership abilities. He is known as the Father of the American Cavalry. He is recognized throughout the United States with monuments and statues. He never married and has no descendants. He died 11 October 1779 from wounds received at the time of the Siege of Savannah.
***** ADDITIONAL READING *****
Count Casimir Pulaski: From Poland to America
Sepulture of Major General Nathanael Greene : and of Brig. Gen. Count Casimir Pulaski (1885)
[Editor’s Note: This article is one of several I have written at the request of Don Pinard, Department of Public Works, Chief of Parks, Recreation and Cemetery Division, City of Manchester, New Hampshire. It is a volunteer project (on my part) to better record and share the stories of the men memorialized by the city’s “Military Squares.” All the information specifically within the body of this project is shared copyright free with the City of Manchester and its representatives, with the exception of photographs provided by family or friends who still retain whatever rights conveyed to them by law.]