Time to start getting ready for my trip to our nation's capital for the annual (St. John's Eve)celebrationon the National Mall. The event will take place Saturday, June 24, 2017 at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool Steps. The night of merrymaking— also known as St. John’s Night or “Noc Świętojańska" — is still observed in parts of Poland and some Polish communities around the world. It has its roots in pre-Christian pagan rituals that honored two
Summer solstice 2017 in the Northern Hemisphere will be at 12:24 AM on
Wednesday, June 21
important elements: fire and water. It is also a feast celebrating the Sun as a source of light and warmth on the longest day of the year, usually June 23. This event is put on by the Polish American Arts Association of Washington, DC.
Along the way, I plan to visit the site in Lattimer, PA where 19 unarmed immigrant coal miners (14 Poles) were massacred on September 10, 1897 striking for higher wages and equal rights. More than 400 miners were gunned down by over 100 deputies: nineteen miners died on the spot and many more were wounded. MORE about the Polish Miners.
I have my eye on the weather and my plans could change. Tropical Storm Cindy could bring too much rain making driving difficult. I hate driving in the rain!
September 10, 1897
June 22, 2017: All packed and ready to go
June 23, 2017: On The Road Again: Set GPS for:
St. Stanislaus Church - 652 Carson St., Hazleton, Pennsylvania 18201 (Luzerne County)
St. Stanislaus Cemetery - 641 Arthur St., Hazelton, PA
Lattimer Massacre Monument - Intersection of Lattimer and Quality Roads, Hazelton, PA
The National Shrine of Our Lady of Częstochowa - 654 Ferry Rd, Doylestown, PA 18901
Embassy of Poland - 2640 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Got up at 4:33, had breakfast and hit the road. It was a bit of a white-knuckle drive through the Pennsylvania hills due to the light rain, but I was careful. I made it to Hazelton, PA well before noon and had no problem finding my way around. Thank you GPS.
By the way, in case you are wondering why I am interested in the Lattimer Massacre, here's why: I first learned about the massacre from an article I read (on right) doing family research. I discovered that 120 years ago my grandfather, Jacob Johnson was among the many Buffalo Poles that raised money for the families of the unfortunate victims. This likely happened in other cities too because people throughout the country were truly outraged by the incident. Polonia was particularly sympathetic because most of the victims were Poles. Buffalo had a huge Polish population at the time - still does. I'm glad they we able to help out.
POLISH CITIZENS HELD A MEETING
Denounced Recent Massacre of Miners
AID FOR THE HELPLESS
Attendance Was Large - Eloquent Speeches Were Made and Vigorous Resolutions Adopted
A meeting of Polish residents of Buffalo was held last night at St. Stanislaus Hall (see photo), Peckham Street and Fillmore Avenue, to take action concerning the firing on Polish citizens by Sheriff Martin and his deputies at Lattimer, Pa.
The hall was nearly full of interested Polish men when the meeting was called to order, the audience numbering nearly 1,000.
Jacob Johnson was made chairman. In a short address in the Polish tongue, he stated the object for which the meeting had been called.
The Massacre Denounced
James Rozerne, Stanislaus Urbanski and Alexander Cwiklinski made speeches denouncing the action of the Pennsylvania authorities, and advocating financial aid for the widows and children of the dead miners. The addresses were loudly applauded, the large audience being as one in desiring to help the unfortunate victims of the affair.
A committee on resolutions consisting of J. M. Rozan, A. Cwiklinski, F. Kwinkowski, S. Dekauski, F. A. Kwasrnk, L. Winiwicy and A. Bogalki presented resolutions which were read in English and Polish. The resolutions were unanimously adopted. They are as follows:
Whereas, with sorrow we have heard of the unjustified and murderous attack on our brethren by the Sheriff and his deputies at Lattimer, Pa., and
Whereas, such conduct of said officers whose duties are to preserve and protect the lives of people and defend them from unwarranted attacks, are not in accord with the oath which they took at assuming the duties of such high office, be it
Resolved, That we, the Polish-American citizens of Buffalo, deeply sympathize with the widows and orphans of the slain and, further that we emphatically condemn the unwarranted and ill-judged action of the Sheriff and his deputies by which action so many workmen lost their lives and left orphans and widows in poverty and despair; and, further, we ask our Polish people in Luzerne County, Pa., to obey the laws of this country, but stand firm for their honest convictions; and, further, we pledge our help in every honest and lawful way to bring the perpetuators of this awful crime to just punishment.
Jacob Johnson, Anton Bozacki, Matt Oruszck, Frank Keviat Kowski, Frank Kwicckowski and Frank Knoszak were appointed a committee to procure funds to be sent to the widows of the miners who were shot. Men were stationed at the door and landings of the hall, who received contributions from the audience. The money, with other gifts, will be sent at once to Hazelton.
THE BUFFALO COURIER
Description: POLISH CITIZENS HELD A MEETING.
Date: September 16 1897
Newspaper published in: Buffalo, NY
Source: Buffalo Central Library Microfilm
ABOVE: Photo of the old St. Stanislaus Hall mentioned in the article. Source: St. Stanislaus B&M Parish "Jubilee Book" (1923)
BELOW: The only photo of the marching immigrant miners. They carried the American flag believing their rights would be respected. Moments later hey were gunned down. Those responsible were judged innocent.
Afternoon visit to The National Shrine of Our Lady of Częstochowa in Doylestown, PA
I took quite a few pictures on the grounds of the National Shrine. Such a beautiful place! Severe windstorms were predicted for late afternoon or early evening, but I got lucky. No problem.
ABOVE: Veterans Cemetery
To view photos and videos of Wianki On The National Mall CLICK HERE
June 24, 2017: Wianki on the National Mall, Washington, D.C.
It rained very hard last night in Doylestown, PA, but it was nice and sunny when hit the road for DC.
I arrived well be for my 3:00PM check in time, so I walked to White House and the Capitol Building to take a few pictures. Great day for a walk, although it was muggy and hot. Took a dip in the pool to cool off, and not it's time for me to head on down to the Lincoln Memorial for the Wianki festivities.
I doubt I will have time to post my Washington photos when I get back to my hotel tonight. That probably won't happen until Monday. I plan to get up early tomorrow to get a jump on the traffic, although it should be light Sunday morning. Check back in a day or two. Thanks.
View of the pool from my room.
June 25, 2017: Back Home Again
Back home! Made it back from DC safe and sound. Listened to Charlie Rose leaving town, then mountain folk music on the radio whenever I could get it, and finally John Gora's Butterfly CD from the Penn/NY state line to Ra-cha-cha. Wianki was a great time.
It had kept pouring steadily till nightfall, and the peasants had the pleasure of standing outside their huts to breathe the cool and deliciously fragrant air. Meanwhile the Gulbas lads were urging all the boys and girls to sally forth and kindle the "Sobotki" * fires on a neighboring eminence. But the weather was far from pleasant, and only a few bonfires gleamed that evening along the skirts of the forest.
Vitek wished very much for Yuzka to go with him to the Sobotki. But she said: "No, I will not. What care I for amusements now... or for anything in the world?"
Still he pressed her to go. "We will only light a bonfire, leap over it... and come home again."
"No! And you too shall stay at home: else Hanka shall know of it," she said, threatening him.
He went notwithstanding--and came back too late for supper, famished, and most shockingly bespattered with mud; for the rain had been falling all the time. Indeed, it only gave over the next day, at the time of the funeral service.
Even the weather was cloudy and foggy, setting off still better the bright green of the fields, threaded with silver brooklets everywhere. It was fresh, cool, pleasant: the lands, all drenched and soaked, seemed fermenting with intense life.
* The "Sobotki" correspond to the St. John's Eve fires -- Translator's Note.
Vol.4 SUMMER, p. 21; Translated from the original Polish by Michael H. Dzierwicki, Reader of English Literature at the University of Cracow
Defamation of Polish-Americans
President Trump lashed out Thursday at the appearance and intellect of Mika Brzezinski, a co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” drawing condemnation from his fellow Republicans and reigniting the controversy over his attitudes toward women that nearly derailed his candidacy last year.
Mr. Trump’s invective threatened to further erode his support from Republican women and independents, both among voters and on Capitol Hill, where he needs negotiating leverage for the stalled Senate health care bill.
The president described Ms. Brzezinski as “low I.Q. Crazy Mika” and claimed in a series of Twitter posts that she had been “bleeding badly from a face-lift” during a social gathering at Mr. Trump’s resort in Florida around New Year’s Eve. The White House did not explain what had prompted the outburst, but a spokeswoman said Ms. Brzezinski deserved a rebuke because of her show’s harsh stance on Mr. Trump. - Washington Post
The president, drawing from his vast lexicon of playground
The part about President Trump's tweet describing Mika Brzezinski as having a low I.Q. is a thinly veiled ethnic slur, in my opinion. So ironic!
slurs, could have called her anything and I would not care. He could have said her mother wears army boots and I would not care, but to make the claim that she is of low intelligence in my opinion is an ethnic slur, to say nothing of the fact that name-calling is also juvenile and unbecoming of a person in his position.
UPDATE (July 1, 2017): He did it again! Today he doubled down and called Mika Brezinski "dumb as a rock". I hear you loud and clear, President Trump. As a Polish American I have been hearing such comments all my life.
Kudos to President Trump for delivering an excellent speech in Warsaw today. The people of Poland and Poles all over the world have long awaited such an affirmation of America's appreciation for Poland's many contributions. CLICK HERE to read the entire speech. I must also congratulate Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz for his part in crafting such a meaningful and powerful message on behalf of the president.
July 6, 2017:President Trump Speech to the People of Poland
Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz (born in 1962 in Warsaw, Poland) is a Polish-American historian specializing in East Central European history of the 19th and 20th century. His historical works include: After the Holocaust: Polish-Jewish Relations in the Wake of World War II, and Between Nazis and Soviets: Occupation Politics in Poland. Chodakiewicz lives in the Greater Washington, DC area.
Thank you, Dr. Chodakiewicz for helping President Trump find Poland on the map.