The Pulaski
The Pulaski Day

On October 1, 1936 the Polish community in Camden announced that a monument to Casimir Pulaski would be dedicated on October 11. The monument was placed at a park that lay at Benson Street and Haddon Avenue, where Camden's City Hall had stood prior to the present City Hall's opening in 1931. The park came to be known as Pulaski Park.

At the dedication there were many notables and dignitaries. Among the speakers were Mayor Frederick von Nieda, Commissioner Frank J. Hartmann Jr., Monsignor Arthur B. Strenski of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, and Congressman Charles A. Wolverton.

Camden's Polish community celebrated Pulaski Day with a parade through at least the late 1970s. In more recent times, Polish groups formerly based in Camden such as the Polish American Citizens Club have participated in Philadelphia's Pulaski Day Parade. 

When Camden's Pulaski Park was designated to be the site of a new medical school, the monuments that were there had to be relocated. The South Jersey Division of the Polish American Congress, along with Polish Army Veterans Post 121 and the Polish American Citizens Committee raised funds to move the Pulaski Monument to a new site. In 1984 the monument was moved to Cooper River Park, at Park Drive and Route 130 in Pennsauken, NJ in 1984. A new monument to Thaddeus Kosciusko was also dedicated that October. 

The two original monuments to Thaddeus Kosciusko and Casimir Pulaski were joined in 1995 by a new monument dedicated to those members of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church located at 10th & Liberty Streets in Camden who gave their lives for our country in World War II. Information from a plaque inside the church was the basis for this monument. site of the three monuments is no known as 

The site of the three monuments is now known as

Camden Courier-Post - October 1, 1936

Camden Courier-Post

October 12, 1936

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In its new home at Cooper River Park

Camden Courier-Post * October 1966

Parade, Mass

Pulaski Day Observed In Camden 

A crowd estimated at nearly 3,000 witnessed Camden's Pualaski Day observance yesterday commemorating the death of Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski at Savannah, Ga., in 1779, and the 1100thth anniversary of Poland's conversion to Christianity.

Featured in the parade were 40 bands, including Air Force and Army bands, and several floats depicting events in Polish history.

Among those in the reviewing stand were Mayor Alfred R. Pierce, Senators Frederick J. Scholz and A. Donald Bigley, the Most Reverend Celestine J. Damiano, Archbishop of Camden, and all city councilmen and department heads. 

Polish Sermon 

At the conclusion of the parade Archbishop Damiano celebrated a Pontifical Mass in Whitman Park. Very Reverend Michael M. Zembrzuski, founder-director of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, delivered the sermon in Polish. 

A 50-voice choir, composed of members of St. Cecilia's Pennsauken; and Lucia's Choir of St. Joseph's Church, South Camden, sang during the Mass under the direction of Leonard Rykaczewski. Joseph Rykaczewski accompanied on the organ.

START OF CHRISTIANITY in Poland is commemorated by representatives of Polish Ametican' Women's Club, Lowell and Warsaw Streets, during yesterday's Pulaski Day Parade. Left to right are Mrs. Bernard Weaver as King Mieszko I; Mrs. Ray Baus as a guard; Mrs. Frank Kitchmire as Queen Dabrowski, Mrs. Frank Filipek as a guard, and Mrs. Frank M. Bates as prelate. 

DRESSED as General Pulaski, John Wrobel carries standard at head of St. Helena's Group 190, Polish Beneficial Association. Children are carefully arranged according to size to best display their costumes.

Camden County Record * June 10, 1976
The parade was held early on account of the Bicentennial celebrations

"Mending Our Heritage" won first prize in the float competition of the recent Pulaski Bicentennial parade. The historical scene depicts Betsy Ross sewing the 13th Star before presenting the first United States Flag to Gen. George Washington. The patriotic project was the creation of Frank and Virginia (Ginger) Kitchmire of Barrington, and Kathy (Kitchmire) and Richard Jung of Northeast Philadelphia. The children of both families portrayed the other Colonial figures. Their grandmother, Mrs. Frank (Sally) Kitchmire entered the float for the Whitman Park Bicentennial Chapter of which she is president. Proudly, she added, "Once they got the idea it took both families only one week to complete the job." 


Gov. Brendan Byrne asked Camden's Mayor Angelo Errichetti to express his appreciation to the people of Whitman Park for their exemplary behavior during the Pulaski parade as they walked at the head of the march. Unlike the governor's appearances at other statewide functions, he noted there were no organized belittling demonstrations or catcalls. The people here, he told the mayor, came here to enjoy a tremendous parade and pay their respects to those who were a part of the patriotic demonstration in the year of our country's 200th celebration. He said he was impressed with the warmth and spirit here in a gay atmosphere. They showed great respect for their government and a rare lifestyle seldom seen in these days of confusion. He also repeated these views before the legislative bodies in Trenton. 

The mayor's conversation with the governor was disclosed at a Whitman Park Bicentennial Chapter meeting he attended last week. The city's chief executive also praised the local group for the Bicentennial activities and program carried out in the community, and then he pleaded with them to remain as a viable group at least for the remainder of the year. 

If you like this page, check out the links below to other pages relating to Camden's Polish community. You may also enjoy The St. Joseph High School Memorial Free Range Salt Lick, a wonderful page maintained by Michael P. McDowell, Class of '72.

Phil Cohen
April, 2009

St. Joseph's Church
10th and Mechanic Streets, Camden, New Jersey

Another St. Joseph's Church web-page

More Polish Community in Camden Links
St. Joseph's Polish Athletic Association


A Camden Story: Reflections and memories of Rich Brodowicz
A Polish Camden Kitchen