Although Casimir Pulaski Day is not a big holiday State and City offices are closed for the day. Illinois enacted a law on September 13, 1977, to celebrate the birthday of Casimir Pulaski and held the first official Pulaski Day celebrations in 1978. The bill was introduced by State Senator Norbert A. Kosinski, a Democrat from Chicago, and signed by Thomas C. Hynes, President of the Senate on June 26, 1977. Chicago Public Schools, Cook County government offices, the Chicago Public Library, Springfield Public Schools, and state-wide public and private schools close on this holiday.
Casimir Pulaski, born in Poland as Kazimierz Pułaski, became known as the “father of the American cavalry” after Congress authorized the formation of a corps of lancers and light infantry cavalry during the American Revolutionary War. The day is celebrated on the first Monday of every March.
He rendered great services during the siege of Savannah, and in the assault of October 9, 1779 commanded the whole cavalry, both French and American. During a cavalry charge, while probing for a weak point in the British lines, Pulaski was wounded by grapeshot, from which he died two days later. Pulaski is one of only seven people to be awarded honorary United States citizenship.