Plans for Observance of 400th Anniversary
of Arrival of Polish Settlers at Jamestown
Jamestown, Virginia, October 1, 2008

Frank Spula, President, and Debbie Majka, Chairman, confirm the 400th anniversary commemoration of the arrival of the first Polish craftsmen in Jamestown, Virginia, on Wednesday, October 1, 2008, at 5:30pm at the Jamestown Settlement. Polish craftsmen, skilled in the production of potash, soap, tar and glass manufacturing, arrived at the first English colony in the New World at the invitation of Captain John Smith, who had become acquainted with them in Europe and knew of their skills and industry. Eleven years after their arrival, in 1619 the Poles successfully led the first strike in the New World for equal rights. They had contributed so much to ensure the survival of the colony that when advised by the Governor that they would be excluded from voting in an upcoming election, said, "no vote, no work". Such was their value to the colony that they were granted the right to vote.

To coincide with the commemorative ceremonies, the Polish American Congress will hold its Fall National Council of Directors Meeting and Elections in Williamsburg, VA, on Thursday, October 2, and Friday, October 3, if needed. Rooms at a rate of $129/night at the Marriott listed below have been reserved and the room rate will apply to Sept. 30 and October 3, as well as to the Oct. 1 & 2 dates. Deadline for hotel reservations: September 8, 2008. For cab, van, limo transportation to/from local airports, contact: Carey Transportation: 757-220-5466.

Marriott Williamsburg
50 Kingsmill Road
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Phone: 1-757-220-2500
Fax: 1-757-221-0653

The hotel is ideally situated near Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown and Busch Gardens so participants may wish to make vacation plans and bring their children and grandchildren.

Representatives of both the United States and Polish governments and Labor Union representatives are expected to attend this event, which will include a wreath laying ceremony at the Jamestown Settlement, site of the commemorative plaque dedicated by the Polish Falcons during the 350th anniversary, and indoor ceremonies with prominent speakers, musical selections provided by the Polish Singers Alliance of America and a gala concluding reception by advance reservation only. Schedule of events on October 1.

Publication of a commemorative journal is planned as well.

All Polonia is invited to participate in this historic event. For more information, contact the Chairperson: Debbie Majka,  or by phone at: 215-627-1391.