H.J.Res. 26: A joint resolution proclaiming Casimir Pulaski to be an honorary citizen of the United States posthumously

H.J.Res. 26

A joint resolution proclaiming Casimir Pulaski to be an honorary citizen of the United States posthumously

Sponsor
Sen. Richard J. Durbin

Date
October 7, 2009 (111th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

H.J.Res. 26 is being considered under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds vote for passage. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) on March 2, 2009. The Senate passed its version of the resolution, S.J.Res. 12, by unanimous consent on the same day.

Bill Summary

H.J.Res. 26 would proclaim Casimir Pulaski to be an honorary citizen of the United States posthumously.

Background

According to the resolution's findings, Casimir Pulaski was a Polish military officer who fought on the side of the American colonists against the British in the American Revolutionary War. After arriving in America, Casimir Pulaski wrote to General Washington, "I came here, where freedom is being defended, to serve it, and to live or die for it."

The first military engagement of Casimir Pulaski with the British was on September 11, 1777, at the Battle of Brandywine. In October 1779, Casimir Pulaski mounted an assault against British forces in Savannah, Georgia, and on October 9, 1779, he was mortally wounded and was taken aboard the American ship USS Wasp, where he died at sea two days later. In 1929, Congress passed a resolution recognizing October 11th of each year as Pulaski Day in the U.S.

A non-United States citizen may be declared an honorary citizen by an Act of Congress or by a proclamation issued by the President pursuant to authorization granted by Congress. Six people have had this honor bestowed upon them, four of which occurred posthumously. The six honorary citizens to date include Winston Churchill (1963), Raoul Wallenberg (1981), William Penn (1984), Hannah Penn (1984), and Mother Teresa (1996), and the Marquis de Lafayette (2002).