Celebrating World’s Second-Oldest Democratic Constitution

Image via Daily Times.

They gathered at the 1724 Courthouse in Chester May 4 to celebrate the 228th anniversary of Poland’s Constitution, writes Colin Ainsworth for Daily Times.

Members of St. Hedwig’s Church were joined by leaders of Polish-American groups from the region and city officials to honor Poland’s short-lived but long influential Constitution of  May 3, 1791.

“It is said that our Polish constitution was the culmination of all that good in our Polish culture,” said keynote speaker Richard Piascik, a Philadelphia native and member of the Polish American Congress, Eastern Pennsylvania District.

The constitution, in effect for only a year-and-a-half, followed shortly after the ratification of the U.S. Constitution and brought greater political equality to all classes of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

Poland would soon be divided among surrounding kingdoms and remain non-existent as a political entity until the end of World War I.

City officials were on hand for the ceremony. Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland presented a city proclamation honoring the anniversary.

The annual courthouse event has been held since at least the 1970s, despite a declining Polish population in the West End.

Read more about this anniversary here.

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