Frédéric Chopin has long been recognized as one of the most significant and individual composers of the Romantic age. His birth date is a matter of controversy; the town registration of his birth specifies February 22, but Chopin always gave the date as March 1.  His birthplace was the village of Zelazowa Wola near Sochaczew, in the region of Mazovia. His father, Mikolaj Chopin, was French, his mother, Tekla Justyna Krzyzanowska, Polish. He was raised in Warsaw by a family that mingled with intellectuals and members of the middle and upper classes, and as a teenager he spent summers in the country, where he was exposed to Polish folk music. By the age of eight he was recognized as a child prodigy, performing in elegant salons and beginning to write his own pieces.  From 1823 to 1826, Fryderyk attended the Warsaw Lyceum where his father was one of the professors. He spent his summer holidays in estates belonging to the parents of his school friends in various parts of the country.

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madame curie

The woman who became “Madame Marie Curie” was named Maria Sklodowska at birth.  She was nicknamed Manya”.  She was born on November 7, 1867, in Warsaw. Manya graduated from high school at 15 with the highest honors. Shortly before she turned 24, she calculated she had saved up just enough money for university studies in Paris. She had looked forward to this moment for a long time. All the same, she took leave of her family and their beloved Poland with sadness.  Maria Sklodowska left behind not only her father and country but her very name. She registered at the famous Sorbonne university as Marie, the French form of Maria. Continue reading…


In honor of Polish Heritage Month, PACT will periodically publish articles about famous Polish people and the accomplishments of Poles in America and how they helped shape the history of America.

coinof 400th anniversary of Poles in Jamestown)
404th Anniversary of the First Polish Settlers in America

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