A group pushing for special recognition of the man who’s considered the father of the American cavalry says there’s one "obstacle" to their goal: Iowa Congressman Steve King. The Polish Legion of American Veterans has gotten the U.S. Senate to pass a resolution that would grant honorary U.S. citizenship to a Polish man who came to this continent in 1777 to help fight the Revolutionary War.
Casimir Pulaski was named a general by George Washington. He died of wounds suffered in a Revolutionary War battle in Georgia. The bid by the Polish veterans group to get Pulaski declared an American citizen has stalled in the U.S. House, though.
The group blames Congressman King for blocking a vote on the measure in the House Judiciary Committee. The Polish veterans group calls King’s action "puzzling" and "political." King’s spokesman says King doesn’t have the power to block a vote and the resolution would pass if a majority of members on the committee wanted to vote for it.
Congress has bestowed honorary U.S. citizenship on six people. In 1963, Winston Churchill was named an honorary American citizen. In 1981, a Swedish diplomat who rescued Jews in the Holocaust earned the designation. Three years later, William Penn and his wife were similarly honored. Penn, as you may know, was the governor of the American colony of Pennsylvania.
In 1996, congress gave honorary American citizenship to Mother Teresa and then in 2002 bestowed it upon a Frenchman who served as another one of George Washington’s generals in the American Revolution.