March 19, 2015

Let's go on an adventure to Thaddeus Kosciuszko’s Park!

Being a park ranger for the smallest park in the National Park System sounds like a pretty good job. And the Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial in Philadelphia is only .02 acres in size. That means you just have to take a few steps to get from one side of it to the other.

So it's easy to spot vagrants trying to camp illegally at the memorial, which is basically a small messy room where Thaddeus Kosciuszko lived for seven months.

But who’s Thaddeus Kosciuszko?” you ask.

Surely you jest! Thomas Jefferson called Kosciuszko “the purest son of liberty I have ever known.” He was the most famous Polish hero of the American Revolutionary War, serving as the head engineer for the Continental Army.

Upon later returning to Poland, Kosciuszko went on to lead the Polish army to several brilliant victories against an invading Russian force. Although he never lost a battle, Kosciuszko lost the war when the Polish king surrendered in 1792.

So he’s sort of like the Polish George Washington . . . if Washington had lost.

In 1797, Kosciuszko traveled to Philadelphia to try to get some back pay that was owed him. And our modern National Memorial is where he stayed for seven months before moving back to Europe.

Hang on a second. Excuse me sir, there’s NO CAMPING here!

Fun Fact: Out of the 367 sites run by the National Park Service, the Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial is the 364th most popular!

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