April 18, 2018




Bolesław Chrobry (Boleslaw I The Brave) was crowned in Gniezno, becoming the first King of Poland.  Bolesław I was a remarkable politician, strategist, and statesman. He not only turned Poland into a country comparable to older western monarchies, but he raised it to the front rank of European states. Bolesław conducted successful military campaigns in the west, south and east. He consolidated Polish lands and conquered territories outside the borders of what is modern-day Poland. It included Slovakia, Moravia, Red Ruthenia, Meissen, Lusatia, and Bohemia. He was a powerful mediator in Central European affairs.


Bona Sforza was crowned as Queen consort of Poland.  In 1518  she became the second wife of Sigismund I the Old, the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. Their marriage lasted 30 years until Sigismund's death in 1548.  Sforza was ambitious and dynamic, becoming deeply involved in the politics of Poland–Lithuania. In an effort to increase state revenue, she implemented various economic and agricultural reforms, including the far-reaching Wallach Reform in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.  Her reforms made her the richest landowner in the Grand Duchy. In foreign policy, she opposed the Habsburgs and sought to secure her eldest daughter Isabella Jagiellon in the Kingdom of Hungary.


Free Royal Cities Act:  Full title in Polish: Miasta Nasze Królewskie wolne w państwach Rzeczypospolitej;  Full title in English: "Our Free Royal Cities in the States of the Commonwealth", or the Law on the Cities, Prawo o miastach) was an act adopted by the Four-Year Sejm (1788–92) of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the run-up to the adoption of the Constitution of May 3, 1791. The Act was subsequently incorporated in extenso into the Constitution by reference in its Article III.  The Act granted the townspeople of the Commonwealth personal security, the right to acquire landed property, and eligibility for military officers' commissions, public offices. However, it did not give them the rights of szlachta (Polish nobility), but gave the right for ennoblement. Most importantly, the Act provided townspeople the right for representation in Sejm as advisers in the cities' affairs.


During the commemoration of the anniversary of the Battle of Racławice, the police killed 3 participants, wounding several others. The Battle of Racławice was one of the first battles of the Polish Kościuszko Uprising against Russia.  It was began on April 4, 1794 near the village of Racławice in Lesser Poland.


ORP Sęp, built in the Netherlands, arrived in Gdynia ahead of schedule. Earlier in 1939, the Polish engineers noticed a significant slowdown in the construction at the hands of the German workers. The Poles feared that German pressure on The Netherlands might prevent the delivery of the vessel into Polish hands.  To avoid this, the Poles "hi-hijacked" their own sub before it was fully completed.  While in Poland, the Polish team continued to fit the ship with parts coming in from the Netherlands, but the ORP Sep could not be finished before WW2 broke out.


The first Croatian anti-semitic racial law was published on this day. It did not create panic among the Jewish population, because they believed it was merely a continuation of the antisemitic laws of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, which had been proclaimed in 1939. However, the situation quickly become ominous on April 30, 1941. Just one day before, on April 17, 1941, Ante Pavelić , a Croatian fascist general and military dictator,  proclaimed a law that remained in effect during the entire period of the Independent State of Croatia. It declared that all people who offended, or tried to offend, the Croatian nation were guilty of the crime of treason—punishable by death.


SS guards began loading 5,000 concentration camp prisoners aboard the immobilized ocean liner Cap Arcona. (more on May 3, 1945)


Polish Catholic church and government signed accord over relations. ( The "Agreement between Government of the Republic of Poland and Episcopate of Poland" dated 14 April 1950, Krakow.) This was the first agreement between the Vatican and a Communist state and was never published in the official gazette. This pragmatic, albeit secret arrangement was intended to grant concessions on both sides. In return for supporting the Polish Communists (and avoiding circumstances that would precipitate the arrival Russian tanks) the government permitted the Church to exercise more influence than their counterparts in other Communist countries.

Jerzy and Irena Krępeć were living in Gołąbki near Warsaw during Nazi German occupation of Poland, and provided shelter and assistance to Polish Jews and their families fleeing from the Warsaw Ghetto.  The entire Krepec family helped everybody in need with shelter, food, clothing and moral support. People in the village knew about the numerous Jewish families living at both farms, but nobody betrayed them and all refugees survived.  On this day,  the medal was bestowed to Mrs.Krepec' with the title of Righteous Among Nations by Yad Vashem. The ceremony was held at the Israeli Consulate in Montreal, on December 12, 1995 in the presence of Polish Consul General Małgorzata Dzieduszycki, and the French and English press.

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