On July 15, 1945, the King Jagiełło Monument was unveiled in New York’s Central Park. For all its grandeur, it is hard to believe that so impressive a monument was never originally intended for Central Park. This monument generated considerable interest when it was first unveiled as part of the Polish Pavilion at the World’s Fair of 1939 and 1940. The outbreak of World War II, however, cast a shadow of uncertainty over what would become of this monument. In this brief social history, we attempt to create a cohesive narrative leading up to the unveiling of this monument in Central Park. More than a work of public art, today this monument represents a unique episode in Polish-American relations.

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