At the beginning of WWI it was not realistic to imagine an ending favorable for Poland. The building of Independent Poland was 30th of October 1918 when the Poles took control of power in Cracow. This was after the last Austrian commander of the city relinguished power.

It wasn't easy at the beginning. In different parts of Poland local power systems emerged to avoid confusion.
Finally a new central Polish government was established to keep public order. The first Parliamentary Election was in 1919 to give the government legitimacy.  After the war the three powers that particioned off Poland broke up and ceased to exist.

Poland became an Independent State with much help due to the efforts of United States President Woodrow Wilson. This fascinating history is revealed with memorabilia on display in the Polish Gallery new exhibit. Stop for a docent guided tour and learn this history. Celebrate 100 Years of Poland Independence!