On March 1, 1939 The Griffith Foundation presented Ignace Jan Paderewski at the Mosque , currently called Symphony Hall. Paderewski was a pianist, composer, politician(in his native Poland) and a staunch advocate for Polish Independence. He was beloved by audiences throughout the world and always played to packed houses whenever he performed. It was quite an honor for the City of Newark that the Griffith Foundation was able to bring him here to perform. This performance came five months to the day before the Nazi’s invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Paderewski did not live to see his country liberated and died in exile in 1941 in New York City.