National Day

National German American Day History Celebration

National German American Day is a holiday in the United States, held on 6 October every year. This holiday celebrates the German-American tradition and commemorates the arrival of 13 German families from Krefeld near the Rhine in Philadelphia in 1683. These families subsequently established the first German settlement in the original 13 American colonies in Germantown, Pennsylvania. German-American Day was first celebrated in the 19th century, but due to the prevailing anti-German sentiment at the time, it disappeared during the First World War.

National German American Day History

National German-American Day was first celebrated in the 19th century. However, it fell out of favor during the First World War. Then in the 1980s, things started to change. According to tradition, President Ronald Reagan conducted his world tour in 1982, which included West Germany. During a cold conflict and a divided Germany, the newly elected United States President spoke to the people of Bonn. He first told the history of 13 German families that established colonies on American soil. He talked about contribution, progress, science and art, and the honor of celebrating the German heritage claimed by more than 7 million Americans.

To honor the 300th anniversary in 1983 President Ronald Reagan declared 6 October as German-American Day. On August 6, 1987, Congress approved SI 108, which designated October 6, 1987, as German-American Day, and became public law 100-104 when President Reagan signed it on August 18. He was on October 2, 1987. At this time, the President called on Americans to celebrate this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities. Since the presidential announcement, commemorative events have been held every year.

Interesting facts about German American Day!

  • German-Americans introduced the first kindergarten in the United States.
  • In 2016, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 43 million German Americans live in the United States and have all or part of German ancestry.
  • Seven American presidents are of German descent: Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump.
  • Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa have the most German-Americans.
National German American Day
German-American_Day photo

How to celebrate National German American Day:

  • Read German literature, such as fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm, short stories by Anton Chekhov, or any work by Goethe.
  • Find famous Americans of German descent and learn about their accomplishments. Looking for German-American scientists, politicians, and philanthropists.
  • If you can’t speak German then start learning it.
  • If you don’t know your own traditions, please check your family history. Ask any living grandparents. Research your family on the ancestry website. No matter what you find, write it down to your child.

How Germany Influence American Culture and Society

The Germans were deeply involved in early American politics. In 1688, only five years after their arrival, they sent their first petition to the British royal family demanding the abolition of slavery. Germans, such as Baron von Steuben and Karl Ludwick, fought for American independence. On July 5, 1776, the German-language newspaper “Pennsylvanischer Staatsbote” was the first American newspaper to publish the “Declaration of Independence” for everyone to read (the English newspaper was opened to the public in July 6). Later, they actively participated in the union established to ensure better working conditions. They have severely affected the 6-day work week and the 8-hour workday.

But it’s not just politics and strong professional ethics. The Germans brought many traditions, which are now deeply integrated into the structure of the United States. From holiday customs such as the Christmas tree and Easter bunny to educational concepts such as kindergarten and the concept of free primary education for all. Many things that we take for granted in the United States come from these early German immigrants.

There are other effects. Some people say that the Germans invented the weekend idea. The early Americans observed the Puritan Sabbath on Sundays, but the Germans introduced “Sunday outings.” Wherever the Germans settled, they have established social clubs, singing and music clubs, and even leisure facilities such as bowling alleys and family picnic areas in the park. Since fitness is very important, they set up sports clubs and introduced track and field and gymnastics to the community.

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