National German-American | October 6
(Last Updated On: November 9, 2022)


National German-American | October 6
National German-American | October 6


In the United States on October 6th, National German-American Day celebrates the German heritage millions of Americans claim. 


This German-American heritage holiday commemorates the 13 German Mennonite families from Krefeld who landed in Philadelphia. On October 6, 1683, these families established the first German settlement in the original thirteen colonies. They named it Germantown.


Celebrate your German-American heritage. Invite friends and family to taste the foods and customs of Germany. Share the language. Discover words the English language adopted from German. Explore the history of immigration by visiting museums near you. Use #GermanAmericanDay to post on social media.


National German-American Day was initially celebrated in the nineteenth century. However, it fell out of favor during World War I. 

Then in the 1980s, things began to change. As is tradition, President Ronald Reagan made his world tour in 1982, which included West Germany. Amid a cold war and a divided Germany, the newly elected U.S. President spoke to the people of Bonn. He opened his speech by relating the history of the 13 German families who founded a colony on American soil. He spoke of contributions, advancement, science, and art and the honor to celebrate the German heritage that more than 7 million Americans claim.

The noblest objective of our diplomacy is the patient and difficult task of reconciling our adversaries to peace.
And I know we all look forward to the day when the only industry of war will be the research of historians.
~ Ronald Reagan ~ June 9, 1982 ~ Bonn, Federal Republic of Germany.

To honor the 300th anniversary of German-American immigration and culture into the United States, in 1983, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October 6th as German-American Day. It was on August 6, 1987, that Congress approved S.I. Resolution 108, designating October 6, 1987, as German-American Day, and it became Public Law 100-104 when President Reagan signed it on August 18. He issued Proclamation #5719 on October 2, 1987, and at this time, the President called on Americans to observe the day with appropriate ceremonies and activities. It has been commemorated each year since with Presidential Proclamations. 


October 6th Celebrated History


Germantown, PA is founded by German, Quaker, and Mennonite families.


The Secretary of the Navy, William E Chandler, establishes Naval War College at Newport, RI.


The Jazz Singer debuts signaling the end of the silent film era. As the first feature-length film with synchronized dialogue, the film ushered in the era of the “talkie” in the film industry.


Pope John Paul II visits President Jimmy Carter, First Lady Rosyln Carter, Vice President Walter Mondale and Mrs. Joan Mondale at the White House in the first papal visit to the White House.


At the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta, GA, 5,983 people set the record for the largest simultaneous whoopee cushion sit.


Jason Lewis completed his around the world journey that began 13 years, 2 months, and 24 days before. By biking, hiking, kayaking, and other forms of human-powered vehicles, Lewis became the first person to circumnavigate the globe using only human power.


Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger release the photo and video sharing social network service, Instagram.

October 6th Celebrated Birthdays

George Westinghouse – 1846

The inventor and entrepreneur invented the air brake used in the railroad industry. He pursued standardization in the railroad industry, founded Westinghouse Air Brake Company, and founded Westinghouse Electric Company.

Reginald Fessenden – 1866

In 1906, the inventor broadcast the first wireless radio transmission of voice and song from Brant Rock, Massachusetts. The AM frequency could be received as far away as Norfolk, VA.

Florence B. Seibert – 1897

The biochemist’s research led to the development of a reliable tuberculosis test.

Fannie Lou Hamer – 1917

The civil rights activist came to prominence in the 1960s through her efforts to desegregate schools and register blacks to vote.

Lonnie Johnson – 1949

The inventor and aerospace engineer is best-known for making summers more fun with his invention of the Super Soaker.

Liu Yang – 1978

In June 2012, Liu Yank became the first Chinese woman in space during her mission on Shenzhou 9.

Levon Aronian – 1982

The Armenian chess player earned the title Grandmaster in 2000.

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