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National German-American Day October 6


In the United States, National German-American Day is observed on October 6.
This German-American heritage holiday commemorates the 13 German Mennonite families from Krefeld who landed in Philadelphia.  These families founded Germantown, Pennsylvania on October 6, 1683.  The settlement was the first German establishment in the original thirteen American colonies. 


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National German-American Day was originally 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. In the midst of a cold war and a divided Germany, the newly elected U.S. President opened his speech to the people of Bonn 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 6 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.  Proclamation #5719 was issued on October 2, 1987, 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. 

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