German-American Heritage Foundation of the USA
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The German-American Heritage Foundation of the USA (GAHFUSA) is a national non-profit organization that promotes German language, culture, and heritage in the United States and works toward preserving the history of Americans of German ancestry who helped build the United States. It is a national membership organization through which Americans of German heritage and language work together on issues of common concern. The organization supports a number of special projects including the German-American Friendship Garden located on the Mall at Constitution Avenue in Washington, DC, and the care of the grave of Carl Schurz in Tarrytown, New York. The organization's national headquarters are in Washington, DC.
The GAHFUSA is dedicated to preserve, educate, and promote the cultural heritage of Americans of German-speaking ancestry and to be a voice of German-Americans in cultural and public policy debates in the USA. Its goals include:
- Sharing a positive image of Americans of German-speaking heritage by focusing on their historical contributions to American society.
- Strengthening the ethnic awareness and cooperation of German Americans.
- Promoting the German language and culture.
- Cultivating German American friendship and cooperation.
- Supporting cooperative efforts among German-Americans and their organizations.
The organization honors the outstanding contributions of German-speaking Americans through its Distinguished German-American of the Year Award, which is presented at the annual Council of 1000 Award and Fundrasing Gala.
The Foundation works with the White House, government agencies, the German Embassy, and other organizations throughout the United States to elevate recognition for the contributions of Americans of German heritage.
Each year since President Ronald Reagan first declared October 6 German-American Day in 1987, GAHFUSA has petitioned the White House, United States Congress, and state and local governments to issue national and statewide proclamations.
President Ronald Reagan stated on October 6, 1987:
Few people have blended so completely into the multicultural tapestry of American society and yet have made such singular economic, political, social, scientific and cultural contributions to the growth and success of these United States as have Americans of German extraction.
The German-American Heritage Foundation was established as the United German-American Committee of the USA in 1977.
The home of the foundation is Hockemeyer Hall, built 1888 by John Hockemeyer as his townhouse. Hockemeyer was a German immigrant who served in the Union Army in the American Civil War and became a successful merchant. In 1893 he added a two-story addition to create a banquet hall, with the principal floors used by social clubs.
On October 17, 2008, the German-American Heritage Foundation acquired Hockemeyer Hall to establish the first national German-American Heritage Museum of the USA. Through supporters and extensive fundraising, the GAHF was able to renovate the interior and exterior of the old townhouse, which opened in March 2010.
Membership to the German-American Heritage Foundation is open to all Americans of Germanic descent.
- The Ambassador - Der Botschafter
- German-American Heritage Museum of the USA
- List of famous German Americans
- German in the United States
- Auswanderer Denkmal
- German-Americans in the Civil War
- German inventors and discoverers