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The Muhlenberg legend is an urban legend in the United States and Germany. According to the legend, Frederick Muhlenberg, the first ever Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, kept German from becoming an official language of the United States.
The kernel of truth behind this legend is a vote in the United States House of Representatives in 1794, after a group of German immigrants asked for the translation of some laws into German. This petition was rejected by a 42 to 41 vote and Muhlenberg was later quoted as having said "the faster the Germans become Americans, the better it will be."
The United States has no statutory official language; English has been used on a de facto basis, owing to its status as the country's predominant language. At times various states have passed their own official language laws.