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German-American Day

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German-American Day
Observed byGerman-Americans
DateOctober 6
Next timeOctober 6, 2024 (2024-10-06)

German-American Day (German: Deutsch-Amerikanischer Tag) is a holiday in the United States, observed annually on October 6 under Pub. L.Tooltip Public Law (United States) 100–104, 101 Stat. 721.[1] It celebrates German-American heritage and commemorates the founding of Germantown, Pennsylvania (now part of Philadelphia), in 1683.


Germantown was inhabited by 54 German families who had accompanied Johan Printz to the Swedish settlement on the Delaware several years earlier and had resettled themselves.[2][3] In 1688, the inhabitants organized the first petition in the English colonies to abolish slavery. Originally known as "German Day", the holiday was celebrated for the first time in Philadelphia in 1883, on the 200th anniversary of the founding; similar celebrations developed later in other parts of the country.[4] The custom died out during World War I as a result of the war, but the holiday was revived in 1983 in joint resolution 108. Senator Richard G. Lugar introduced the bill on April 8, 1987.[5]


In 1983, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October 6 as German-American Day to celebrate and the 300th anniversary of German immigration to and culture in the United States.[6] On August 6, 1987, Congress approved S.J. Resolution 108, designating October 6, 1987, as German-American Day. It became Pub. L.Tooltip Public Law (United States) 100–104, 101 Stat. 721 when President Reagan signed it on August 18. A proclamation (#5719) to this effect was issued on October 2, 1987, by President Reagan in a formal ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, at which time the President called on Americans to observe the day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

Presidents since then have continued to make proclamations to observe German-American Day.[7][8]

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  1. ^ "STATUTE-101-Pg721" (PDF). United States Government Publishing Office. Washington, D.C.: United States Government. August 18, 1987. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  2. ^ Keyser, Naaman H.; Kain, C. Henry; Garber, John Palmer; McCann, Horace F. (1907). History of Old Germantown: With a Description of its Settlement and Some Account of its Important Persons, Buildings and Places Connected With its Development. Germantown, Philadelphia: H.F. McCann. p. 20.
  3. ^ "History of Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania". genealogytrails.com. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  4. ^ Kazal 2004, p. 136.
  5. ^ "S.J.Res.108 – A joint resolution to designate October 6, 1987, as "German-American Day"". Library of Congress. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service. April 8, 1987. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  6. ^ Reagan, Ronald (January 19, 1983). "Tricentennial Anniversary Year of German Settlement in America". U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Germany. Berlin: United States Department of State. Retrieved July 29, 2007.
  7. ^ "Presidential Proclamation – German-American Day, 2015". whitehouse.gov. October 15, 2015. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  8. ^ "German-American Day, 2017". Federal Register. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. October 6, 2017. Archived from the original on October 11, 2017. Retrieved October 12, 2017. Alt URL


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