German-American Day

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

German-American Day
Observed byGerman-Americans
DateOctober 6
Next timeOctober 6, 2022 (2022-10-06)

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


The founding of Germantown on October 6, 1683, was to provide the date for German-American Day,[citation needed] though "a number of" the first thirteen Quaker and Mennonite families in Germantown came from the Netherlands; until 1710, according to linguist Nicoline van der Sijs, "Germantown remained predominantly Dutch".[2][3] The town was nevertheless named Germantown, as the direct vicinity of the settlement was inhabited by fifty-four German families who had accompanied Johan Printz to the Swedish settlement on the Delaware several years earlier and had resettled themselves.[4][5] These families subsequently founded Germantown, Pennsylvania, which, due to greater numbers, would subsequently be dominated by Germans within a generation, thanks in part to the efforts of Caspar Wistar.[6][7] In 1688, the inhabitants organized the first petition in the English colonies to abolish slavery. Originally known under the rubric of "German Day", the holiday was celebrated for the first time in Philadelphia in 1883, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the founding; and similar celebrations developed later in other parts of the country.[8] 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. The bill was sponsored by Senator Richard G. Lugar (RIndiana) on April 8, 1987.[9]


In 1983, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October 6 as German-American Day to celebrate and honor the 300th anniversary of German immigration to and culture in the United States.[10] On August 6, 1987, Congress approved S.J. Resolution 108, designating October 6, 1987, as German-American Day. It became Pub.L. 100–104, 101 Stat. 721 when President Reagan signed it on August 18. A proclamation (#5719) to this effect was issued 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.[11][12]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "STATUTE-101-Pg721" (PDF). United States Government Publishing Office. Washington, D.C.: United States Government. August 18, 1987. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  2. ^ van der Sijs, Nicoline (2009). Cookies, Coleslaw, and Stoops: The Influence of Dutch on the North American Languages. Amsterdam University Press. p. 223. ISBN 9789089641243.
  3. ^ Hull, William I. (2018). William Penn and the Dutch Quaker Migration to Pennsylvania.
  4. ^ H. Naaman: History of Old Germantown (1907) page 20.
  5. ^ "History of Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania". Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  6. ^ Prof. William I. Hull: William Penn and the Dutch Quaker Migration to Pennsylvania (2018)
  7. ^ "German-American Day: A Short History". German-American Heritage Society of Greater Washington, D. C. Washington, D. C.: German-American Heritage Foundation of the USA. Yahoo! GeoCities. Archived from the original on October 19, 2009. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  8. ^ Kazal 2004, p. 136.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "Presidential Proclamation – German-American Day, 2015". October 15, 2015. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  12. ^ "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


External links[edit]