Happy German-American Day!

German-American Day is a holiday in the United States, observed annually on October 6. The holiday, which celebrates German American heritage, commemorates the date in 1683 when 13 German families landed in America and founded Germantown, Pennsylvania, the first German settlement in the original thirteen American colonies.

The largest number of German immigrants arrived in America between 1840–1900, outnumbering even the Irish and English. Many came seeking religious or political freedom, others for economic opportunities and more productive land where their intensive farming techniques would pay off. Some Amish and Mennonite communities still speak dialects of German, informally known as Pennsylvania Dutch.

Originally celebrated in the 19th century, German-American Day died out in World War I as a result of the anti-German sentiment that prevailed at the time. The holiday was revived in 1983 when President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October 6 as German-American Day to celebrate and honor the 300th anniversary of German American immigration and culture to the United States.

Did You Know…? German Americans established the first kindergartens in the United States and started the Christmas tree tradition. They also originated popular American foods such as hot dogs and hamburgers, and introduced the pretzel. German Americans have been influential in almost every field including science, architecture, industry, sports, entertainment, theology, government, and the military.

German American Timeline (Library of Congress)

The German Americans: An Ethnic Experience (A Publication of the Max Kade German-American Center at Indiana University)

Famous German Americans

German Immigrant Painters

Syllabus for German Immigrant Culture in America

German-Americans and Their Contributions to the American Mainstream Culture:
German Names and Words

German-American Historic Sites and Museums

German-American Teaching Resources and Units

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