German-American Day History
German-American Day celebrates German culture and heritage in the United States. This holiday also serves to remember 13 German families from Krefeld, Germany that fled religious oppression in Germany. On October 6th, 1683, these families established Germantown, Pennsylvania, the first distinctly German-American settlement. In the centuries that followed, more than seven million more German-speaking immigrants arrived on the shores of the US and as of 2010, over 20% of the US population claims German ancestry.
In 1983, on the 300th anniversary of Germantown, President Ronald Reagan declared October 6th as German-American Day. President Reagan officially declared German-American Day four years later in 1987. Today, German-American Day, a celebration of German culture, identity and heritage, is celebrated annually on October 6th.
German-American Day Facts & Quotes
- The current population of Germantown, PA is 26,563 inhabitants.
- Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa are now home to the largest number of German descendants in the US.
- After the Second World War, around 375,000 Germans immigrated to the US. In the 50s and 60s alone, around 786,000 Germans immigrated to the US.
- Albert Einstein was a German immigrant, a Jew who opted to remain in the US when the Nazi party came to power in 1933.
The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything. - Albert Einstein
German-American Day Top Events and Things to Do
- Read some popular stories by German writers including Hansel and Gretel, The Trial and The Man Without Qualities.
- Spend some time learning more about the religious oppression in Germany in 1683 in order to further understand why the founding 13 families fled the country and arrived in Philadelphia.
- Enjoy a glass of mulled wine. It is a common drink found at Christmas markets all through Germany.
- Enjoy a German movie. Some of our favorites: Victoria (2015), Land of Mine (2015) and Downfall (2004).
- Learn more about the Nazi Regime from WW2 in order to better understand how the population of German-Americans grew so quickly around that time.