Cookouts, fireworks, and good company often come to mind when one thinks about Independence Day. From a young age, every American has heard the stories of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the trials it took to become a sovereign state. However, we tend to overlook the German-Americans who had a large influence on the freedom the United States enjoys today.  On July 5, 1776, the German-American newspaper, Der Wöchentliche Pennsylvanischer Staatsbote, was the first paper — in any language — to announce the signing of the Declaration of Independence the day before.  The newspaper also published a German translation of the Declaration of Independence on July 9, 1776.
While most Americans view Germany in a positive light, the recent study funded by the German Information Center pinpoints areas that concern Americans. On Saturday May 7, 2o16  Dr. Stefan Buchwald, Minister Counselor at the German Embassy in Washington, D.C. and Director of the German Information Center USA, presented the findings of the study at the German-American Heritage Foundation of the USA®. The presentation generated a lively discussion.
Wittenberg
On October 31, 2017, Martin Luther’s recorded posting of the 95 theses on the door of the Wittenberger church castle celebrates its 500th anniversary. While celebrations in earlier centuries were kept national and confessional, the upcoming anniversary of the Revolution ought to be shaped by openness, freedom and ecumenism. In 2017 we aren’t just celebrating 500 years of the Reformation, but we are also reminded of the role the Reformation played in the development of the modern age.  What started in Wittenberg in the 16th century not only changed Germany and Europe but is also an important part of the immigration history of the German-Americans to the USA.
In Praise of the Pencil
Who does not know a pencil?  Our first incursions into written knowledge are usually associated with a pencil.  Where does it come from? How is it made?  Are they a German invention? Come to the German-American Heritage Museum (GAHMUSA) and explore it yourself.  GAHMUSA is proud to host the exhibit “In Praise of the Pencil “, researched and curated by the German-American Heritage Center in Davenport. This exhibit encompasses everything from a “Jot-to-Jot Timeline in Pencil History”,  to sculptures by artist Jennifer Maestre,  to a photograph collection from the Library of Congress, and tells a story of innovation and German Entrepreneurship.
John M. Manoyan
Dear Members and Friends, Back in 1976, as America was observing its bicentennial, a group of visionary German-Americans met at the Cannstatter Volksfest-Verein in historic Philadelphia and agreed that the time had come to recognize and honor the extensive and profound economic, political, scientific, social and cultural contributions of Americans of German-speaking ancestry to the growth, prosperity and success of our country. This founding group formally established our organization the following year, 1977, soon after chartering it as the United German-American Committee of the USA, Inc., now also known as the German-American Heritage Foundation of the USA® (GAHF).