German-American Day celebrations at the German-American Friendship Garden!

Sponsored by the Association of German-American Societies of Greater Washington, DC (AGAS) with representatives from the German Information Center and the National Park Service, celebrations were held at the German-American Friendship Garden on the National Mall in observance of German-American Day! The GAHF along with many other organizations attended to take part in the occasion and to hear the official presidential proclamation of German-American Day. GAHF 2nd Vice President Ron Kosmahl read the official presidential proclamation alongside proclamations read from the mayor of the District of Columbia and the governors of Maryland and Virginia by other local German-American organizations. The crowd in attendance also recited both the US and German national anthems and listened to speeches made by local organizations about the achievements and contributions made by German-Americans to the United States. A traditional German Lied Ruf nach Frieden was performed by the Washington Saengerbund – the oldest German singing society in the DC area. A resolution by Congress and proclamation by President Ronald Reagan in 1987 established German-American Day on October 6th. The day commemorates the arrival of 13 German families from Krefeld, who arrived in Philadelphia on October 6, 1683 and established the first German settlement in America. The location of the event, the German-American Friendship Garden, was commissioned in 1983 by US President Ronald Reagan as part of the tricentennial observance of German immigration to America. The Garden was then jointly dedicated by President Ronald Reagan and West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl in 1988. Nearly 50 million Americans claim German ancestry, making it the largest single ethnic group in the United States. Click here for photos of German-American Day 2016.