German-Americans have a long and proud history in the United States dating all the way back to 1607 and the settlement of Jamestown, Virginia. Approximately 120 years ago, they were the predominant group in the country with Little Germanies everywhere and New York City being the world’s third largest German-speaking city — after Berlin and Vienna. Entire communities, spreading from Pennsylvania to the Midwest and all the way to rural Texas, consisted almost exclusively of German immigrants and their children. Names like famous piano maker Steinway, whose first products were made by Heinrich Steinweg, Boeing, company founder Bill Boing was the son of a German immigrant, Henry John Heinz, who built a fortune inventing ketchup, and many others represent some well known German-Americans whose creative spirit, dedication to hard work, and entrepreneurism helped build the United States. All German-Americans, famous or not, have left a mark, and even today, Americans of German descent still number some 45 million people, and we want to ensure that their stories are not forgotten.
The collection, recording, preservation, and exhibiting of this rich cultural legacy has been our mission, since we first opened our doors in March 2010, and we are proud to make this important aspect of American history available to audiences of all ages. We want to recognize and sincerely thank all of you who have helped us succeed and continue to do so, but especially former GAHF President Bern Deichman, who was instrumental in the acquisition of Hockemeyer Hall, and Walter Lehmann who spearheaded donor recognition efforts for the historic building’s purchase.
History doesn’t end, and neither does our work. We have created a special virtual tour, sorted by date, of all the exhibits displayed at our museum. We hope you enjoy this online journey back in time.
While 2020, is the 10th anniversary of our museum, our foundation, turned 40 in 2017. View the 40th Anniversary Booklet for the German-American Heritage Foundation by clicking on the “Read more” button below.
Grand opening of the German-AmericanHeritage Museum of the USA and GAHF offices at Hockemeyer Hall in March.
25th Anniversary of German-American Day. Oral History Research Project to capture thousands of stories of German-Americans is launched.
GAHF petitions for a piece of the Berlin Wall.
Five-year anniversary of GAHMUSA.
GAHF acquires a piece of the Berlin Wall, thanks to the efforts of Hardy von Auenmüller. The Wall is on display at the Embassy of Germany in Washington, DC.
100 years of Hollywood Exhibit opens at GAHMUSA.
Celebration of the 40th anniversary of the inception of the GAHF. 30-year celebration of the Council of 1000 Gala Fundraiser and Award Dinner and Distinguished German-American of the Year Award.
GAHMUSA hosts “Lawyers without Rights”, an exhibit portraying the faith of German lawyers of Jewish descent through their personal stories.
Celebration of the 40th anniversary of GAHF/UGAC on June 5.
GAHF/GAHM become a partner in the Deutschlandjahr USA 2018/2019 project to promote German-American friendship. GAHF’s seminar “500 Years of Lager Brewing: The German Tradition Meets the American Dream” with beer expert Marnie Old kicks off on October 27 and travels the country throughout 2019.
In April, we featured our first ever German-American Bakeoff Competition as part of our “Culinary Customs Exhibit“.
The German documentary “Hiwwe wie Driwwe” celebrates its Washington, DC premiere at the GAHM in the presence of the film team in June.
In September, the GAHM features its first art exhibit with more than 50 original works by German-American artist Fritz Faiss.
GAHM celebrates 10th anniversary.
Chronology of Exhibits