On National German-American Day we celebrate the German heritage that millions of people claim in this country. This day was first designated with a proclamation by President Ronald Reagan on October 6th, 1983. Reagan’s proclamation marked the 300 year anniversary since the first German settlers landed in the original thirteen colonies. These settlers were a group of Mennonite families from Krefeld who made their home in 1683 in the area that is now Philadelphia. Germantown, so named by the Mennonite settlers, is still a thriving community in Philadelphia today.
If you’re a German expatriate living in American or you can claim German heritage, this day is for you. Celebrate the day by sharing the German food, language and customs that you love with friends and family. If you live in the Phoenix Valley, you might want to visit the Old Heidelberg Bakery in Central Phoenix or Haus Murphy’s in Glendale.
We’d also love to hear how you experience or celebrate your German heritage on German-American Day, and the rest of the year too! And if you’d like to brush up on your German skills, sign-up for classes at German School Phoenix!
Every October 3rd, all of Germany and German citizens around the world come together to celebrate German Unity Day, or Tag der Deutschen Einheit. This is Germany’s National Day and is celebrated as a public holiday. Cities across the country throw lavish celebrations with festivals and fireworks displays, while one city is nominated to hold a larger, national celebration. Berlin in particular tends to hold the largest celebrations in the country. Typical host cities in recent years have been Potsdam, Kiel, Berlin, Mainz, Dresden and Frankfurt.
German Unity Day is an official celebration of Germany’s reunification in 1990. On that day, East and West Germany were brought together as one country once again. The collapse of the Berlin Wall a year earlier in 1989 symbolized the spark that would end the Cold War and reunite the country for good. Although months of demonstrations and political discussions followed the fall, Germany completed unification with a treaty signed on October 3rd.
As students of the German language and culture, we all love to learn about and appreciate Germany’s successes, such as the fall of the Berlin Wall. German School Phoenix is also part of the larger Germany community in Arizona, which includes many native speakers and German expatriates. We hope everyone had a wonderful German Unity Day!