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German-American Heritage Month – October 2024

Whack on some Bavarian tunes and take a bite into a bratwurst because October is German-American Heritage Month. How do you show your gratitude to those who gave America these can’t-miss traditions: Christmas trees, Easter Bunnies, and Santa? Well, some things are invaluable, but we can certainly try our best by being there for the parades and festivals throughout this month of celebration.

History of German-American Heritage Month

In October 1683 German families began settling in Pennsylvania. Since then, German Americans have contributed greatly to our society. As well as the already mentioned Easter Bunny and Santa, the Germans have had a huge influence in car manufacturing, the building of churches, the arts, and even the language. Love a good hamburger? That came from Hamburg in Germany. Hugely historical entrepreneurs such as Heinz, Chrysler, Boeing, and Rockefeller all have German American heritage.

The first proclamation of German-American Heritage Month was issued by Ronald Reagan in October 1987, and since then we have been celebrating every year.

German-American Heritage Month timeline

German American Day

President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October 6 as “German American Day.”

Germans arrived in huge numbers

Many German refugees fled to the U.S. when the Nazi party took control of Germany.

U.S Census

The 1910 Census counted more than 8 million first and second-generation German Americans in the U.S. population of 92 million.

Settling in America

13 German families settled in Pennsylvania, establishing Germantown, Pennsylvania.

German-American Heritage Month FAQs

What day is German American Day?

October 6.

What is Germany famous for?

Germany has a rich cultural history. It’s famous for its castles, cathedrals, forests, beer, and food, as well as the kind of welcoming nature of the German people.

How many German American families settled in the U.S. in 1683?

13 German American families settled in Pennsylvania.

How to Observe German-American Heritage Month

  1. Visit a museum

    Get some friends together and explore the history and discover the contributions that German-Americans gave to America.

  2. Make a dish

    Invite your friends and family over for a night of wine and dining. Taste the foods and customs of Germany.

  3. Social Media

    Use the tag #German-AmericanHeritageMonth to share fun posts with your friends and family about this national holiday.

5 Fun German Facts

  1. Germans in America

    It’s estimated that 50 million Americans have German ancestry, around 17% of the population.

  2. German American Heritage Day

    German American Heritage Day is October 6. On this day, German Americans settled in Pennsylvania.

  3. Oktoberfest

    Oktoberfest is an annual festival that runs in Munich, Germany from September 16 to October 3. They include beer tents, Bavarian music, and people dressing in Bavarian, Germany.

  4. Christmas trees

    The tradition of Christmas trees was brought to the U.S. from Germany.

  5. Kindergarten

    Kindergarten was created by German educator Frederich Froebel in 1837. The word means “the children’s garden.”

Why We Love German-American Heritage Month

  1. It celebrates culture

    We have the German Americans to thank for a lot of our culture and society and it’s important that they get the acknowledgment they deserve. Especially for the food!

  2. It’s festive

    German-American Heritage Month is fun, festive, and insightful. There are so many ways to celebrate!

  3. They made the American burger

    The American hamburger comes from Hamburg, Germany.

German-American Heritage Month dates

2024October 1Tuesday
2025October 1Wednesday
2026October 1Thursday
2027October 1Friday
2028October 1Sunday
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