Anniversary Year of German Settlement in America
On October 6, 1683, a group of thirteen Mennonite families, coming from the city of Krefeld, now in the Federal Republic of Germany, founded Germantown, Pennsylvania, today a suburb of Philadelphia. Since then, more than seven million German immigrants have entered the United States and made extraordinary human, economic, political, social, and cultural contributions to the growth and success of our great country.
Today there are more than sixty million Americans of German descent, a number about equal to the total population of the Federal Republic of Germany. More Americans claim German ancestry than any other nationality.
During my address to the Bundestag in Bonn in June of last year, I spoke of the importance which the United States attaches to the Tricentennial year of 1983 commemorating German settlement in America. Despite the legacy of two world wars which found us on opposing sides, West Germany and the United States have forged an exceptionally close relationship during the past three decades. The success of the Marshall Plan, the Berlin Airlift, and the ensuing NATO partnership have led to a recognition of our common democratic ideals and joint interest in Western economic and political strength.
Throughout 1983 there will be numerous activities and observances to celebrate the Tricentennial. President Karl Carstens has accepted my invitation to attend the culminating event in Philadelphia next October.
The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 260, has designated 1983 as the ``Tricentennial Anniversary Year of German Settlement in America'' and has authorized and requested the President to issue a Proclamation in observance of that year. By the same Resolution, the Congress established the Presidential Commission for the German-American Tricentennial to plan,encourage, develop, and coordinate the commemoration of this historic event.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the year commencing on January 1, 1983, as the Tricentennial Anniversary Year of German Settlement in America, and urge all Americans to observe the year with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 20th day of Jan., in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and seventh.
(Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:36 a.m., January 21, 1983)
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U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Germany
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Updated: August 2001