CELEBRATE NATIONAL GERMAN WEEK

     Have you started to plan for National German Week, October 6-11?  It is an
important week in German-American history: Oct. 1, 1608 the first Germans
arrived in Jamestown, VA; October 3, 1991 is celebrated as the Day of German
Unity; Oct. 6, 1683 the first group of immigrants arrived on the "Concord" and
under the leadership of Franz Daniel Pastorius founded Germantown, PA. You can
order the National German Week Packet from the AATG
http://aatg.org/whats_new.html
. It was developed by the Nebraska AATG Chapter.

On Bob Shea's German Americana Webpage

http://www.serve.com/shea/germusa/germusa.htm you will find a section called:

                GERMAN-AMERICAN EVENTS IN OCTOBER

October 1: First Germans at Jamestown http://www.serve.com/shea/germusa/jtown1a.htm

October 3: Day of German Unity/Tag der deutschen Einheit http://www.serve.com/shea/germusa/dayunity.htm

October 6: German-American Day with a variety of articles: history, proclamations, greetings from the German Ambassador, Das Sternenbannerlied, Declaration of Independence in German http://www.serve.com/shea/germusa/usafrg.htm

German-American Day: http://www.serve.com/shea/germusa/oct6.htm

The Indiana German Heritage Society sponsors once again a German-American Day
Contest (see contest form). Students can also enter their project at the
National Contest http://gmbookchest.com/
A CD Rom of text and images about the almost 400 years of Germans on the North
American Continent is also available from them.

You can find suggestions for teaching units on the Max Kade Center
German-American Teaching Resources Page:
http://www-lib.iupui.edu/kade/teaching.html

Also on the Max Kade Website you will find interesting excursions to
German-American sites such as the Indiana Soldiers' & Sailors' Monument,
designed by the foremost German Monument architect Bruno Schmitz, with Rudolf
Schwarz's beautiful sculptures (http://www-lib.iupui.edu/kade/soldiers.html);
the Wholesale District, begun by the Schnull brothers
(http://www-lib.iupui.edu/kade/history.html), and Germantown/Lockerbie
(http://www-lib.iupui.edu/kade/lockerbiesquare.html) in Indianapolis. Jim Gould
of the Athenaeum Foundation offers great tours of the Deutsche Haus/Athenaeum,
located at the edge of Lockerbie Square - the former Germantown. Just call him
at 317-630-4569. You can visit Oldenburg, Ferdinand, or one of the Amish areas
in the state. If you can't make an excursion - invite a German immigrant to
your class.

               THE HISTORY OF GERMAN-AMERICAN DAY

     October 6 is German-American Day. Just as Irish-Americans celebrate St.
Patrick's Day and invite everybody to participate in the celebration, on
German-American Day Americans of German descent invite everyone to celebrate
with them.

     In the late 19th and early 20th century, communities with a sizable
German-speaking element would celebrate in grand style the day of the
German-Americans. In Indiana, it was a real Community-Fest with Indiana
governors and Vice President Fairbanks (1899) as speakers. In Evansville, the
grand German Day celebration in 1911 lasted for one week (September 24-30).

     After the U.S. entered WW I against Germany in 1917, anti-German hysteria
swept through the country. Many states passed legislation banning German in
schools, religious services, newspapers and associations. Even in regions
predominantly settled by German-speaking immigrants, cultural tolerance turned
to Germanophobia, followed by abrupt abandonment of German-language programs in
schools and colleges, churches, and associations.

     Individual German settlers are documented already in Jamestown, Virginia
(1608), the "birthplace" of America. (see October 1: First Germans at
Jamestown). However, it was on October 6, 1683, when a group of Mennonites from
Krefeld disembarked from the "Concord" (the German Mayflower) in Philadelphia,
constituting the first group immigration of Germans to America. Over 7 million
would follow them over the next 300 years making German-Americans the largest
ethnic group in the United States. In the 1990 Census nearly 1 out of 4
Americans reported German ancestry.

     In 1983, for the German-American Tricentennial of this first group
immigration, President Reagan proclaimed October 6 as "German-American Day,"
honoring the contributions of German immigrants to the life and culture of the
United States. The tricentennial of the arrival of the first German immigrant
group was celebrated on that day in Washington and around the Nation.

     In 1986, in an effort to reinstate this old tradition, a national campaign
and petition drive was begun by German-Americans and others who thought it
appropriate that the nation recognize and celebrate its German-American
heritage every year.  Subsequently, resolutions were introduced in the House by
Reps. Thomas Luken of Cincinnati and Lee Hamilton of Indiana, and in the Senate
by Senators Richard Lugar of Indiana and Don Riegle of Michigan. The
resolutions received great support from around the nation in a concerted effort
of national, regional, and local German-American organizations and countless
individuals.

     There are celebrations on or around German-American Day in Washington,
D.C. particularly also at the German-American Friendship Garden--followed by
receptions and other events such as a German-American Day Festival.

   German-American Day is a time of celebration, of raising awareness,
strengthening a sense of identity and pride in the contributions of
German-speaking immigrants and their descendants to the building of this
nation.  The designation "German" is used  in a cultural, not in a political
sense, thus including the German-speaking Swiss, Alsatians, Austrians, Germans
from Eastern Europe, and German Jews.