On October 6, 1683, thirteen German families landed in Philadelphia. Eventually, these families founded Germantown, Pennsylvania, the first German settlement of the New World. As a result, every October 6 is celebrated as German-American Day.
If you’re an American with German heritage, today is your day, but, even if you’re not, you can still celebrate today with traditional German things. You can eat sausages, sauerkraut, pretzels or spatzle, read some Goethe or maybe the Brothers Grimm, contemplate Luther, Einstein, Kant, or Marx, and listen to Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. I grew up not too far from Fredericksburg, Texas, a town that never forgot it’s German heritage, and now I live only a few hours from Frankenmuth, Michigan, a “little Bavaria.” If you’re lucky enough to live near one of the many American towns with a German flair like that, October 6 is a good day to visit and celebrate German-American Day.
“May the peoples praise you, God;
may all the peoples praise you.
May the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you rule the peoples with equity
and guide the nations of the earth.
May the peoples praise you, God;
may all the peoples praise you.”
P.S. October 6 is also Mad Hatter Day!