Happy 4th of July

4th of July Declaration of Independence german school campus FI

Connections between German Americans and the Birth of the Nation

Once upon a time, on the 4th of July 1776, a day that held immense significance for the United States, there existed a hidden tapestry of connections between German Americans and the birth of the nation. Although this day was not traditionally considered a German holiday, the influence of these individuals in shaping American history was undeniable.


Imagine this: the Declaration of Independence, the very document that proclaimed freedom and liberty, was first published in a German newspaper in America. It was all thanks to the Pennsylvania Germans, who played a vital role in spreading the ideals of independence and freedom to their communities.


In the annals of history, there was a figure named General von Steuben, a military genius hailing from Prussia. He arrived on the shores of America and became a pivotal force in molding General George Washington’s ragtag army into a formidable fighting force. It was von Steuben who authored the Drill Manual, a legendary tome that shaped the way soldiers trained. To this day, his influence endures, celebrated with grand parades in New York and Chicago.


But the story doesn’t end there. Let me tell you about Christopher Ludwig, a German baker with an unyielding spirit. Despite his age, Ludwig yearned to join Washington’s Army and fight for the cause of freedom. However, fate had a different plan for him. Washington, recognizing Ludwig’s culinary skills, assigned him a different task: feeding the hungry soldiers with his mouthwatering bread. And so, Ludwig became known for his acts of nourishment and care, ensuring the soldiers’ stomachs were full, even if he didn’t wield a musket.


Another remarkable character in this tale is Frederick Muhlenberg, the son of a German Lutheran Pastor. Muhlenberg etched his name in history as the first Congressional Speaker of the House. Legend has it that he was connected to the persistent myth that German almost became the national language of America, narrowly missing approval by a single vote. But, alas, that tale was nothing more than a whisper of the past. Muhlenberg’s true legacy lies in his remarkable journey and his unwavering dedication to serving the American people.


These stories merely scratch the surface of the profound impact German-Americans had on the nation’s history. So, on this 4th of July, as fireworks light up the sky and patriotic fervor fills the air, let us embrace and celebrate the rich tapestry of German-American heritage.
As the day unfolds, let us remember the hidden threads that connect us to the past and the contributions made by German-Americans in shaping the great nation we call home.