Proclamation: German-American Day, 2000 (10/5/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                            October 5, 2000

                         GERMAN-AMERICAN DAY, 2000

                               - - - - - - -


                              A PROCLAMATION

     As we celebrate German-American Day and the many contributions that
German Americans have made to our national community, we also mark the 10th
anniversary of German unifi-cation.  The historic achievements of the last
10 years are all the more remarkable when we remember the dark days of the
Cold War, a time when many citizens in Eastern Europe and around the globe
lived under governments of oppression and tyranny.  Nowhere was the threat
more real than in West Berlin, where Americans and Germans stood together
in defense of democracy and commitment to freedom.  Ultimately, after
almost three decades of division, the Berlin Wall came down and the people
of Germany were reunited. Today, Americans and Germans are working together
to ensure that democracy will be an abiding legacy for future generations
throughout Europe.

     Our present efforts are only the latest chapter of our shared history.
In 1683, German Mennonites seeking religious tolerance landed near
Philadelphia.  Their arrival marked the beginning of waves of German
immigration that would ebb and flow with the tides of history, ultimately
bringing more than 7 million people to our shores.  Today, nearly a quarter
of all Americans can trace their ancestry back to their Germanic roots, and
they continue to enrich our Nation with a proud heritage marked by a strong
commitment to family, work, duty, and country.

     Many prominent German Americans have strengthened our society through
the years.  Publisher Johann Peter Zenger championed freedom of the press
in the early 18th century, and Thomas Nast's powerful cartoons increased
public awareness of corruption within Tammany Hall in 19th-century New
York.  During the American Revolution, Baron de Kalb and Friedrich von
Steuben fought valiantly for our freedom, just as Dwight
Eisenhower and Chester Nimitz did in World War II.  German Americans who
have enriched America's cultural, scientific, and economic life include
writers John Steinbeck and Erich Maria Remarque; physicists Albert Einstein
and Maria Goeppert-Mayer; philosophers Hannah Arendt and Paul Tillich; and
industrialists and business leaders John D. Rockefeller and John Wanamaker.

     Behind the many well-known individuals who have played a prominent
part in our history are millions of German immigrants whose names are not
widely recognized, yet who profoundly shaped the America we know today.
Industrious German Americans helped settle our cities and frontiers; defend
democracy during times of conflict; promote our prosperity in times of
peace; and preserve the bonds of family and heritage that our Nation shares
with the people of Germany.  As we celebrate German-American Day and the
10th anniversary of German unification and look ahead to the promise of a
new century, America recognizes with pride and gratitude the important role
that German Americans continue to play in the life of our Nation and
celebrates the strength of our friendship with Germany.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States
of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and
the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Friday, October 6, 2000,
as German-American Day.  I encourage all Americans to remember and
celebrate the important contributions made to our country by our millions
of citizens of German descent and to celebrate our close ties to the people
of Germany.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
fifth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand, and of the
Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and

                              WILLIAM J. CLINTON

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