By the President of the United States of America
In a joyous celebration at Germany's Brandenburg Gate just 3 months ago, the United States and Germany proudly welcomed and affirmed the new era of trans-Atlantic cooperation between our nations. Together, our countries are working to support democratic and market reforms that promise greater prosperity and security for Europeans, as well as for their American friends and allies. And our citizens look forward to the future of this partnership with unprecedented optimism and confidence.
For this important covenant, history has meaningful precedent. In the first days after the signing of America's Declaration of Independence in 1776, a prominent firm in Philadelphia translated and published the Declaration's text in German. That decision reflected the significant number of German-American colonists whose involvement in our struggle for freedom helped to fashion our democratic system. The Declaration's publication in German was intended to spread the word of independence to the courageous German colonists, who shared an abiding love of liberty-if not yet a language-with their English-speaking compatriots. The leaders of the revolution recognized the integral importance of the German population, and Germans were proud to play a central role in the birth of American democracy.
Germans who already had settled in the colonies and others who came to fight in the War for Independence, such as Baron von Steuben, aided significantly in ensuring the American triumph. The translated version of the Declaration of Independence is a lasting symbol both of the depth of the American-German friendship and of Germans' extraordinary intellectual and material contributions to the birth of representative government in the United States. In the nearly 220 years since that great victory, generations of German Americans have remained active and invaluable participants in the American experiment. Today, more citizens of the United States can claim German ancestry than that of any other ethnic group. Inspired by two centuries of shared freedom, German Americans throughout the land are helping to lead our Nation toward a future as bright as our past-a future of growing understanding and certain peace.
To honor today's stewards of the rich German-American heritage, the Congress, by Public Law 103-100, has designated October 6, 1994, as "German-American Day" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this day.
Now, Therefore, I, William J. Clinton, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 6, 1994, as German-American Day, in appreciation of the countless contributions that people of German descent have made to our Nation's liberty, democracy, and prosperity.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fourth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and nineteenth.
William J. Clinton
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 4:11 p.m., October 5, 1994]