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                       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 
	 unification.  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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