The United States of America - A Melting Pot... 

   Stirred by their heritage as a rich melting pot of immigrants, the majority of American people despise ethnic cleansing and respect different cultures for the variety of skills, ideals, and traditions people bring to solve common problems. Our diversity is wealth and our love of freedom makes us strong.

Why does the Hermann Monument Society specifically recognize the accomplishments of Germanic-Americans? 

In the year 2000, the 106th Congress of the United States designated the Hermann Monument
to be an official symbol for the contributions of Americans of Germanic heritage.

We promote Germanic culture and history in German-speaking lands nationally and internationally.

Who were the early German immigrants to America?

Fleeing revolution in Germany,  nearly 6 million "Forty-Eighters" immigrated to America between 1840 and WWI.

Lured by religious freedom and opportunities of land ownership, many immigrants settled in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Davenport, Dubuque, Fort Wayne, Hoboken, Richmond, or homesteaded in the Midwest.

In America, Lutherans, Roman Catholics, the Amish, Hutterite, Jewish, Mennonite, Protestant, Methodist, and Reformed faiths enjoyed new-found freedom to practice their faith while "Free Thinkers" left the Church completely.

Many immigrants were educated professionals: engineers, architects, teachers, and trained military. Others were skilled tradesmen, innkeepers, farmers, and merchants.

During the Civil War, nearly a quarter of the Union soldiers were German-Americans who equated slavery with serfdom.

Source Credit: Wikipedia


German-Americans Today

    "According to the 2005 American Community Survey[10], 50 million Americans have German ancestry. German Americans represent 18% of the total U.S. population and 26% of the non-Hispanic white population. Only 1.5 million Americans speak German.

    Of the four major U.S. regions, German was the most-reported ancestry in the Midwest, second in the West, and third in both the Northeast and the South. German was the top reported ancestry in 23 states, and it was one of the top five reported ancestries in every state except Maine and Rhode Island."

Source Credit: Wikipedia

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau Survey 2006:

    Of a Total U.S. Population of 299,398,485, 50,764,352 are German-Americans, nearly 17%.

What have Germanic cultures and customs contributed to the great American Melting Pot?

    From hearth and home,  early Germanic settlers brought traditions of Christmas trees, Bavarian cuckoo clocks, and kindergarten to the United States. 

   Where would we be today without festivals featuring spicy sausages and ethnic Germanic specialties: hamburgers (Hamburg), frankfurters(Frankfurt), Wiener schnitzel, bratwurst, sauerkraut, spaetzel and dumplings, pretzels and beer, strudel, German Chocolate and Black Forest cakes?

   Perhaps, the greatest contributions hard-working, family oriented German-Americans make are to the education, economy, spiritual, social, and physical needs of their communities and nation.


Germanic-American Achievement:   

* Germanic-Americans defined as Americans either born in German-speaking lands or their descendants.

Albert Bierstadt: (1830-1902) Painter American West

Anton Gag: (1859-1908) Still life, portraits, Dakota Conflict, Hermann the Cheruscan, photography

Marx Brothers: Groucho, (1890-1977) Harpo, (1888-1964) Zeppo, (1901-1979) Chico, (1887-1961)  Vaudville comedy act

Bertha von Ronge (1818-1863) and Margarethe Schurz (1833-1876): America's first "kindergarten" in Wisconsin, in 1853

Film & Television:
Lauren Bacall, Eric Braeden, Sandra Bullock, Tom Cruise, Doris Day, Bo Derek, Leonard DiCaprio, Walt Disney, Marlene Dietrich, Kirsten Dunst, Dakota Fanning, Harrison Ford, Clark Gable, Angelina Jolie, Grace Kelly, Werner Klemperer, David Letterman, Nick Nolte, Elvis Presley, Uma Thurman, Jon Voight, Christopher Walken, Lawrence Welk, Bruce Willis.

Peter Minuet: (1580-1638) Purchased Manhattan Island for the Dutch West India Company for $24 in 1626

John Sutter: (1803-1880) "Gold Rush" began at Sutter's mill in 1848

Baron von Steuben: (1730-1794) German-Prussian General drilled and disciplined George Washington's Continental Army

John Peter Zenger: (1697-1746) Editor who fought for Freedom of the Press in America

Invention & Industry:
John Jacob Astor: (1763-1848) Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, Philanthropist: Founded the New York City Public Library

Ralph H. Baer: (1922-  ) Invented 1st  "Brown Box" console video game system

Adolphus Busch: (1839-1913) Anheuser Busch Brewery

Harvey S. Firestone: (1868-1938) Firestone Tire Company

Gerhard Fisher: Inventor: "hand-held" metal detector, Fisher Research Laboratory

August Charles Fruehauf : (1867-1930) Invented the semi-trailer

Milton Snavely Hershey: (1857-1945) Founder of Hershey Chocolate and Hershey, PA

Hedwig Kiesler Markey ("Hedy" Lamarr) (1913-2000) and George Antheil (1900-1959): Husband and wife team who invented a spread spectrum secret communication system for submarines, WWII

Frederick Louis Maytag: (1857-1937) Founded Maytag Company appliances

August Schell: (1828-?) Schell's Brewery (1860) Also, one of the early settlers of  New Ulm, Minnesota

Frederick Pabst: (1836-1904) Pabst Brewing Co.

Levi Strauss: (1829-1902) Blue jeans, born in Bavaria

Hannskarl Bandel: (1925-1993) Structural engineer: Gateway Arch St. Louis 

Julius Berndt Sr.: (1832-1916) Architect and builder of the Hermann Monument, New Ulm, Minnesota

Adolf Cluss: (1825-1905) Architect: Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building

John Augustus Roebling: (1806-1869) Engineer: Brooklyn Bridge

Joseph Strauss: Golden Gate Bridge engineer

Dwight D. Eisenhower: (1890-1969) "Ike" served as Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe, WWII

Chester W. Nimitz: (1885-1966) Naval Fleet Admiral Commander-in-chief of  Allied Pacific Forces, WWII

Jacob Nix: (1822-1897) Defender of New Ulm in Dakota Conflict (August 1862)

John Joseph Pershing: (1860-1948) WWI General, American Expeditionary Force (AEF) in Europe

Col. Wilhelm Pfaender: (?) One of original pioneer founders of New Ulm (1857, Defense of New Ulm in Dakota Conflict (1862)

Oscar Hammerstein II: (1895-1960) Musicals: "South Pacific," "Carousel," "Oklahoma," "King and I," " Sound of Music,"

Heinrich Steinweg: (1797-1871) Steinway & Sons Piano

Frederick Stock: (1872-1942) Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Theodore Thomas: (1835-1905) New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Lawrence Welk: (1903-1992) Accordion: "The Lawrence Welk Show" 

Presidents & Politicians:
Dwight David Eisenhower: (1890-1969) 34th President of the United States (1953-1961)

Herbert Hoover: (1874-1964) 31st President of the United States (1929-1933)

Henry Kissinger: (1923-  ) U.S. Secretary of State under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford; Nobel Peace Prize (1973)

Emile Berliner: (1851-1929) Inventor of the disk record and gramophone

Hans Albrecht Bethe: (1906-2005) Nobel Peace Prize in Physics (nuclear energy: stars); Manhattan Project-atomic bomb

Wernher von Braun: (1912-1977) rockets for U.S. military and NASA space program

Albert Einstein: (1879-1955) born in Ulm, Wurttemberg. Theory of Relativity: Mass-energy equivalence; theories regarding time, space, speed of light,

Charles Francis Richter, (1900-1985) and Beno Gutenberg (1889-1960): Rating scale for earthquakes

Elmer Ambrose Sperry, (1860-1930) and Herman Anschutz-Kaempfe (1872-1931): Invented gyrocompass searchlight and auto pilot gyroscope for Anschutz-Kaempfe's quest to navigate to the North Pole by submarine

George Westinghouse: (1846-1914) Alternating-current 

Henry Louis Gehrig: (1903-1941) "Iron Horse," a New York Yankee, Baseball Hall of Fame (1939)

Stefanie "Steffi" Graf: (1969-  ) Tennis titles: 22 Grand Slam Women's Single 

George Herman Ruth: (1895-1948) New York Yankee, Hall of  Famer, "Babe Ruth" hit 714 career home runs in regular-season play

William Edward Boeing: (1881-1956) Founder: Pacific Aero Products (1916),  forerunner of Boeing Aircraft

Walter Chrysler: (1875-1940) Chrysler car

Eddie Rickenbacker: (1890-1973) WWI flying ace, Indy racer, Eastern Airlines

Fred (1876-1932) and August (1879-19001) Studebaker: Studebaker vehicles and wagons

Henry Villard: (1835-1900) Northern Pacific Railroad, Edison General Electric

Wanda Gag: (1893-1946)  Millions of Cats, written and illustrated by Gag (1928) Newbery Honor Award, Wanda Gag House, New Ulm, MN

John Ernst Steinbeck: (1902-1968) Novelist; Of Mice and Men (1937) The Grapes of Wrath (1939) for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, Nobel Peace Prize in Literature (1962)

Kurt Vonnegut: (1922-2007)  Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat's Cradle, Breakfast of Champions,

Source Credits:

German American Corner: