President Ronald Regan issued a proclamation on October 6, 1983 as German-American Day, and in 1987, the day was declared a national day by members of Congress.

I was fortunate to have spent a few weeks learning to speak German in middle school. I wish that schools today would once again pick up the practice of teaching "foreign languages" to our kids. Communicating with German speakers is something that brightens my day, even if the only thing I know how to say is "Entschuldigen Sie bitte" (which means "Excuse me, please").

Some of my favorite German things are German Shepherd dogs, the word "angst", kindergarten, delicatessens, Hans and Franz from SNL, brautwurst, pretzels, sauerkraut, Oktober festivals, such as the annual ones in Leavenworth (see below) and Fremont Oktoberfest, German puns, peach schnapps, hamburgers (with cheese, though), saying "Gesundheit" when people sneeze, and of course, some delicious German BEER (my favorites are any sort of lager and St. Pauli Girl)!

If you would like to experience some local German-American fun, check out Oktoberfest in Leavenworth (October 6-7 and October 13-14)!

In honor of National German-American Day, here are a few of our favorite celebrities with direct ties to their German heritage!

  • Kirsten Dunst
  • Boris Kodjoe
  • Sandra Bullock
  • Kevin James
  • Candice Michelle
  • Derek Jeter
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Meryl Streep
  • Mario Van Peebles
  • Uma Thurman
  • Cissy Spacek