The German-American Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC (the Germanna Foundation is a member) joined with the U.S. Capitol Historical Society to create a series of exhibits on the contributions of German-Americans to the history of the United States Congress.
This 14-panel exhibit tells the story of two of the first three German Americans in the First Congress—Frederick and Peter Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania—with information about the Congressional Study Group on Germany, the German-American Caucus, and members of Congress with German ancestry – including Congressman Russ Carnahan (D-MO), a descendant of the Germanna Carpenter, Finks, Aylor, Crigler, Kerker, Christler, Garr and Blankenbaker families.
The initial exhibit opened on October 4, 2011 in the U.S. House of Representatives Cannon Rotunda and remained there for a week, and opened again in the U.S. Senate Russell rotunda October 24 through Friday, October 28.
The exhibit ran at the German-American Heritage Museum in Washington, DC through February 26, 2012.
A second exhibit is planned for the fall of 2013, this time translated into German for German audiences.
The following locations in Germany have been confirmed or are under consideration for the exhibit: the Deutsch-Amerikanische Gesellschaft in Siegen; Atlantik-Bruecke in Berlin; the Deutsche Welle and Amerika Hause in Cologne; Amerika Hause in Munich; and the Frankesche Stiftungen in Halle.
German immigrants were among the first settlers in 1607; over the next four centuries more than 7 million Germans followed.
Today, 50 million Americans claim German ancestry. Like most immigrants to the United States, those from Germany came here seeking economic opportunity, religious freedom, and political liberty.
From the remarkable Muhlenberg brothers who provided political and military leadership during the American Revolution and then served in the First Federal Congress (1789-1791) to the members of German ancestry who serve in the current 113th Congress (2013-2015), German Americans have provided distinguished service in the national legislature.