Going through one of those periods where I’m really busy at work and then when I get home I just want to sit on the couch in my comfy shorts and watch some comedy. Of course, the blog suffers for my stress induced sloth.
On the other hand what did I miss? We’re still on the road to government shutdown. The Syrian distraction didn’t help but probably didn’t hurt either.
So on my way to watch Up with Steve Kornacki I noticed the 56th annual German-American Steuben Day Parade on WLIW 21. Of course, growing up in NY, where everyone has their day and gets a parade down Fifth Avenue, I knew of this shindig, but I don’t think I’d heard or seen of it in 30 years.
Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben was a Prussian General who as Major General of the Continental Army was key to the creation and training of that nascent force alongside George Washington.
People don’t realize it but German-Americans are the largest ethnic group in the USA, bigger than Italian-Americans or Irish-Americans or even the Scotch-Irish that settled Appalachia. But in the 20th century, because of WWI and WWII, more than any other ethnicity, they felt the need to put their heads down and homogenize. Beer Gardens and oompa bands became verbotten, almost antagonistic to the general population whose main images of Germans became Hitler and genocide.
Check out all the light blue. Germans came in the 19th century in huge numbers and spread everywhere. Their tremendous concentration in Texas has always seemed incongruous to me, but really, the out sized German sense of self fits in perfectly in Texas. It’s the Germans who brought smoked meats which are the backbone of Texas barbecue. Texas A&M Heisman Trophy winning QB Johnny Manziel – German. After Mexicans, Germans are the largest heritage group down there by far.