The German Society of Pennsylania
Since its founding in 1764, The German Society of Pennsylvania has served Philadelphia's German community. Between the 1680s and the American Revolution, the majority of an estimated 100,000 German-speaking immigrants coming to North America settled in Pennsylvania, making up a third of Philadelphia's population by the 1760s. These immigrants often arrived in a miserable state after long sea voyages known for unhealthy conditions. In response to their plight, on December 26, 1764, sixty-five prominent German colonists established an organization "for the relief of distressed Germans." Over the course of its 250-year history, the Society has evolved with the changing needs of the German-American population of Philadelphia. During the 1800s, the Society continued its support for immigrants in need while also increasingly sponsoring activities to preserve and promote German traditions and customs. Today, the Society's membership and programs are open to anyone with an interest in the German language and culture.