Steuben Day

(redirected from Baron Friedrich Steuben Day)

Steuben (Baron Friedrich) Day

September 17
Baron Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustus von Steuben (1730-1794) was an experienced Prussian soldier who came to America in 1777 and volunteered to serve in the Continental army without rank or pay. He was sent to join General George Washington at Valley Forge, where he trained Washington's men in the intricacies of military drill, earning himself the sobriquet "Drill Master of the American Revolution." Steuben led one of Washington's divisions at the Battle of Yorktown, and his experience in siege warfare helped the American troops achieve the victory that soon brought the Revolutionary War to an end. In gratitude for his contributions, he was granted American citizenship and given a large piece of land in the Mohawk Valley and a yearly pension.
Steuben's birthday, September 17, was first celebrated by members of the Steuben Society of America, an organization founded in 1919 by U.S. citizens of German descent. The Society now has branches in many states, which observe the anniversary with patriotic exercises. At Valley Forge State Park in Pennsylvania, there is a Steuben birthday celebration featuring German music and speeches at the monument to him erected in 1915. There are also Steuben Day parades in New York City, Philadelphia, and Chicago on or near the Prussian hero's birthday.
CONTACTS:
Steuben Society of America
6705 Fresh Pond Rd.
Ridgewood, NY 11385
718-381-0900; fax: 718-628-4874
www.steubensociety.org
Steuben Day Observance Association of Philadelphia and Vicinity, Inc.
8601 Roosevelt Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19152
215-332-3400; fax: 215-332-6050
www.steubenparade.com
SOURCES:
AmerBkDays-2000, p. 652
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