Senator Richard Lugar
2012 Hoosier German - American of the Year
(April 4, 1932 - April 28, 2019)
The IGHS has awarded U.S. Senator Richard Lugar the Hoosier German-American of the Year Award 2012. During his many years of serving on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations his interest and help to German and German-American causes are well remembered and were often mentioned by the German Embassy. We appreciate Senator Lugar's long-time support of our efforts and his continued membership in the IGHS.
In 1983, for the German-American Tricentennial of the first group immigration, President Reagan proclaimed 1983 the "Tricentennial anniversary year of German settlement in America," honoring the contributions of German immigrants to the life and culture of the United States. The Tricentennial of the arrival of the Krefelders on October 6 in Pennsylvania and the founding of Germantown nearby was celebrated on that day in Washington and around the Nation. Senator Lugar was our emissary to Germany at that event.
In 1986, in an effort to reinstate German-American Day, an old German-American tradition, a national campaign and petition drive was begun. A Resolution was introduced by the Senator and in an effort to keep this nonpartisan Lugar asked Senator Don Riegle of Michigan to join him. Senator Lugar supported the efforts by Reps. Lee Hamilton and Thomas Luken of Cincinnati, who introduced a similar resolution into the House. On August 1987, Congress approved S.J. Resolution 108, designating October 1987 as German-American Day. It became Public Law 100-104 when President Reagan signed it.
Senator Lugar aided in the establishment of the German-American Friendship Garden in Washington, D.C. Commissioned to commemorate the 300th Anniversary of German immigration to America, the garden was dedicated on November, 15, 1988 by President Reagan and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
In a letter to Dr. Ruth Reichmann the Senator mentioned remembering fondly the Deutsche Haus/Athenaeum as the Hoereth family, his maternal grandmother's family, lived near there. His support of IGHS efforts in saving this wonderful building was very much appreciated.
Richard (Dick) Lugar was born in Indianapolis and still manages the family's 604-acre corn, soybean and tree family farm in Marion County. His ancestors, the Adam Lugar, John Echols and Michael Braun families had come to this country from Germany.
In an interview conducted in May 2011 by SAR (Sons of American Revolution) Senator Lugar related: "Back in about 1983, we were at a critical point in American foreign policy. Since 1979, NATO thought we had a deal with the Russians that there would be no missile movement closer to our allies. The Russians began forward missile deployment. Many of our allies were unwilling to confront the Russians at this point and President Reagan sent me to Germany during that period to see if we could warm up our allies to the acceptance of Pershing missiles to oppose the Soviet missile deployments.
Ambassador Arthur Burns advised me that I really ought to check out my German heritage since I was about to do this public relations effort in southern Germany. I did and found that Adam Lugar, on whom I base my membership in the SAR, came as a Hessian soldier. He and many others had the good sense to desert and become Americans. He fought as a patriot at Guilford Courthouse and was given farmland in Virginia after the war. His son came to Indiana in 1821-23 where the Lugars lived in Grant County. My father moved to Marion County near Indianapolis, where he established farm interests and where my family continues to live.