Everyone should be celebrating Dutch-American Friendship Day right now

A few years ago I wrote this article titled ‘It was Dutch-American Friendship Day and you probably didn’t even notice‘. I figured I could just repeat this observation until my dying day, but according to my Facebook and Twitter feed people are actually noticing this year. Mostly thanks to the US Embassy in The Hague, who posted this very adorable video of good ol’ Pete Hoekstra at the US Embassy making his way through the no-go zones of the Netherlands.

Why does Dutch-American Friendship Day even exists, you might ask?

President Ronald Reagan proclaimed April 19th Dutch-American Friendship Day in 1982. He did so because on that day it was two hundred years ago that John Adams, who would later go on to become the second president of the United States, was received by the States General in The Hague and recognized as Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America in 1782. By doing so, we established official diplomatic relations with the United States and recognized it as an independent country.

Dutch-American Friendship Day
Thank you for the friendship

According to Reagan, this means the relationship between the United States and the Netherlands is: ‘the longest unbroken, peaceful relationship with any foreign country’. Then of course there is some stuff about shared values like freedom etc. That is why Reagan declared the day and he concludes with: ‘In recognition of this long and fruitful relationship between our two countries and peoples, I do hereby designate April 19, 1982 as Dutch-American Friendship Day and call on all Americans to observe such day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.’

Good that we didn’t end up on Ronnie’s bad side:

So where are those ceremonies and activities that Reagan asked for?

In the Netherlands you can drink with the Amsterdam American Business Club today to celebrate friendship.

So I have to admit, you might have noticed this year but you still have to arrange those celebrations Reagan asked for yourself. I you find yourself in the US, listen to this advice:

If you’re in the Netherlands, eat a hotdog. We’ll see what happens next year.

Ciska Schippers
Ciska Schippers is an almost-historian from Amsterdam and loves everything that has to do with the wonders of American culture, politics and history. Biggest guilty pleasure is watching reality tv shows of which she is convinced are real. Suffering the hardships of being a Feyenoord fan in Amsterdam.

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