April 19th is Dutch-American Friendship Day.
Dutch-American Friendship Day remembers the day in 1782 that John Adams, 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.
It is also the day that the house John Adams purchased at Fluwelen Burgwal 18 in The Hague became the first American Embassy in the world.
(Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used with dates in certain contexts to indicate either whether the start of the Julian year has been adjusted to start on 1 January (N.S.) even though documents written at the time use a different start of year (O.S.), or whether a date conforms to the Julian calendar (O.S.), formerly in use in many countries, rather than the Gregorian (N.S.))
– July 4, 1826) was the second president of the United States (1797–1801), having earlier served as the first vice president of the United States. An American Founding Father, Adams was a statesman, diplomat, and a leading advocate of American independence from Great Britain. Well educated, he was an Enlightenment political theorist who promoted republicanism, as well as a strong central government, and wrote prolifically about his often seminal ideas, both in published works and in letters to his wife and key adviser Abigail Adams, as well as to other Founding Fathers. Adams was a lifelong opponent of slavery, having never bought a slave. In 1770, he provided a principled, controversial, and successful legal defense to British soldiers, accused in the Boston Massacre because he believed in the right to counsel and the "protect[ion] of innocence."
After the peace negotiations began, Adams had spent some time as the ambassador in the Dutch Republic, then one of the few other Republics in the world (the Republic of Venice and the Old Swiss Confederacy being the other notable ones). In July 1780, he had been authorized to execute the duties previously assigned to Laurens. With the aid of the Dutch Patriot leader Joan van der Capellen tot den Pol, Adams secured the recognition of the United States as an independent government at The Hague on April 19, 1782. During this visit, he also negotiated a loan of five million guilders financed by Nicolaas van Staphorst and Wilhelm Willink. In October 1782, he negotiated with the Dutch a treaty of amity and commerce, the first such treaty between the United States and a foreign power following the 1778 treaty with France. The house that Adams bought during this stay in The Netherlands became the first American-owned embassy on foreign soil anywhere in the world. For two months during 1783, Adams lodged in London with radical publisher John Stockdale.
In 1784 and 1785, he was one of the architects of far-going trade relations between the United States and Prussia. The Prussian ambassador in The Hague, Friedrich Wilhelm von Thulemeyer, was involved, as were Jefferson and Franklin, who were in Paris.
In 1982, two hundred years later, President Reagan proclaimed April 19, 1982, to be Dutch-American Friendship Day .
Fifteen years later, in 2007, Congress made this a repeating commemoration, and on March 12, 2007 the House of Representative officially established Dutch-American Friendship Day:
“The U.S./Dutch relationship has stood the test of time and has strengthened in the crucible of conflict as the Dutch have stood beside us in times of peace and war. The Dutch supported us in our war for independence. Sixty years ago Dutch and American servicemen stood side by side during World War II and today the Dutch stand by us still in the Global War on Terror.
The debt we owe to our Dutch friends is seen not only in our people, and in the persons of such famous Dutch Americans as Presidents Martin VanBuren, and Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, but also in our experience as a Nation. Our traditions of religious freedom and tolerance as well as our system of government, all have spiritual and legal roots in our relationship with the Dutch Republic. ”
Dutch-American Friendship Day is less well known than its cousin, Dutch-American Heritage Day (in November). Also, in April many Dutch clubs and organization in the States are focused on organizing their King’s Day celebration (April 27th).