Palatines to America was founded at Columbus, Ohio on July 12, 1975. Beginning with a nucleus of 47 members from throughout the U.S., the founders of Palatines to America were descendants of immigrants from the Palatinate (Pfalz) region, as were many German-speaking immigrants beginning in the late 17th century. So many German-speaking immigrants were from the Palatinate during the 1600-1700’s that English-speaking people soon called anyone who spoke German a "Palatine." The name of our Society refers to ALL German-speaking immigrants to America.
From this small beginning the Society has grown to include members from around the world who are the descendants of immigrants from all the German-speaking areas of Europe.
On Friday and Saturday, the 11th and 12th of July, 1975, at Columbus Ohio, the organizational meeting and first annual convention of the Palatines to America was held. Approximately 30 people from all over the country attended the various meetings, the largest crowd attending the Saturday sessions at the Ohio Historical Center.
A constitution was drawn up and ratified by the membership present. Officers were selected and elected, and two Members-at-Large were chosen as members of the Executive Council: President: Mr. Charles M. Hall - Vice President: Mrs. Craig M. Weaver - Secretary: Dr. Katheryn E Utz - Treasurer: Mr. George A. Pruner - Member-At-Large: Mrs. Mary M. Meyer - Member-At-Large: Mr. Robert S. Rudy
The familiar ship logo was first used on the newsletter #4 (January 1977) and on the journal Vol. III No. 1 (Summer 1978). It was chosen by Robert S Rudy, then president of the Ohio Chapter, who did not realize--nor did anyone else at the time--that this was a picture of a clipper ship, and that clippers were not built until the 19th century and were built for speed and cargo, never for immigrants. Over the years, reaction to the inapporpriateness of the ships has ranged from amusement to acrimony. In 1986 the national officers decreed that this ship had become so traditional to our society that it remained our logo for another number of years.