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Tulip Caucus resolution cherishes ties with the Netherlands

Adopted by Michigan State House

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

LANSING, Michigan – Shared Dutch ancestry has already for some years been a reason for Michigan State House Representatives and State Senators to occasionally informally meet together. Last month, these State House Representatives went public as a group to introduce a resolution declaring April 19 the Dutch-American Friendship Day. This resolution was formally adopted by the Michigan House of Representatives.

The year 2007 is the 225th anniversary of formal ties between the Netherlands and the U.S.A., acknowledging the presentation of the credentials of then newly arrived Ambassador to the Netherlands John Adams, who later served as U.S. president.

Earlier, the U.S. Congress adopted a similar resolution which since then was signed by President George W. Bush, a descendent of a Pilgrim family who resided for a while in Leyden before immigrating to New England.

The Michigan House and Senate members of Dutch ancestry now occasionally meet as the Tulip Caucus. Although the group was a bit larger in the past decade, there are at least nine known House Representatives and three State Senators with Dutch ancestry, currently all Republicans.

Among them is Rep. Bill Huizenga (Zeeland, District 90), whose family arrived in the U.S.A. in the 1860s from the Province of Groningen. Along with numerous of his contemporaries in the Holland-Zeeland region, he still wears ‘klompies’ at Tulip Time and has married into the Dutch-Canadian Tiesma family of Brampton, Ontario.

The resolution reads:
Whereas, 225 years ago, on the 19th of April, 1782 in the City of the Hague, the Ambassadorial credentials of John Adams were officially recognized by Prince William V of Orange and the States-General, thus establishing formal diplomatic ties between the new government of the United States and the Republic of the Netherlands.

Whereas the historical ties between the Dutch and American people go back nearly 200 years earlier to the period when the Pilgrims resided for almost 11 years in the Netherlands before sailing to the new world;

Whereas the diplomatic ties between the governments of the United States and the Netherlands are the longest continuous ties between the United States and any country of the world; Whereas the Dutch contribution to the American melting pot has played such a significant role in the life of America as exemplified by Presidents Martin Van Buren, Theodore Roosevelt, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt;

Whereas the bonds of friendship linking the Dutch and American people continue to grow in strength and affection; and Whereas the heritage of this friendship between peoples serves as a laudable example for the kinds of relations that should link all the peoples of the earth and should be properly extolled: Now, therefore, be it.

Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives to celebrate Dutch-American Friendship Day, April 19th commemorating the historic ties between the United States and the Netherlands.


Representatives Bill Huizenga, David Palsrok, Tonya Schuitmaker, Lorence Wenke, John Moolenaar, Arlan Meekhof, Dave Agema, Jack Hoogendyk, and John Proos.