Cincinnati, along with Milwaukee and St. Louis, is one of the three corners of the "German Triangle," so-called for its historically high concentration of German-American residents. During the 19th century, Cincinnati was both a destination for immigrants to the tri-state area and a hub from which many groups of Germans moved inland to settle new Ohio communities - many along the Miami and Erie canal corridor which began here. German-Americans have greatly influenced the social, cultural, economic and political life of the Cincinnati area. At the turn of the 21st century, approximately half of Cincinnati's population was of German descent.
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The first Germans arrived in Cincinnati in 1788, and after 1795 Martin Baum, known as the father of German immigration to Cincinnati, recruited many early German arrivals. In 1802 American Revolution veteran Major David Ziegler became Cincinnati's first mayor. Mass migration began in the 1830s with Cincinnati's boom in the meatpacking and shipping industries, especially from northern Germany. It accelerated after the 1848 Revolution in Prussia, and many of the refugees, or "forty-eighters," assumed community leadership roles here. The last major wave of German immigration were Danube-Swabians in the mid 20th century. The city's symbol, the Tyler-Davidson Fountain, was created in Cincinnati's sister city Munich; other landmarks of German heritage include the Over-the-Rhine district, the Roebling suspension bridge, Cincinnati's brewing tradition, and many of its street names.