Arnold Schwarzenegger celebrates 40th anniversary of earning his U.S. citizenship: ‘Born in Austria, Made in America!’
Arnold Schwarzenegger is celebrating one of the greatest achievements of his life: the 40th anniversary of becoming an American citizen.
The former California governor — who was born and raised in Austria — took to his Instagram page on Saturday to mark the milestone moment with a video montage that chronicled his life before and after he arrived in the U.S. in 1968.
Along with the many photos, which includes him proudly taking the oath of citizenship in 1983, the Terminator star also shared an excerpt of the speech he gave at the Republican National Convention in 2004.
While rallying the GOP faithful at the time, Schwarzenegger credited the U.S. with helping fulfill his many dreams as an immigrant, reminding the people in attendance and watching at home that the United States of America is a land made up of immigrants looking for a better life.
‘My fellow Americans this an amazing moment for me. To think a once scrawny boy from Austria could grow up to become governor of the state of California; that is an immigrants dream,’ he began in the clip, which got a rousing ovation from the crowd gathered at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Honored: Arnold Schwarzenegger, 76, celebrated the 40th anniversary of becoming an American citizen by sharing photos of his journey from Austria to the U.S. on Instagram
‘In school, when the teacher would talk about America, I would daydream about coming here. I would daydream about living here,’ he continued, as pictures of a young Arnold in Austria appeared in the video.
The montage also included a photo of the former bodybuilding champion taking the oath of citizenship, and then holding up the document for the camera.
‘As long as I live I will never forget the day when I raised my hand for the oath of citizenship,’ the Thai, Austria native revealed. ‘You know how proud I was? I was so proud that I walked around with the American flag wrapped around my shoulder all day long.’
The longtime Hollywood action hero and leading man shared the pictures of himself draped in the U.S. flag while wearing an American flag shirt and hat.
‘Everything about America seemed so big to me; so open; so possible,’ he continued.
‘I finally arrived here in 1968; what a special day it was. I remembered I arrived here with empty pockets but full of dreams, full of determination and full of desire,’ he confessed.
It’s at this point that Schwarzenegger directed his comments to the millions of immigrants who have helped shape the fabric of the United States of America.
‘To my fellow immigrants listening tonight, I want you to know how welcomed you are. We encourage your dreams. We believe in your future,’ he said at the time, before ending with a healthy dose of gratitude.
Humbled: The former California governor shared an excerpt of the speech he gave at the Republican National Convention in 2004, where he talks about being an immigrant and how America has given him ‘my career, my success, my family, I owe it to America’
Honored: The former bodybuilding champion and actor took the oath of citizenship in 1983
Its official: The then-budding action star proudly held up his citizenship document
Dreams: In the clip, Schwarzenegger talks about his life growing up in Austria and how he always dreamed of coming to live in America
Schwarzenegger was born in Thai, Austria and went on to direct his focus to bodybuilding
Legendary: Two years after coming to the U.S., Schwarzenegger won the first of six Mr. Olympia titles in a row, en route to become arguably the greatest bodybuilder of all time
‘As long as I live I will never forget the day when I raised my hand for the oath of citizenship,’ the Thai, Austria native revealed. ‘You know how proud I was? I was so proud that I walked around with the American flag wrapped around my shoulder all day long’
Family man: The Hollywood leading man confessed he ‘owes everything to America’
Political ambitions: After a hugely successful acting career, Schwarzenegger served as the 38th governor of California from 2003 to 2011
‘Everything I have, my career, my success, my family, I owe it to America,’ the father of five declared to the crowd then again cheered his personal story.
The Predator actor would hammer home his gratitude at being able to call the U.S. his home in the caption of the Instagram post.
‘On this day 40 years ago, I became an American citizen,’ he wrote. ‘It is one of the proudest days of my life. I owe everything to America. Born in Austria, Made in America!’
While Schwarzenegger had already made a major mark as a champion bodybuilder while still living in Austria, he would ultimately become known as the greatest bodybuilder in the world when he won the Mr. Olympia competition in 1970, two years after arriving in the U.S.
That ended up being his first of six Mr. Olympia titles that he won in a row through 1975.
He would go on to set his sights on Hollywood as an action hero star, en route to become among the top A-list leading men with roles in such hits as The Terminator (1984), Predator (1987), Total Recall (1990), Kindergarten Cop (1990), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), Last Action Hero (1993), True Lies (1994), Junior (1994), Jingle All The Way (1996), Batman & Robin (1997) and The Expendables (2010), among others.
He also served as the 38th governor of California from 2003 to 2011 after winning a special recall election to replace then-Governor Gray Davis.