event Calendar

Eastern United States (East coast states)

    • June 07, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • June 14, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions

    NEW BOOK - THE KING'S COIN

    Dr. Finn Bille is pleased to announce his fourth book, The King's Coin: Danish-American Poems. The title poem, “The Kings Coin” includes a memory of seeing the funeral procession of King Christian X and noting the riderless horse pass by with an empty saddle.

    Although his current book is a collection of poems, his story, A Marzipan Christmas appeared in The Danish Pioneer a few years ago.

    Dr. Bille attended high school in Copenhagen, attended both the University of Copenhagen and Pepperdine University in California, and served in the Royal Danish Navy. He received a master's degree and a Ph.D. in English at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Dr. Bille lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with Jeanne, his wife of 56 years.

    Dr. Bille is anxious to share these poems with appreciative readers and is now arranging readings at museums, bookstores, civic centers, and other venues with arts-minded audiences. 

    He can offer copies of the book for sale at presentations, but his objective is to share the words. The book is available as a free download on his web page here -

    Free Download and Ordering

    Review - 

    "In The King’s Coin, Bille’s graceful, vivid poems work a kind of magic, putting the poet’s Danish memories and songs into eloquent English while capturing the ephemeral but undeniable cost of emigration and adaptation to a new cultural context. As a poetic autobiography, it is both poignant and thought-provoking. What are the sounds and smells and fleeting sights that shape our sense of self? This collection makes a sensually and emotionally rich contribution to the literature of hyphenated identity that should resonate with readers far beyond the borders of both the remembered Denmark and America he so skillfully evokes".

    – Julie K. Allen. Danish but Not Lutheran; editor,The Bridge: Journal of the Danish American Heritage Society


    • June 14, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • June 14, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 3 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - STENY HOYER

    Steny Hamilton Hoyer (born June 14, 1939) is an American attorney and politician serving as U.S. Representative for Maryland's 5th congressional district since 1981 and as House Majority Leader since 2019. A Democrat, he was first elected in a special election on May 19, 1981, and is currently serving in his 20th term. The district includes a large swath of rural and suburban territory southeast of Washington, D.C. Hoyer is the dean of the Maryland Congressional delegation and the most senior Democrat in the House.

    Since 2003, Hoyer has been the second ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives behind Nancy Pelosi. He is a two-time House Majority Leader, having previously served in the post from 2007 to 2011 under Speaker Pelosi. During two periods of Republican House control (2003–2007 and 2011–2019), Hoyer served as House Minority Whip, both times under Minority Leader Pelosi. As a result of the 2018 midterm elections, in which the Democrats took control of the House, Hoyer was re-elected Majority Leader in January 2019 on the opening of the 116th Congress, remaining the number two House Democrat behind Speaker Pelosi.

    Hoyer was born in New York City, New York, and grew up in Mitchellville, Maryland, the son of Jean (née Baldwin) and Steen Theilgaard Høyer. His father was Danish and a native of Copenhagen; "Steny" is a variant of his father's name, "Steen". His mother was an American, with Scottish, German, and English ancestry, and a descendant of John Hart, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He graduated from Suitland High School in Suitland, Maryland.

    In his early years at the University of Maryland College Park, Congressman Hoyer held a 1.9 grade point average. His attitude towards school and politics changed after hearing a speech from John F. Kennedy prior to his election in 1960. In 1963, he received his B.A. degree magna cum laude from the University of Maryland, College Park, where he also became a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He earned his J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., in 1966.

    Hoyer has three daughters, Anne, Susan, and Stefany, from his marriage to Judy Pickett Hoyer, who died of cancer in February 1997. In 2012, after Hoyer announced his support of same-sex marriage, his daughter Stefany Hoyer Hemmer came out as a lesbian in an interview with the Washington Blade.

    His wife was an advocate of early childhood education, and child development learning centers in Maryland have been named in her honor ("Judy Centers").  She also suffered from epilepsy, and the Epilepsy Foundation of America sponsors an annual public lecture in her name.  Hoyer, too, has been an advocate for research in this area, and the Epilepsy Foundation presented him in 2002 with their Congressional Leadership Award.

    Hoyer serves on the Board of Trustees for St. Mary's College of Maryland and is a member of the board of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, a nonprofit that supports international elections. He is also an Advisory Board Member for the Center for the Study of Democracy.

    • June 17, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • June 20, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • Scandinavia House - Virtual Cinema

    FOLLOW THE MONEY SEASON 3 - VIRTUAL CINEMA

    THU—June 17 THROUGH SUN—June 20
    $8 ($5 ASF Members) for six episodes
    Summer TV pass (three series) $20 ($10 ASF Members)
    Each episode is 60 min. | In Danish with English subtitles
    *Attendees will receive a discount link for 50-percent off a three-month subscription to Topic to future episodes after the Season 2 release on June 17.*

    Beginning in June, we are collaborating with the streaming service Topic to bring you a taste of classic Nordic Noir! Topic will be launching every season of the series Follow the MoneyThe Bridge and The Killing throughout the summer. Scandinavia House Online will give you a sneak peek of the first two episodes of each season before they hit Topic. Passes for each show comprise all season premiere episodes in the series; a Summer of Suspense TV pass comprise all premiere episodes of each series. Ticket sales will go to support Scandinavia House; all guests registered for the screenings will receive a promo code for 50% off of their first 3 months (1.5 months free) to Topic.

    More Info and Purchase Tickets

    The Danish series Follow the Money /Bedrag follows the money out of the boardroom and into the criminal underworld as Nicky chooses between a successful smuggling business and his son. Meanwhile, Alf is back on the money trail, this time with demons in tow, while Anna enters a life of crime. In episode 1, after a two-year stint in Spain, Nicky returns to Denmark as a hash smuggler for drug kingpin Marco and learns some surprising news about his son. Alf has a new job with the Task Force but his attack two years ago has left him struggling with PTSD.

    In episode 2, Alf tries to keep himself together as he investigates a tragic basement case linked to drug kingpin Marco; Nicky’s family is torn and his son is paying the price. Meanwhile, financial advisor Anna decides to use her skills for personal gain.

    The Summer of Suspense series will continue with screenings of The Bridge in June-July and The Killing in August.

    Screenings of Season 3 episodes 1 & 2 will take place over four days (Thursday — Sunday), with all films available for viewing on a virtual cinema screening platform throughout this period. To download viewing instructions and an FAQ, please click here.


    • June 18, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • June 27, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • Virtual Event

    15th ANNUAL NORDIC JAZZ FESTIVAL

    Nordic Embassies in Washington D.C. Present 15th Annual Nordic Jazz Festival

    Virtual Event June 18 - 27th

    Washington D.C., June 10 – Every summer, the Nordic Embassies in Washington D.C. present the Nordic Jazz Festival – a cherished tradition showcasing top artists from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. This June, the Embassies are teaming up with the acclaimed Blues Alley Jazz Club – this time virtually – to present the 15th annual Nordic Jazz Festival. For an entire week, jazz enthusiasts can watch four jazz concerts online, all free of charge.

    WHEN: The concerts will be available to watch between June 18, at 5:00 PM (ET), and June 27, at 5:00 PM (ET)

    WHERE: The festival will take place online at bluesalley.com; registration is required.

    Nordic jazz artists present a unique sound that emphasizes the natural elements of the Nordic countries with a modern interpretation. Nordic jazz music tends to be experimental, but melodically strong, with a spacious sound and open song structures. The participants in the 2021 Nordic Jazz Festival are some of the Nordic countries’ most creative artists and have strong educational backgrounds, international careers, and are recipients of multiple jazz awards. Read more about the participants below.

    More Information


    • June 19, 2021
    • 2:00 PM (EDT)
    • Virtual Event - Caribbean Genealogy Library - St Thomas, U.S.V.I.

    VIRTUAL PANEL DISCUSSION - CARIBBEAN GENEALOGY LIBRARY

    CGL's upcoming event on June 19th, 2021 at 2pm AST, is a panel discussion entitled "The Body of the Virgin Islands Woman: Queens, Debutantes and Virgins". Meet the panel members below!

    The event is hosted by the Caribbean Genealogy Library and the panel will use materials from the library's St. Thomas Graphics Collection for their discussion. Registration required. Learn more and register at The Body of the Virgin Islands Woman:  Queens, Debutantes and Virgins.

    Meet the Panel

    Tami Navarro is the Associate Director of the Barnard Center for Research on Women (BCRW), a Visiting Scholar at the University of the Virgin Islands, and Editor of the journal Scholar and Feminist Online. 

    She is a Cultural Anthropologist whose work has published work in "Cultural Anthropology, American Anthropologist, Transforming Anthropology", "Small Axe Salon", "The Caribbean Writer", "Social Text", and "Feminist Anthropology". She serves on the Board of the St. Croix Foundation and is a member of the Editorial Board for the journal "Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism". She is the co-host of the podcast, “Writing Home: American Voices from the Caribbean” and her book, "Virgin Capital: Race, Gender, and Financialization in the US Virgin Islands" will be published by SUNY Press in November 2021.

    La Vaughn Belle makes visible the unremembered. She is a visual artist working in a variety of disciplines that include: video, performance, painting, installation, writing and public intervention projects. She explores the material culture of coloniality and her art presents counter visualities and narratives. Borrowing elements from history and archeology Belle creates narratives that challenge colonial hierarchies and invisibility.

    She has exhibited in the Caribbean, the USA and Europe in institutions such as the Museo del Barrio (NY), Casa de las Americas (Cuba), the Museum of the African Diaspora (CA) and Kunstahl Charlottenborg(DK) and recently finished a solo exhibition at the National Nordic Museum in Seattle. Her artwork has been featured in a wide range of media including: the NY Times, Politiken, VICE, The Guardian, Time magazine, Caribbean Beat, the BBC and Le Monde. Her work with colonial era pottery led to a commission with the renowned brand of porcelain products, the Royal Copenhagen. She is the co-creator of “I Am Queen Mary”, the artist-led groundbreaking monument that confronted the Danish colonial amnesia while commemorating the legacies of resistance of the African people who were brought to the former Danish West Indies. She holds an MFA from the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, Cuba and an MA and a BA from Columbia University in NY. She was the 2018-2020 fellow at the Social Justice Institute at the Barnard Research Center for Women. Her studio is based in the Virgin Islands.

    Tiphanie Yanique is the author of the poetry collection, "Wife", which won the 2016 Bocas Prize in Caribbean poetry and the United Kingdom’s 2016 Forward/Felix Dennis Prize for a First Collection. Tiphanie is also the author of the novel, "Land of Love and Drowning", which won the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Award from the Center for Fiction, the Phillis Wheatley Award for Pan-African Literature, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Family Foundation Award, and was listed by NPR as one of the Best Books of 2014. "Land of Love and Drowning" was also a finalist for the Orion Award in Environmental Literature and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award.  She is the author of a collection of stories, "How to Escape from a Leper Colony", which won her a listing as one of the National Book Foundation's 5Under35.  

    Her writing has won the Bocas Award for Caribbean Fiction, the Boston Review Prize in Fiction, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award, a Pushcart Prize, a Fulbright Scholarship and an Academy of American Poet's Prize. She has been listed by the Boston Globe as one of the sixteen cultural figures to watch out for and her writing has been published in the New York Times, Best African American Fiction, The Wall Street Journal, American Short Fiction and other places.  Tiphanie is from the Virgin Islands and is an associate professor at Emory University. Her novel, "Monster in the Middle", will be published in October 2021.  

    Hadiya Sewer is a Research Fellow in the African and African American Studies Program at Stanford University and a Visiting Scholar in the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown University. Dr. Sewer's work uses a non-sovereign territory in the Caribbean, the United States Virgin Islands, as a case study for tracing the conceptions of freedom and the human that exist under contemporary colonialism. Sewer earned their Ph.D. in Africana Studies at Brown University. Their scholarship focuses on environmental justice and Africana decolonial, feminist, queer, and political theories. They are currently working on two monographs titled, “(De)Colonial Desires: AntiBlackness, Aporia, and the Afterlives of the Dead,” and "Meditations on Disaster: Climate Injustice, Covid-19, and the Coloniality of Power."

    Dr. Sewer's research, teaching, and advocacy provide phenomenological, ethnographic, and historical examinations of anti-blackness, colonialism, imperialism, and the climate crisis. As a community-engaged scholar, Sewer is also the President and Co-Founder of St.JanCo: the St. John Heritage Collective, a land rights and cultural heritage preservation nonprofit in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. 

    Register for the panel discussion at The Body of the Virgin Islands Woman:  Queens, Debutantes and Virgins.

    This event made possible in part by a grant received from the Community Foundation of the Virgin Island, with funding provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.
    • June 20, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • October 10, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • 13 sessions
    • Danish Seamen’s Church - Brooklyn, NY

    11:00AM SUNDAY SERVICE

    Sunday morning at 11am, church service is held at the Danish Seamen's Church except the last Sunday of the month. The Sunday service follows the same liturgy as in the Danish folkekirke. The service is held in Danish, we sing hymns from the Danish hymnal, have readings from the Bible and celebrate communion. For a detailed description of the Sunday service in Danish click here: Sunday service liturgy

    No service on the last Sunday of each month.

    Danish Seamen’s Church
    102 Willow St
    Brooklyn, NY  11201


    Telephone - (718) 875-0042 
    Emailinfo@dskny.org

    Church Website

    Church Facebook

    • June 23, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • June 23, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 3 sessions

    SANKT HANS AFTEN (MIDSUMMER'S EVE)

    A Nordic tradition, celebrated on the night before the Midsummer's Day, Midsummer's Eve or Sankt Hans Aften is a relic of pagan customs, where the shortest day, the winter solstice, and the longest day, the summer solstice, were celebrated. Originally it was believed that midsummer night was filled with magical forces of nature—both bad and good. All herbs and sources were particularly sacred, and it was a tradition to seek sacred springs or picking healing herbs on this night.

    Image: Midsummer Eve Bonfire on Skagen Beach (Danish: Sankt Hansblus på Skagen strand) a 1906 painting by P.S. Krøyer 
    More Info on this famous Krøyer work

    The tradition of burning bonfires came later. Originally they were not associated with Midsummer's Eve celebration, although later some farmers who believed in witches started burning bonfires on this night. A shape that looks like a witch was put in the fire. The purpose of the fire was to scare the witches and evil spirits away, rather than burning them.

    Today the Midsummer's Eve is still celebrated with bonfires, dancing, singing and a traditional speech from someone well known in the community. The celebrations are held all around the country, both in cities and small towns.

    Some of the most vibrant celebrations take place in Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus, and Skagen. The capital has bonfires at several places, including Tivoli Gardens, Frederiksberg Gardens, Islands Brygge, and more. Likewise, Aarhus offers quite a few locations to celebrate, such as Aarhus University campus, Godsbanen, or Langenæs Church. In Odense, the festivities take place at Engen in the Fruens Bøge forest. At last, the remote Skagen promises an exceptional celebration. Thousands come to the northern tip of Denmark to enjoy traditional songs at the bonfire that lasts here longer than anywhere else in the country.

    Burning the witches in Denmark

    The height of Danish summer is celebrated on the evening of June 23 under the name Sankt Hans (Saint Hans), who is known in English as John the Baptist. The festival of Sankt Hans and the celebration of the summer solstice have pagan roots and date back to the days before Christianity came to Denmark. 

    Sankt Hans is generally celebrated with a dinner at home with family and friends followed by a stroll to a community bonfire, often by the beach or on the shore of one of Denmark's many lakes.

    Tradition calls for an effigy of a witch to be placed on top of the bonfire, and as it burns the community sings the song "Midsommervisen", written by the Danish poet Holger Drachmann in 1885. The effigy of the witch symbolises all the misery that Denmark as a nation wants to avoid, and the song celebrates the hope that peace will prevail.


    Midsommervisen “Vi elsker vort land”  
    (Youtube)

    De tre første vers, som normalt synges ved bålfester
    Text: Holger Drachmann, 1885
    Melodi P. E. Lange-Müller, 1885 

    Vi elsker vor land,
    når den signede jul
    tænder stjernen i træet med glans i hvert øje.
    Når om våren hver fugl,
    over mark, under strand,
    lader stemmen til hilsende triller sig bøje:
    Vi synger din lov over vej, over gade,
    vi kranser dit navn, når vor høst er i lade,
    men den skønneste krans,
    bli'r dog din Sankte Hans!
    Den er bunden af sommerens hjerter,
    så varme så glade. 

    Vi elsker vort land,
    men ved midsommer mest,
    når hver sky over marken velsignelsen sender,
    når af blomster er flest,
    og når kvæget i spand
    giver rigeligst gave til flittige hænder;
    når ikke vi pløjer og harver og tromler,
    når koen sin middag i kløveren gumler,
    da går ungdom til dans
    på dit bud Sankte Hans
    ret som føllet og lammet, der frit
    over engen sig tumler. 

    Vi elsker vort land,
    og med sværdet i hånd
    skal hver udenvælts fjende beredte os kende,
    men mod ufredens ånd
    under mark over strand,
    vil vi bålet på fædrenes gravhøje tænde
    hver by har sin heks,
    og hver sogn sine trolde.
    Dem vil vi fra livet med glædesblus holde
    vi vil fred her til lands
    Sankte Hans, Sankte Hans!
    Den kan vindes, hvor hjerterne
    aldrig bli'r tvivlende kolde
    .

    English Translation...

    Vi Elsker Vort Land/"We Love Our Country"

    We love our country
    when the blessed Christmas
    light up the star in the tree with a twinkle in each eye
    When in spring each bird
    over the field, down by the beach
    lets its voice give into greeting trills:
    We sing your law across the road, across the street,
    we wreath your name, when our harvest is in the barn,
    but the most beautiful wreath
    becomes yours, Saint Hans
    It is bound by the the hearts of the summer so warm, so happy
    but the most beautiful wreath
    becomes yours, Saint Hans
    It is bound by the hearts of the summer so warm, so happy

    We love our country
    but mostly around midsummer
    when every cloud sends the blessing across the field
    When most flowers are here
    and when the cattle drag the plough
    gives plenty of gifts to laborious hands;
    when we don't plough and harrow and roll,
    when the cow munch its dinner of clover:
    At that time youth will start to dance
    at your command Saint Hans!
    Straight as the foal and the lamb which freely romp across the meadow
    At that time youth will start to dance
    at your command Saint Hans!
    Straight as the foal and the lamb which freely romp across the meadow

    We love our country
    and with the sword in our hands
    every foreign enemy shall prepared know us
    But against the spirit of strife
    over the field, down by the beach
    we will light the bonfire on the forefathers' burial mounds:
    Every town has its witch, and every parish its trolls,
    we will keep those from our lives with fires of happiness
    We want peace in this country,
    saint Hans, saint Hans!
    It can be won where the hearts never become doubting cold
    We want peace in this country,
    saint Hans, saint Hans!
    It can be won where the hearts never become doubting cold

    We love our country
    and we greet that king
    who has tried and chosen the right princess:
    In his fairy tale castle
    every woman, every man can
    find an example of love for life!
    Let the times grow old, let the colors fade,
    we will however draw a memory in our hearts:
    From the North so rich in legends
    a glory goes across the world
    It is the reflection of the wonderland's enchanted meadows,
    From the North so rich in legends
    a glory goes across the world
    It is the reflection of the wonderland's enchanted meadows!

    • June 25, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • Little Bighorn Battlefield - Southeastern Montana

    THE BATTLE OF THE LITTLE BIGHORN

    June 25, 1876

    Included in the casualties at The Battle of Little Bighorn were six Danes - three were killed, and three survived.

    The following is from author and Danish American historian Stig Thornsohn.  NFDA thanks Stig for providing this information about the Battle of Little Big Horn from the Danish American perspective...

    AmeriDanes

    AT THE LITTLE BIGHORN

    ”The sight of the oldest flag in the world – the Danish flag – and the Stars and Stripes flying together will remind us of the long-standing friendship and spirit of understanding which exists now between our two peoples and between our two countries and must exist in the future as long as we both survive.”

    From President John F. Kennedy’s taped speech to Rebild July 4th 1963. 

    Kennedy was right. And countless Danes have fought for the Stars and Stripes since the War of Independence. The 13 stripes were actually a Danish idea.

    Abraham Markøe came from a sugar-rich Danish family in the Danish West Indies. He was sent to the center of power in Philadelphia and became a close friend of George Washington. Markøe created a regiment for the War of Independence, the “Philadelphia Light Horse”, today known as “First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry”, the longest existing military unit in the United States. The regiment also served as a personal bodyguard for Washington. Markøe designed a special flag for his troops, who still use it. It had thirteen blue-silver, stripes that Washington chose to use in the final version of the Stars & Stripes. That’s missing in the official history.

    We have always been strong allies and borne arms with the Americans. P. S. Vig compiled the first description in his two-volume book “Danes fighting for America from approx. 1640 to 1865”.

    That doesn’t include the scores of veterans from the Slesvig wars with Germany. Denmark won the first in 1848 and lost the second in 1864. A good reason for close to 60.000 “German Danes” to emigrate to America, where many chose to serve on the frontier.

    Christian Madsen spent 15 years in the 5th cavalry and later 26 years as a U S marshal. His story will be told later. He was surprised as an old man to find his name on the memorial at Little Bighorn as a casualty of the (in)famous fight - even misspelled Madson. 

    But that was another Dane. Christian Madsen, private in the 7th cavalry company F, born in Kerteminde, Fyn, February 1848, tanner by occupation. He enlisted August 24th 1872 and died with Custer on the hill.

    So did Charles Siemon, Blacksmith, company L. Born 1843, Copenhagen, Denmark. He enlisted  July 19. 1872.

    And Corporal William Teeman, company F. Born 1846. He enlisted Aug 27, 1872.

    Three of six Danes that gave their lives because of a much-debated decision by Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer to attack a superior force of Native Americans perhaps 2.500 warriors dividing his outnumbered force, app. 600 in three battalions. Three companies under the command of Major Marcus Reno, three under the command of Captain Frederick Benteen, five companies under Custer’s direct command. The last of the 12 companies was with Captain Thomas McDougall protecting the pack train with provisions and extra ammunition. Benteen was sent south on a scouting mission, Custer went north to attack the village and Reno was directed to attack from the south where he was met with fierce resistance and had to fall back across the river to take a stand on a hilltop where he was joined by Benteen. They suffered severe casualties.

    Photo: Colonel George Armstrong Custer

    Private Frederick Holmstead, company A was one of them. He was in the valley and the hilltop fights where he was wounded. He died March 27th 1880 at Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory. He was born 1849 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Enlisted November 6th 1872.

    Private Jens Mathiasen Møller, aka Jan Moller, company H was wounded at the hilltop fight. He enlisted January 15th 1872. Born September 13th in Hasle, Bornholm, Denmark and died February 23rd 1928 in Deadwood, South Dakota.

    It seems private Christian C. Boisen managed to survive without physical damage. He was part of the hilltop fight for two days. He was born in Denmark December 1854, registered as a bootmaker and enlisted March 25th 1873. He died January 21st 1923 at Fort Smith, Arkansas.

    The battle of Little Bighorn or Peji Sla Wakapa, Greasy Grass as the lakotas name it, is iconic in the “Indian” wars. Custer was a favorite hero before and became a martyr to many afterwards. The news of his total defeat with his 208 men made the news just as America was celebrating its centenary. One of the biggest Native victories, but costly because of the revenge. The Lakotas and the Cheyennes fought a just battle for land that were theirs by right and treaty, but the American westward expansion ignored the treaties. Gold was found in the mountains, like Paha Sapa, the Black Hills and the land was “needed” for the settlers and the railroads.

    As Sitting Bulls said at the Powder River Council, 1877:

    “Strangely enough they have a mind to till the soil and the love of possessions is a disease with them . . . They claim this mother of ours, the earth, for their own, and fence their neighbors away…”

    Photo: Sitting Bull

    It’s hard to blame the soldiers. They were pawns in a big game. Christian Madsen lived a violent life as a soldier and U S marshal. It seems appropriate to conclude with some of his thoughts in late life that say something about the experiences he gathered in a life of fighting and action:

    “... and other nations will realize that a country that spends more billions on war materials than on schools, and trains more officers than teachers - that country is digging its own grave.”

    ---------------------

    A&E Television Networks, LLC - The Battle of the Little Bighorn, fought on June 25, 1876, near the Little Bighorn River in Montana Territory, pitted federal troops led by Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer (1839-76) against a band of Lakota Sioux and Cheyenne warriors. Tensions between the two groups had been rising since the discovery of gold on Native American lands. When a number of tribes missed a federal deadline to move to reservations, the U.S. Army, including Custer and his 7th Cavalry, was dispatched to confront them. Custer was unaware of the number of Indians fighting under the command of Sitting Bull (c.1831-90) at Little Bighorn, and his forces were outnumbered and quickly overwhelmed in what became known as Custer’s Last Stand.

    More Information

    • June 28, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • Rockall Island, North Atlantic Ocean

    THIS DATE IN DANISH AMERICAN HISTORY - THE SINKING OF THE SS NORGE

    Watch out for the big rock: Remembering Denmark’s greatest maritime disaster

    Overshadowed by the sinking of the Titanic eight years later, 1904 was the year of the greatest tragedy in Danish maritime history.

    On 28 June 1904, just over 112 years ago, the SS Norge went down off the west coast of Scotland with 727 passengers and crew on board. Operated by Det Forenede Dampskibs-Selskab (DFDS), only 168 survived the sinking of the Danish ship.

    Spring 2021 Exhibit in the U.KTitanic’s Predecessor, A Catastrophe forgotten by History close to the Hebrides 

    However, the majority on board weren’t Danes but Russian and Polish Jewish emigrants escaping military service, bound for America, although there were a fair number of Danes, Swedes and Norwegians leaving Europe for a fresh start in the New World.

    They boarded the SS Norge – a steam-powered, steel-bottomed ship with one funnel and three masts, a service speed of 11 knots and a crew of 68 under Captain Valdemar Gundel – on 22 June 1904 in Copenhagen for the 14-day transatlantic crossing.

    A big rock, all is lost
    After taking on Norwegian immigrants in Oslo and Kristiansand, the ship set course across the Atlantic, north of Scotland, to New York. Many of the passengers crammed on board the SS Norge were women and children, largely from poor backgrounds, going to join their husbands and families in America.

    During the crossing, the ship drifted about 375 miles off course, and on June 28, she struck the island reef of Rockall – about 5 miles long and 75 feet at its highest point – located about 430 km northwest of Ireland, 460 km off the west coast of Scotland, and 700 km south of Iceland.

    Shoddy safety record
    Most of the passengers were in bed when the ship struck Rockall. And then as she dislodged, her hull became badly holed and she sank in the space of 20 minutes. The eight lifeboats on board could hold only 250 people and most of the SS Norge’s safety gear did not work properly. Two of the lifeboats sank immediately and most of the passengers drowned.

    The lucky few who were able to clamber onto the six remaining lifeboats were picked up six days later by a German tanker and taken to Stornoway on the Shetland Islands. Quite miraculously another lifeboat with 20 people on board reached the shores of the islands on their own accord – hundreds of miles away from Rockall, but alive, although several people died after the rescue.

    Jonah was on board this Titanic
    Refusing to abandon the sinking ship, Captain Gundel had resigned himself to going down with his vessel, but he was saved by one of the lifeboats and taken to Stornoway: it was the third time Gundel had been wrecked on the 28th day of a month.

    The SS Norge, built in Glasgow in 1881, sailed between Scandinavia and New York taking emigrants to the United States. She had a poor record at sea – she ran aground in Oslo Fjord in 1890, collided with a dredger at the mouth of New York harbour later that same year, and in 1898 she struck and sank a fishing boat on the Newfoundland Banks, drowning 16 local fishermen in the incident.

    Scourge of Scotland
    Later, a Copenhagen Court of Inquiry into the catastrophe cleared Gundel and DFDS’s management of all charges of incompetence. The cause of the sinking has never been fully determined, although experts blame foggy conditions and a faulty compass.

    After the disaster, fishermen trawling the area around Rockall drew up corpses in their nets – a bad omen that kept many of them away from the waters for years.

    In 2003, after four years of search work, a team of divers from Stromness in the Orkney Islands discovered the wreck of the ill-fated SS Norge in 65 metres of water off Rockall.

    Despite being one of the worst peacetime maritime disasters in recent history, with a loss of over 600 lives, the SS Norge has been largely forgotten, most probably to its proximity to the loss of the Titanic eight years later. - CPH POST ONLINE November 28th, 2016 7:30 pm| by Christopher Follett

    On 28 June 1904, just over 112 years ago, the SS Norge went down off the west coast of Scotland with 727 passengers and crew on board. Operated by Det Forenede Dampskibs-Selskab (DFDS), only 168 survived the sinking of the Danish ship.

    However, the majority on board weren’t Danes but Russian and Polish Jewish emigrants escaping military service, bound for America, although there were a fair number of Danes, Swedes and Norwegians leaving Europe for a fresh start in the New World.

    They boarded the SS Norge – a steam-powered, steel-bottomed ship with one funnel and three masts, a service speed of 11 knots and a crew of 68 under Captain Valdemar Gundel – on 22 June 1904 in Copenhagen for the 14-day transatlantic crossing.

    A big rock, all is lost
    After taking on Norwegian immigrants in Oslo and Kristiansand, the ship set course across the Atlantic, north of Scotland, to New York. Many of the passengers crammed on board the SS Norge were women and children, largely from poor backgrounds, going to join their husbands and families in America.

    During the crossing, the ship drifted about 375 miles off course, and on June 28, she struck the island reef of Rockall – about 5 miles long and 75 feet at its highest point – located about 430 km northwest of Ireland, 460 km off the west coast of Scotland, and 700 km south of Iceland.

    Shoddy safety record
    Most of the passengers were in bed when the ship struck Rockall. And then as she dislodged, her hull became badly holed and she sank in the space of 20 minutes. The eight lifeboats on board could hold only 250 people and most of the SS Norge’s safety gear did not work properly. Two of the lifeboats sank immediately and most of the passengers drowned.

    The lucky few who were able to clamber onto the six remaining lifeboats were picked up six days later by a German tanker and taken to Stornoway on the Shetland Islands. Quite miraculously another lifeboat with 20 people on board reached the shores of the islands on their own accord – hundreds of miles away from Rockall, but alive, although several people died after the rescue.

    Jonah was on board this Titanic
    Refusing to abandon the sinking ship, Captain Gundel had resigned himself to going down with his vessel, but he was saved by one of the lifeboats and taken to Stornoway: it was the third time Gundel had been wrecked on the 28th day of a month.

    The SS Norge, built in Glasgow in 1881, sailed between Scandinavia and New York taking emigrants to the United States. She had a poor record at sea – she ran aground in Oslo Fjord in 1890, collided with a dredger at the mouth of New York harbour later that same year, and in 1898 she struck and sank a fishing boat on the Newfoundland Banks, drowning 16 local fishermen in the incident.

    Scourge of Scotland
    Later, a Copenhagen Court of Inquiry into the catastrophe cleared Gundel and DFDS’s management of all charges of incompetence. The cause of the sinking has never been fully determined, although experts blame foggy conditions and a faulty compass.

    After the disaster, fishermen trawling the area around Rockall drew up corpses in their nets – a bad omen that kept many of them away from the waters for years.

    In 2003, after four years of search work, a team of divers from Stromness in the Orkney Islands discovered the wreck of the ill-fated SS Norge in 65 metres of water off Rockall.

    Despite being one of the worst peacetime maritime disasters in recent history, with a loss of over 600 lives, the SS Norge has been largely forgotten, most probably to its proximity to the loss of the Titanic eight years later.


    • July 01, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • January 15, 2022
    • (CST)
    • 6 sessions
    • Online - New Issue Available

    CHURCH AND LIFE - NEW ISSUE

    For more information and to Subscribe...

    Subscribe Here

    CHURCH AND LIFE: A BRIEF HISTORY

    by Thorvald Hansen

    Church and Life (originally, Kirke og Folk) was begun by the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in 1952 as an exclusively Danish publication in line with its original purpose which was to serve the Danish readership of the church. Until the 1930s the official church paper had been Kirkelig Samler, but when this had been replaced by the English language publication, Lutheran Tidings, the Danish readers were served by a page called Kirkelig Samler in the Danish language Dannevirke, a privately owned weekly which was unofficially related to the church. When this publication ceased in1951, Danish news of the church was no longer available and this was missed, particularly by older readers. It was to fill this vacuum that the new Danish publication was begun.

    The first issues were distributed gratis to some 750 individuals who might be interested, but within a short time it became a subscription paper with some 1,000 subscribers. It was a 16 page paper issued twice monthly. When the Lutheran Church in America was born in 1963 and Lutheran Tidings ceased publication, some of the readers of that paper became subscribers to Church and Life. Today it has become an exclusively English language publication of 12 to l6 pages (depending on the material available) and is issued monthly. The subscription price is $20 per year. Gifts and memorials make up the shortfall, and the paper continues to function in the black. For its content the paper depends upon the voluntary contributions of a significant number of writers. The December issue is at least twice the normal size for Christmas .

    In 1983 the name was changed to Church and Life. This is not, nor was it intended to be, a translation of the Danish, but rather an indication that the church body out of which it grew was concerned also with this earthly life.

    Throughout its long history the paper has had six full time editors: Holger Strandskov, Paul Wikman, Michael Mikkelsen, Johannes Knudsen, and Thorvald Hansen. The present editor, Joy Ibsen, is the daughter of a former pastor in the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church.
    Currently the paper serves some 460 subscribers as a tie that binds them, not only to one another, but to the religious and social environment with which they have been familiar. This is not an exclusive group, nor are they guided by nostalgia, but one to which any and all who share similar values are more than welcome.


    Reference: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


    • July 01, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • January 04, 2022
    • (CST)
    • 7 sessions
    • Online from Puffin & Loon Lounge - York, Maine

    ONLINE CONCERTS - JOYCE ANDERSEN AND HARVEY REID

    Past concerts also available here...

    Website Livestream

    Danish American Joyce Andersen & Harvey Reid live stream from The Puffin & Loon Lounge at the Woodpecker Wild Life Center in York,  Maine.  Joyce had Danish grandparents, lived in Denmark as a child for a few months and attended the folk high school in Hørsholm where she also played on the street. Thanks for joining us! It helps us if you SUBSCRIBE to our channel to join in the live chat and to hear about upcoming streams















    Joyce Andersen - Home Page

    • July 02, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • July 05, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • Rebild National Park near Aalborg, Denmark

    REBILD FESTIVAL IN DENMARK

    Celebration of Danish American Friendship Since 1912
    The Annual Rebild Festival at the Rebild National Park near Aalborg, Denmark

    The 2021 Rebild Celebration will be a combination of live and on-line events.

    July 2 - Danish American Club Aalborg - Garden Party Picnic Aalborg Defense & Garrison Museum 10.00-12.00
                       Afternoon Gathering - Western House next to Top Karins Hus in Rebild - 13.30-16.00

    July 3 - Gala Dinner at Hotel Comwell Hvide Hus Aalborg followed by fireworks - 19.00-23.00

    July 4 -  Celebration in the Rebild Hills 15.00-17.00
                       Keynote Speakers - Andreas Mogensen and Anders Agner

    July 5 - General Membership Meeting 10.00-11.30
                      Luncheon at Rebild Hotel Comwell
                      National Board Meeting 13.00-15.00

    Please email General Secretary Lars Bisgaard for tickets and reservations - lars@rebildfesten.dk

    Now Open! 2021 Rebild Virtual Benefit Auction (Now - July 4)
    Help raise funds to support the Rebild National Park in Denmark!
    See Items and Bid Here

    New Rebild Website-
    Rebild Website

    Rebild National Park Society

    We are a Danish-American Friendship organization,
    playing an important part in these areas:

    • Unique 4th of July Festival in Denmark with Royalty and dignitaries from both countries

    • Preservation of Danish culture and heritage in USA

    • Assistance to Danish newcomers with acclimatization and business networking

    • Help and insight into Danish thinking for Americans doing business with Denmark

    • Friend-shipping and socializing

    • Study abroad scholarships to Denmark

    • Professional full color news magazine two times a year plus Rebild E-News.

    • Annual Conference (each year in a different state in the US)

    Ties of Friendship
    It all began more than one hundred years ago in America. A gathering of Danish-Americans came up with a vision ofa special place in Denmark where they could gather once a year to meet with relatives and friends. And symbolically, as a statement confirming that those who had left would not forget where they had come from. Emigration began gradually in the economically difficult years following the Napoleon Wars, when the country was going bankrupt and having lost Norway. it is estimated that as many as 300,000 Danes emigrated in the years up to the First World War. Exact numbers are not possible because, after 1864, Danes from Southern Iylland were registered as German emigrants.

    Their incentive to leave was the dream of finding freedom and a better life. They especially sought out the northern states in the USA, as did other emigrants from the Scandinavian countries, because the climate and land reminded them of what they had left behind. It had an especial attraction for farmers. The western part of the country offered free land, with the provision they would fence the property, cultivate the land, and by the end ofthe first year, have erected a house with a door and window. Normally only the door and windows that were made of wood, the rest of the house was made of sod! It was hard work but worth the effort. For most, it was a good decision.

    But the emigrants never forgot their homeland and early in the twentieth century they purchased land in the old country. In the beginning they flocked to outdoor meetings near Himmelbjeret, as recorded by Ieppe Aakjaer on “Ienle” and Johan Skjoldborg on "Dynaes." These large outdoor gatherings are a popular tradition we have perpetuated through the years. Most of the emigrants had Iyske roots and it was instinctive for them to seek to meet here. The man with the most initiative was Max Henius from Aalborg, and the land eventually selected was the beautiful hilly heather covered ground in the outskirts of Forest of Rold — Rebild Bakker.

    There were more than 10,000 participants at the first Rebild Festival in 1912, and it was estimated that more than 1,000 came from America. Viewed through today's eyes it was impressive. It was expensive and difficult to travel so far — across America by land and the Atlantic Ocean by boat. The King Christian the 10th participated with Queen Alexandrine and accepted the deed for 140 tender land (equal to approximately 1,363 acres) with the requirement: “... that every year on July 4th, America's Independence Day, a "Rebild Festival" would be held in the Hills." Throughout the intervening years the Royal Family have been active in the Festival. We are happy and thankful for that.

    We have been told that the 4th of July celebration in Denmark is the largest outside the USA. We are proud of that. It’s a wonderful tradition that has continued over the past 100 years. It is a testament to the unbreakable friendship that exists between our two nations who share a common appreciation for freedom and democracy. We stand together!

    • July 07, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • October 06, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • 4 sessions
    • Bryant Park Cafe - New York

    StamborD AT BRYANT PARK

    • 6:00 PM  9:00 PM
    • Byrant Park (map)

    Stambord is back! In Bryant Park - the first Wednesday in the month.

    This time we will meet up at Bryant Park Cafe at the library end of the Park. 

    The outdoor café is a well known after work MEETING PLACE during the summer.  IT is LOCATED on the 42nd Street side of the Upper Terrace.

    Stambord – Danish for “regular table” – is exactly what it sounds like. It is a great opportunity for local and visiting Danes, as well as their friends and acquaintances, to mingle in an informal setting and have a drink or two. The more, the merrier.

    No need to register and feel free to bring along friends and family!

    Location:
    Bryant Park Cafe - Located on the 42nd Street side of the Upper Terrace.
    42nd Street and Sixth Avenue
    New York, NY 10018

    Stambord is a networking event for all Danes and friends of Denmark living in or visiting New York/the Tri-State Area and co-hosted by DACCNY and DABGO.

    DACC NewYork Website

    • July 23, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • July 23, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 3 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - RASMUS ANDERSEN

    Rasmus Andersen (July 23, 1847 - August 21, 1930) was a Danish American Lutheran minister and is considered the founder of the Danish Seamen's Church in Brooklyn, New York.

    Reverend Andersen was born in Vedelshave, Fyn County, Denmark. While a student in 1871, he was sent to America by the "Commission for the Furtherance of the Proclamation of the Gospel Among Danes in America," established in 1869 to develop mission work among Danes that immigrated to the United States. The young Andersen wished to be a foreign missionary but the commission decided he should teach Danish immigrant children. Andersen, along with two pastors sent by the commission, arrived in New York on June 12, 1871.

    Andersen experienced some difficulty in finding a placement with a congregation. A fellow commission representative told him not to be discouraged and gave him the advice to work hard to learn English. He enrolled at the Norwegian-Danish Conference seminary in Marshall, Wisconsin, and while on a Christmas vacation visit to Waupaca, Wisconsin, found a Danish congregation to whom he could minister. He was ordained June 26, 1872, and began his work as a pastor. He stayed in the Waupaca area ministering to several congregations for six years. His next congregation, at which he remained for three years, was in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. He was the pastor at his last congregation, Our Saviour's Danish Church, in Brooklyn, New York, until his retirement in 1903.

    In addition to his pastoral work, Pastor Andersen also was a founder of the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. At the 1878 convention of the church, it created a constitution and settled matters related to home mission work, the founding of a folk school, and the publishing of a children's paper.

    Pastor Andersen also took the work of ministering to sailors and newly-arrived immigrants. He continued this work well after his retirement from the Brooklyn congregation in 1903. He was also the author of many books and pamphlets on such varied topics as the history of early Scandinavian voyages to America, advice to immigrants, travel memoirs, and biographies of pastors. He was also considered to be one of the church's first historians.

    More on the Danish Seamen's Church Website - 

    Seamen's Church History

    • August 12, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • August 12, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - ERIK CLEMMENSEN

    Erik Christian Clemmensen (August 12, 1876 – May 21, 1941) was a Danish-American  chemist. He is most commonly associated with the Clemmensen reduction, a method for converting a carbonyl group into a methylene group.

    Clemmensen was born on August 12, 1876 in Odense, Denmark.

    He left school at the age of 15. He signed up to join an expedition on a warship, with the aim of becoming a naval officer, but illness prevented him from achieving this goal. Clemmensen studied at the Copenhagen Polytechnic Institute (now the Technical University of Denmark). He emigrated to the United States in 1900 and worked in the pharmaceutical industry. He joined the pharmaceutical company Parke, Davis & Co in DetroitMichigan. For the invention of the Clemmensen reduction, he received his Ph.D. in 1913 from the University of Copenhagen.

    In 1914, he co-founded the Commonwealth Chemical Corporation in Newark, New York along with H.G. Chapman and Rhea Chittenden, where he developed methods for the manufacture of sodium benzoatevanillin, and coumarin. After a fire in 1929, the company was acquired by Monsanto Chemical Company and moved to St. Louis, Missouri. While working for Monsanto, Clemmensen helped develop the synthesis of the artificial sweetener saccharin. In 1935, he returned to New York City and founded The Clemmensen Chemical Corp.

    He is best known for the reaction that he developed while at Parke, Davis & Co. This reaction involves the reduction of ketones using a zinc amalgam and HCl. It has been employed in the preparation of polycyclic aromatics and aromatics containing linear hydrocarbon side chains, the latter not being obtainable from a Friedel-Crafts alkylation.

    Clemmensen died on May 21, 1941 in Newark, New York.

    • August 14, 2021
    • (EDT)

    THIS DATE IN DANISH AMERICAN HISTORY - THINGVALLA/GEISER SHIPWRECK

    In the early morning hours of August 14, 1888, 105 lives were lost when two ships of the Danish owned Thingvalla Lines collided about 40 miles off Sable Island, east of Halifax, Nova Scotia.  The SS Geiser sunk within minutes, and the SS Thingvalla, badly damaged, limped into port carrying survivors.

    Read More Here

    Survivors Stories











    • August 14, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • November 12, 2022
    • (CST)
    • 6 sessions
    • Via Zoom

    REBILD CHAPTER LEADERSHIP VIRTUAL MEETING

    Quarterly International Chapter Leadership meeting on Zoom.

    Meeting begins at 10:00AM Central (Chicago) time

    The purpose is to discuss most recent Rebild Board of Directors meeting, and to discuss current issues pertaining to Rebild.

    Zoom link will be sent to Chapter President's and officers prior to meeting.

    Rebild is the Danish American Friendship organization formed in 1912.  Each year, the friendship of Denmark and the United States is celebrated on July 4th at the Rebild National Park near Aalborg.  Anyone interested in the friendly relationship between the two countries is invited to join us!
    July 4 Rebild Festival

    Also, each year the annual U.S. conference is held in a different city in the United States.  Anyone interested in Danish American friendship is invited to join us.
    October 2021 in Phoenix,  Arizona

    April 2022 in Chicago, Illinois

    For more information, please contact the National U.S. Secretary, Linda Steffensen at usrebildoffice@gmail.com

    Or, the National Secretary in Denmark, Lars Bisgaard at lars@rebildfesten.dk

    Rebild Website

    • September 01, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • American Scandinavian Foundation - New York

    ASF TRANSLATION COMPETITION 2021

    Deadline September 1, 2021

    New York, NY—The American-Scandinavian Foundation has announced the opening of its 41st annual Translation Competition for outstanding translations of poetry, fiction, drama, or literary prose written by a Nordic author born after 1900. Three prizes will be awarded this year: the Nadia Christensen Prize, which recognizes an outstanding translation of a literary text from a Nordic language into English and includes a $2,500 award; the Leif and Inger Sjöberg Prize, which recognizes distinguished effort by an individual whose literary translations from a Nordic language have not previously been published and includes a $2,000 award; and the Wigeland Prize, which recognizes the best translation by a resident of Norway and includes a $2,000 award. All three prize recipients will also have an excerpt of their translations published in Scandinavian Review (ASF’s illustrated journal) and will receive a commemorative bronze medallion.

    The 2021 Translation Prize is open through Wednesday, September 1, 2021. To read guidelines and submit an application, please click here.


    The 2020 Nadia Christensen Prize was awarded to Jennifer Russell and Sophia Hersi Smith for their co-translation of Alle Himlens Fugle (All the Birds in the Sky) by Danish author Rakel Haslund-Gjerrild (b. 1988). The jury found that Russell and Hersi Smith’s musical translation vividly evokes the strange beauty and tactility of the novel’s post-apocalyptic setting while also conveying the quiet longing of its observant young narrator with subtle sensitivity. They noted that this is “a translation that elegantly captures the flow and flavor of the original and which keeps the reader's attention from opening to finish.   Ms. Russell has an MA in Critical Theory & Creative Research from Pacific Northwest College of Art and Ms. Hersi Smith has an MA in Ethnography and Ms. Russell has an MA in Critical Theory & Creative Research from Pacific Northwest College of Art and Ms. Hersi Smith has an MA in Ethnography and Documentary Filmmaking from University College London. Both Ms. Russell and Ms. Hersi Smith are currently Copenhagen-based translators.

    The American-Scandinavian Foundation is a publicly supported American nonprofit organization that promotes firsthand intellectual and creative exchange between the United States and the five Nordic countries.

    Contact: Monica Hidalgo, Program Associate Email: grants@amscan.org

    Entire News Release January 26, 2021

    • September 12, 2021
    • 10:20 AM - 4:20 PM (EDT)
    • Stamford Yacht Club - Stamford, CT

    ANNUAL DENMARK RACE IN STAMFORD, CT

    The Valeur-Jensen Stamford Denmark Race is held annually on the first Sunday after Labor Day. The 56th race will be held on Sunday, September 12, 2021.

    Website

    Attracting both performance sailors and the more occasional racers, the Denmark Race remains one of the largest day races on the Long Island Sound. Registration is on www.yachtscoring.com. The fun is both on the water and off, with two race parties: a dinner the night before, and cocktails, Danish beer and snacks on the SYC lawn after the race, in connection with the awards ceremony.

    A unique collection of silver trophies has been donated over the years by corporations and individuals with ties to Denmark and Stamford.  These trophies continue to be awarded to the winners in each division.

    Annual yacht race celebrating the relationship between Stamford and Denmark. Sail like a Dane!

    It has long been one of the mainstays of the Danish social calendar in New York and Connecticut. Not only is it one of the largest and oldest events for mariners of all stripes on the Long Island Sound but also one of the few sports perfectly suited to these challenging times of social distancing. 


    Register Here for the 2021 Denmark Race

    Denmark Race - Facebook


    • September 15, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • September 15, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • 3 sessions

    BODTKER GRANTS - DEADLINE

    Deadlines for Submission: April 15 and September 15

    The Danish American Heritage Society is pleased to offer grants to qualified researchers for study in area of common interest. Bodtker Grants provide stipends of up to $5,000 for students or graduates interested in exploring  topics related to Danish history and heritage in North America. 


    A Bodtker Grant is primarily intended for research and internship at Danish American Archive and Library in Blair, Nebraska; the Danish American Archive at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa; or the Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn, Iowa. At the Board's discretion, proposals involving other Danish cultural and archival institutions may be considered.

    Deadlines: April 15 (Notification: May) or September 15(Notification: October)
    Stipend Amount: Up to $5,000

    Grant Application

    DAHS Website


    • September 25, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • Scandinavian Cultural Center - West Newton, MA

    "SNAPSHOTS: TRAVELING WITH THE POET H.C. ANDERSEN" EXHIBIT OPENING

    Time and Details To Be Announced

    The Scandinavian Cultural Center is presenting the exhibit by Danish artist Susanne Thea. The exhibit depicts the travels of Danish author, H.C. Andersen, who is known for his internationally recognized fairy tales. The exhibit is currently on tour in the U.S. and will arrive in West Newton, MA late this summer.

    The National Foundation For Danish America is pleased to have provided assistance for this exhibit to open at the Scandinavian Cultural Center!

    Danish Artist Susanne Thea refers to Andersen’s famous quote, “To travel is to live” and his subsequent travels, documented in detail in his diaries. He took the most modern, up to date transportation available at the time (steamboat, steam train & horse and carriage). Thea “mind traveled” via Google.  The intimate, dreamlike, hand-colored copper etchings are like illustrations in a book, inviting the viewer to be curious and explore with the artist and the author. Thea hopes to spark curiosity in the viewer to “turn the page” and explore what the next skirt in the exhibition reveals or maybe find themselves on a steam train, traveling with the poet and the artist.”

    • October 01, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • October 01, 2025
    • (CDT)
    • 5 sessions
    • St. Croix - U.S. Virgin Islands

    THIS DAY IN DANISH AMERICAN HISTORY - THE FIREBURN REBELLION

    Even after the abolition of slavery in 1848 in the Danish West Indies, conditions for the newly freed were difficult. The Emancipation Revolt of 1848 ended slavery but inaugurated a 30-year period of serfdom based on contract labor that ensured continuing control by plantation owners. Frustration and unrest spilled over in the labor force into a violent rebellion which started on October 1, 1878 (Contract Day) in Frederiksted. Houses, warehouses, and plantations were burned, along with over half of the city of Frederiksted. This revolt became known as Fireburn or the Great Trashing. Three (some believe four or even five) women, Mary, Agnes, and Mathilda, were especially active in the rebellion. Today, they are considered heroines in the islands and called Queens of Fireburn.

    More from the St. Croix Friends of Denmark -

    St Croix History

    • November 03, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • November 03, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 3 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - JOHN "SPIDER" JORGENSEN

    On April 15, 1947, in Brooklyn, New York, an African American player took the field in a major-league baseball game for the first time in the modern baseball era. In descriptions of Jackie Robinson’s arrival, there is rarely mention of another rookie who debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers that afternoon, a third baseman who batted seventh and wore number 21, Spider Jorgensen.

    John Donald Jorgensen was born on November 3, 1919, in Folsom, California, near Sacramento. He was the seventh child (along with two sisters and four brothers) of Walter and Winifred (Carney) Jorgensen. Walter, the son of a Danish-born father and Irish-American mother, was a California-born dredge operator in the Sacramento River delta. Winifred, also born in California, was the daughter of Irish immigrants. There is little documentation regarding Jorgensen’s early life or scholastic athletic career. At Folsom High School, from which he graduated in 1936, John acquired the nickname Spider. In the June 1998 issue of Baseball Digest, sportswriter Phil Elderkin wrote that the nickname came from a pair of black shorts with an orange stripe down the side that Jorgensen wore playing basketball. “The weekend before, a teacher had been cleaning out a woodshed and had to kill a black widow spider,” Jorgensen related. “When he saw me, he told everyone I reminded him of the spider.”

    A proposed scholarship to study business at the University of Santa Clara fell through, consequently Jorgensen spent two years at various jobs in Sacramento and playing baseball in the semipro Sacramento Winter League. In 1939, and again in 1941, he played baseball at Sacramento City College. A second baseman when he entered college, he was moved to third base when the team’s regular third baseman was injured. 

    In 1940 Jorgensen participated in a Dodgers’ tryout camp run by scout Tom Downey in San Mateo, California. He performed well enough that, in 1941, after he had finished at Sacramento City College, scouts Downey and Bill Svilich persuaded him to sign a contract with Brooklyn. The twenty-one-year-old left-handed-hitting infielder was assigned to the Dodgers’ Santa Barbara team in the Class C California League. There, in his first pro season, Jorgensen appeared in 140 games and batted .332 with nine home runs and forty-three doubles. He also made forty-eight errors at third base, but still was named the league’s Most Valuable Player as Santa Barbara won the league championship.

    The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor put Jorgensen’s career on a four-year hold. On February 17, 1942 he enlisted in the US Army. He was assigned to the Army Air Corps, and during the war reached the rank of technical sergeant, while serving at duty stations in Idaho, Arizona, and Texas. In Texas he met Lenore Jones and married her in October 1946. In addition to Lenore’s two children from a previous marriage, the couple had a daughter, Jonel. Spider and Lenore remained married until her passing in 1995.

    Jorgensen was discharged in 1945, and in 1946 he reported to the Class AAA Montreal Royals, the Dodgers’ affiliate in the International League. At Montreal Spider became part of an infield that included Jackie Robinson at second, and future Dodgers general manager Al Campanis at shortstop. Jorgensen hit .293 in 117 games with the Royals.

    After spring training in Cuba in 1947, Jorgensen assumed he was heading back to Montreal. But injuries to veteran infielders Cookie Lavagetto and Arky Vaughan forced the Dodgers to keep him. Jorgensen told writer Phil Elderkin, “I came into Ebbets Field on Opening Day, scared to death. I didn’t think I was going to play. I didn’t have any equipment with me. My glove, bats, everything else went to Syracuse because the Montreal club opened up there. Then Jackie comes over and says ‘Here, use my second base glove.’ He was going to play first base. So I used his glove and borrowed a pair of spikes and I’m in the lineup. So I really didn’t have time to get nervous.” 

    Spider logged a walk and an RBI in three at-bats that day. Two days later, on April 17, he had what proved to be one of his best days in the majors, driving in six runs on a home run and two doubles. In the twenty-seven-year-old rookie’s only major-league season as a regular, he played 128 games at third base and hit .274, with twenty-nine doubles and eight triples. Dan Daniel, writing in the August 13 edition of The Sporting News, called him the “best of the hot corner rookies.” Jorgensen played in all seven games in the World Series loss to the Yankees that fall, getting four hits with three runs batted in. 

    During the winter the five-feet-nine, 155-pound Jorgensen bruised his arm—due to the recoil from a hunting rifle—and then damaged it permanently by throwing too aggressively in spring training. In April manager Leo Durocher told The Sporting News not to be surprised if Jorgensen was his starting third baseman again in 1948. But, most likely due to the sore arm, Jorgensen started the season as a reserve and was replaced at third base by the newly-acquired Billy Cox. 

    Jorgensen was left in St Louis on June 5 after a series with the Cardinals for further testing of his arm and shoulder. He did not get into any more games and within two weeks the Dodgers sent him to their American Association farm team in St. Paul. It was the beginning of the end of Jorgensen’s major-league career. While he had hit .300 in thirty-one Dodgers games in 1948, he appeared in only 107 major-league games after that season.

    Spider was a Dodgers reserve in 1949, and he played in his second World Series that fall, hitting just .182 (2-for-11) with two doubles. On May 17, 1950, after appearing in only two games, the Dodgers sold Jorgensen to the New York Giants for what The Sporting News described as likely well over the $10,000 waiver price. The thirty-year-old infielder played in twenty-four games for the Giants with five hits in thirty-seven at-bats. He also played in sixty-four games for the Class AAA Minneapolis Millers, batting .330 in 215 at-bats. 

    Spider played his final game in the majors on June 30, 1951, flying out as a pinch-hitter. The next day the Giants traded Jorgensen, hitting just .235, and pitcher Red Hardy to the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League for outfielder Earl Rapp. 

    Between 1951 and 1955, Jorgensen played third base, shortstop, and the outfield for the Oaks under managers Mel Ott, Augie Galan, Charlie Dressen, and Lefty O’Doul. In 1956 the Oakland Oaks moved to Vancouver to become the Mounties, a Baltimore Orioles farm club. Spider continued to parlay his reliable defense and sufficient offensive skill into three more years of professional baseball. His regular playing career ended after the 1958 season, but the 39-year-old returned to the Dodgers family the next year as a spring-training mentor, and then coached for the Mounties during the season.

    His skill in dealing with younger players garnered positive attention, so in 1960 Spider was named player-manager (although he played in just four games) of the Dodgers’ Great Falls (Montana) Electrics in the Class C Pioneer League. The next season Jorgensen dropped a level to manage the Artesia (New Mexico) Dodgers of the Class D Sophomore League. That league was a purely instructional entity and Jorgensen remained at that level in 1962, shifting within the organization to the St. Petersburg Saints of the Florida State League.

    After the 1962 season with St. Petersburg, Jorgensen left professional baseball and returned to his home in Sacramento. However, he could not stay away from the sport. Although unpaid, he put his knowledge and experience to work coaching amateur baseball, serving as head coach of the Fair Oaks American Legion team, a squad that won the Legion North Division championship in 1967. Jorgensen may have had more raw talent on that Legion team than on any of the three minor-league teams he had managed, as the squad was led by future major-league star, Dusty Baker. In a 2004 book, How To Be Like Jackie Robinson, Baker, by then manager of the Chicago Cubs, was quoted as saying, “In all the time he coached us, I never knew Spider played for the Dodgers. I knew he was a terrific coach, but he never once mentioned he was a former player.”

    In 1969 Jorgensen returned to professional baseball as a scout and spring-training instructor for the Kansas City Royals. As a scout, he was directly responsible for signing future major leaguers Greg Minton, Doug Bird, and John Wathan. He also had a stint of sixty-nine games managing the Royals’ Winnipeg Goldeyes in the short-season Northern League. 

    After Kansas City Jorgensen scouted for the Philadelphia Phillies for a few years, and found pitcher Bob Walk, among others. As a scout for the Chicago Cubs, he persuaded the team to draft Mark Grace, who proved to be one of the finest hitters of the 1990s.

    Years later, in an obituary written by Jim Gazzolo, others commented on Spider’s scouting ability and on his character. “I don’t think there is a person in the world who didn’t love him,” Ontario High baseball coach Bob Beck told Gazzolo. “To my knowledge, he didn’t have an enemy in the world. He had an unassuming manner about himself. He was just very friendly, accommodating, but he didn’t miss a trick. He always knew what was going on.”

    In 1996 Jorgensen was a member of the first group of inductees into the Sacramento City College Athletic Hall of Fame. A baseball man to the end, Jorgensen was still scouting locally for the Cubs when he died on November 6, 2003, at San Antonio Hospital in Rancho Cucamonga, California, three days after his eighty-fourth birthday. He is inurned at Lakeside Memorial Lawn Cemetery in Folsom, California.  -  Bill Johnson


    • November 22, 2021
    • (EST)
    • November 22, 2022
    • (EST)
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - SCARLETT JOHANSSON

    Scarlett Ingrid Johansson (Born November 22, 1984) is an American actress and singer. The world's highest-paid actress since 2018, she has made multiple appearances in the Forbes Celebrity 100. Her films have grossed over $14.3 billion worldwide, making Johansson the ninth-highest-grossing box office star of all time. She is the recipient of several accolades, including a Tony Award and a BAFTA Award, as well as nominations for two Academy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards.

    She was born in the New York City borough of Manhattan, on November 22, 1984. Her father, Karsten Olaf Johansson, is an architect originally from Copenhagen, Denmark. Her paternal grandfather, Ejner Johansson, was an art historian, screenwriter, and film director, and his father was Swedish. Scarlett's mother, Melanie Sloan, a New Yorker, has worked as a producer. She comes from an Ashkenazi Jewish family from Poland and Russia, originally surnamed Schlamberg, and Scarlett has described herself as Jewish. She has an older sister, Vanessa, also an actress; an older brother, Adrian; and a twin brother, Hunter.[9] Johansson also has an older half-brother, Christian, from her father's first marriage. She holds both American and Danish citizenship.

    Born on November 22, 1984, in New York City, actress Scarlett Johansson comes from a long line of creative artists. Her Danish grandfather worked as a screenwriter and director, and her mother worked as a producer.

    Johansson's interest in acting surfaced at an early age. When she was eight years old, she appeared in an off-Broadway production of Sophistry with Ethan Hawke. Johansson continued to seek out roles and decided to study at Manhattan's PCS, a private educational institution known for such famous acting alumni as Carrie FisherRita Moreno and Sarah Michelle Gellar. Musical theater was one of Johansson's passions, which she pursued at PCS. "I was one of those jazz-hands kids," she told Vogue.

    She began acting as a child, and her role in the movie The Horse Whisperer brought her critical acclaim at age 13. Her subsequent successes include Lost in TranslationGirl with a Pearl EarringThe Nanny DiariesVicky Cristina Barcelona, Hitchcock and the mega-hit The Avengers. Exploring other artistic avenues, Johansson released her first album in 2008 and the next year she made her Broadway debut. Following her contributions to Ghost in the ShellRough Night, Isle of Dogs and Avengers: Endgame, Johansson garnered Oscar nominations for her roles in Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit.

    Johansson married Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds in September 2008, in a small ceremony in British Columbia, Canada. The couple purchased a home together in Los Angeles, but filed for divorce two years later, in December 2010.

    After her split from Reynolds, Johansson was romantically linked to actor Sean Penn for a time. The pair traveled to Mexico together and attended actress Reese Witherspoon's wedding in March 2011. Later that year Johansson found herself at the center of a scandal when nude photos taken on her cell phone were posted online by hackers. The FBI initiated an investigation to find the individuals behind the leak.

    A representative for Johansson confirmed in September 2013 that she had gotten engaged to journalist Romain Dauriac. On September 4, 2014, Johansson and Dauriac announced the birth of their baby daughter, Rose. The couple wed on October 1, 2014, in Philipsburg, Montana, though the public didn't get wind of the announcement until December. After more than two years of marriage, Johannson divorced Dauriac in September 2017.

    In May 2019, it was revealed that Johansson and SNL writer and "Weekend Update" host Colin Jost got engaged after two years of dating.

    During her school years, Johansson landed some acting roles, including her film debut in 1994's North with Elijah Wood. Her first leading part came two years later with Manny & Lo, an independent dramatic comedy. Johansson played the younger sister of a pregnant teenager, both of whom were in foster care. Her twin brother, Hunter, also made an appearance in the film.

    Johansson attracted critical attention with 1998's The Horse Whisperer, also starring Robert Redford and Kristin Scott Thomas. Her portrayal of a young amputee won over many fans, including the film's star and director. Redford commented on Johansson's remarkable maturity, saying that she was "13 going on 30." In 2001 the actress received even more positive attention from critics with her supporting role in Ghost World, despite its tepid box office success.

    After graduating Professional Children's School (PCS) in 2002, Johansson found herself as one of Hollywood's top up-and-coming actresses. She had two starring roles in 2003, both of which garnered her critical accolades. In Lost in Translation, she played a woman visiting Tokyo who forms an unlikely relationship with a much older man (played by Bill Murray). Johansson also gave an impressive performance as a servant girl who is painted by famed artist Johannes Vermeer (played by Colin Firth) in Girl with a Pearl Earring.

    Johansson took on a variety of projects after these early successes. She worked with director Brian De Palma on the 2006 crime thriller The Black Dahlia, and tried her hand at comedy with 2007's The Nanny Diaries. A frequent collaborator with director Woody Allen, Johansson has appeared in several of his films, including 2008's Vicky Cristina Barcelona, opposite Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz

    Around this time, Johansson branched out into new territory when she joined forces with Pete Yorn for an album of duets, which were recorded in 2007. The pair finally released their collaborative efforts in 2009 with the album Break Up, and Johansson wrote several tracks for the recording. "I've been singing for my whole life. When I was a kid I wanted to be on Broadway," she told New York magazine. In 2008 Johansson released her first album, Anywhere I Lay My Head, which featured cover versions of songs by Tom Waits. The recording proved to be a critical and commercial disappointment.

    Johansson soon took on a new career challenge. In 2009 she made her Broadway debut in a revival of Arthur Miller's drama A View from the Bridge opposite Liev Schrieber. Johansson earned positive reviews for her convincing performance as Catherine, a teenage girl who is raised by her aunt and uncle. For her work on the show, Johansson won a Tony Award.

    Turning to big-budget fare, Johansson played the super agent Black Widow in Iron Man 2(2010) opposite Robert Downey, Jr. and Mickey Rourke. The action flick became one of the summer's big blockbusters and set the stage for her contributions to numerous films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

    Johansson next appeared as Black Widow in the box-office smash The Avengers (2012). The film also featured Downey as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Chris Evans as Captain America. 

    Johansson continued holding down her high-profile role for a string of Marvel blockbusters, including Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Avengers: The Age of Ultron (2015), Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019). Her involvement in the franchise proved highly lucrative, fueling her rise to the top spot in Forbes' ranking of the world's highest-paid actresses in the summer of 2018.

    Johansson then prepared to fly solo with the scheduled April 2020 release of Black Widow.

    Johansson remained busy on screen outside of her commitments to Marvel. She co-starred in Cameron Crowe's dramatic comedy We Bought a Zoo with Matt Damon in 2011, and the following year she took on the character of real-life film star Janet Leigh in Hitchcock, which explores the life of director Alfred Hitchcock during the making of the horror classic Psycho.

    In 2013 Johansson lent her distinctive voice to Her, as an intelligent operating system that draws the affection of Joaquin Phoenix's lonely character. She went on to take a supporting role in Jon Favreau's dramatic comedy Chef (2014) and starred as the title character in Luc Besson's sci-fi thriller Lucy (2014). In 2016 she rejoined Favreau to voice the character of Kaa in The Jungle Book.

    ADVERTISING

    In 2017 Johansson starred an adaptation of Ghost in the Shell. The production was criticized for its whitewashed cast, as Johansson's character in the original anime was Japanese. That same year she returned to comedy, as part of the ensemble cast for Rough Night, and in 2018 she voiced one of the canines in Wes Anderson's stop-motion feature Isle of Dogs.

    In July 2018 Johansson found herself in the middle of another casting controversy when she was tapped to play transgender massage parlor owner Dante "Tex" Gill in Rub & Tug, from Ghost in the Shell director Rupert Sanders. After initially dismissing the concerns through a spokesperson, Johannson acknowledged the "insensitive" nature of her response and announced she was withdrawing from the film.

    Next up for the actress was a co-starring role in the well-received drama Marriage Story(2019), alongside Adam Driver. She then appeared in another controversial project, Taika Waititi's Jojo Rabbit (2019), as the mother of a 10-year-old boy in Nazi Germany who considers a goofy Adolf Hitler to be his imaginary best friend. Johansson scored a best actress Oscar nomination for the former role and a supporting actress nod for the latter, making her the 12th actor (male or female) to earn the double nominations in the same year. - Wikipedia


    • November 27, 2021
    • (CST)
    • November 27, 2023
    • (CST)
    • 3 sessions

    FIRST U.S. MINISTER TO DENMARK - HENRY WHEATON

    Henry Wheaton (November 27, 1785 – March 11, 1848) was a United States lawyerjurist and diplomat.  He was the third reporter of decisions for the United States Supreme Court, the first U.S. minister to Denmark, and the second U.S. minister to Prussia.

    He was born at Providence, Rhode Island. He graduated from Brown University (then called Rhode Island College) in 1802, was admitted to the bar in 1805, and, after two years' study abroad in Poictiers and London, practiced law at Providence (1807-1812) and at New York City (1812-1827).  From 1812 to 1815, he edited National Advocate, the organ of the administration party. There he published notable articles on the question of neutral rights in connection with the then-existing war with England. On 26 October 1814, he became division judge advocate of the army.  He was a justice of the Marine Court of New York City from 1815 to 1819.

    From 1816 to 1827, he edited reports of the Supreme Court, as the third Reporter of Decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States. Aided by Justice Joseph Story, his reports were known for their comprehensive notes and summaries of the arguments presented by each side. However, the volumes were slow in appearing and costly. Wheaton's successor Richard Peters condensed his work, and Wheaton sued him, claiming infringement of his common-law copyright. The Supreme Court rejected his claim in Wheaton v. Peters in 1834, which was the Court's first copyright case.

    He was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1820.  He was elected a member of the convention to form a new constitution for New York in 1821, was a member of the New York State Assembly (New York Co.) in 1824, and in 1825 was associated with John Duer and Benjamin F. Butler in a commission to revise the statute law of New York. He also took part in important cases, and was the sole associate of Daniel Webster in that which settled the limits of the state and federal legislation in reference to bankruptcy and insolvency.  In 1825, he aided in the revision of the laws of New York.

    His diplomatic career began in 1827, with an appointment to Denmark as chargé d'affaires. He served until 1835, displaying skill in the settlement of the sound dues that were imposed by Denmark on the vessels of all countries, and obtained modifications of the quarantine regulations. He was noted for his research into the Scandinavian language and literature, and was elected a member of Scandinavian and Icelandic societies.  In 1829, he was elected to the American Philosophical Society.

    In 1835 he was appointed minister to Prussia, being promoted to minister plenipotentiary in 1837. He soon received full power to conclude a treaty with the Zollverein, which he pursued for the next six years. On 25 March 1844, he signed a treaty with Germany, for which he received high commendation from President Tyler and John C. Calhoun, the secretary of state. This was rejected by the U.S. Senate but served as the basis for subsequent treaties. He was made a corresponding member of the French Institute in 1843, and a member of the Royal Academy of Berlin in 1846.

    Other issues Wheaton dealt with during his diplomatic career were Scheldt dues, the tolls on the Elbe, and the rights of naturalized citizens. In 1846 Wheaton was requested to resign as Prussian minister by the new president, Polk, who needed his place for another appointment. The request provoked general condemnation, but Wheaton resigned and returned to the United States.

    He was called at once to Harvard Law School as lecturer on international law, but illness prevented his acceptance.  He died at Dorchester, Massachusetts, on 11 March 1848. - Wikipedia

    • December 01, 2021
    • (CST)
    • December 01, 2024
    • (CST)
    • 4 sessions

    THIS DATE IN DANISH AMERICAN HISTORY - THE DANISH SISTERHOOD OF AMERICA

    The Danish Sisterhood of America was founded on December 1, 1883 by Christine Hemmingsen, a Danish immigrant from Orup, Denmark. Inspired by the success of the Danish Brotherhood of America, Mrs. Hemmingsen established Christine Lodge #1 in Negaunee, Michigan. The Danish Sisterhood of today continues to grow with numerous lodges located throughout the United States and Canada.

    The Danish culture is rich – its history long and distinguished, going back thousands of years. Membership in the Danish Sisterhood of America is a wonderful opportunity to connect with your Danish heritage, learn more about Danish customs and traditions, and strengthen your connection to Denmark. A cordial invitation is extended to you to join the largest national Danish organization dedicated to preserving and sharing these deeply rooted traditions. 

    Danish Sisterhood History

    Danish Sisterhood Website

    • January 03, 2022
    • (CST)
    • January 03, 2024
    • (CST)
    • 3 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - VICTOR BORGE

    Børge Rosenbaum (3 January 1909 – 23 December 2000), Danish comedian, conductor, and pianist who achieved great popularity in radio and television in the United States and Europe. His blend of music and comedy earned him the nicknames The Clown Prince of Denmark, The Unmelancholy Dane, and The Great Dane.

    Victor Borge was not the first comedian to have contrived his act from sending up or mutilating serious music. But he did it with more style than anyone else, in a way which had more widespread and long-lived appeal. He continued to play his piano, or hilariously failed to play his piano, on tours of the United States, where he mainly lived, and Europe, from where he originated, well into his 80s.

    Borge always claimed that his deadpan humour succeeded because it was simple and drawn straight from life. If so, its simplicity was that of genius, of being able to impose a thread of distorted but impregnable logic on to almost any set of circumstances. 

    "What," one TV interviewer asked, "are you doing next?" "I guess I'll be going straight to the bathroom." Another interviewer asked why he had bought a farm in Portugal. "Someone," he replied, "had to buy a farm in Portugal." Even the ageing process was turned into a dismissive aside: "It is so much better than the alternative." 

    Borge the comic, whose command of the piano was (on stage) liable to grotesque accident, so that a simple piano stool could narrowly escape being a disaster area, turned even his imperilled past as a Danish Jew into the humour of mock conceit: "Only Churchill and me knew how dangerous Hitler was. Churchill was trying to save Europe, and I was trying to save myself." 

    Several Performance Videos on YouTube...

    YouTube Videos

    Born in Copenhagen, Borge was the son of a violinist with the Royal Danish Philharmonic. His mother introduced him to the piano from the age of three, and he made his stage debut at the age of eight. There was one great problem which he had to face in his early career - the quality of the on-site pianos he had to play. Some were dreadful, so he developed tricks for playing them not taught by conventional teachers. Out of that situation came his humorous movements and asides, always in a distinctive, unctuous, throwaway voice. 

    By the outbreak of the second world war, Borge was a reasonably successful pianist and musical satirist in Denmark, well known for his guying of Hitler and other Nazis. When the Germans invaded Denmark, newspapers reported that his name was at the head of those destined for extermination. Fortunately for Borge, two Russian diplomats who had been amused by his act smuggled him aboard an American ship bound for Finland, from where he caught the last boat out to the free part of Europe. 

    Once in New York, however, Borge was handicapped by not knowing a word of English. He studied it in cinemas on 42nd Street, watching the same films round and round until he made some sort of sense of what the characters were saying. Being asked to read lines for the warm-up of a radio show led to him being invited to do the same sort of job on air for the Bing Crosby Kraft Music Hall. He understood hardly anything of what he was reading, but his ruptured English made him a success with listeners. He liked to recall that he was nominated second-best radio comedian of the year. 

    Out of this grew his mature act, in which language and logic tortured one another to breaking point. On the west coast, he made music and comedy records for the US war effort, and afterwards developed a repertoire of 15,000 jokes or routines, from which he could make a selection to suit any audience. 

    He devised variations on an early performance, when he had been trying to play seriously. Not trusting his memory, he stuck sheet music inside the piano lid, only to find that in performance it was peeling off around him like leaves in a storm. The counterpoint between his lugubrious dignity and the bizarre things that befell him - like being blasted off his piano stool by a soprano's top note, then producing a safety belt from the stool - could be hilarious. 

    Borge made a unique and highly lucrative niche for himself. He hired his own orchestra for his tours of the US and Canada, and had a 22-acre ranch and pool in the San Fernando Valley, California. His first marriage ended in divorce, and his second marriage, in 1953, was to his manageress, Sanna (who died in September). But when his ex-wife was occupying the ranch, he had to become frugal, setting up a large poultry farm in Connecticut so that he could have a stately home that made a profit. 

    In the 1970s, when more boisterous sorts of comedy became fashionable, he seemed to falter, complaining that the tabloids called him a has-been. During a London visit, he was touchingly grateful that broadsheet critics praised the show. He invigorated his act by introducing as partners a succession of attractive young women. 

    By the 1980s, Borge had got his second wind and looked like going on for ever as an international touring artist. By the 1990s, his initial suspicion of television - he thought his material too narrowly-based for constant TV exposure - had disappeared entirely. He continued touring, with a sell-out audience at the Barbican for his 1992 tour of the US, Australia and Britain. 

    His work for good causes, including Thanks To Scandinavia, a scholarship fund to commemorate Scandinavian efforts to help victims of Nazi persecution, earned him honours in several countries. But bringing laughter pleased him even more than honours. "The shortest distance between two people is a smile," was one of his favorite sayings, and there was always something life-affirming about his studied, quiet, intellectually devious humor. 

    • February 05, 2022
    • (CST)
    • February 05, 2023
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    • 2 sessions
    • Denmark

    A ROYAL BIRTHDAY - 
    HRH THE CROWN PRINCESS

    Mary Elizabeth, Her Royal Highness Crown Princess, Crown Princess of Denmark, Countess of Monpezat

    Born:  Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary was born on 5 February 1972 in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

    Marriage:  
    On 14 May 2004, on the occasion of her marriage to His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, she became Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary Elizabeth of Denmark. The marriage ceremony took place in Copenhagen Cathedral, and the wedding festivities were held at Fredensborg Palace.

    Family Photo: Franne Voigt 

    Children:  HRH Prince Christian Valdemar Henri John, born on 15 October 2005, HRH Princess Isabella Henrietta Ingrid Margrethe, born on 21 April 2007, HRH Prince Vincent Frederik Minik Alexander, born on 8 January 2011 and HRH Princess Josephine Sophia Ivalo Mathilda, born on 8 January 2011.

    Family:  The Crown Princess is the youngest daughter of John Dalgleish Donaldson, who was born in Scotland on 5 September 1941. He is a Professor of Applied Mathematics. Her mother was Mrs. Henrietta Clark Donaldson, born 12 May 1942.  
    The couple were married in Edinburgh, Scotland on 31 August 1963 and emigrated to Australia in November that year. They became Australian citizens in 1975. Crown Princess Mary’s mother worked as the Executive Assistant to the Vice Chancellor of The University of Tasmania. Henrietta Clark Donaldson died 20 November 1997.  On 5 September 2001, Professor John Donaldson married Susan Elizabeth Donaldson (née Horwood), an author from Britain. The Crown Princess has two sisters and a brother: Jane Alison Stephens, born 26 December 1965, Patricia Anne Bailey, born 16 March 1968, and John Stuart Donaldson, born 9 July 1970.

    Crown Princess Mary's biography on The Royal House website - 

    HRH The Crown Princess

    • March 01, 2022
    • (CST)
    • March 01, 2023
    • (CST)
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - CHRISTIAN GULLAGER

    Amandus Christian Gullager (March 1, 1759 – November 12, 1826) was a Danish-American artist specializing in portraits and theatrical scenery in the late 18th century. He worked in BostonMassachusetts,  New York, and Philadelphia.

    Gullager was born to Christian Guldager Prang and Marie Elisabeth Dalberg in Copenhagen. He trained at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts where he was awarded a silver medal in 1780. Gullager moved to Boston by 1786. In 1792, Gullager established a drawing academy at his house on Tremont Hill in Boston. Gullager worked in Newburyport in 1786, in Boston from 1789-1797, in New York City from 1797-1798, in Philadelphia 1798-1805, and in New York again in 1806–07. He died during 1826 in Philadelphia and was buried at the Second Presbyterian Church Yard, Third and Arch Streets.

    Gullager trained at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and by 1789 established himself in Boston as one of the "best portrait painters of this metropolis."  Gullager worked in Newburyport in 1786, in Boston from 1789 to 1797, in New York City from the fall of 1797 to the spring of 1798, in Philadelphia from 1798 to 1805, and in New York again in 1806–07.  Approximately sixty portraits are attributed to Gullager, many of which were painted in Massachusetts. He also painted scenery for the theater in Boston and New York, designed engravings and medals, and sculpted a bust of George Washington from life. Gullager even advertised himself as a miniaturist, although no surviving miniatures are assigned to him. The last twenty years of his life are undocumented, except for his return in 1826 to Philadelphia, where he died.

    Smithsonian American Art Museum

    Gullager - More Information

    • March 20, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • March 20, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - LAURITZ MELCHIOR

    Lauritz Lebrecht Hommel Melchior (20 March 1890 – 18 March 1973) Danish-American opera singer. He was the pre-eminent Wagnerian tenor of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s and has since come to be considered the quintessence of his voice type. Late in his career, Melchior appeared in movie musicals and on radio and television. He also made numerous recordings.


    Photo: Lautitz Melchior in costume as Siegfried in Wagner's Opera - April 15, 1939

    NY Times Obituary - 1973

    Lauritz Melchior "Because"

    • March 28, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • March 28, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - DINES CARLSEN

    Dines Carlsen (March 28, 1901 (1902) – October 1, 1966) was an American Expressionist painter.  He was a student at, and later a member of, the National Academy of Design. He also exhibited frequently at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. He was known particularly for his still life paintings, and in his memory his wife established the Emil and Dines Carlsen Award to recognize the Academy's best still life painter annually.

    Carlsen was born in New York City on March 28, 1901 (1902), the son of the well-known Danish-American artist Emil Carlsen. Carlsen was homeschooled by his parents. His mother taught him academic subjects and his father instructed him in art. Consequently, his paintings bear a marked resemblance to his father's work. 

    He began exhibiting with the prestigious National Academy of Design in 1915 and he won the Julius Hallgarten Prize twice, in 1919 and 1923.  He became an Associate of the National Academy in 1922 and a full member of the National Academy of Design in 1942. 

    Dines Carlsen divided his time between his family's New York home and studio and their home in Falls Village, Connecticut until his father's death in 1933. Thereafter, he lived in Falls River and wintered in Summerville, South Carolina

    Carlsen taught students privately in his home. He exhibited his work with the artist's cooperative Grand Central Art Galleries and had solo exhibitions in 1946, 1950 and 1954. 

    In 1951, he married Florence Gulick Shaw in West OrangeNew Jersey.

    Carlsen died on October 1, 1966 at St. Luke's Hospital in New York City, and was survived by his wife, Florence.  Following his death in 1966, Grand Central mounted a dual exhibition of his and his father's work. -Wikipedia

    -----

    In 1916, American artist William Merritt Chase saw the work of fifteen-year-old Dines Carlsen exhibited at the National Academy of Design, and he predicted “a future of great brilliancy” for the teenaged artist. Dines’s father, Danish-born artist (Søren) Emil Carlsen, had risen to prominence as a skilled painter of still lifes, seascapes, landscapes, and portraits. Because the Carlsens shared a studio and the spotlight, reviews focused on their familial bond. Upon the death of his father in 1932, Dines relocated permanently to northwestern Connecticut, where he developed a style distinct from his famous father. -National Nordic Museum-Seattle, WA

    Images - National Nordic Museum, Seattle, WA

    Exhibit - "In His Own Manner" - National Nordic Museum in Seattle, WA July 22 to October 24, 2021 - 

    Dines Carlsen: In His Own Manner

    • March 29, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • March 29, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - DR. JAMES HANSEN

    James Edward Hansen (Born March 29, 1941) formerly Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, where he directs a program in Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions. Dr. Hansen is best known for his testimony on climate change in the 1980s that helped raise awareness of global warming. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and has received numerous awards including the Sophie and Blue Planet Prizes. Dr. Hansen is recognized for speaking truth to power and for outlining actions needed to protect the future of young people.

    In his upcoming book Sophie's Planet Dr. Hansen writes...

    Sophie’s Planet is the world that will be inhabited by today’s young people, their children,

    grandchildren and the “seventh generation” that Native Americans evoke in calling for conservation and love of nature. There is no good reason that this planet cannot continue to be a spectacular world in which humans co-exist with all other life.

    Yes, I understand well that climate change is a rising threat. Extreme climate events – floods, storms, heat waves, fires – are becoming more extreme. Sea level is rising and threatens coastal cities. The subtropics in summer and tropics most of the year are becoming uncomfortably hot. If we let these effects continue to grow, pressures to emigrate from low latitudes and coastal cities could make the planet ungovernable.

    Moreover, a warming world incubates pathogens and infectious disease. Disease vectors – living organisms that can transmit disease to humans – can survive winter and spread to higher latitudes and altitudes. So, if we don’t reverse the warming, the great outdoors will be less welcoming to humans than it once was. The Covid-19 pandemic provides us a wakeup call, revealing that we need to appreciate better our interactions with other species.

    Sounds depressing? No, it’s invigorating, once you understand the situation and know what we must do! The things we must do are not painful. In fact, it will be kind of fun. We must go back to a climate more like that in the middle of the 20th century, or slightly cooler. So, don’t throw away your skis – you might ask your grandparents what climate was like back then.

    Sophie's Planet expected release date - September 13, 2022

    Dr. James Hansen Website

    And, Dr. Hansen writes about his Danish heritage...

    Ingvert and Karen Hansen, my great grandparents, emigrated from Denmark in 1860.

    Ingvert was born in Ribe County, Lihme, in rural Denmark in 1836. At age 19 he was converted to the Latter Day Saint (LDS) religion14 by Mormon missionaries. He served four years as a Mormon missionary while he worked as a carpenter in Denmark. At age 23 he married Karen Pietersdaughter of Holme, Denmark, and in 1860 they used her small inheritance to pay for their trip to America, where they hoped to contribute to the building of Zion, the Promised Land.

    Ingvert, Karen and 729 other ‘Saints’ – converted Danish, Swiss and English Mormons – set sail in May 1860 from Liverpool on the William Tapscott, a three-deck sail ship usually used for freight. With unfavorable winds, the trip took 35 days on rough seas, during which 10 passengers died, 9 marriages occurred, and four babies were born, one of these to Ingvert and Karen. They named their first child William Tapscott Bell, after the ship’s captain James Bell, which may have helped assure that the newborn was declared an American citizen by the captain. The captain had sole authority to declare whether a child was born close enough to shore to be a citizen. The most arduous leg of their journey, by oxcart from Omaha to Utah, required 21⁄2 months. They reached Salt Lake City in October 1860.

    Ingvert’s carpenter tools, carried from Denmark, aided their pioneer struggles in the forbidding Utah landscape. But Ingvert and Karen became disillusioned with Brigham Young’s version of the Latter Day Saint church, especially its polygamy (more precisely polygyny, plural wifism). From an apostate Mormon, Alex McCord, they learned about a smaller offshoot of the Latter Day Saint church – the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, RLDS15 -- with members located mainly on the eastern banks of the Missouri River in Iowa and Missouri.

    The RLDS religion was closer to the church the Hansens thought they were joining when they left Denmark. So, in 1864, now with three children, Ingvert and Karen set out with their oxen on the Mormon Trail in reverse. Their goal, on the advice of McCord, was to homestake in western Iowa, which in 1864 was tallgrass prairie, with tree groves growing mainly along the streams. -Excerpts courtesy Dr. James Hansen

    • March 31, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • March 31, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions
    • The U.S. Virgin Islands

    THIS DATE IN DANISH AMERICAN HISTORY - TRANSFER DAY

    On March 31, 1917, the United States purchased the Danish West Indies from Denmark for $25 Million.  In 1927 the islands became a U.S. Territory.

    The Danish West Indies or Danish Antilles or Danish Virgin Islands was a Danish colony in the Caribbean, consisting of the islands of Saint ThomasSaint John, Saint Croix, and Water Island.

    The Danish West India Guinea Company annexed the uninhabited island of Saint Thomas in 1672 and St. John in 1718. In 1733, Saint Croix was purchased from the French West India Company. When the Danish company went bankrupt in 1754, the King of Denmark–Norway assumed direct control of the three islands. Britain occupied the Danish West Indies in 1801–02 and 1807–15, during the Napoleonic Wars.

    Danish colonizers in the West Indies aimed to exploit the profitable triangular trade, involving the export of firearms and other manufactured goods to Africa in exchange for slaves, who were then transported to the Caribbean to work the sugar plantations. Caribbean colonies, in turn, exported sugar, rum, and molasses to Denmark. The economy of the Danish West Indies depended on slavery. After a rebellion, slavery was officially abolished in 1848, leading to the near economic collapse of the plantations.

    Photo: The Check for $25 Million dated March 31, 1917 from the United States to Denmark 

    In 1852 the Danish parliament first debated the sale of the increasingly unprofitable colony. Denmark tried several times to sell or exchange the Danish West Indies in the late 19th and early 20th centuries: to the United States and to the German Empire respectively. The islands were eventually sold for 25 million dollars to the United States, which took over the administration on 31 March 1917 (Transfer Day), renaming the islands the United States Virgin Islands. - Wikipedia

    More from Nina York - St. Croix Friends of Denmark

    Close Ties with a Shared Past

    St Croix Friends of Denmark Website

    And from the Danish National Museum in Copenhagen

    Danish Natl Museum


    • April 01, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • April 01, 2024
    • (CDT)
    • 3 sessions

    BODTKER GRANTS - DEADLINE

    Deadline for Submission: April 15

    The Danish American Heritage Society is pleased to offer grants to qualified researchers for study in area of common interest. Bodtker Grants provide stipends of up to $5,000 for students or graduates interested in exploring  topics related to Danish history and heritage in North America. 


    A Bodtker Grant is primarily intended for research and internship at Danish American Archive and Library in Blair, Nebraska; the Danish American Archive at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa; or the Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn, Iowa. At the Board's discretion, proposals involving other Danish cultural and archival institutions may be considered.

    Deadlines: April 15 (Notification: May) or September 15(Notification: October)
    Stipend Amount: Up to $5,000

    Grant Application

    DAHS Website


    • April 02, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • April 02, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions

    HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN BIRTHDAY
     
    Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875)
    , Danish author and poet, wrote many poems, plays, stories and travel essays, but is best known for his fairy tales of which there are over one hundred and fifty, published in numerous collections during his life and many still in print today.

    His first collection of Fairy Tales, Told for Children was published in 1835. He broke new ground for Danish literature with his style and use of idiom, irony and humor, memorable characters and un-didactic moral teaching inspired by the primitive folk tales he had learned as a child. Though they do not all end happily his Fairy Tales resound with an authenticity that only unabashed sincerity can produce from a man who could still see through a child’s eyes;

    “Thousands of lights were burning on the green branches, and gaily-colored pictures, such as she had seen in the shop-windows, looked down upon her. The little maiden stretched out her hands towards them when--the match went out. The lights of the Christmas tree rose higher and higher, she saw them now as stars in heaven; one fell down and formed a long trail of fire.” —from “The Little Match Girl”

    Andersen’s fairy tales of fantasy with moral lessons are popular with children and adults all over the world, and they also contain autobiographical details of the man himself. Born on 2 April, 1805 in Odense, on the Danish island of Funen, Denmark, he was the only son of washerwoman Anna Maria Andersdatter (d.1833) and shoemaker Hans Andersen (d.1816). They were very poor, but Hans took his son to the local playhouse and nurtured his creative side by making him his own toys. Young Hans grew to be tall and lanky, awkward and effeminate, but he loved to sing and dance, and he had a vivid imagination that would soon find its voice.  - The Literature Network

    HC Andersen Website
    by The University of Southern Denmark, Odense
    (In Danish and English)

    This Hans Christian Andersen Museum Asks You to Step Into a Fairy Tale

    Opening soon in the storyteller’s hometown of Odense, Denmark, the museum allows visitors to experience his multilayered stories

    Livia Gershon

    Kreditering Kengo Kuma and Associates, Cornelius Vöge, MASU planning (2).jpg“It’s not a historical museum,” Henrik Lübker says. “It’s more an existential museum.” (Kengo Kuma and Associates, Cornelius Vöge, MASU planning)

    smithsonianmag.com 
    March 2, 2021

    Most museums dedicated to a specific historical figure aim to teach visitors about that person. But, the new H.C. Andersen's House, scheduled to open this summer in Denmark, is an exception to the rule.

    The museum’s creative director, Henrik Lübker, says the museum in Odense is designed not to showcase Andersen’s life and his classic stories like “The Little Mermaid” and “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” but to echo the sensibility of a fairy tale writer who rarely offered his audience simple lessons.

    “It’s not a historical museum,” he says. “It’s more an existential museum.”

    Renderings of the museum, which includes 60,000 square feet of building space plus 75,000 square feet of gardens, all designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kumareveal that it is full of curves. Labyrinthine hedges almost merge with sinuous wooden pavilions, blurring the line between nature and architecture. A long ramp leads underground only to reveal an unexpected garden.

    “It’s kind of like a universe where nothing is quite as it seems,” Lübker says. “Everything you thought you knew can be experienced anew.”

    Kreditering Kengo Kuma and Associates, Cornelius Vöge, MASU planning (1).jpgRenderings of the museum, designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, reveal that it is full of curves. (Kengo Kuma and Associates, Cornelius Vöge, MASU planning)

    Andersen’s own story has a fairy-tale arc. He was born in 1805 to a mother who worked as a washerwoman in Odense. Yet he dreamed of being a famous writer. He persistently pursued theater directors and potential benefactors, eventually winning help from a wealthy family to continue his education and learn to function in sophisticated circles.

    “For a long time he was notorious for being a preposterous young man who came from a dirt poor family,” says Jack Zipes, literature professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota and author of Hans Christian Andersen: The Misunderstood Storyteller.

    Despite setbacks—his first poetry and novels were, in Zipes’ words, “not very good, and in fact terrible”—Andersen persisted in seeking recognition for his work. When he eventually wrote “The Ugly Duckling” in 1843, Zipes says, it was clear to everyone in Denmark’s small literary circles that it was a work of autobiography. It’s easy to imagine the experiences that might have led Andersen to describe the tribulations of the little swan, who, according to another duck, was “too big and strange, and therefore he needs a good whacking.”

    Hans Christian AndersenPortrait of Hans Christian Andersen in 1862 (Photo12/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

    Andersen’s own emergence as something close to a respected swan of an author came after he began publishing fairy tales in 1835. Unlike the Brothers Grimm—contemporaries whom Andersen admired—he did not collect folk tales but instead adapted existing stories or wrote his own from scratch. According to Maria Tatar, professor emeritus at Harvard University and author of The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen, Andersen most likely learned some of the basic plots he used, as well as storytelling techniques, while spending time in spinning rooms and other workplaces his mother shared with women when he was a child. Although his first story collection, published in 1835, was titled Fairy Tales Told for Children, he always noted that he was writing for a multigenerational audience, including many jokes and ideas that would have gone over kids’ heads.

    While some of his stories have apparent moral lessons, many are more ambiguous, or subversive, particularly in terms of relations between the social classes. In “The Tinderbox,” published in 1835, a spiteful common soldier ultimately takes revenge against a king and queen who imprisoned him by having huge dogs rip them and their entire court to shreds before marrying the princess and becoming king himself.

    “It has nothing to do with being of moral stature,” Lübker says. “It’s all about power. If you have the dogs, people will say ‘of course you can be king, you have the power.’”

    Tatar says it’s possible to see the stories through many different lenses. When she taught Andersen’s work to students, she used to focus on the disciplinary aspects of his stories, in which characters often face terrible punishments for their misdeeds. “After class, there was always a group of three or four—they tended to be young women—who came up to me, and they said ‘but his fairy tales are so beautiful,’” she says.

    That led her to begin focusing her attention in a different way. For example, in “The Little Match Girl” from 1845, an impoverished, abused girl freezes to death on the street on New Year’s Eve. But, as she lights one match after another, she sees luminous visions of warm rooms, abundant food and her loving grandmother.

    “She is something of an artist in terms of giving us an inner world,” Tatar says. “I started to see that [Andersen] really gives us these moving pictures, and it’s not just their beauty that gets us hooked, I think, but also an ethic of empathy—we’re moved by these images. We start to care about them. And it makes us curious about the inner lives of his characters.”

    Kreditering Kengo Kuma and Associates, Cornelius Vöge, MASU planning (1).pngVisitors can look up at a glass ceiling through a pool of water and see people up in the garden.(Kengo Kuma and Associates, Cornelius Vöge, MASU planning)

    Lübker says the exhibits in the museum are designed to elicit that kind of engagement with the stories. In an area devoted to “The Little Mermaid,” visitors can look up at a glass ceiling through a pool of water and see people up in the garden, and the sky above them.

    “You can’t talk to them, because they’re separated from you,” Lübker says. “You can lie down on pillows on the floor and you can hear the mermaid’s sisters tell about the first time they were up there. We hope we can create this sense of longing for something else in the visitor.”

    Another part of the museum sets out to recreate the ominous ambiance of “The Shadow,” a fairy tale Andersen wrote in 1847 in which a good man’s evil shadow eventually replaces and destroys him. Visitors see what at first appears to be their shadows behaving just as they normally do, until they suddenly begin acting on their own. “I think it would ruin the experience if I went too much into detail,” says Lübker.

    “They’re very deep stories, and there are many layers to them,” Lübker adds. “Instead of just giving one interpretation, we want to create them in a sense where people can really feel something that is deeper and richer than what their memory of the story is.”

    Kreditering Odense Bys Museer (3).jpgThe project has a footprint of more than 95,000 square feet. (Odense Bys Museer)

    The museum’s architect, Kengo Kuma, known for designing Tokyo’s new National Stadium, built for the 2020 Summer Olympics (now scheduled to be held in 2021), shies away from the view of a building as an autonomous object, Lübker explains. “Architecture for him is kind of like music,” Lübker says. “It’s like a sequence: How you move through space, what you experience. It’s about that meeting between you and the architecture.”

    Plans for the museum go back to around 2010, when Odense decided to close off a main thoroughfare that previously divided the city center. The project’s large footprint currently contains the existing, much smaller, Hans Christian Andersen Museum, the Tinderbox Cultural Centre for Children, the building where Andersen was born and Lotzes Have, park themed after Andersen. The city chose Kuma’s firm, which is working together with Danish collaborators Cornelius+Vöge Architects, the MASU Planning Landscape Architects and Eduard Troelsgård Engineers, through a competitive process. In a separate competition, Event Communication of Britain was chosen to design the museum’s exhibitions.

    Hans Christian Andersen birthplaceAndersen's birthplace is situated within the museum. (Jörg Carstensen/picture alliance via Getty Images)

    The museum is situated with Andersen’s birthplace as its cornerstone so that visitors’ journeys will end in the room where he is said to have been born. It will also work to connect visitors to other Odense attractions related to Andersen, including his childhood home where he lived until moving to Copenhagen at age 14 to pursue his career in the arts. “Inspired by Boston’s Freedom Trail, we have physical footprints that allow you to walk in the footsteps of Andersen around the city from location to location,” says Lübker.

    Due to continuing pandemic-related travel restrictions, Lübker says, when the museum opens this summer, its first visitors may be mostly from within Denmark. But it expects to eventually draw guests from around the world thanks to Andersen’s global popularity.

    Hans Christian Andersen childhood homeThe storyteller's childhood home, where he lived until moving to Copenhagen at age 14 to pursue his career in the arts, is also in Odense. (Dea/B. Annebicque/Getty Images)

    Tatar notes that Andersen’s fairy tales have been translated into numerous languages and are very popular in China and across Asia, among other places. Artists have also reworked them into uncountable films, picture books and other forms over the decades. The Disney movie Frozen, for example, uses “The Snow Queen as the source material for a radically transformed story about sisterly love—which, in turn, has been claimed by LGBTQ and disabled communities as a celebration of openly embracing one’s unique qualities. “The core is still there, but it becomes something entirely new that is relevant to what we think about today,” Tatar says.

    At the time of Andersen’s death in 1875, the 70-year-old was an internationally recognized writer of iconic stories. But he couldn’t have known how fondly he would be remembered almost 150 years later.

    “He never lost the feeling that he was not appreciated enough,” Zipes says. “He would jump for joy to go back to Odense and see this marvelous museum that’s been created in his honor.”

    • April 06, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • April 06, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions

    THIS DATE IN DANISH AMERICAN HISTORY - THE SINKING OF THE S/S DANMARK

    Painting "And Every Soul Was Saved" by Thomas M.M. Hemy (1889)

    On April 6, 1889, the S/S Danmark bound for New York and carrying 735 passengers, sank in the Atlantic Ocean.  All the passengers and crew were rescued by the S/S Missouri.

    Read More Here



    • April 10, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • April 10, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - JOACHIM FERDINAND RICHARDT

    Joachim Ferdinand Richardt (10 April 1819 - 29 October 1895) was a Danish-American artist. In Denmark he is known for his lithographs of manor houses, and in the U.S. for his paintings of Niagara Falls and other landscapes.

    Ferdinand Richardt, the son of Johan Joachim Richardt and Johanne Frederikke née Bohse, was born in Brede, north of Copenhagen in 1819. His father ran the inn/company store at the Brede factory. In 1832 the family relocated to nearby Ørholm to operate the inn at the paper-factory there. In 1839, they moved to Copenhagen.

    Richardt became briefly a carpenter's apprentice in 1835, but soon decided on a career in fine art, following the lead of his brother Carl. Beginning in 1836 Richardt studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Art under the architect and designer Gustav Friedrich Hetsch, the historical painter J. L. Lund and the classical sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen. Richardt was awarded the Academy's small and large silver medals in 1839 and 1840, respectively.

    In 1847, he received a five-year stipend from the crown, on the condition that he deliver one architectural and one landscape painting each year to the royal collection. Between 1855 and 1859 he visited in the United States. He maintained a studio in New York City, while traveling during the summers to Niagara Falls and to various destinations east of the Mississippi River.

    After returning to Denmark, Richardt married the widow Sophia Schneider née Linnemann (1831-1888) in 1862. They traveled for part of a year in southern Europe, and from 1863 they lived for a period in England. In February 1864, Queen Victoria invited Richardt to display his art work to the court at Windsor Castle.

    Image - The Golden Gate Moonlight

    In 1872 and 1873, Richardt sold many of his accumulated paintings and lithographs before emigrating to the United States with his family. They lived first in the town of Niagara Falls, N.Y. where the artist again produced canvases depicting the great waterfall and the surrounding area. In 1875, the Richardts moved to San Francisco, and finally in 1876 to Oakland. For the remaining twenty years of his life Richardt was active as a painter of California landscapes with a concentration on the San Francisco Bay Area. He exhibited and sold his works in San Francisco until at least 1887. At the same time he taught drawing privately.

    He died during 1895 in Oakland, California. At his death, Richardt left a daughter, Johanna (1862-1897), and a stepson, Joost Schneider.

    • Richardt created hundreds of oil paintings, mostly of landscapes, castles, manors, and various tourist attractions. He was a recognized painter in his own lifetime. Today, his paintings are held and exhibited by museums and other public institutions in the United States and Denmark; two hang in The White House, Washington, D.C.
    • Richardt's 1856 painting Niagara Falls was chosen to be the backdrop for the customary luncheon following the Second inauguration of Barack Obama in Statuary Hall. New York Senator Charles Schumer, the Chair of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, stated why he chose the painting: "For me as a New Yorker, Niagara Falls never fails to inspire a tremendous awe for the natural beauty of our great country. Then and now, the mighty falls symbolize the grandeur, power and possibility of America."  Image - Niagra Falls

    During the 1840s, 50s and 60s, Richardt travelled in Denmark and Sweden, and made numerous drawings of manor houses and estates. These were lithographed with the best techniques of the time, and published along with descriptions by well-known historians in the books:

    • Views of Danish Manors (Prospecter af danske Herregaarde), 80 portfolios 1844-68 showing a total of 240 manor houses. Republished with condensed text in 1976.
    • Danish Churches, Castles, Manors and Memorials (Danske Kirker, Slotte, Herregaarde og Mindesmærker), 12 portfolios 1867-68 with a total of 56 pictures.
    • Scanian Manors (Skånska herregårdar), 24 portfolios 1852-63, with a total of 78 pictures.
    • Manors in Södermanland (Herregårdar uti Södermanland), 12 portfolios 1864-69 with a total of 57 pictures, some in color.
    Image - Mt Vernon

    Richardt drew a vast number of pictures besides those published. These served as studies for his hundreds of oil paintings and for other print works. At his death, more than 1,000 Danish and American drawings passed to his daughter, and later to his stepson. The drawings were considered to be lost, until the 1990s when American scholar and cultural historian Melinda Young Stuart located them in the possession of Justine van Hemert Keller, the grandchild of Richardt's stepson. Over 500 of the original drawings, on which Richardt's paintings and lithographs were based, are preserved in the archives of Denmark's Nationalmuseet, a gift of the artist's great-granddaughter. Other drawings are held at the Oakland Museum of California, the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, and elsewhere.

    In 2003, more than 100 of the newly found drawings were reproduced, along with other works by Richardt in the book Danish Manorhouses and America (see below). A copy of this book was presented as a gift by the Danish prime minister's wife to the American First Lady when she came to Copenhagen on an official visit.

    In 2007, 55 of Richardt's American drawings were exhibited at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute; a catalogue was published (see below). The exhibit later traveled to the Grand Rapids Art Museum where it was on view during the summer of 2008. -Wikipedia

    • April 13, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • April 13, 2025
    • (CDT)
    • 4 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - ERIK CHRISTIAN HAUGAARD

    Erik Christian Haugaard (April 13, 1923 – June 4, 2009) was a Danish-born American writer, best known for children's books and for his translations of the works of Hans Christian Andersen.

    Erik Christian Haugaard was born in Frederiksberg, Denmark. He was the son of Professor Gottfred and Karen (Pedersen) Haugaard. He came to the United States in 1940 after fleeing the Nazi invasion of Denmark, and served in the Royal Canadian Air Force before the end of World War II. He attended Black Mountain College in North Carolina from 1941 to 1942. He also attended the New School for Social Research in New York City.

    In 1963, he published his first book for children and young adults, Hakon of Rogen's Saga. The book was well received by readers and critics and was named an American Library Association Notable Book. His literary awards include recognition for his 1978 translation of The Complete Fairy Tales and Stories of Hans Christian Andersen. Haugaard married Myrna Seld in 1949 and together they had two children. They later lived in Denmark and Ireland. He died at Ballydehob in County Cork, Ireland.

    Work papers of Erik Christian Haugaard are maintained in the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi. The collection consists of material received from Erik Haugaard and Houghton Mifflin between 1967 and 1984.

    The University of Minnesota collection of Erik Christian Haugaard papers contains production material, consisting of manuscript materials, for nine titles published between 1963 and 1995. - Wikipedia


    • April 16, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • April 16, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions
    • Fredensborg Palace, Denmark

    A ROYAL BIRTHDAY
    HM QUEEN MARGRETHE II


    From The Royal Danish House website - Once again this year, Her Majesty The Queen’s birthday on 16 April will be marked differently than usual. Like last year, The Queen will spend the day at Fredensborg Palace, where the birthday will be celebrated privately.

    When Her Majesty The Queen turned 80 years old almost a year ago, the day turned out to be different than planned. In light of the situation with COVID-19 in the Danish society, the round birthday was celebrated at Fredensborg Palace with digital congratulations from inside Denmark and abroad, joint singing and Her Majesty’s address to the Danish people in the evening. One year later, the situation with COVID-19 continues to mean that The Queen’s birthday must be celebrated differently than the traditional way. Her Majesty and the royal family will therefore not come out on the balcony during the changing of the guard at Amalienborg at 12:00 noon this year. Instead, The Queen will celebrate the day privately at Fredensborg Palace.  

    However, it will still be possible to send The Queen a birthday greeting via the Royal Danish House’s digital platforms. On the morning of 16 April, a congratulations list will be set up on the Royal Danish House’s website, where it will be possible to send personal felicitations to The Queen. Due to the continued spread of COVID-19, it will not be possible to show up physically at Det Gule Palæ at Amalienborg to handwrite a greeting for Her Majesty. The birthday will be marked throughout the day on the Royal Danish House’s social media and website. 

    ---------------------------

    Margrethe Alexandrine Þorhildur Ingrid, Her Majesty The Queen, became Queen of Denmark in 1972. Margrethe II was born on 16 April 1940 at Amalienborg Palace as the daughter of King Frederik IX (d. 1972) and Queen Ingrid, born Princess of Sweden (d. 2000)

    Foto: Per Morten Abrahamsen

    The Queen’s motto is "God’s help, the love of The People, Denmark’s strength".

    The Royal Family comprises Her Majesty The Queen’s relatives, including HRH Princess Benedikte and Her Majesty Queen Anne-Marie.

    Christening and confirmation:  HM The Queen was christened on 14 May 1940 in Holmens Kirke (the Naval Church) and confirmed on 1 April 1955 at Fredensborg Palace.

    The Act of Succession:  The Act of Succession of 27 March 1953 gave women the right of succession to the Danish throne but only secondarily. On the occasion of her accession to the throne on 14 January 1972, HM Queen Margrethe II became the first Danish Sovereign under the new Act of Succession.  In 2009, The Act of Succession was amended so that the eldest child (regardless of gender) succeeds to the throne.

    A seat on the State Council:  On 16 April 1958, the Heir Apparent, Princess Margrethe, was given a seat on the State Council, and she subsequently chaired the meetings of the State Council in the absence of King Frederik IX.

    Wedding:  On 10 June 1967, the Heir Apparent married Henri Marie Jean André, Count of Laborde de Monpezat, who in connection with the marriage became Prince Henrik of Denmark. The wedding ceremony took place in Holmens Kirke, and the wedding festivities were held at Fredensborg Palace. Prince Henrik passed away on 13 February 2018.

    Children:  HRH Crown Prince Frederik André Henrik Christian, born 26 May 1968, and HRH Prince Joachim Holger Waldemar Christian, born 7 June 1969.

    2020 Birthday Address to the Public:
    English Translation
    April 16, 2020

    More Information:

    Royal House Website

    • April 17, 2022
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    • April 20, 2025
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    • 4 sessions

    GOD PÅSKE (EASTER SUNDAY)

    Easter, also called Påske (Danish) or Resurrection Sunday, is a festival and holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day after his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD. It is the culmination of the Passion of Jesus, preceded by Lent (or Great Lent), a 40-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.

    Most Christians refer to the week before Easter as "Holy Week", which contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday, commemorating the Maundy and Last Supper, as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. In Western ChristianityEastertide, or the Easter Season, begins on Easter Sunday and lasts seven weeks, ending with the coming of the 50th day, Pentecost Sunday. In Eastern Christianity, the season of Pascha begins on Pascha and ends with the coming of the 40th day, the Feast of the Ascension.

    Easter and the holidays that are related to it are moveable feasts which do not fall on a fixed date in the Gregorian or Julian calendars which follow only the cycle of the Sun; rather, its date is offset from the date of Passover and is therefore calculated based on a lunisolar calendar similar to the Hebrew calendar. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established two rules, independence of the Jewish calendar and worldwide uniformity, which were the only rules for Easter explicitly laid down by the council. No details for the computation were specified; these were worked out in practice, a process that took centuries and generated a number of controversies. It has come to be the first Sunday after the ecclesiastical full moon that occurs on or soonest after 21 March. Even if calculated on the basis of the more accurate Gregorian calendar, the date of that full moon sometimes differs from that of the astronomical first full moon after the March equinox.

    Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar. In most European languages the feast is called by the words for passover in those languages; and in the older English versions of the Bible the term Easter was the term used to translate passover.  Easter customs vary across the Christian world, and include sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greetingclipping the church, and decorating Easter eggs (symbols of the empty tomb). The Easter lily, a symbol of the resurrection, traditionally decorates the chancel area of churches on this day and for the rest of Eastertide.  Additional customs that have become associated with Easter and are observed by both Christians and some non-Christians include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, and Easter parades. There are also various traditional Easter foods that vary regionally.

    Here's What You Need to Know About Danish Easter Traditions

    Aliki Seferou

    Danish traditions, Easter Eggs

    Danish traditions, Easter Eggs | © andreas160578 / Pixabay

    Easter is celebrated in different ways in countries all over the globe and so, Denmark has its own traditions. If you’re visiting the country this time of the year and want to be prepared or just want to get an idea of what Danes love to do when celebrating Easter, this guide has everything you need. Gækkebreve, a lot of food, snaps and chocolate eggs are some of the things that are never absent from the Danish Easter.

    Celebrating springtime

    During Easter, Danes celebrate mostly the arrival of springtime and with Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday being national holidays, they find Easter as a good opportunity for a short escape to their summer houses. It’s not very common for Danes to attend church during Easter and there aren’t any special religious events taking place during the holy week. So, don’t expect to see grandiose celebrations like the ones during Semana Santa in Seville or processions like Epitaphio that takes place in Greece on Good Friday.

    Danish countryside in spring | © Per Ganrot / Flickr

    Gækkebreve

    The weeks before Easter every child in Denmark that wants to get an extra Easter chocolate egg writes and sends gækkebrev. The senders of gækkebrevemust write a ‘teaser poem’ on a paper and then sign it with a number of dots equal to their names’ letters. Children are called to use their imagination and cut the paper into different shapes, include a snowdrop (vintergække), which is the first flower of the year, and make sure that their poem rhymes. If the recipient of the letter guesses who sent him the gækkebrev then the sender must give him an Easter chocolate egg and if not, then the other way around. Since usually the senders are children and the recipients are adults, it’s an unwritten rule and almost part of the tradition that the receivers never manage to guess the person behind the ‘fool’s letter’.

    Danish Easter tradition,Gækkebreve | © Nillerdk / Wikimedia Commons

    Eggs, eggs and eggs

    Eggs are part of Easter traditions in many countries and Denmark is no exception. Many houses are decorated with fake yellow or green eggs while chocolate eggs and boiled chicken’s eggs dyed in different colours never miss from the Easter lunch table. Many Danes hide chocolate eggs in their gardens for children to find on Easter Sunday, keeping a tradition that dates back to the early 2oth century alive.

    Tivoli Easter Eggs Decoration | © David Jones / Flickr

    Easter lunch

    Celebrating without a big table filled with delicacies, beer and snaps it’s not a proper celebration for Danes regardless the time of the year. For the Sunday Easter lunch, locals prepare lamb, boiled eggs, herring and other kinds of fish such as salmon. The special Easter beer, which is brewed only this time of the year, is, according to beer specialists, heavier and tastier than common beers so it’s a must to have it on the festive table. Finally, even though Easter lunch starts from early afternoon, all guests have to drink at least one traditional Danish snap. The high-levelled alcohol spirits must be drunk in one gulp after everyone has raised their glasses, yelling, “Skål” and Easter wishes.

    Danish Easter lunch | © Andreas Hagerman / Flickr


    • April 22, 2022
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    • April 22, 2023
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    • 2 sessions
    • This Date in American History - Jonas Bronck

    THIS DATE IN DANISH AMERICAN HISTORY - JONAS BRONCK

    On April 22, 1642 a peace treaty was signed at Jonas Bronck's homestead between Dutch authorities and the Wecquaesgeek sachems Ranaqua and Tackamuck (native Americans).  This homestead area is now the "Bronx" borough of New York City.  This event is portrayed in a painting by the American artist John Ward Dunsmore (1856–1945)

    The actual birth location of Jonas Bronck has been questioned for some time, but this 2014 article by Sam Roberts in the New York Times claimed that Bronck was born in Savsjo, Sweden in 1600.  That part of the Swedish territory was in fact part of the Kingdom of Denmark under King Christian IV in 1600, so we will call him Danish.  Nevertheless, the article is a good piece of history on how the Bronx borough of New York was established and named.  You'll also meet a few of Bronck's modern descendents...

    "Bronx" New York Times

    • April 26, 2022
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    • April 26, 2023
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    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - OLAF HENRIKSEN

    Olaf Henriksen (April 26, 1888 – October 17, 1962) was a Major League Baseball outfielder who remains to date the only Danish-born person ever to play in the major leagues. He played seven seasons (1911–17) for the Boston Red Sox as a teammate of Hall of Famers Babe Ruth and Tris Speaker, among others, and he played a role in three World Series victories, namely in 1912, 1915 and 1916.

    Defensively Olaf Henriksen solely played the outfield. His primary offensive skill was to get on base, and he recorded the second highest on-base percentage in modern baseball history among rookies with more than 100 plate appearances. He never showed much power, though, as he only had one career home run. Henriksen was mainly a bench player for the Red Sox, but he delivered a decisive hit against the famous pitcher Christy Mathewson in Boston's World Series victory in 1912.

    Despite being born in Denmark, Henriksen's nickname was "Swede".  In his active baseball career he was 5 ft. 7½ in. tall and weighed 158 lb.

    Olaf Henriksen was born in the Danish village Kirkerup on Western Zealand in 1888. Not much is known about the reason for his immigration to the United States. His baseball talents were first discovered by the Boston Americans while he played for their minor league affiliate Brockton in the New England League, and he debuted in the Major Leagues on August 11, 1911 at the age of 23. Boston lost the game 11-5 to the Philadelphia Athletics.

    At the beginning of the 1912 season rumour had it that Olaf Henriksen and his teammate Hugh Bradley were to be traded to the New York Highlanders in exchange for star player Hal Chase. The New York Times described it as "one of the most important trades of recent years", but the deal was never finalized.  The public began to take notice of Henriksen, as evidenced by this preseason analysis of Boston's roster:

    The outfield will remain about the same for SpeakerLewis and Hooper are a trio that is hard to beat. Olaf Henricksen, [sic] however, is going to give Lewis a fight for his job. Henricksen, until he was injured, was going at a great clip, and all pitchers looked alike to him.

    — Harry Casey, Baseball Magazine, January 1912

    His last game was against the Washington Senators on June 27, 1917. Three days later Olaf Henriksen was released from the team and sent back to the minor leagues, but he refused to report.  A year later the New York Times reported that the Brooklyn Robins was attempting to sign Henriksen with the intention of letting him reassume his familiar role as a pinch hitter, but the negotiations apparently stalled.   After his own professional career ended, Olaf Henriksen became the manager of the baseball team at Boston College.  He also managed the semipro team of the Grow Tire Company of Boston.

    Henriksen's family included his wife Mary and daughter Catherine.  On October 17, 1962 Olaf Henriksen died in Norwood, Massachusetts. He is buried in St. Mary Cemetery in the town of Canton, Massachusetts.

    Red Sox team photo taken after their World Series victory in 1916. Olaf Henriksen is the third man from the right in the back row.

    Henriksen batted and threw left-handed.  A baseball card from 1912, which was produced by a cigar company, calls him the "viking descended outfielder".  He is described as a "slashing" hitter who quickly gathered interest from scouts of the Boston Americans. In the Major Leagues he was typically used as a pinch hitter, and as a consequence he only had an average of 1.9 plate appearances per game played over the course of his career. He never became a regular in the lineup but instead he served as a backup for Red Sox' famous outfield trio consisting of Tris SpeakerHarry Hooper and Duffy Lewis. In 1915 he appeared in 73 regular season games and 2 additional games in the playoffs which was his personal record.

    Defensively Henriksen exclusively played the outfield. He had most appearances (61) as right fielder, second most (42) as left fielder and finally some (22) as center fielder.

    Probably the greatest moment in Olaf Henriksen's professional baseball career occurred when Red Sox manager Jake Stahl decided to use Henriksen as a pinch hitter for Hugh Bedient in the 7th inning of the eighth and final game of the 1912 World Series. Boston was behind by a run and the opposing pitcher was Christy Mathewson, later to become one of the first five players elected into the Hall of Fame. With a late swing Henriksen hit a curveball from Mathewson directly against 3rd base. The ball ricocheted off the base and went far enough into foul territory for the runner on 2nd to score. Henriksen, whom the New York World described as "the confounded son of Thor", ended up with a double. The Red Sox went on to win the game and thereby the World Series.

    On March 17, 1916 the Red Sox played an internal spring training match. Babe Ruth launched a long shot which looked like a sure home run, but Olaf Henriksen managed to surprise everybody by literally running through the wooden outfield fence and catching the ball.

    Olaf Henriksen is furthermore one of the few players to ever have pinch hit for Babe Ruth. On June 7, 1916, when Ruth had pitched 7 innings versus the Cleveland Indians, Henriksen was substituted into the game and got a base on balls, which ultimately tied the score at 1–1. The Red Sox won the game 2–1.

    Henriksen's aggregate batting averageon-base percentage and slugging percentage for his career was .269/.392/.329, respectively. His best season was probably 1913, in which he batted .375/.468/.400 in 31 games, although he played a more significant role on the team the following year when he in 63 games batted .263/.407/.337.

    Among rookies with a minimum of 100 plate appearances in their first season in Major League Baseball, Olaf Henriksen registered the second highest on-base percentage since the year 1900 when he in 1911 posted a mark of .449.

    Judging from his (even for that era) low slugging percentage, Henriksen was a pretty light-hitting player, and he did only hit 1 career home run, with only 20 of his 131 career hits going for extra bases. In addition, he scored 84 runs and got 48 runs batted in in his career.

    Henriksen seems to have had tremendous plate discipline, as evidenced by his 97 career walks versus only 43 recorded strikeouts. However, strikeout data for hitters only dates back to 1913, so in the years with complete statistics his walk/strikeout ratio was 69/43 = 1.6, which is far above the Major League average of that period (approximately 0.8).

    He recorded 15 stolen bases versus 9 caught stealing over the course of his career, although the last figure is doubtful due to insufficient data from that age in that particular statistical category.

    Of a total of 176 total chances he committed 6 errors and had 8 outfield assists. His career fielding percentage was .966 which is a little higher than the league-average fielding percentage of the time (0.956).

    Olaf Henriksen played in five World Series games, with a minimum of one appearance in each of the three Series which Boston participated in (and won) during his tenure on the team. In these games he totalled four plate appearances, of which one resulted in a hit, one in a base on balls and the last two in outs.

    • May 01, 2022
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    • May 01, 2023
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    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - JO JORGENSEN

    Jo Jorgensen (born May 1, 1957) is an American libertarian political activist and academic. Jorgensen was the Libertarian Party's nominee for president of the United States in the 2020 election, in which she finished third in the popular vote with about 1.9 million votes, 1.2% of the national total. She was previously the party's nominee for vice president in the 1996 U.S. presidential election, as Harry Browne's running mate. She is a full-time lecturer of psychology at Clemson University.

    Jorgensen was born on May 1, 1957, in Libertyville, Illinois, and raised in neighboring Grayslake. She is an alumna of Grayslake Central High School. Her grandparents were Danish immigrants.

    Jorgensen received a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology at Baylor University in 1979 and a master's degree in business administration at Southern Methodist University in 1980. She began her career at IBM working with computer systems, leaving to become part owner and President of Digitech, Inc. She received a Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Clemson University in 2002. She has taught full-time at Clemson since 2006.

    Jorgensen first ran for office in the 1992 United States House of Representatives election. She ran as a Libertarian to represent SC-04, in northwest South Carolina, against incumbent Democrat Liz J. Patterson and Republican challenger Bob Inglis. Jorgensen placed third with 2.2% of the total vote.

    Before the 1996 United States presidential election, the Libertarian Party nominated Jorgensen for vice president, as Harry Browne's running mate. She was nominated on the first ballot with 92% of the vote. She participated in a vice-presidential debate televised nationwide by C-SPAN on October 22, along with Herbert Titus of the Taxpayers Party and Mike Tompkins of the Natural Law Party.

    Browne and Jorgensen, who were on the ballot in all 50 states and D.C., received 485,759 votes, finishing in fifth place with 0.5% of the popular vote. This was the Libertarian Party's best performance since 1980.

    On August 13, 2019, Jorgensen filed with the FEC to run for the Libertarian presidential nomination in the 2020 election. She formally launched her campaign at the November 2, 2019, Libertarian Party of South Carolina convention before participating in the South Carolina Libertarian presidential debate the same day.

    In the non-binding Libertarian primaries, Jorgensen was second in the cumulative popular vote, winning two of the 12 primaries.

    On May 23, 2020, Jorgensen became the Libertarian presidential nominee, making her the first woman to be the Libertarian nominee and the only female 2020 presidential candidate with ballot access to over 270 electoral votes. Spike Cohen, a mostly unknown figure in mainstream politics, was nominated for vice president. The same day, Jorgensen's supporters repurposed Hillary Clinton's unofficial 2016 campaign slogan, "I'm With Her". The slogan trended on Twitter that night and made national headlines. She registered minimal support in opinion polling.

    Jorgensen released a list of potential Supreme Court nominees in September 2020 in response to the vacancy on the Court created by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death.

    Jorgensen received more than 1.8 million votes in the general election, about 1.2% of the national total.

    After the election, several media outlets speculated that Jorgensen's candidacy resulted in vote splitting significant enough to be decisive in Democrat Joe Biden's victory over Republican Donald Trump, pointing to Jorgensen's vote share being higher than Biden's margin of victory over Trump in multiple battleground states. - Wikipedia

    • May 03, 2022
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    • May 03, 2023
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    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - JACOB RIIS

    Jacob August Riis (May 3, 1849 – May 26, 1914) was a Danish-American social reformer, "muckraking" journalist and social documentary photographer. He is known for using his photographic and journalistic talents to help the impoverished in New York City; those impoverished New Yorkers were the subject of most of his prolific writings and photography. He endorsed the implementation of "model tenements" in New York with the help of humanitarian Lawrence Veiller. Additionally, as one of the most famous proponents of the newly practicable casual photography, he is considered one of the fathers of photography due to his very early adoption of flash in photography

    In 1870, when Jacob August Riis immigrated to America from Ribe, Denmark on the steamship Iowa, he rode in steerage with nothing but the clothes on his back, 40 borrowed dollars in his pocket, and a locket containing a single hair from the girl he loved. It must have been hard for the 21-year-old Riis to imagine that in just a few short years, he would be pallin’ around with a future president, become a pioneer in photojournalism, and help reform housing policy in New York City.

    Jacob Riis, who died in 1914, struggled through his first few years in the United States. Unable to find a steady job, he worked as a farmhand, ironworker, brick-layer, carpenter, and salesman, and experienced the worst aspects of American urbanism--crime, sickness, squalor--in the low-rent tenements and lodging houses that would eventually inspire the young Danish immigrant to dedicate himself to improving living conditions for the city’s lower-class.

    Through a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work, he got a job as a journalist and a platform for exposing the plight of the lower class community. Eventually, Riis became a police reporter for The New York Tribune, covering some of the city's most crime-ridden districts, a job that would would lead to fame and a friendship with police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt, who called Riis "the best American I ever knew." Riis knew what it was to suffer, to starve, and to be homeless, and, though his prose was sometimes sensationalist and even occasionally prejudiced, he had what Roosevelt called "the great gift of making others see what he saw and feel what he felt."

    But Riis wanted to literally show the the world what he saw. So, to help his readers truly understand the dehumanizing dangers of the immigrant neighborhoods he knew all too well, Riis taught himself photography and began taking a camera with him on his nightly rounds. The recent invention of flash photography made it possible to document the dark, over-crowded tenements, grim saloons and dangerous slums. Riis’s pioneering use of flash photography brought to light even the darkest parts of the city. Used in articles, books, and lectures, his striking compositions became powerful tools for social reform.

    Riis’s 1890 treatise of social criticism How the Other Half Lives was written in the belief “that every man’s experience ought to be worth something to the community from which he drew it, no matter what that experience may be, so long as it was gleaned along the line of some decent, honest work.” Full of unapologetically harsh accounts of life in the worst slums of New York, fascinating and terrible statistics on tenement living, and reproductions of his revelatory photographs, How the Other Half Lives
    was a shock to many New Yorkers - and an immediate success. Not only did it sell well, but it inspired Roosevelt to close the worst of the lodging houses and spurred city officials to reform and enforce the city’s housing policies. To once again quote the future President of the United States: “The countless evils which lurk in the dark corners of our civic institutions, which stalk abroad in the slums, and have their permanent abode in the crowded tenement houses, have met in Mr. Riis the most formidable opponent every encountered by them in New York City.”  (Jimmy Stamp - Smithsonian Magazine)


    • May 04, 2022
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    • May 04, 2023
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    • 2 sessions

    LIGHT A CANDLE IN YOUR WINDOW FOR DENMARK LIBERATION DAY

    4 May 1945 was the day when the Danes got the message on the radio about the liberation of Denmark from Germany during Second World War, after the German occupation since 9 April 1940. This meant that the Danes no longer had to use heavy black curtains to keep the light from getting out of their houses. People flocked into the streets, waving the Danish flag “Dannebro” and burned their black curtains. Many lighted candles on their windows.

    June 1944 Invasion Issue of Danish Resistance publication "De Frie Danske" titled 'The Free Danes Welcome our Allied Friends' with a four colored front page photo of one US and one British rifleman each in front of their national flags...

    De Frie Danske

    Therefore, if you see candles on the windows in the evening of 4 May, it is because Danes celebrate and commemorate this day.
    The message about the Danish liberation went out on 4 May, but the official liberation day is 5 May. It is celebrated with flags in flagpoles and on top of the busses.

    May 5

    • May 05, 2022
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    • May 05, 2023
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    • 2 sessions
    • Denmark


    LIBERATION DAY

    On May 5, Denmark celebrates
     Liberation Day. It is the anniversary of the end of the occupation of Denmark by Nazi Germany. Liberation Day is not a public holiday, but special events are held on the occasion.

    Denmark was occupied by Nazi Germany on April 9, 1940. The country capitulated withing six hours. As Denmark did not put up much resistance, its occupation was unusually lenient. For example, most institutions functioned relatively normally until 1943. Both the king and government remained in the country.

    However, German authorities eventually did dissolve the government after the August 1943 crisis. Mass arrests began. By the end of the war, Danish resistance movement developed. When German authorities ordered to arrest and deport Danish Jews, members of the resistance evacuated almost all Jews to Sweden.

    The German forces withdrew from Denmark on May 5, 1945 following their surrender to the Allies. The anniversary of this event is now celebrated as Liberation Day. On the day, public ceremonies are held in memory of the fallen members of the Danish resistance movement. Left-wing organizations sometimes hold demonstrations to remember the communist resistance fighters.

    May 4

    More Information

    May 1945 Video

    This movie reel shows scenes from Copenhagen in the days following the liberation of Denmark in May 1945. Accord to the National Museum of Denmark, this film was recorded between May 5 1945 and May 12 1945. Among other scenes, the following is shown (according to the National Museum of Denmark): Unrest at Dagmarhus guarded by German soldiers (May 5), resistance fighters behind cover during combat at the harbor, british troops’ arrival through Vesterbrogade (May 8), and Field Marshall Montgomery at Langelinie (May 12).

    This film is a part of the archive of The National Museum of Denmark, in which the recordings are titled “Film: Privatoptagelser fra befrielsesdagene 1945 i København“. The archive has noted the following informations (and more): Description: “Optagelser fra dagene 5. - 12. maj i København. Bl.a. opløb d. 5/5 ved Dagmarhus, som stadig bevogtes af tyske soldater. Modstandsfolk i dækning under træfninger i havnen. Britiske landtroppers ankomst ad Vesterbrogade 8/5 fotograferet fra en af de britiske biler. Feltmarksal Montogomery ved Langelinie 12/5. 16 mm. Stum. 14:05.” License: “No known rights” Photographer/creator: “Ukendt” Time of recording: “5. maj 1945 – 12. maj 1945” City: “København”
    • May 08, 2022
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    • May 08, 2023
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    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - TED SORENSEN

    Theodore Chaikin Sorensen (May 8, 1928 – October 31, 2010) was an American lawyer, writer, and presidential adviser. He was a speechwriter for President John F. Kennedy, as well as one of his closest advisers. President Kennedy once called him his "intellectual blood bank".

    Sorensen was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, the son of Christian A. Sorensen (1890–1959), who served as Nebraska attorney general (1929–33), and Annis (Chaikin) Sorensen. His father was Danish American and his mother was of Russian Jewish descent. His younger brother, Philip C. Sorensen, later became the lieutenant governor of Nebraska. He graduated from Lincoln High School during 1945. He earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and attended University of Nebraska College of Law, graduating first in his class.

    During January 1953, the 24-year-old Sorensen became the new Senator John F. Kennedy's chief legislative aide. He wrote many of Kennedy's articles and speeches. In his 2008 autobiography Counselor: A Life at the Edge of History, Sorensen said he wrote "a first draft of most of the chapters" of John F. Kennedy's 1956 book Profiles in Courage and "helped choose the words of many of its sentences."

    White House photo of Sorensen during the Kennedy administration.

    Sorensen was President Kennedy's special counsel, adviser, and primary speechwriter, the role for which he is remembered best. He helped draft the inaugural address in which Kennedy said famously, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." Although Sorensen played an important part in the composition of the inaugural address, "the speech and its famous turn of phrase that everyone remembers was," Sorensen has stated (counter to what the majority of authors, journalists, and other media sources have claimed), "written by Kennedy himself." In his 2008 memoir, Counselor: A Life at the Edge of History, Sorensen claimed, "The truth is that I simply don't remember where the line came from."

    During the early months of the administration, Sorensen's responsibilities concerned the domestic agenda. After the Bay of Pigs debacle, Kennedy asked Sorensen to participate with foreign policy discussions as well. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Sorensen served as a member of ExComm and was named by Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara as one of the "true inner circle" members who advised the president, the others being Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy, Secretary of State Dean Rusk, General Maxwell D. Taylor(chairman of the Joint Chiefs), former ambassador to the USSR Llewellyn Thompson, and McNamara himself. Sorensen played a critical role in drafting Kennedy's correspondence with Nikita Khrushchev and worked on Kennedy's first address to the nation about the crisis on October 22.

    Sorensen was devastated by Kennedy's assassination, which he termed "the most deeply traumatic experience of my life. ... I had never considered a future without him."  He later quoted a poem that he said summed up how he felt: "How could you leave us, how could you die? We are sheep without a shepherd when the snow shuts out the sky." He submitted a letter of resignation to President Johnson the day after the assassination but was persuaded to stay through the transition. Sorensen drafted Johnson's first address to Congress as well as the 1964 State of the Union. He officially resigned February 29, 1964, and was the first member of the Kennedy Administration to do so. As Johnson was later to recount in his memoirs, Sorensen helped in the transition to the new administration with those speeches.

    Prior to his resignation, Sorensen stated his intent to write Kennedy's biography, calling it "the book that President Kennedy had intended to write with my help after his second term." He was not the only Kennedy aide to publish writings; historian and special assistant Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. wrote his Pulitzer Prize winning memoir A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House during the same period. Sorensen's biography, Kennedy, was published during 1965 and became an international bestseller. - Wikipedia


    • May 08, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • May 08, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - JENS RISOM

    Jens Risom (8 May 1916 – 9 December 2016) was a Danish American furniture designer.  An exemplar of Mid-Century modern design, Risom was one of the first designers to introduce Scandinavian design in the United States.

    Risom was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 8 May 1916.  His father was a prominent architect, Sven Risom, a member of the school of Nordic Classicism. Risom was trained as a designer at the Copenhagen School of Industrial Arts and Design (Kunsthåndværkerskolen), where he studied under Ole Wanscher and Kaare Klint. He was classmates with Hans Wegner and Børge Mogensen.

    Risom spent two years at Niels Brock Copenhagen Business College, before beginning work as a furniture developer and interior designer with the architectural firm of Ernst Kuhn. He later relocated to Stockholm, taking a job with a small architectural firm. From there he joined the design department of Nordiska Kompaniet where he was introduced to Alvar Aalto and Bruno Mathsson.

    In 1939, Risom traveled to New York City to study American design. He found it difficult to find work as a furniture designer in New York, however, and was forced to accept a number of textile designs that ultimately secured him freelance work with designer Dan Cooper. This led to his work being included in the Collier's "House of Ideas" designed by Edward Durell Stone and constructed in front of Rockefeller Center during the 1939 New York World's Fair.

    In 1941, Risom teamed with entrepreneur Hans Knoll and in 1942, they launched the Hans Knoll Furniture Company with 15 of the 20 pieces in the inaugural "600" line designed by Risom. These works included stoolsarmchairs and lounges, made from cedar and surplus webbing—works which have since become design classics.

    With the advent of World War II, Risom was drafted into the United States Army in 1943 and served under General George S. Patton.  After completing his military service, Risom briefly returned to Knoll in New York, but soon decided to launch his own firm, Jens Risom Design (JRD), which he launched on 1 May 1946.

    Risom's reputation as a furniture designer continued to grow, and Risom began to promote Scandinavian design in home furniture to the broader American public. In the 1950s, JRD ran a series of ads featuring photography by Richard Avedon and the slogan "The Answer is Risom." The result of this success was that in 1954, JRD launched a major expansion of its production facilities. In the late 1950s, JRD shifted its focus away from home furnishings and towards office furniture, hospital furniture, and library furniture.  In 1961, Risom was one of six furniture designers featured in a profile in Playboy magazine. One of Risom's executive office chairs became famous when Lyndon B. Johnson chose to use it in the Oval Office.

    Risom sold JRD to Dictaphone in 1970, after having run the company for 25 years.  Risom stayed on as CEO for 3 years, and then relocated from New York to New Canaan, Connecticut and launched a consulting service, Design Control.

    Risom died at his home in New Canaan, Connecticut, at the age of 100.

    Many of Risom's furniture designs are considered modern classics, and his furniture is on display at the Museum of Modern Art, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Brooklyn Museum, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, and the Cooper–Hewitt, National Design Museum. In 1996, Risom was presented with the Danish Knight's Cross by Margrethe II of Denmark. Risom was a long-standing trustee of the Rhode Island School of Design.

    In 1997, Knoll reissued Risom's furniture designs from the 1940s and 1950s. Two London galleries—Rocket Gallery and Liberty Gallery—launched retrospectives of Risom's work in 2008.

    Risom's revival in the United States was spearheaded by furniture company RALPH PUCCI which has been consistently working and showing Jens' work since 2001. - Wikipedia

    • May 09, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • May 09, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions

    DANISH AMERICAN HISTORY - JENS MUNK EXPEDITION

    On May 9, 1619, Jens Munk with two ships and 65 men set sail from Copenhagen for North America in search of the Northwest Passage to the Orient.  Munk, commissioned by King Christian IV, made his way past the Southern tip of Greenland through Hudson Straight and into Hudson Bay.  There he took possession of the country in the name of King Christian and called the region Novia Dania, but after extensive search failed to find the passage.  Instead the expedition was confronted with a bleak winter, so Munk sailed south to what is now the Churchill River and prepared for the season.  They built huts, cut wood, and killed wild fowl to compensate for their lack of equipment and provisions.  They survived the autumn months well and the chaplain, Rasmus Jensen, led the celebration of Christmas in the traditional Lutheran way.  But in January the winter became severe and exposure to the elements, shortage of food, and scurvy led to ill health and death.  One man after another died, including chaplain Jensen, until only Jens Munk and two men remained alive.  Finally the temperatures warmed and by June they regained their strength, and sailing the smaller of the two ships, returned to Denmark arriving on Christmas Day.  (From "The Danish Americans" by George R. Nielsen)

    More Information

    More - Arctic Profiles

    • May 11, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • May 11, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - IB PENNICK

    Ib Penick (May 11, 1930 Odense, Denmark – April 21, 1998 Wilmington, NC), a native of Denmark, was known as "the creative mind behind the resurgence of pop-up children's books in the 1960s and 1970s. In his career, Penick designed more than 130 children's books, including Star Wars: a Pop-up Book, which sold more than a million copies. Penick related to one reporter, "...there are only about 100 folds and tricks to [his paper engineering] trade. It's like playing a piano. You have only a certain number of keys, but it's the combinations that make the difference."

    In the 1960s Penick joined Waldo Hunt at Graphics International, a firm that created pop-up books, including a series of titles for Random House and other publishers.  Penick was the "premier paper engineer" for the Random House pop-up titles, and Tor Lokvig was his protege.   According to Gerald Harrison, a former president of the children's books division at Random House, Penick "was really responsible for creating the whole world we lived in. With the advent of the Random House line, a whole industry was created and the very first ones were created by Ib."

    Penick and Hunt later sold Graphics International to Hallmark Cards in 1966.

    Chicago Tribune -
    Ib Pennick Obituary


    • May 18, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • May 18, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - KAI WINDING

    Kai Chresten Winding ( May 18, 1922 – May 6, 1983) was a Danish-born American trombonist and jazz composer. He is known for his collaborations with trombonist J. J. Johnson.

    Winding was born May 18, 1922 in Aarhus, Denmark. His father, Ove Winding was a naturalized U.S. citizen, thus Kai, his mother and sisters, though born abroad were already U.S. citizens. In September 1934, his mother, Jenny Winding, moved Kai and his two sisters, Ann and Alice. Kai graduated in 1940 from Stuyvesant High School in New York City and that same year began his career as a professional trombonist with Shorty Allen's band. Subsequently, he played with Sonny Dunham and Alvino Rey until he entered the United States Coast Guard during World War II.

    After the war, Winding was a member of Benny Goodman's orchestra, then Stan Kenton's. He participated in Birth of the Cool sessions in 1949, appearing on four of the twelve tracks, while J. J. Johnson appeared on the other eight, having participated on the other two sessions.

    In 1954, at the urging of producer Ozzie Cadena, Winding began a long association with Johnson, recording trombone duets for Savoy Records, then Columbia. He experimented with instruments in brass ensembles. The album Jay & Kai + 6 (1956) featured a trombone octet and the trombonium. He composed and arranged many of the works he and Johnson recorded.

    During the 1960s, Winding began an association with Verve Records and producer Creed Taylor. He released the first version of "Time Is On My Side" in 1963 before it was recorded by Irma Thomas and The Rolling Stones. His best selling recording from this period is "More," the theme from the movie Mondo Cane. Arranged and conducted by Claus Ogerman, "More" featured what is probably the first appearance of the French electronic music instrument the Ondioline on an American recording. Although Winding was credited with playing the ondioline, guitarist Vinnie Bell, who worked on the session, claimed that it was played by Jean-Jacques Perrey, a pioneer of electronic music. Winding experimented with ensembles again, recorded solo albums, and one album of country music with the Anita Kerr Singers. He followed Creed Taylor to A&M/CTIand made more albums with J. J. Johnson. He was a member of the all-star jazz group Giants of Jazz in 1971.

    His son, Jai Winding, is a keyboardist who has worked as a session musician, writer and producer in Los Angeles.

    Kai Winding died of a brain tumor in New York City in 1983.

    On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Kai Winding among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.

    Kai Winding Website

    • May 30, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • May 30, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - CHRISTINE JORGENSEN

    Christine Jorgensen (May 30, 1926 – May 3, 1989) was an American transgender woman who made headlines in the early 1950s for having sex reassignment surgery.

    In the early 1950s, Christine Jorgensen became widely known in the United States for having sex reassignment surgery and transitioning from male to female. She told her story to the press for a fee and later developed a nightclub act. Jorgensen retired to South California in the early 1970s and died of bladder and lung cancer in 1989.

    Early Life

    Jorgensen was born George William Jorgensen, Jr., on May 30, 1926, in the Bronx, New York (the second child of carpenter and contractor George William Jorgensen, Sr., and his wife Florence Davis Hansen - both were born to Danish immigrants).  At an early age, Jorgensen became aware that she identified as female. She hated boys’ clothes and wondered why her clothes were so different from her older sister Dorothy’s pretty dresses, she wrote in American Weekly in 1953.

    As a teenager, Jorgensen said that she felt “lost between the sexes.” She was more envious of girls than interested in them. Near the end of high school, Jorgensen found a diversion from her personal struggle — photography. Her father was an amateur photographer and the two set up a darkroom at home. She also took classes at the New York Institute of Photography.

    Decision to Transition to Female

    Jorgensen had to put her photography interest aside when she was drafted into the military in 1945. Being small and slightly built, she ended up working as a clerk at Fort Dix, New Jersey. After being discharged in 1946, Jorgensen floundered for a bit before deciding to transition to female.

    In 1950, Jorgensen traveled to Denmark to begin the transformation from male to female. The treatment, available only in Europe at the time, included hormone therapy and several operations. Her story became public in 1952 while she was still in a Copenhagen hospital, making big news in the United States. Overwhelmed by the attention, Jorgensen had to deal with such headlines as “Bronx ‘Boy’ Is Now a Girl” and “Dear Mum and Dad, Son Wrote, Have Now Become Your Daughter.”

    Publicity

    Returning home to United States in 1953, Jorgensen was met by a sea of reporters at a New York airport. After answering a few questions, she said “I thank you all coming, but I think it’s too much.” Becoming more comfortable with her newfound fame, Jorgensen told her story to American Weekly magazine for a fee. She also developed a nightclub act, later saying, “I decided if they wanted to see me, they would have to pay for it,” according to The New York Times. In her act she often sang “I Enjoy Being a Girl.”

    While she never questioned her choice, many members of the public and the media did not understand and made Jorgensen the subject of ridicule. Even the government was not willing to fully recognize her as a female. In 1959, she announced that she was engaged but was denied a marriage license because her birth certificate listed her as “male.”

    Although some rejected her, others found her engaging and fascinating. Along with performing, she was a popular lecturer and author of 1967’s Christine Jorgensen: A Personal Biography. Her life even made the big screen in 1970’s The Christine Jorgensen Story.

    Legacy and Death

    Jorgensen retired to South California in the early 1970s. She died of bladder and lung cancer on May 3, 1989. Jorgensen’s very public transformation from male to female launched a national discussion about gender identity, and her story stands as an inspiring example to others who also experience gender dysphoria. - Biography (A&E)

    • May 30, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • May 30, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - TAGE FRID

    Tage Frid (30 May 1915 – 4 May 2004) was a Danish-born woodworker, educator and author who influenced the development of the studio furniture movement in the United States. His design work was often in the Danish-modern style, best known for his three legged stool and his publications.

    Son of a silversmith, at the age of 13, he started a five year apprenticeship in Copenhagen followed by work in cabinet shops; worked for nearly a decade at the Royal Danish Cabinetmakers, then spent time in Iceland before immigrating to the United States in 1948 at the request of the American Craft Council.

    Frid headed the program in woodworking of the School for American Craftsmen (SAC) in Alfred, New York; later moving with this program to Rochester Institute of Technology. In 1962 he became professor of Woodworking and Furniture Design at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), remaining until 1985.

    When teaching, he emphasized a craftsman's need to learn all the available tools and methods one could use to complete a given task. Thus, the person can work in any shop situation and produce the same quality. Frid's students include noted American studio furniture makers such as Hank GilpinJere OsgoodAlphonse MattiaWilliam KeyserJohn Dunnigan, and Rosanne Somerson.

    He was an editor of Fine Woodworking magazine from its inception in 1975 to his death.

    In 2001, Tage Frid was honored by The Furniture Society with its Award of Distinction. The Permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston owns some of his designs, most of which represent the Danish modern style.

    Frid is best known for his three-volume work, "Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking". Some editions of which are published as the first two volumes in one, the third is still separate (Frid's own classic European-style workbench is detailed, in a revised and corrected version, in the third edition of this essential series):

    • Frid, Tage (2005). Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking: Three Step-by-Step Guidebooks to Essential Woodworking Techniques. Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking. Taunton Press. pp. 688 pp. + DVD. ISBN 978-1-56158-826-8.
    • Frid, Tage (1993). Book 1: Joinery & Book 2: Shaping, Veneering, Finishing. Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking. Taunton Press. pp. 206 pp. + 210 pp. ISBN 1-56158-068-6.
    • Frid, Tage (1985). Book 3: Furnituremaking. Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking. Taunton Press. p. 231 pp. ISBN 0-918804-40-X.

    - Wikipedia

    Boston Museum of Fine Arts Collection

    New York Times Obituary



    • June 05, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • June 05, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions
    • Denmark

    GRUNDLOVSDAG (CONSTITUTION DAY)

    The throne of Denmark was established in the tenth century and is the oldest in Europe and third oldest in the world. Through to the seventeenth century, the majority of decisions in Danish rule came through the monarchy and each monarch was obliged to sign the Haandfæstning wherein he promised to rule fairly.

    In 1660, Denmark became a constitutional monarchy, effectively removed the monarchy from absolute power and putting decision making into the hands of the leaders of government. From this time, aside from the royal power of the king, three types of powers existed in Denmark: legislative, executive and judicial.

    Including the signing of the first constitution, five constitutions have been written and signed: 1849, 1866, 1915, 1920 and 1953. None of these had amendments but each was superseded by the one following. On 5 June 1915, women received the right to vote.

    Many places hold festivals on Constitution Day and there are often political rallies. Students, graduates, bands and organisations march in parades behind the bright red and white of the Danish flag. The flag also dominates many buildings across the country.

    More Information (In Danish)


National Foundation for Danish America
PO Box 1003
Wilmette, Illinois 60091

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