event Calendar

Eastern United States (East coast states)

    • April 22, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • April 22, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 3 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 22, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • April 22, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 3 sessions
    • The Planet Earth

    EARTH DAY

    Earth Day was founded in 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues, and Earth Day 2021 will occur on Thursday, April 22—the holiday's 51st anniversary. The holiday is now a global celebration that’s sometimes extended into Earth Week, a full seven days of events focused on green living. The brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson and inspired by the protests of the 1960s, Earth Day began as a “national teach-in on the environment” and was held on April 22 to maximize the number of students that could be reached on university campuses. By raising public awareness of pollution, Nelson hoped to bring environmental causes into the national spotlight.

    Earth Day - Official Site

    Earth Day History 

    By the early 1960s, Americans were becoming aware of the effects of pollution on the environment. Rachel Carson’s 1962 bestseller Silent Springraised the specter of the dangerous effects of pesticides on the American countryside. Later in the decade, a 1969 fire on Cleveland’s Cuyahoga Rivershed light on the problem of chemical waste disposal. Until that time, protecting the planet’s natural resources was not part of the national political agenda, and the number of activists devoted to large-scale issues such as industrial pollution was minimal. Factories pumped pollutants into the air, lakes and rivers with few legal consequences. Big, gas-guzzling cars were considered a sign of prosperity. Only a small portion of the American population was familiar with–let alone practiced–recycling. - History

    • April 22, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • May 27, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • 3 sessions
    • Virtual Event - Danish American Chamber of Commerce - New York

    EUROPEAN-AMERICAN BUSINESS TRENDS SERIES

    Introducing the European-American Business Trends Series!

    Join us this spring!

    The 2021 European-American Business Trends Series by LEAP-Atlantic will virtually gather executives from both sides of the Atlantic for three insightful and timely discussions around some of the most pertinent themes in European-American business community today.

    The First Event: April 22, 2021: #1 INNOVATE FASTER

    Innovation in the digital realm has been a leading driver of European and American economies while transatlantic technology investment is giving rise to not only start-ups, but to global market leaders. In this panel, we will identify how successful transatlantic ventures are achieving success and hear from experts on opportunities for additional cross-border investment.


    Register Here

    REGISTER HERE

    • April 26, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • April 26, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • 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, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • May 31, 2021
    • (CDT)

    MAY IS DANISH AMERICAN BIKE TO WORK MONTH

    Danish American organizations are rallying together during the month of May for National Bike to Work month! Join this challenge with us and post pictures of your bike ride to work or school on social media with the hashtag #BiketoWorkUSADK from May 1st to May 31st, 2021. You can also post your pictures in the Facebook group!

    Send your pictures to line@nwdanish.org if would like your picture included in a virtual photo album after the bike to work month is complete. Please send your photos by June 1st.

    We have a variety of categories for biking to work, school, or even biking at home. We will choose a winner for each category at the end of the month. The categories are:

    **Longest ride (distance)

    **Shortest ride - must be outdoors!

    **Steepest elevation climb

    **All dressed up!

    **Most scenic ride to work

    **Longest ride on a stationary bike (distance)

    Riders will be chosen based on self-reported information and the honor system. If you would like to be considered for a category, at the end of the month you can send an e-mail to line@nwdanish.org with your ride details. Details you can include are the distance you rode to work (one way), your route’s elevation climb (this can be found on Google Maps), pictures of your bike outfit to work, and/or any scenic pictures from your route.

    Let’s bike to work like the Danes do!

    ~Mary DeLorme and Fidelma McGinn, Scan Design Foundation

    ~Edith Christensen and Line Larsen, Northwest Danish Association

    Participating groups: Scan Design Foundation, Northwest Danish Association, National Foundation for Danish America, Museum of Danish America, Nordic Northwest, University of Wisconsin

    To be added to the list of participating groups, please send an e-mail to line@nwdanish.org

    Join the Facebook Group!


    • May 01, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • May 01, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 3 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 01, 2021
    • 2:00 PM (UTC-04:00)
    • Virtual Event - Caribbean Genealogy Library - St Thomas, VI

    ST THOMAS GRAPHICS: DOCUMENTING COMMUNITY

    Caribbean Genealogy Library Event May 1st at 2pm, St. Thomas Graphics: Documenting Community

    Hello CGL Members and Friends,

    Please mark your calendar, the Caribbean Genealogy Library has a virtual event coming up on Saturday, May 1, 2021, at 2:00 PM AST. The virtual event will highlight the library’s St. Thomas Graphics Collection. The presentation entitled “St. Thomas Graphics: Documenting Community” is given by researcher Susan Laura Lugo. 

    Registration is Required. Register for St. Thomas Graphics Documenting Community

    "St. Thomas Graphics: Documenting Community" will feature the rich collection of print material and records in the Caribbean Genealogy Library's St. Thomas Graphics Collection. The collection’s print materials include a wide array of funeral booklets, business publications, event program booklets, government reports, maps, posters, brochures, marketing material, and forms from the late 20th century. Records include original photographs, typeset layouts, proof copies, original artwork, correspondence, and transactional files. These resources uniquely support both family history documentation and research for local history, education, and scholarship.

    The presentation given by researcher Susan Laura Lugo, with special appearances by Karl Callwood, Annice Canton, Glen “Kwabena” Davis, Cathy O’Gara,  and former Governor Charles W. Turnbull, Ph.D.  

    The May 1st event will be the official public launch of the Community Foundation/NEH grant-funded project to digitize portions of the collection for online viewing.  Grant project funding also supported the development of online finding aids to enable researchers to use the St. Thomas Graphics Collection materials more efficiently.  Digitized images and finding aids for the St. Thomas Graphics Collection will be introduced and demonstrated throughout the presentation.

    More about the Presentation

    With a nod to family history, the presentation will feature Richard and Judy Pitzl whose personal family narrative fortuitously led them from Wisconsin to the Virgin Islands in the 1970s.  There they established St. Thomas Graphics and set out to meet the growing print needs of their island home.  Over the next thirty-plus years, The Pitzl Family business documented all aspects of the community it served.  Today, the prodigious work product of St. Thomas Graphics still bears witness to those years and will forever benefit generations of Virgin Islands researchers. The Pitzl family donated the materials to the Caribbean Genealogy Library in 2008.

    Presenter Susan Lugo will also highlight the significance of the printing industry, both in the Caribbean and the U.S. Virgin Islands, in documenting and preserving history and culture for research.  Administrative records, leaflets, almanacs, newspapers, government documents, printing processes and innovations, and the socio-political environments in which they were created, distributed, and sometimes valued, all influence the survival of local history resources that still exist in research collections like St. Thomas Graphics.

    Registration is Required. Register for St. Thomas Graphics Documenting Community
    • May 02, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • October 10, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • 19 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

    • May 02, 2021
    • 11:00 AM (CDT)
    • Online - Zoom Meeting

    REBILD NATIONAL PARK SOCIETY - BOARD MEETING

    Online zoom meeting of Full Rebild Board - Denmark and U.S.A.

    11:00am Central (Chicago)

    Rebild Website

    Rebild Facebook

    • May 03, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • May 03, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 3 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.   Text under CC-BY-SA license 

    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, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • January 04, 2022
    • (CST)
    • 9 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

    • May 08, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • May 08, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 3 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 09, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • May 09, 2022
    • (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 09, 2021
    • 1:00 PM (EDT)
    • On Zoom - Danish Seamen's Church - Brooklyn, NY

    DANISH SEAMEN'S CHURCH ANNUAL MEETING

    Elections to the Church Board and Notice of Annual Meeting 

    The Annual Meeting of the Danish Seaman's Church will be held on Sunday May 9th, 2021 at 1pm at the Danish Seaman's Church and via Zoom.
     
    All voting members, friends and users of the Seamen’s Church are welcome. 

    Elections to the Church Board 
    At the annual meeting agenda, there will be an election for six seats at the church board. Church board members will sit a three-year term and may be re-elected. The church board invites all eligible members who wish to be a candidate to nominate themselves.  
     
    To become a candidate for the church board you must write a bit about yourself as well as collect support for your election signed by at least fifteen voting members of the Danish Seamen’s Church. Nomination must be sent to the Seamen's Church and must be postmarked at the latest on April 19th, 2021.
     
    The Danish Seaman's Church in New York
    102 Willow Street 
    Brooklyn, NY 11201
     
     
    Ballots will be sent to all Voting Members postmarked no later than  
    April 29th, 2021.

    Agenda for the annual meeting: 

    1. Welcome 

    2. Chairman’s report 

    3. Report from the pastor 

    4. Treasurer’s report 

    5. Election for 6 slots at the Board of Directors 

    6. Miscellaneous 

    Danish Seamen's Church Website


    • May 13, 2021
    • 2:00 PM (EDT)
    • Scandinavia House - New York

    OUTGOING VESSEL & SENSE VIOLENCE - VIRTUAL POETRY READING & DISCUSSION

    On May 13, see a virtual poetry reading and discussion with Nordic poets and translators Helena Boberg, Johannes Göransson, Katrine Øgaard Jensen, and Ursula Andkjær Olsen, moderated by Paul Cunningham (The House of the Tree of Sores). Helena Boberg and Johannes Göransson will present readings of works from Boberg’s new book Sense Violence, now out in English translation by Göransson from Black Ocean, and Ursula Andkjær Olsen and Katrine Øgaard Jensen will present readings from Olsen’s new book Outgoing Vessel, now out in English translation by Jensen from Action Books. Following the readings, they will discuss new topics in Nordic poetry and translation.

    This event will take place as a Zoom webinar; please ask questions in the chat or send them in advance to  info@amscan.org. Registration is required; please sign up at the link above.

    Praise for Sense Violence:

    “With a hyperconfident sense of language, [Sense Violence] opens up a space that is similar to yet not similar to any other. It is permeated by a feminist awareness of lifelong, male violence”— Amelie Björck, Göteborgs-Posten

    Praise for Outgoing Vessel:
    “Danish poet Ursula Andkjær Olsen’s compelling work [Outgoing Vessel] travels through dark chambers of desire, power, and creation, conjuring up a feminist space where culture and nature wage war with one another, where psychology and anatomy merge to create a uniquely modern mytho-poetics. Katrine Øgaard Jensen’s masterful translation has a strong rhythm all its own, and captures the book’s jarring quality in a remarkably smooth rendering” — 2018 National Translation Award Judges Sawako Nakayasu, Kareen James Abu-Zeid, & Jennifer Feeley

    Register Here


    About the Panelists

    Helena Boberg (b. 1974) lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. Her books include Repuls (Repulsion, 2011), Sinnesvåld (Sense Violence, 2013) and Konsten at med hvissa metodiska rörelser hemkalla en hädangången til lifvet (The art of recalling a deceased person to lif with certayne methodical movements2020). She is a translator of poetry. A sometime member of the Surrealist Group of Stockholm, Boberg draws on psychoanalytic, surreal, and feminist discourses in her poetry. She also participates in the feminist-literary project Shaerat, which over the past ten years have involved writers from Sweden, Palestine, Iran, Iraq, Bahrain and Algeria among others, in workshops to facilitate translating and networking among female poets. Sense Violence was published by Black Ocean, U.S.A., in 2020. Sense Violence is among the nominées for the 2021 PEN America Literary Awards. Repuls (Repulsion, 2011), was translated by Ibrahim Abdulmalik and published in Egypt as the first within a year-published Swedish collection of poetry ever (Merit Publishing House, 2012). Boberg has been translated and published internationally in several printed and online literary journals; in Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Iraq, Iran, Rumania, Saudi-Arabia, Ukraine, U.S.A. Her latest book is nominated for Swedish Radio’s poetry prize 2021.

    Johannes Göransson is the author of eight books of poetry and criticism, most recently POETRY AGAINST ALL (2020), and the translator of several books of poetry, including works by Aase Berg, Ann Jäderlund, Helena Boberg and Kim Yideum. His translation of Eva Kristina Olsson’s The Angelgreen Sacrament is forthcoming from Black Square Editions. His poems, translations and critical writings have appeared in a wide array of journals in the US and abroad, including FenceLana TurnerSpoon River ReviewModern Poetry in Translation (UK), Kritiker (Denmark) and Lyrikvännen (Sweden). He is an associate professor in the English Department at the University of Notre Dame and, together with Joyelle McSweeney, edits Action Books.

    Katrine Øgaard Jensen is a writer and translator from the Danish. She is a recipient of several fellowships and awards, including the Danish Arts Foundation’s ‘Young Artistic Elite’ Fellowship in 2020 as well as the 2018 National Translation Award in Poetry for her translation of Ursula Andkjær Olsen’s book-length poem, Third-Millennium Heart (Broken Dimanche Press/Action Books 2017). She teaches creative writing and literary translation at Columbia University, where she served as Acting Director of LTAC (Literary Translation at Columbia) from 2019-2020.

    Ursula Andkjær Olsen made her literary debut in 2000 and has since published nine collections of poetry and one novel, in addition to several dramatic texts and libretti for operas such as Danish composer Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen’s Sol går op, sol går ned, and composer Peter Bruun’s Miki Alone, which was awarded the Nordic Council Music Prize in 2008. Olsen has received numerous awards for her work, including the Danish Arts Foundation’s Award of Distinction in 2017, the 2012 Montanaprisen award for Det 3. årtusindes hjerte (Third-Millennium Heart, Broken Dimanche Press/Action Books 2017), and the 2015 Danish Critics Prize for Literature for Udgående fartøj (Outgoing Vessel, Action Books 2021). Her latest poetry collection, Mit Smykkeskrin (My Jewel Box) is currently a finalist for the 2021 Nordic Council Literature Prize. Since 2019, Olsen has served as head of The Danish Academy of Creative Writing.


    • May 15, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • September 15, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • 4 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


    • June 05, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • Virtual Event

    DANISH AMERICAN HERITAGE SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

    The May In-Person Conference has been rescheduled for Saturday, June 5 as a Virtual Conference.  Here is the Conference Schedule (Central Standard Time) -

    9:30 AM 
    Opening Ceremonies

    9:45 AM 
    Communal Song in Denmark
    Keynote Q&A

    11:00 AM
    Transnational Identities Q&A
    Art in Denmark Q&A

    Noon
    Approaches to Kierkegaard Q&A
    Denmark Becoming Modern Q&A

    1:00 PM
    Moments in Danish History Q&A
    Reading Denmark Q&A

    2:30 PM
    Plenary Roundtable: Seeking Relevance in a Changing World
    Museum of Danish America Q&A

    2021 Danish American Heritage Society Conference
    Traditions and Transitions: Ways of Being Danish


    DAHS Website

    • June 05, 2021
    • 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • Online - Hans Christian Andersen Storytelling Center New York

    HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN STORYTELLING CENTER ONLINE

    Storytelling will start online on Saturday June 5, 2021 on Facebook and Youtube. We hope to move back to live outdoor storytelling by HCA statue in Central Park later in the summer.

    HCA Storytelling Online 

    Saturday Mornings from 11 am to Noon (Eastern Time)
    Storytellers from throughout the world tell Andersen’s iconic stories
    From Central Park to Your Home anywhere in the world 

    This year the Hans Christian Andersen Story Telling Center, Inc. (“HCASTC”)  is proud to launch a 2021 Live On-line Season.  Different Andersen stories will be told every week. 

    Hans Christian Andersen’s stories are the  most translated literature next to the Bible.   His stories, penned in the nineteenth Century, have been delighting audiences worldwide since. They  were created as commentaries for social injustice and inequality.  They remain  contemporary  and thrill children and adults alike with their array of fabulous characters including the Ugly Duckling who overcomes bullying and the Emperor Without Clothes whose vanity and idiocy is exposed by a child.  Kindness, humor, and the power of imagination and truth prevails. 

    If you are looking for something wonderful and valuable to share with your family in these times, join us for live performances on Saturdays at 11 a.m. straight to your kitchen or living room or garden. Recorded The link for our live performance will be on our website shortly. performances will subsequently be made available on our YouTube channel and on Facebook. Our website will also have those links. The program will continue through the end of September. If social distancing rules permit, live performances may be resumed in Central Park later during the season. Stories have always been the most brilliant and engaging way to start a great conversation.   Let the tale of the Nightingale about authenticity and real communication lift your spirits.  The poignant  tales of The Last Pearl and The Little Match Girl soothe your heart. And laugh out loud with the tales of Jack, The Dullard and the Swineherd. We will have mornings of Andersen’s longer irresistible tales of the Snow Queen (the real story behind Frozen), The Wild Swans, or The Little Mermaid. 

    Storytelling is entertaining. It is also life confirming. It keeps imagination and faith alive.  Technology has helped us immensely through this time, but put away the laptop when the story is over and talk together about the stories.  Tell your own. And keep up a tradition that has been ongoing for 64 years.  

    There is a restorative power in storytelling. The most experienced and wonderful storytellers will support a sense of inner safety while exploring profound resolutions to emotional experiences. Research has shown that listening to stories helps increase empathy and navigate challenging times. AND it improves the ability to  feel closer to one another by building connection among  people.  Let’s strengthen our sense of being one global  community. 

    What better time in which to shrink  physical distances and join us mind to mind across the world.

    HCASTC has been freely delivering stories to New Yorkers of all ages since 1956, rain or shine from its signature location at the Statue of Hans Christian Andersen in Central Park (72nd Street and 5th Avenue). We bring stories, and the Park  into your home. 

    HCASTC is a nonprofit organization that, aside from its historical site, has been bringing storytelling projects in schools, and is partnering with the Andersen Museum in Odense, Denmark, hometown of the author, HCASTC is supported by private donors, contributions from listeners,  and the Parks Department of New York City. For the last 64 years it has been proudly offering spoken word performances that gathered thousands of families throughout the summer months. This is still today kept as a gift: an open invitation for us all to meet in the spirit of Andersen’s love for justice, children and literature.

    For detailed information, please visit our website at http://www.hcastorycenter.org

     

    • June 10, 2021
    • 10:00 AM (EDT)
    • Danish American Chamber of Commerce - New York, NY

    COMPLEXITIES OF U.S. IMMIGRATION

    Next Event in June

    Our immigration event on February 17 was very well-attended and well-received. Developments in U.S. immigration policy are so rapid and the Covid-19 pandemic have upended so many long-standing immigration practices that we have decided to invite immigration attorney Steve Maggi of SMA Immigration & Consular Law Attorneys back for another Zoom Webinar on June 10, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. More details to be posted later.

    If you missed the February 17, 2021 event, we have made available a video of the event at our website. Feel free to share with friends and business acquaintances contemplating a temporary or permanent move to the United States.

    DA Chamber of Commerce NY Website


    • 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.

    • July 03, 2021
    • 12:00 PM (CDT)
    • July 05, 2021
    • 1:00 PM (CDT)
    • Rebild National Park near Aalborg, Denmark

    REBILD FESTIVAL IN DENMARK

    Celebration of Danish American Friendship - The annual Rebild Festival at the Rebild National Park near Aalborg, Denmark

    Official Detailed 2021 Schedule to be Announced

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

    July 3 - Rebild Park events and Gala in Aalborg

    July 4 - Tent Luncheon and Festival in the Rebild Hills

    July 5 - General Membership Meeting

    Rebild US

    Rebild - Denmark

    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 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.

    • 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

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

    If you haven’t already, now is the time to sign up for the 2021 Denmark Race atwww.yachtscoring.com.

    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. This year’s race will be a little different. They are playing it safe and have decided to forgo the traditional onshore dinners and lawn parties that usually form part of the fun. The Denmark Race is still about racing, friendship, fun, local camaraderie, and sportsmanship but will take place exclusively offshore.

    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


    • 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
    • (CST)
    • 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 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
    • (CDT)
    • April 20, 2025
    • (CDT)
    • 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



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