event Calendar

Heartland United States (MN, ND, SD, IA, nE, KS, MO)

    • November 23, 2020
    • (CST)
    • January 31, 2021
    • (CST)
    • Museum of Danish America - Elk Horn, IA


    Current Exhibits

    November 23, 2020 -
    The museum building is currently closed to visitors in consideration of COVID-19 infection rates. We are making the most responsible decision for our staff, visitors, and community. While we normally want to attract visitors to Elk Horn, in this moment we need to do our part to slow the spread.

    Behind the scenes, all staff will continue to do their jobs. Curbside pickup is available for Design Store orders. We’re answering phones, handling mail and all other daily tasks. The park remains open. We will also be decorating for the holidays, indoors and out, for the enjoyment of everyone who visits the museum grounds. All of our online and printed materials will continue to be produced and released.

    We hope that you share our goals of a safe, healthy community.

    2212 Washington St
    Elk Horn, Iowa 51531

    • January 31, 2021
    • (CST)
    • April 11, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • 11 sessions
    • Danebod Lutheran Church - Tyler, MN


    Just before the rolling hills of the Buffalo Ridge in southwestern Minnesota lies Danebod, a place nestled in the history of a community and the heart of the prairie.

    Visit Danebod and experience firsthand a tranquil setting where tradition of fellowship and learning have sustained and enriched a community for more than 100 years. It’s an ideal environment for families, groups and private retreats.

    We’re a faith community of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

    Weekly Virtual Service

    DLC Website

    Danebod Lutheran Church
    140 Danebod Court
    Tyler, MN  56178

    Phone - (507) 247-3000
    Email - danebodlutheran@yahoo.com

    • January 31, 2021
    • 6:00 PM (CST)
    • NFDA Weekly Email


    Subscribe Here for our FREE Sunday Evening E-News delivered to your email.  

    January 31 Issue
    Here are some of the News and Events we'll be covering for the week of January 31 - February 7

    -ASF Translation Competition 2021 Opens & 2020 Winners Announced

    -Fundraiser for Dannebrog, NE Founder Descendent Tim Hannibal - Feb 6

    -Profile on Lars Hannibal - Founder of Dannebrog, NE

    -Live From Denmark - Photo Tour with Benedikte Ehlers Olesen - Fanø, Ribe, Mandø, Rømø, Møgeltønder, Sild, Eiderstedt, Frederiksstad - Feb 2

    -A Great Danish American Birthday - Dale Thomas Mortensen - Feb 2

    -A Great Danish American Birthday - George Peter Nissen - Feb 3

    -A Great Danish American Birthday - Gwili Andre - Feb 4

    -A Royal Birthday - Crown Princess Mary Elizabeth - Feb 5

    -The Danish Pioneer Newspaper - Special Issue

    • February 02, 2021
    • (CST)
    • March 16, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • 7 sessions
    • Virtual Event on Zoom

    LIVE FROM DENMARK! Photo Tour with Benedikte Ehlers Olesen

    Many of us have taken tours across Denmark led by Benedikte.  She has taken groups from America all across the country including many of the Danish Islands.

    Free Registration and Zoom Link

    Benedikte has offered to help us through this long Covid winter by presenting a series of photo tours to help us dream of the days ahead when we can travel back to Denmark.  We will present them on Zoom, live from her home in Denmark, and recordings will be available following each show.  In each program, Benedikte will present a different area of Denmark, and a few minutes at the end for Q&A.   The series will begin with "Christmas in Denmark" on December 22.  The entire series schedule is shown here.  All are free, and after you register, you will receive a Zoom link.  The Tuesday programs will begin at 11:00AM Central (Chicago) time...

    December 22 - Christmas in Denmark Recording

    January 5 Læsø, Samsø, Bornholm and Christiansø  Recording

    January 12 - Møn, Lolland, Falster, Fejø, Ærø, Fyn  Recording

    January 19 - København, Rungsted, Helsingør, Fredensborg Recording

    January 26Christiansfeld, Åbenrå, Dybbøl, Sønderborg, Gråsten, Flensborg, Gottorp, Lyksborg  Recording

    February 2 - Fanø, Ribe, Mandø, Rømø, Møgeltønder, Sild, Eiderstedt, Frederiksstad 

    February 9 Ringkøbing, Nørre Vosborg, Hjerlhede, Livø, Glenholm Vingård 

    February 16 -  Jammerbugt, Tannisbugt, Skagen, Sæby 

    February 23 - Rebild, St. Restrup, Aalborg, Ebeltoft, Aarhus 

    March 2 Skanderborg, Ry, Himmelbjerget, Viborg, Hjarbæk, Skive, Kokkedal 

    March 9 Jellinge, Vejle, Kolding, Lillebælt, Bogense 

    March 16 Odense, Tåsinge, Egeskov, Nyborg, Korsør, Roskilde 

    Zoom link will be provided with your free registration!  Register by clicking here:

    Free Registration and Zoom Link

    Program is presented by NFDA and The Danish Pioneer Newspaper

    • February 03, 2021
    • (CST)
    • February 03, 2025
    • (CST)
    • 5 sessions


    George Peter Nissen (February 3, 1914- April 7, 2010) was an inveterate and sometimes eccentric inventor. He registered more than 40 patents, but his name is synonymous with his first invention, the trampoline. His life-changing idea was formulated when, as a child, he visited touring circuses. Watching the trapeze artists drop into the safety nets and bounce up and flip, he imagined how exciting it would be if they could keep bouncing and flipping.

    Nissen called the concept "rebound tumbling" and built his first bouncing rig while he was a student. He registered the trademark "trampoline" – naming it after el trampolín, the Spanish for diving board – and in his first year of production, in the late 1930s, he sold about 10 to YMCAs and schools. That did not impress his father, who suggested that he had already satisfied demand. But Nissen was not so easily deterred, and by the mid-60s the trampoline had become so popular that he no longer tried to enforce the patent.

    Nissen was born in Blairstown, Iowa, one of four children of Franklin and Catherine Nissen, Danish immigrants. The family moved to Cedar Rapids when he was young, and he took up gymnastics and diving at the local YMCA. In 1933, he started at the University of Iowa and during his time there, with the gymnastics coach Larry Griswold, set about building the first trampoline. Griswold would later partner Nissen in the Griswold-Nissen Trampoline and Tumbling Company, set up in 1941, and write the first instruction manual the following year.

    Nissen had experimented in the family garage, using angle irons from the local junkyard for the frame and canvas from a tentmaker, with strips of inner-tubes from old car tyres to attach the canvas to the frame. With Griswold, he worked on a more sophisticated model with coiled springs, which had its first public appearance at the local YMCA camp. The bouncing rig proved hugely successful and Nissen began to believe that it could have a commercial future.

    After graduating in 1937 with a business degree, he toured with his friends Jack Brown and Xavier Leonard as The Three Leonardos. They performed their acrobatic act at fairs in the US and in Mexico, where Nissen discovered the future name for his bouncing rig. When they returned to the US, they incorporated the trampoline into their act and toured schools. As intended, it generated commercial interest, but the second world war intervened. Nissen, ever adaptable, persuaded the US forces that the trampoline had training applications and sold them about 100.

    The postwar development of the trampoline was marked out by a publicity stunt with a kangaroo, which Nissen hired for a photoshoot in Central Park, New York. He knew that by bouncing at one end of the trampoline, he could start the kangaroo bouncing at the other. The trick was for Nissen to time his jumps so that a picture could be taken of both himself and the kangaroo in mid-air.

    The shoot was a huge success and the picture went round the world. Nissen did too, selling his product in Europe (the trampoline was particularly popular in eastern-bloc countries), Japan, South Africa and South America. However, there was chequered progress for trampolines in the US. They were hugely popular, but the "jump centres" that sprang up were unregulated, and injuries – and legal action – ensued.

    Nissen tried to develop his invention by creating bouncing games, but the trampoline was developing organically. As well as being an invaluable training aid for many sports – it was de rigueur for divers – it was taking off as a sport in its own right.

    The first world championships took place at the Royal Albert Hall, London, in 1964. A year later, the International Trampoline Federation was formed. Griswold and Nissen formed the US Tumbling and Trampoline Association in 1971. But Nissen had to wait until 2000 for his lifetime goal to be achieved. That year, the sport was accorded ultimate respectability when it was included in the Sydney Olympic Games.

    Nissen himself was the best advertisement for the health benefits of his product. A brilliant gymnast and tumbler in his youth, he could still do handstands into his 80s and yoga headstands in his 90s.

    He is survived by his wife, Annie, a Dutch acrobat whom he met in 1950 while she was performing for the Cole Brothers Circus in the US, and two daughters, Dagmar and Dian.

    George Peter Nissen, inventor and gymnast, born 3 February 1914; died 7 April 2010

    - The Guardian

    • February 06, 2021
    • (CST)
    • Dannebrog, NE


    Tim Hannibal is a descendant of a founding Danish settler of Dannebrog, Lars Hannibal.

    1871 - Dannebrog, Nebraska was established by Danish settlers relocating from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Story by Shannon Heckt, KSNB Hastings, NE

    DANNEBROG, Neb. (KSNB) - The village of Dannebrog is rallying behind one of their own after a serious injury has left him with a long recovery. Tim Hannibal is someone his community members are always getting help from and when he needed to be helped they were eager to step up to the plate.

    After moving to town five years ago to start Dannebrog Delights, an ice cream shop downtown, he has found his way into any project to benefit the village. He is actually a descendant of one of the founders of the town and it is part of why he wanted to move there after living in Omaha and California. In September, Hannibal was on a roof helping paint a house before a big event.

    “I was on a project helping someone else and I fell off a roof and consequently broke my leg, broke my arm, and lost sight in my left eye,” Hannibal said.

    He was life-flighted to Omaha and spent weeks in the hospital. Back in Dannebrog, his friends and neighbors knew they needed to do something for the man who is always there for them.

    “He’s done a lot for others and he’s been a business owner here in town and it’s an important business to the village and so it’s important that we show up,” community member Lori Larsen said.

    When he returned from the hospital, he found a ramp had been built with donated wood by the volunteer fire department to get his wheelchair in his home. From well wishes to caring for his dogs, Dannebrog was there. This isn’t the first time Hannibal has gotten help, too. In 2019, his business and home were flooded during the March floods of central Nebraska and some pitched in to help with the clean up.

    “I am overwhelmed with...seeing the community helping me survive,” Hannibal said. “I mean they’ve been bringing meals over to the house for me so I don’t have to spend any money on meals and I can focus on my medical bills. It’s just outstanding.”

    His neighbors said he is always giving endless hours to the community, but Hannibal doesn’t count them.

    “This town was founded on people helping people and that’s what I’m here to do,” Hannibal said.

    He is still on the road to recovery as his arm takes its time to heal. His neighbors are making sure he has support every step of the way.

    “The flooding of 2019 really kind of brought that back fully,” community member Gina Lamm said. “That whole sense of community and you’re in this together and you’re part of something bigger and Tim has been right in the middle of all of that.”

    With Dannebrog having his back, Hannibal keeps an incredible optimism for his future in town.

    “I knew it was a temporary setback. I will be back on the roofs come spring. Believe me, this is not going to slow me down any bit,” Hannibal said.

    The town is hosting a fundraiser to help raise money for Hannibal on February 6. From 11-6 they will have a to-go soup sale and silent auction. People are also welcome to send in any donations to help the cause.

    Video - Story on KSNB News

    Donations may be mailed to: Lori Larsen c/o Hannibal Fundraiser,  502 Roger Welsch Ave E, Dannebrog, NE  68831. Or, you may make a donation to the Fundraiser on our website, specify the Hannibal Fundraiser and we will forward to the cause in your name.

    Donate - Tim Hannibal Fundraiser

    • February 08, 2021
    • (CST)
    • Danish Windmill - Elk Horn, IA


    Meeting date moved to February 8 due to blizzard

    Danish Windmill Complex
    4038 Main St
    Elk Horn, IA  51531

    Windmill Facebook

    Windmill Website

    • February 11, 2021
    • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (CST)
    • Virtual Event - Museum of Danish America


    Thursday, February 11
    Fastelavn er mit Navn

    Learn about this Danish holiday, with contributions from Danish nationals.

    Do you have a Fastelavn story to share? We'd love to hear about it! Send us an email before the end of January to participate.

    Past programs may be watched on Facebook or YouTube - your preference.

    • February 13, 2021
    • (EST)
    • May 13, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • 4 sessions
    • Online and Live Concert Schedule


    Kristian Bugge is one of the busiest folk musicians rooted in Danish music. He was born 1979 in Næstved, Denmark. His family lived in Sweden for two years and then settled in Vejle in Eastern Jutland, Denmark. He attended a Rudolf Steiner School where, when asked in the fifth grade which instrument he would like, he chose the violin. Soon the two of them were inseparable. His mother, Lise, found a local music school offering ensemble playing for young people and that was where Kristian first met traditional music. He was fascinated by the catchy tunes, the close connection between music and dancing, and the spontaneous joy of playing among other young musicians – an experience which was to decide the direction of his musical career. He experienced music as a means of communication unhindered by national or cultural borders while travelling with the youth ensemble Fandango.

    Now Kristian Bugge is very active on especially the Danish, Scandinavian and North American folk music scene, both as a musician and teacher. Kristian has specialized in the strong Danish folk music traditions, playing with groups like Jensen & BuggeKings of Polka and Gangspil. For about 10 years he played duo with the legendary accordionist, late Karl Skaarup. Kristian has a strong love to the traditional music but also really enjoy experimenting being part of crossover projects as the cooperation with classical percussionist Ronni Kot Wenzel in the very active duo Wenzell & Bugge and the exciting Danish folk big band Habadekuk.

    Kristian - Facebook


    "Two of Denmark’s leading folk musicians take you along on a tour around the music traditions of their home country!”

    For many years Sonnich Lydom (accordion, harmonica, vocals) and Kristian Bugge (fiddle, vocals) kept meeting in many corners of the blooming Danish folk scene, often when there was a jam session going on. We always had a lot of fun together and finally decided to bring some of that on to the stage. Now we've have been playing and touring together for about five years. It's been increasing excitingly with more and more activities in both Europe and North America.

    Music samples:
    Gangspil goes to the movie: https://youtu.be/G3AnE_22RM0 
    Gangspil live in the studio https://youtu.be/f8LX4oL6LxI

    Gangspil have toured intensively and played more than 100 shows in North America since 2015! - as well as a good number in other parts of the world. The group has become a well-known name in trad- and folk circles both home in Scandinavia and abroad. In 2016 Gangspil received the "Tradition Award" at the Danish Music Awards (Danish Grammy). We are delighted and proud of that, it has been great to play for all of you!

    Sonnich & Kristian will guarantee you an entertaining and variated journey through the traditions of Danish folk music. This lively group performs old rare dance tunes and songs from every corner of their Scandinavian home country. From rural islands like Læsø and Fanø to metropols like Copenhagen, including a few of their own compositions. Expect everything from wild polkas and jigs to lyrical waltzes, fiery reels and happy hopsas, plus the exotic “Sønderhoning” dance tunes from the famous Island of Fanø. “- an unforgettable live experience spiced up with humor and stories from their many years on the road..”

    Telephone -
    (360) 701-4931
    Email - 

    Kristian - Website

    Gangspil - Website

    Kristian - Facebook

    • February 13, 2021
    • (CST)
    • February 13, 2022
    • (CST)
    • 2 sessions


    Charles Clifford Madsen (February 13, 1908 - January 21, 1991) was the 12th President of Dana College serving from 1956 - 1971.  He was born in Luck, Wisconsin, the grandson of Danish Immigrants. (Photo from the Danish American Archive and Library - Blair, Nebraska)

    Madsen attended elementary and high school in Luck, WI before attending Dana College for three years, and then completing his B.A. studies at the University of Minnesota where he graduated in 1931.  He then studied theology at Trinity Seminary for three years, and received a Doctor of Theology degree from Central Baptist Seminary.  In 1934 he married Esther Johnson of Plainview, Nebraska.

    Madsen served four years as Chaplain with the Navy and Marine Corps in the South Pacific during WWII.  After the war, he became Chairman of the Dana College Theology Department where he served for ten years before becoming Dana President.

    Dana College experienced it most dramatic growth during Madsen's time as President.  During his tenure, Dana received full accreditation from the North Central Association, the campus grounds expanded from 15 to over 200 acres, enrollment tripled, and seven new buildings were added to the campus.

    Photo: Dana Campus c1965 Prior to Rasmussen Dormatory Hall construction. (Blair Historic Preservation Alliance) 

    In 1961 Madsen was Knighted by King Frederick IX of Denmark, receiving the Order of Dannebrog.  Madsen received the Cross of the Knight Order from Earl Jensen, Royal Danish Vice Consul of Omaha at ceremonies on the Dana Campus.  Madsen received a citation from the King which read, "His Majesty, the King of Denmark, has graciously appointed the President of Dana College, Blair, Nebraska, Dr. Charles Clifford Madsen, Knight of the Order of Dannebrog in recognition of the valuable contribution to the strengthening of Danish American cultural relations rendered by him."

    Madsen retired from the Dana Presidency in 1971 and died on January 21, 1991. - The Danish American Archive and Library, Blair, NE

    Photo: Dana College "Old Main" (Destroyed by fire in 1988)

    • February 14, 2021
    • (CST)
    • February 12, 2023
    • (CST)
    • 3 sessions


    The celebration of Fastelavn comes from the Roman Catholic tradition and that's why it takes place on the last Sunday before Lent (usually between the first of February and the seventh of March). But after the Reformation, the holiday became secular. Fastelavn which means 'fast-evening' was first a celebration for adults with different competitions, games and activities, but later became associated with kids.

    What's Fastelavn all about? From The Local DK

    During the festivities, you'll see lots of decoration like colorful air balloons and birch branches with sweets.

    There are two main traditions connected with Fastelavn. The first is eating buns with different fillings like marzipan. They are sold in every bakery during the holiday. The second is that the kids put on costumes and play a game. They have to hit a barrel filled with sweets and presents. The first kid to make a hole in the barrel will be proclaimed the "king or queen of the cats." That is because back in the day there used to be real cats in those barrels and the aim of the custom was to drive the evil spirits away (people used to believe cats are connected to the evil).

    There are different ways to experience Fastelavn in Copenhagen. One of the options is within a local family, a parish or other small communities. The National Museum of Denmark hosts festivities every year, but participants have to sign up for them. Also, Dragør on Amager island south of the capital offers a big celebration featuring a horse procession, flags, and music. In fact, this procession begins on Saturday in Sundby and continues across the island reaching St Magleby on Monday, and finishing in Ullerup on Wednesday. Another Fastelaven procession takes place throughout the weekend in the district of Vanløse.

    Outside of the capital, one of the most outstanding celebrations takes place on Æro island. The traditional songs by kids start at 5 am. Adults also have fun wearing masks and guessing who is who. They take them off only at midnight to finally enjoy a drink together.

    • February 20, 2021
    • (CST)
    • July 20, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • 6 sessions
    • Armstrong, Iowa


    Danish American Glenn Henriksen is an accomplished, versatile pianist and organist. He began piano lessons at age seven, and continued through high school. At age thirteen he became the organist at his hometown church. Glenn attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa and received further musical instruction. In the years following, he has played for a wide variety of events, including solo piano and organ concerts, church services, weddings, funerals, receptions and other social activities. Glenn’s repertoire includes classical, ragtime, blues and jazz, standards, pop and rock, country, Latin, gospel, and sacred. Glenn is also a seasoned accompanist, providing services to many vocalists and instrumentalists.

    He is a member of the variety rock band Galaxy. Glenn’s lifetime experience in many musical genres has enabled him to develop a unique musical style, resulting in one-of-a-kind improvised arrangements. Glenn resides in Spirit Lake, Iowa and Armstrong, Iowa.

    Each spring, Glenn spends several weeks in the Arizona "Valley of the Sun", giving concerts around the Phoenix area.

    Glenn is very active in promoting the Victor Borge legacy.  He has given many concerts and musical tributes to the great Danish American entertainer.

    You can find Glenn's "at-home" concerts on his Facebook page...

    Glenn Henriksen Facebook

    • February 25, 2021
    • (CST)
    • February 25, 2023
    • (CST)
    • 3 sessions


    Christian Madsen (25 February 1851 – 9 January 1944), A US Marshall from Southern Jutland.  Stood for law and order in the Oklahoma frontier for a lifetime after 15 years in the cavalry fighting the Indians, and he helped to make the first true Western, "The Bankrobbery" (1908) a reenactment with the true criminals and lawmakers.  As a boy, he was at the retreat from Dybbøl in 1864 and one of the few who lived long enough to fight both Bismarck and "this Mr. Hitler".  - (Bio - Stig Thornsohn "A Dane Did It")

    More about Chris Madsen

    • March 01, 2021
    • (CST)
    • September 15, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • 6 sessions
    • Online - New Issue Available


    For more information and to Subscribe...

    Subscribe Here


    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

    • March 08, 2021
    • (CST)
    • March 08, 2022
    • (CST)
    • 2 sessions


    A.M. Andersen (March 8, 1847 - October 23, 1941) born Anton Marius Andersen in Hopballe (Jellinge Parish) Denmark was a Lutheran Pastor and recognized as the founder of Trinity Seminary in Elk Horn, Iowa and Blair, Nebraska. Trinity Seminary became a shared institution with Dana College in 1903, the first year the name "Dana College" was used.  His parents were Anders Jorgensen, a Danish Farmer, and Maren Andersdatter.  Andersen came to America aboard the steamship Iowa in the spring of 1872.  

    Full Biography from the Blair Historic Preservation Alliance...

    AM Anderson Bio

    Andersen left a hand written autobiography in English - original now at the Danish American Archive and Library in Blair, Nebraska.  See it here followed by transcription...

    AM Andersen Autobiography

    Auto-Biography of Past. A.M. Andersen
    Anton Marius Andersen is my full name.  My parents were Anders Jorgensen and his wife Maren, nee Andersdatter.  I was born in the village Hopballe, Jellinge parish, Danmark March 8, 1847, and I was baptized in my infancy, in the Lutheran Church of Denmark.
         We wer 7 children in the family, two girls and 5 boys.  Ane Katherine was the oldest, about 11 years older than I.  She married Soren Christian Nielsen, and was the mother of our two pastors N.S & A.S. Nielsen and other children.  The family came to U.S.A. in the spring of 1873.  The next was Anders, He was shot and died in war with Germany in 1864.  The third was Jorgen, he stayed in Danmark, and he has a son there that I am still corresponding with, his name and address is A.J. Andersen, Løsning, Denmark, Europe.  My third brother was Therkel, about 2 1/2 years older than I.  He was for many years privat schoolteacher and for some years also Inner Missionary.  Then it is my place, born, as stated above, in 1847.  My youngest brother was Jens, about 2 1/2 years younger than I.  He left quite a family and died several years ago.  For some time he was wheel-wright, but for several years he was nearly blind, and as I understand, he raised bees.  The youngest of us was my other sister Juliane.  She married a widower.  Since that time I don't know much about her.  She died many years ago.  I am now the only one of the family living.
         My father was a farmer.  But when I was about 4 years old we moved from Hopballe to Bøgballe, Østersnede parish, where he bought an other farm.  The main reason for this move was to get Privat Christian school for us children.  Rationalism was at that time quite general in Danmark, so they dared not to send us to public schools.  Thus we were raised under influence of a Christian home and Christian school in a Christian community.
         We boys had a good deal of time to work out, I for years at a large farm to tend cattle, about 20 cows and 15 young cattle.  We had no fences so the cattle were all lariated, and had to be moved forward several times as day, and they were coupled up and taken to water and home at night.  Thought of no other way to do it, and that gave employ.  Went to boys and several old men.  These last onse were called Røgtere.
         When a youth I learned the weavers trade.  At that time most of the weaving was done by hand.  I worked at that trade till I was about 22 when I was drafted for Military Service.  After I had served my term as such and came back home a saw chance to follow my hearts desire to begin study for the Christian ministry.
         I began at the Folk Highschool at Ryslinge, Funen.  After some time there I took lessons from my home pastor, Provost J. Wahl, and he advised me to go to America to be educated for ministry among my countrymen here.  A church mission among them was sorely needed.  In the summer following, I worked on a farm in Wisconsin to make some money which I needed.  In the passed 8th of March I was 25 years.  In the fall I went to Minneapolis to begin study at Augsburg theological Seminary.  The following summer I worked during vacation on a farm in Minnesota, and in the fall I had a sick spell from blood-dysentery.  That was at my brother in law and my sisters, the mentioned S. (G?) Nielsens who had settled in Pool county, Wisconsin.  The following winter I was again studying at Augsburg Seminary, Minneapolis.
         The following summer I spent my vacation at Two Rivers, Morrison co. Minn.  A Danish settlement there had asked Augsburg Seminary for a student that could teach a term of Common School and preach Danish to the settlers on Sundays.  I was selected, passed examination for the county superintendent and filled the positions as teacher and preacher as best I could, and got paid for both.
         At about the close of that vacation came an urgent wish from Rev. H. Hansen, who had been sent to Nebraska in the spring to survey the mission field among Danes in that state, for help.  Officers of the church wrote and asked me to come back to the Seminary to pass examinary for the ministry in view of being ordained and sent to Nebraska as assistant to Rev Hansen.  It was in October, 1874.  After visiting families in Omaha and several Danish settlements in eastern Nebraska we went to Dannebrog, Nebr., where a congregation had been organized.  A meeting was called, I preached, and in a business meeting after the service I was called to be its first local pastor.  I accepted.
         From Dannebrog we went to Grand Island, where we had a meeting in a private house in the evening.  Next day we went to a settlement in Hamilton Co.  Our driver of a farmer wagon, drawn by two strong horses ventured right through the Platte river.  But nearing the south edge we stuck in a bar of quick sand, and a 3 year old horse refused to pull.  The driver had to unhitch and ride to a farmer for help.  Meanwhile Rev. Hansen and I sat in the wagon shivering in strong November northwest gale.  The farmer (Peter Wind) came back with the farmer and a span of oxen and iron (?).  With that fastened to the wagon pole the oxen pulled us ashore.  With the horses hitched to wagon again, we drove fast to Mr. Winds home where Mrs. Wind had a good meal ready for us and we soon forgot our adversaties.  
         We had a fine meeting there in a sod-schoolhouse.  There were no churches.  Also here I preached, was called to serve that place one Sunday a month and I accepted.
         Eventually I took up other mission points, three in Howard co., 6-8-15 miles from Dannebrog, one in Seward co. about 100 miles, another in Nuckolls co. about 120 miles.  My means of conveyance was a horse and buggy , but the mare died and I drove a small mule that a god friend let me use.  Of course, I could not serve all these places on Sundays, so the places farthest off had to be satisfied with weekday services, and that they were.

    Images and information from the Danish American Archive and Library in Blair, Nebraska

    • March 20, 2021
    • 12:00 PM (CDT)
    • National Danish American Genealogical Society - Virtual Event


    What are runes? What does runic writing teach us about our Scandinavian ancestry? This presentation will provide an overview of the thousands of runestones existing today, primarily in Sweden, Norway and Denmark, but some in North America. 

    Speaker Loraine Jensen is the President and founder of the American Association for Runic Studies (AARS), a nonprofit organization promoting scholarly research on runes and runic inscriptions.

    AARS website: www.runicstudies.org

    Join Zoom Meeting


    Meeting ID: 833 7051 3778

    National Danish America Genealogical Society

    NDAGS Website

    NDAGS Facebook

    • March 24, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • March 24, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 3 sessions


    Christian Abraham Sorensen (March 24, 1890 – August 25, 1959) was an American lawyer and politician.

    Sorenson was born in Harrisburg, Nebraska. Sorensen graduated from Loup City High School in Loup City, Nebraska in 1909. He went to Grand Island Baptist College in Grand Island, Nebraska from 1909 to 1912. Sorensen received his bachelor's and law degrees from University of Nebraska in 1913 and 1916. Sorenson served as the Nebraska Attorney General from 1929 to 1933 and was a Republican. Sorensen lived in Lincoln, Nebraska with his wife Annis (Chalkin) and his sons Philip C. Sorensen and Ted Sorensen.  Sorensen and his wife also had one daughter and two other sons. He was also a co-writer with Myrtle Keegan, in 1917, on a book about legislative procedures in the Nebraska Legislature. He practiced law in Lincoln, Nebraska. Sorenson died in Lincoln, Nebraska. - Wikipedia

    The son of Danish immigrants, Christian Abraham (“C.A.”) Sorenson was born in a sod house and graduated from Loup City High School. He was expelled from Grand Island Baptist College for giving a speech that questioned religious rituals and humanity’s tendencies to accept the status quo. He then finished his law degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He became involved in Republican politics and in 1928 was elected as Nebraska’s attorney general with the support of the Women's Christian Temperance Union and the Anti-Saloon League. After taking office, Sorenson wrote a public letter ordering Omaha Police Chief John Pszanowski to close all gambling establishments in Omaha. The letter was published in Omaha’s two daily papers, the World-Herald and Bee-News. Public letters were a favorite tactic of Sorensen. He said “pitiless publicity… is the most effective way of ridding a state or community of vice.” The letter also warned that if the gambling halls were not closed Sorensen would remove those responsible from office.   The Gang was outraged, but Sorenson continued his assault. He next requested Ak-Sar-Ben to stop allowing pari-mutuel betting at its racetrack. Ak-Sar-Ben officials refused, claiming that pari-mutuel betting did not meet the legal definition of illegal gambling. Sorensen sued, won, and was upheld by the Nebraska Supreme Court. (Nebraskans voted to legalize pari-mutuel betting six years later.) Sorensen won re-election in 1930 but his enemies convinced the state legislature to reduce his budget. Nevertheless, he kept on with his clean-up campaign. Many informants provided information about illegal activities in Omaha. One of the most important was businessman Harry Lapidus. When Lapidus was shot to death in his car in 1931, Omaha police damaged the forensic evidence and botched the investigation. The murder was never solved, though it was widely believed to have been ordered by Omaha crime boss Tom Dennison. - History Nebraska

    • March 25, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • April 01, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • American-Scandinavian Foundation - New York, NY


    APRIL 1, 2021 DEADLINE

    New York, NY—The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications from Danish graduate students and post-graduates who wish to study or conduct research in the U.S. during the 2021-22 academic year. Awards are made in all fields.

    For further information and to begin an online application, please click here!

    Deadline: April 1, 2021


    Download Full Press Release

    For email inquiries, please contact grants@amscan.org.
    For more information, please visit www.amscan.org.


    NEW YORK, NY 10016



    • March 25, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • March 25, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions


    Gutzon Borglum. John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum (March 25, 1867 – March 6, 1941) was an American artist and sculptor. He is most associated with his creation of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, South Dakota.

    The path which led Sculptor John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum to Mount Rushmore began on a homestead near Bear Lake, Idaho, where he was born in March of 1867. His father, James Borglum, had immigrated to this country from Denmark a few years earlier. Shortly after Gutzon's birth his family moved to Utah. By the time Borglum was seven they were living in Fremont, Nebraska.

    Early Years

    Gutzon's interest in art developed early but he didn't receive any formal training until he attended a private school in Kansas. Shortly after being awarded the equivalent of a high school diploma he moved with his family to California. He worked there for a time as a lithographer's apprentice, but after six months he struck out on his own. After opening a small studio, he executed a few noteworthy commissions and gradually made a name for himself. In 1888, he completed a portrait of General John C. Fremont, and this marked an important point in his young career. Not only did it bring him recognition and acclaim; it also earned him the friendship of Jessie Benton Fremont, the General's wife. She encouraged the young artist and helped him sell many of his works. This eventually earned him enough money to pursue studies in Europe. 

    Shortly before his departure for France, Borglum married Elizabeth Putnam, an artist and teacher 20 years his senior. This marriage lasted only a few years. The constant traveling in Europe was too much for Elizabeth; they separated while Borglum was living in England and subsequently divorced.

    - from the National Parks Service website

    Read More

    • March 27, 2021
    • 11:00 AM (CDT)
    • Virtual Meeting on Zoom


    Saturday March 27, 2021 at 11:00am Central (Chicago)

    The Spring Rebild Membership meeting will be held on zoom.  Topics to be discussed will include...

    * New Rebild Board member elections

    * Status of July 4 Rebild Festival in Denmark

    * October 2021 Rebild Membership gathering in Phoenix, Arizona

    The Rebild National Park Society is the Danish/American Friendship Association.  You do not have to be a member of Rebild to participate in Rebild events, although only Rebild members are allowed to vote on issues and elections.  Rebild encourages anyone interested in Danish/American Friendship to attend and participate in Rebild events!

    Watch your email and this website page for the zoom link!

    Rebild July 4 Festival

    Rebild Arizona - October 2021

    • March 28, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • April 13, 2025
    • (CDT)
    • 5 sessions


    Palm Sunday which is the Sunday before Easter Sunday and the start of Holy Week for Christians is a feast day commemorating Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem on a Donkey (symbolizing peace versus a horse which symbolized war).

    The name Palm Sunday comes from the palm branches the crowd scattered on the ground in front of Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem.

    • March 29, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • March 29, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 3 sessions


    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.

    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.

    • March 30, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • March 30, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions


    Leo Arthur Hoegh (pronounced hoygMarch 30, 1908 – July 15, 2000) was a decorated U,S. Army officer, lawyer, and politician who served as the 33rd Governor of Iowa from 1955 to 1957.  Hoegh's grandfather, Nels Peder Hoegh, left a farm in Denmark in 1866 to search for gold in Colorado.  He invested much of his newfound fortune in farmland in Audubon County, Iowa became a community leader, and upon his death left separate farms for each of his thirteen children.  When Leo was born to Nels' son William in 1908, the household spoke Danish, and it was not until Leo attended school that he began to speak English.

    While his father ran a bank in nearby Elk Horn, Iowa, Leo decided to become a lawyer. He received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Iowa in 1929, where he distinguished himself as a captain of the water polo team and as the founding president of Gamma Nu Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha.  He lettered in swimming and was selected for membership in A.F.I., forerunner to the national honor society, Omicron Delta Kappa.   As Leo graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1932, his father sold all of his assets in an unsuccessful effort to prevent the Elk Horn bank from failing.   Leo started private practice in Chariton, the county seat of Lucas County in south central Iowa.

    In 1954, Hoegh was elected Governor of Iowa, winning a close contest over Democrat Clyde Edsel Herring, son of the former Iowa Governor and U.S. Senator, Clyde LaVerne Herring.

    As chief executive, he championed the cause of education and orchestrated a major increase in funding for the state universities and the public schools.  He also worked to improve the state's mental institutions, changing the focus from custody to caring for and curing the mentally ill.  He urged recognition of the union shop, legislative reapportionment to 'reduce the control of rural areas over the cities,' funds to promote industrial expansion, and a reduction in the voting age from 21 to 18.  In 1955, he appointed Iowa's first "Commission to Study Discrimination in Employment." The Commission's report, issued the following year, identified by name the employers and supervisors alleged to have discriminated on the basis of race or religion, and recommended adoption of a state fair employment practices act.

    To balance the budget while accomplishing his ambitious agenda, Hoegh sought to increase revenues by more than $31 million, to be collected through proposed increases in the taxes on beer, cigarettes and gasoline, a capital-gains tax and extension of the sales tax to include services.  The Republican-controlled General Assembly approved enough tax increases to bring in $22 million a year, and Hoegh found himself labelled by his Democratic opponents as "High-Tax Hoegh."  Meanwhile, his support for a union shop alienated a traditional ally of Iowa Republicans, the Iowa Manufacturers Association, without disturbing labor's allegiance to the Iowa Democratic Party.

    In his race for re-election in 1956, Hoegh won the Republican primary but ran behind Democratic opponent Herschel C. Loveless, mayor of Ottumwa, Iowa. Two weeks before his electoral defeat, Time Magazine placed Hoegh's face on its cover.   The cover story ended with this prediction:

    His principal problem is that he has caught the spirit of an era that is beginning to recognize the need for a resurgence of good local and state government—and. in doing so. he has perhaps stirred his quiet state too much. But if he has gone too far too fast, he can take a governor's small comfort from the conviction that one year—if not this year—his state will forget the anthills and look with satisfaction on the considerable movements of home-grown progressive government.

    Hoegh died in Colorado Springs, Coloradoin 2000, and was interred there at the Evergreen Cemetery.

    Many of his ancestors reside in the Danish community of Elk Horn, Iowa and the extended areas of Audubon and Shelby County.

    • April 01, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • University of Oklahoma


    ”Come and hear about one of the many Danes, who emigrated to ”God’s own country” in the 19th century. In the period btw 1850 and 1920 more than 50 million Europeans emigrated to the US to improve their lot and get away from poverty, unemployment and war. Among these were 300.000 Danes - and one of those was Chris Madsen. He was born in Denmark 1851 and emigrated 1875. He had a very interesting and a long, dramatic life. He spent 15 years as an Indian fighter in the US Fifth Cavalry (1876-1892) - and got as much promotion as possible for a NCO. He was at center stage in the battle of Slim Buttes 9th September 1876 and played a key role in the succesful Milk River expedition 1879, where the Ute uprising was countered. When finally leaving the army in 1892 it was because he had got a job as Deputy US Marshal in Oklahoma, where he became a leading character in the fight against criminal gangs like the Daltons and the Doolins. He married and had two children in Oklahoma. Later, he also joined Roosevelt’s Rough Riders and participated in the war with Spain 1898. He kept being curious, learned and got new experiences all through his long life. In stead of retiring, in 1915 he went into the new movie business and together with former colleagues he set up a film company, that produced a famous Western, “The Passing of the Oklahoma Outlaws”. Besides, he loved writing all his life - articles, letters, poems and two autobiographies. Like the fictious characters, “Forrest Gump” and “Little Big Man”, he had a special talent for meeting and becoming friends with famous people and be at center stage at major events, both in Denmark and the US. In the US, e.g. he became frinds with Buffalo Bill Cody and several Indian Chiefs. He went fishing and hunting with President Arthur and helped Teddy Roosevelt. But he also encountered many problems, crisis and tragedies in his long life - 1851-1944. Nevertheless, he always managed to get back on tracks and was active until he died in 1944. All through his life he benefitted from paying attention at school back home in the old country, where he also had received good education at an agricultural folk high school.”

    Aarhus University Site

    • April 01, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • April 01, 2025
    • (CDT)
    • 5 sessions


    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 04, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • April 20, 2025
    • (CDT)
    • 5 sessions


    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.

    Danish Easter Traditions

    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.

    • May 05, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • May 09, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • Renaissance Hotel - Seattle, WA


    The May In-Person Conference is being rescheduled (likely for early June) as a Virtual Conference.  Please watch for new date and detail announcements on our website.

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

    Renaissance Seattle Hotel
     515 Madison St, Seattle, WA 98104
    +1 206-583-0300​


    ​The Danish American Heritage Society is pleased to announce and invites you to attend our next international conference on May 5-9, 2021 at the Renaissance Seattle Hotel in Seattle, Washington. This conference is being held in conjunction with the 111th annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study.
    The organizing theme of our conference is “Traditions and Transitions: Ways of Being Danish,” which we hope will provide ample scope for exploring the identities and experiences of Danes and Danish Americans past and present. We also invite the submission of proposals for papers and presentations on topics related to this theme, which may include (but are not limited to):

    • The role of religious, educational, and/or artistic institutions, such as Danish folk high schools, in shaping and preserving Danish traditions
    • Literary, artistic, cinematic, and/or musical depictions of individual and social transitions
    • Culinary and handicraft traditions of Danes and Danish Americans
    • Political and economic transitions, such as the 1917 sale of the Virgin Islands or joining the European Union, that inspired new traditions and challenged old ones
    • Linguistic shifts in Danish and English related to people in transit
    • Translation into and out of Danish and its dialects
    • Past and present migrations into, within, and out of Denmark

    ​Individual presenters wishing to submit a proposal for a paper or presentation of 20 minutes should send their name, email address, paper title, abstract (maximum 300 words), and a short biography of the speaker (maximum 150 words) to dahs2021conference@gmail.com by October 1, 2020.

    Although cultures may seem to be fixed, they are always in transition, navigating between tried and true traditions and new opportunities and innovations. Even the potato, which seems today to be a quintessential part of Danish food culture, was a novel import in the 17th century that seemed both foreign and somewhat suspect. Cultural heritage is the product of many generations’ attempts to hold on to practices and beliefs that give meaning to their identities as members of a national, linguistic, or ethnic group, while also dealing with the changes and challenges that they inevitably encounter. People in transit, particularly those who leave their homelands for prolonged periods of time, are also in a state of “in-betweenness,” trying to preserve their cultural traditions while adapting to their new environments. In so doing, they negotiate both a past that is receding and a future that can only be imagined.

    Conference Committee for the 2021 DAHS Conference - Traditions and Transitions: Ways of Being Danish​:

    • Lynette Rasmussen (Honorary Danish Consul, Des Moines, Iowa)
    • Linda Steffensen (Editor of Den Danske Pioneer, Chicago, Illinois)
    • ​Julie K. Allen (Professor, College of Humanities, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah)​

    • May 08, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • May 08, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 3 sessions


    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 15, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • May 15, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions


    Frederik Lange Grundtvig (May 15, 1854 - March 21, 1903) was born in Copenhagen, the youngest son of Danish Theologian N.F.S. Grundtvig, and Marie Toft Grundtvig.  He graduated with a Political Science degree from the University of Copenhagen in 1881, and became a poet and writer of materials critical of Danish politics and policy of the day.  In 1881 he and his wife, Birgitte Christina Nilsson (who he met in Sweden) traveled to the U.S. and settled in Wisconsin.  In 1883, at the urging of Neenah, Wisconsin Pastor Thorvald Helvig,  he became an ordained minister and became pastor of a Danish congregation in Clinton, Iowa where he served for 17 years.  In 1885 he was a co-founder of the Danebod colony in Tyler, MN.  In 1887 he created the Danish Folk Society which promoted unification of Danish Americans regardless of any Inner Mission and Grundtvigian differences.  Despite Grundtvig's efforts, the Danish Church split into the two factions in 1894.

    Among his writings were several articles in the Danish Church Journal, the Danish American magazines Dannevirke and Ecclesiastical Collector.  He published The Words of Faith, objections to all Heresies of Tertullian, testimony of Lrenceus, Swedish Memories of Tjust, and Life in Klokkergaarden, which is considered the first Danish folkloric homecoming depiction of a scientific character. 

    He returned to Denmark in 1900, and had apparently planned a return to the U.S. to help with the establishment of Grand View College.  But he died in Copenhagen in 1903 at a young age of 48.

    Read More here...

    State Historical Society of Iowa

    • May 29, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • May 31, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • Elk Horn, IA and Kimballton, IA


    The Danish villages of Elk Horn and Kimballton, Iowa celebrate Tivoli Fest each year on the Saturday and Sunday before Memorial Day. This weekend-long Danish festival includes a parade, folk dancing, tours of the Danish Windmill, VikingHjem, Bedstemor's House, and the Museum of Danish America, Danish foods, craft fair, carnival, activities for the kids, fireworks, Fun Run/Walk, 9th annual Tour de Tivoli Bike Ride, Danish folk dancing and much more. Watch for live Vikings Saturday and Sunday!

    Elk Horn is located six miles North of I-80, Exit 54.

    Come join the fun ~ ”Be a Dane for a Day in Elk Horn, Iowa!”.

    Facebook Page


    • June 04, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • June 04, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 3 sessions
    • Dannebrog, Nebraska


    Velkommen (Welcome) to Dannebrog, the Danish Capital of Nebraska. The first weekend in June, our little village (named after the Danish flag), hosts a weekend celebration honoring its heritage, during which the citizens of Dannebrog commemorate the anniversary of the signing of Denmark’s free constitution in 1849 by King Frederik VII. The word “Grundlov” is from a Danish term meaning “foundation”.

    From the Village of Dannebrog website -
    Danish immigrants founded Dannebrog in the 1870s and the citizens of the village take a lot of personal pride in their Danish ancestry. In Danish, Dannebrog is the romantic name for the Danish flag.

    The village was founded by Lars Hannibal, president of the Danish Land and Homestead Company which was to secure a tract of land for settlers of Danish origin. In 1872, the first post office was established and in 1886 the first railroad track was laid through town. The Nebraska Legislature proclaimed Dannebrog as the Danish Capital of Nebraska in 1989.

    Visitors will notice the Danish atmosphere when they enter the village with the Danish business signs, paintings, sidewalk benches, flowers, gifts and food. Dannebrog is a prime example of small-town Nebraska.

    Historical Marker Historical Marker Text: In the spring of 1871 several members of the Danish Land and Homestead Company from Wisconsin claimed land along Oak Creek. The migrants, led by Lars Hannibal, were drawn by fertile soil and the idea that Danes from across the U.S. and the Old Country could form a colony in Howard County. Hannibal called the settlement Dannebrog, the name of the red and white national flag of Denmark. Construction of a water-powered grist mill on Oak Creek sparked the village’s early growth, and Dannebrog unsuccessfully sought the county seat in 1874. The town almost disappeared in the early 1880s, when businesses relocated to Nysted, but the coming of a railroad in 1885 brought new life. Dannebrog was incorporated in 1886. By 1920 the population peaked at 436. Germans, Czechs, Poles, and Swedes also settled at Dannebrog. Although the founders’ dream of an exclusive colony of Danes was never realized, Dannebrog and the nearby towns of Nysted and Dannevirke preserve the Danish heritage. In 1989 the Nebraska Legislature proclaimed Dannebrog as Nebraska’s Danish Capital.

    Telephone - (308) 380-1153
    Email - dannebrognews@gmail.com

    Dannebrog Grundlovsfest

    Dannebrog Facebook

    • June 19, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • June 18, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions
    • Askov, Minnesota


    Midsummer is Scandinavia's most popular seasonal festival after Christmas. A traditional celebration of the Summer solstice, Midsummer is the longest day of the year (June 21). The Askov Fair Rutabaga and Fair Association began Midsummer as an all day celebration. They ended the evening with a movie. It didn’t seem that the Community embraced this so rather than just stop they decided to use it as a fundraiser breakfast to help support the Rutabaga Festival. Because June 21st didn’t always fall on a weekend, they set the fundraiser for the 3rd Saturday in June.

    Askov, MN Website

    Rutabaga Festival Facebook Page

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

    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 16, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • July 18, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • Viborg, South Dakota


    Be a Viking!

    Welcome to Danish Days

    Danish Days in Viborg has a long and rich history dating back to Viborg’s earliest days. Danish Days was originally celebrated on June 5th to coincide with Denmark’s independence day. Due to scheduling conflicts, the celebration has been moved to the third weekend in July. Although the dates have changed, the spirit has remained the same. We still host many of the same events that our founding fathers did such as a parade, community worship services, ball tournaments and dances to name few. We invite you to search our site, e-mail us with questions and feel free to leave any comments, but most of all, come visit us in Viborg and be a “Dane for a Day!”

    Mange Tak!

    Danish Days Website

    Danish Days Facebook

    Email - http://danishdays.org/contact-a-viking/

    • August 23, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • August 23, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions


    Alvin Harvey Hansen (August 23, 1887 - June 6, 1975) was an American economist at Harvard, that began as an American Institutionalist but converted into one of the leading proponents of Keynesianism in the United States. 

    Alvin Harvey Hansen was born in Viborg, South Dakota, the son of Danish immigrants. His parents were among the earliest Danish settlers of Viborg.  Hansen got his undergraduate studies from Yankton and went on to pursue his graduate studies at the  Institutionalist citadel of University of Wisconsin, studying under Ely and Commons.  He received his Ph.D in 1918, with a thesis on business cycles.  After a stint as an instructor at Brown,  Hansen joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota in 1919.

    Hansen became a professor at  Harvard in 1937.  Hansen's famous "secular stagnation" thesis came out the next year, in his presidential address to the AEA, with the harrowing vision of an economy trapped permanently in a slump of low population growth and low investment..  At first suspicious of Keynes's General Theory when it first came out, Hansen soon converted c.1938 and became its chief champion.  His 1941 treatise re-articulated American business cycle history in terms of Keynesian theory.   

    Although never quite in a formal position as a top  government advisor, Hansen had an enormous indirect impact on US government macroeconomic policy.  Hansen served on several government advisory posts, e.g. research director at the Committee on Policy in International Relations (1933-34), advisor to the Committee on Social Security (1940-41), and advisor to the Federal Reserve Board (1940-45), but his bigger impact was through his books, articles and reports.  An advocate of active fiscal policy, Hansen was a moving figure behind the  Employment Act of 1946, making full employment (restated as "maximum employment" by nervous congressmen) an explicit goal of the US federal government policy, and helped explain its logic and purpose to the public. 

    Arguably, Hansen's longer impact was a teacher of the "golden generation" of Harvard students and his slim 1953 Guide to Keynes, which helped spread the Neo-Keynesian synthesisin an understandable form.  

    Hansen retired from Harvard in 1962.

    • August 27, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • August 26, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions
    • Askov, Minnesota


    The Askov Rutabaga Festival and Fair is a seasonal festival held the 4th weekend in August.


    A town festival was organized in 1910 where the townspeople shared their vegetables and crops in a fair-type of gathering. Then in 1913, the first town festival began including a fair, parade and meals. Times were hard during the Depression and war, and the festival was not held for several years. The celebration during those early years involved more than one city as neighboring communities joined efforts and resources. The initial years also included the beautiful babes of Askov, but no single queen was selected until 1937. Her name is Josephine Petersen (Jessen) and she was the Grand Marshal of the parade to commemorate our 100th year. 

    Askov, MN Website

    Rutabega Festival Website

    Rutabaga Festival Facebook Page

    • August 31, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • August 31, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 3 sessions


    Philip Chaikin Sorensen (August 31, 1933 – February 12, 2017) was a Nebraska politician and law professor. He was the 27th Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska from 1965 to 1967.

    Sorensen was born in Lincoln, Nebraska. He is the son of Christian A. Sorensen, a Danish American who was Nebraska Attorney General (1929–33), and Annis (Chaikin) Sorensen, who was of Russian Jewish descent. He earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Nebraska. Sorensen was admitted to the bar in Nebraska, Indiana, and Washington.

    Sorensen is the younger brother of Ted Sorensen, who was President John F. Kennedy's White House counsel and adviser as well as his chief speechwriter. 

    Sorensen was elected lieutenant governor in the 1964 election, defeating Republican Charles Thone (who later served in the US Congress and as governor). He then ran for governor in 1966, but was defeated by Republican Norbert Tiemann.

    Sorensen became a law professor at the Ohio State University. Courses he taught included: Torts, Business Organizations, Federal Income TaxLegislation, and Nonprofit Organizations.

    In 1958, Sorensen married Janice Lichtenberger in Lincoln, Nebraska. They have four children and five grandchildren.

    Sorensen, a sculptor for many years.

    Sorensen died on February 12, 2017 at home in Columbus, Ohio. - Wikipedia

    • September 01, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • September 01, 2025
    • (CDT)
    • 5 sessions


    Deadline for Submission: 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 09, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • September 09, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 3 sessions


    Albert Victor Ravenholt was born September 9, 1919, on the family farm in Milltown, Wisconsin, one of Ansgar and Kristine Ravenholt's ten children. After the death in infancy of an older sister, Albert became the eldest of five boys and four girls in this Danish-American family who survived the difficult years of the Great Depression.

    After high school and the loss of the family farm to bank foreclosure, Albert attended Grand View College, Des Moines, Iowa, for one semester before leaving to work at the New York Worlds Fair in the summer of 1939. Inspired to travel, he hitchhiked across the country to California where he signed on as cook on a Swedish freighter sailing for Asia and on to the Mediterranean Sea and Marseilles, France, before returning around Africa to Shanghai where he remained. During 1941 and 1942, Albert led the trucking of medical supplies for the International Red Cross on the Burma Road and into the Chinese interior. From 1942 to 1946 he served as a war correspondent for the United Press International in the China-Burma-India theatre where he interviewed such luminaries as Mao Zidong, Zhou Enlai, and Ho Chi Minh. In 1946, Albert married Marjorie Severyns, who was then serving with the OSS, in Shanghai. Later that year they returned to the United States where Albert became a Fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs and studied at Harvard University as a Nieman Fellows Associate in 1947 and 1948. Albert and Marjorie then returned to China where he reported on the Communist takeover of China and wrote widely for the Chicago Daily News and the Institute of Current World Affairs. In 1985, they were among the seven veteran journalists invited to return to China by the Deng Xiaoping government.

    Albert was a founding member of the American Universities Field Staff and from 1951 continued his research and writing throughout Asia for many decades. Periodically, he lectured at AUFS member universities. He was the author of The Philippines, A Young Republic on the Move as well as numerous expert articles that appeared in the journal Foreign Affairs, The Reporter magazine, the World Book Yearbook, and the Encyclopedia Britannica Book of the Year, among others. Albert provided guidance to John D. Rockefeller III in the creation of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation and, with his wife Marjorie, endowed at the University of Washington the annual Severyns-Ravenholt Lectureship, the purpose of which is to promote awareness of contemporary Asian politics, economics, and cultures.

    In 1998, Albert was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree by Grand View University. For many decades, Albert and Marjorie maintained homes in both the Philippines and Seattle where Albert was an early investor in real estate on Bainbridge Island and in Sagemoor Farms on the Columbia River near Pasco. As a result of his life-long interest in agriculture, Albert developed mango and coconut plantations in the Philippines, provided early support for the nitrogen-fixing tree association, and was a pioneer grower of wine grapes in Washington State.  He died April 25, 2010 at his home in Seattle.

    Sandi Doughton - Seattle Times staff reporter

    Albert Ravenholt’s life story reads like an adventure novel — and that’s the way he planned it.

    As a youngster in rural Wisconsin, he set his sights on a career as a foreign correspondent.

    First as a reporter, then later as an analyst and expert in Asian affairs, Mr. Ravenholt spent decades bearing witness to some of the century’s most tumultuous events, from the Pacific battles of World War II to the Communist revolution in China and the upheaval that followed.

    But even a profession that had him dodging sniper fire and supping with Chairman Mao wasn’t enough to satisfy Mr. Ravenholt’s restless mind.

    He also studied cooking, developed timber farms in the Philippines and helped pioneer Washington’s wine industry.

    “It was adventurous just to be around him,” said Johanne Fremont, Mr. Ravenholt’s sister. “He had so many interests, his ideas just tumbled over each other.”

    Mr. Ravenholt died April 25, 1990 at his home in Seattle. He was 90.

    His accomplishments were rooted in hard work, not privilege.

    The eldest of nine children, Mr. Ravenholt was born Sept. 9, 1919, to Danish-American parents. When his family lost its dairy farm to bankruptcy, he hired himself out to neighboring farmers for room and board while he finished high school.

    “Albert had a great capacity for work,” said his brother, Dr. Reimert Ravenholt of Seattle.

    He also realized he could make a difference.

    Frustrated by a lack of access to newspapers, the budding journalist convinced his high-school principal to convene daily assemblies where students could listen to a radio news wrap-up, Mrs. Fremont recalled.

    After graduation, Mr. Ravenholt found work as a cook on a Swedish freighter carrying timber to the Far East. Realizing war was imminent, he jumped ship in Shanghai.

    “From then on, he was hooked on China,” said Mrs. Fremont.

    Japan already was waging war against China. Mr. Ravenholt volunteered to lead Red Cross relief convoys along the winding Burma Road into the Chinese interior.

    It was while he was convalescing in India from a bout of dysentery that Mr. Ravenholt, then 22, landed his first reporting job: foreign correspondent for United Press. His salary was $85 a week.

    With no journalism training, he learned on the job. In order to cover military road-building in the region, he rode 80 miles elephant-back. He accompanied crews on bombing raids into Burma. One flight ended in near disaster when the plane, loaded with four tons of bombs, crashed on the runway.

    Back in Wisconsin, Mr. Ravenholt’s family tracked his whereabouts by watching for his byline.

    “His stories were never boring,” said Mrs. Fremont. “There was always an air of excitement in whatever he was writing about.”

    Some of Mr. Ravenholt’s most widely read dispatches came in 1943, after a plane carrying famed radio commentator Eric Sevareid crashed on a flight from India to China.

    Sevareid and others parachuted to safety in the jungles of Burma. Mr. Ravenholt beat his competition to the story by reaching Sevareid via walkie-talkie. A rival reporter later extracted revenge, bribing a censor to delay release of Mr. Ravenholt’s stories.

    Censors refused to allow publication of some of Mr. Ravenholt’s reports, including one of the first interviews with Korean “comfort women” forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Army. His groundbreaking coverage of Japan’s “kamikaze” pilots nearly wound up muzzled as well, until Mr. Ravenholt pulled high-ranking strings to subvert the censors.

    Tall and movie-star-handsome, Mr. Ravenholt met his match in Marjorie Severyns. The native of Sunnyside, Yakima County, was an intelligence officer based in India. Their courtship included a party at a maharajah’s palace and culminated in a sumptuous 1946 wedding in Shanghai.

    After the war, the couple established a base in Seattle. Mr. Ravenholt continued to cover China, the Philippines and other parts of the Far East as a correspondent for Chicago Daily News Foreign Service. He also authored several books and lectured widely as a founding member of the American Universities Field Staff, a cadre of writers stationed around the world.

    The couple endowed the Severyns-Ravenholt Lectureship at the University of Washington to promote awareness of Asian affairs.

    • September 30, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • October 02, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • State Fair Center - Minot, North Dakota


    Høstfest Website

    Norsk Høstfest is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that raises funds to preserve and share Scandinavian culture, heritage and educational programs. Program focus areas include Høstfest in the Schools, Scandinavian Youth Camp, the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame, Skien-Minot sister city relationship, and Norsk Høstfest. The festival also crowns an yearly Miss Norsk Høstfest and holds trips to Denbigh, ND, for the annual wreath-laying ceremony honoring Sondre Norheim.


    Norsk Høstfest is held annually in the fall in the N.D. State Fair Center on the North Dakota State Fairgrounds in Minot, N.D., USA. The festival was founded in 1978 by the late Chester Reiten and a group of friends who shared his interest in celebrating their Nordic heritage. The festival, now entering into its 43rd year, has grown into North America’s largest Scandinavian festival with tens of thousands of people attending from all over the world.


    The festival features world-class entertainment, authentic Scandinavian cuisine, Scandinavian culture on display, handcrafted Norsk merchandise, plus a fine dining establishment lead by guest chefs.


    Norsk Høstfest celebrates Scandinavian culture and heritage of the five Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.  Each nation is represented in one of the halls in which the festival takes place, and each named after their country's capital city.  The individual styles of each country's entertainment, food, clothes, art, and jewelry can be found throughout Norsk Høstfest and also in the Scandinavian Heritage Park, the only park in the world representing all five Nordic countries.


    Denmark Finland Iceland Norway Sweden


    While the festival has grown to become the largest Scandinavian festival in North American, there are other entities in Minot, ND, that has sprouted from the same interest of preserving heritage and celebrating Nordic culture. Among those organizations that have been cultivated through the joint interest in the Scandinavian culture are the Scandinavian Heritage AssociationHøstfest-Heritage Foundation and the Telemark Trade Office.


    Norsk Hostfest receives no city, county, state or federal tax funds. Officers and directors of the board receive no pay.Privacy Statement

    • October 29, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • October 29, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions


    Kristian Anker (October 29, 1848 – November 16, 1928) was a Lutheran minister who served as the first president of the combined Trinity Seminary and Dana College.  (Photos: Danish American Archive and Library - Blair, NE)


    Kristian Anker was born in Odense, Denmark. He attended the Galtrug Folkschool 1870-71 and the Sagatun Folk High School (Norwegian: Sagatun folkehøyskole) in Hamar, Norway from 1872-73. He was a teacher 1873-80 at Galtrup Folk School and Krogsballe Folk School in Humlebæk, Denmark. He attended the Seminary at Askov Folk High School (Danish: Askov Højskole) in Vejen Municipality, Denmark from 1880-81. He was ordained as a Lutheran minister on September 25, 1881. He subsequently immigrated to the United States during 1881.


    Kristian Anker served as a Lutheran pastor in Elk Horn, Iowa, and Lincoln, Nebraska. He was pastor of St. Stephen's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chicago from 1881-1882.

    In 1894, Kristian Anker helped organize The Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America, commonly known as North Church. In 1894, Pastor Anker, then owner and principal of Elk Horn, Iowa Højskole, sold it to the newly formed North Church for use as a seminary and college. Elk Horn Højskole in Elk Horn was the first Danish style Folk high school in America. Founded in 1878, it served Danish immigrants and drew them to Elk Horn in great numbers. From 1894 to 1909 Peter Sørensen Vig would serve as principal as well as an instructor at the seminary.  In 1896, the North Church and the Blair Church, which had been formed in 1884, came together to form the United Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church (commonly known as the United Church). When the two Churches merged, the North Church seminary was consolidated with Trinity Seminary in Blair, Nebraska. That same year, the college-level preparatory classes that had been offered at Trinity Seminary were consolidated with those offered at Elk Horn College. In 1899, leaders of the United Church voted to relocate all college-level classes to the Blair campus. When the departments of Elk Horn Højskole were transferred to Trinity Seminary, Kristian Anker came with them as president of the merged institutions. Kristian Anker served as President of Trinity Seminary (1899–1902) and Dana College (1899–1905).

    • November 07, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • November 07, 2023
    • (CST)
    • 3 sessions


    Peter Sørensen Vig (7 November 1854 – 21 March 1929), commonly known as P. S. Vig, was a Danish American pastor, educator, and historian in the Lutheran church. He was integral to the formation of the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America (the North Church) and the United Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church (United Church). (PS Vig photo from The Danish American Archive and Library - Blair, Nebraska)

    Comments from the Great Granddaughter of P.S. Vig-
    Karen Marie Vig-Keathley

    Vig was born in Bogvad, Egtved Sogn, Jutland, Denmark, on November 7, 1854, where he attended school and worked as a farm laborer until 1872. He then attended Askov High School in Denmark from 1872 to 1877 and went on to study for two years under the Rev. H.F. Feiberg. In 1879 he came to America, visited friends in Iowa, and then spent two years in Chicago. In 1882 he returned to Denmark to continue his studies. Two years later Vig was sent to the United States by the Danish American Mission, and on September 20, 1885, he was ordained a minister at Clinton, Iowa.  Photo: The first Danish Folk School in America in Elk Horn, Iowa - From: Dansk luthersk mission i Amerika i tiden før 1884 

    He spent several years at Elk Horn and Bowman’s Grove, Iowa, as a minister and an instructor in the high schools. In 1888 he was sent to the seminary at West Denmark, Wisconsin, where he taught for four years and at the same time he took a pastorage at Luck, Wisconsin. From 1894 to 1909 he was principal and instructor at the high school and seminary in Elk Horn, Iowa. He then served as President and Professor of Theology at Trinity Seminary, Blair, Nebraska, until 1928.  He served as President from 1896-99.  Trinity Seminary became a "shared" institution when the "Dana School" (Dana College) was established on the same campus in 1903. - Danish American Archive and Library

    Photo: Original Trinity Seminary building constructed 1886.  Later became "Old Main" on Dana College campus and destroyed by fire in 1988. (Blair Historic Preservation Alliance)

    At the suggestion of United Evangelical Lutheran Church president Dr. N.C. Carlsen, the Pioneer Memorial Building at Dana College was dedicated to the founders of Dana College. Outside the office of the President of Dana College, was a plaque that read: "This building is named Pioneer Memorial in memory of A. M. Andersen, Kr. Anker, C. X. Hansen, P. S. Vig, G. B. Christiansen, and many other faithful men and women who contributed to the development and influence of Dana College and Trinity Seminary." - Wikipedia

    Vig was the author of several books including Danes in America, (1900), Danes in America From 1640-1860 (1908), Danish Immigration to AmericaDanish Lutheran Mission in America up to 1884, and Danes in Battle in and for America.

    On June 10, 1884, Vig was married to Karen Marie Madsine Christensen, who died in 1900. Of this marriage four sons survived: Soren T., James E.M., Peter G.A., and Bennet C. Vig then married Karen Oline Olsen on August 6, 1901, who bore him eight children: Eli M.M., Clemens H., Lars Einar, Clarence, Steen B., Arndt M., Ruth E., and Victor Vig.

    Peter Sorensen Vig died at Blair, Nebraska, on March 21, 1929. - Wikipedia

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


    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

    • December 03, 2021
    • (CST)
    • December 04, 2022
    • (CST)
    • 2 sessions
    • Dannebrog, Nebraska


    The smell of delicious foods and sounds of music and laughter fills the air at Dannebrog’s Old-Fashioned Danish Christmas. From a small Christmas Tree Fantasy in 1990, this celebration has grown each year. The American Bus Association and North American Motorcoach Industry highlighted the event as one of the Top 100 events in North America in 1995. Dannebrog’s celebration is a rich, old-fashioned reminder of the Danish heritage.

    Each year our festival grows to new levels. Activities at the Old-Fashioned Danish Christmas have included: Aebleskiver (Danish Pancakes), a bake sale, bingo, a cake/bake walk, a Christmas Tree Fantasy, a holiday music medley (Youth Bell Choir, Danish Dancers, and Centura High School Choir), horse and buggy rides, kids crafts, living outdoor nativity scene, a soup & pie supper and treats and pictures with Old Father Christmas, Mr. & Mrs. Claus and their elves.

    As you stroll through our beautifully decorated village, you can enjoy hot apple cider, arts and crafts show, samples of Danish foods, hay rack rides, and spectacular displays of Christmas lights and animations. Please join us the first weekend in December to celebrate Dannebrog’s rich, Old-Fashioned Danish Heritage.

    Telephone - (308) 380-1153
    Email - dannebrognews@gmail.com

    Dannebrog Website 

    Dannebrog Facebook

    • January 02, 2022
    • (CST)
    • January 02, 2025
    • (CST)
    • 4 sessions


    Hjalmar Petersen (January 2, 1890 – March 29, 1968) was an American politician who served as the 23rd Governor of MinnesotaPetersen was born in Eskildstrup, Denmark (Island of Falser) and came to America as an infant when his parents immigrated. His formal schooling ended at age fourteen, when he became an employee of the Tyler Journal in the community where his parents had settled.His career in journalism culminated in his purchase in 1914 of the Askov American in Askov, Minnesota, a weekly newspaper he owned for the rest of his life.

    After serving as Askov's village clerk and mayor, Petersen won two terms in the Minnesota Legislature, where he sponsored the state income-tax law and urged that tax revenues be spent on public education. Before he ran for the Minnesota Legislature he had been a member of the Republican Party. By the time he ran for office he was a member of the Farmer-Labor Party. He served in the legislature from 1931 to 1934, representing the old House District 56.

    Petersen was elected the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota in 1934 and served with Governor Floyd B. Olson. He was sworn in as governor two days after Olson died of cancer on August 22, 1936.  During his tenure, the federal unemployment insurance law was initiated; several labor disputes were dealt with; and significant judicial appointments were approved. After serving 134 days as governor, Petersen left office on January 2, 1936.  He served the remainder of Olson's term but declined to run for governor himself in the November general election, opting instead to launch a successful bid for Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner, a position he then assumed after leaving the governship on January 4, 1937. He later ran for governor in 1940 and 1942, losing both times to Harold Stassen.  After his term as governor, he served as the president of the American Publishing Company.

    As the home of Hjalmar Petersen, Askov played an important role in Minnesota’s political life during the 1930s and 1940s. Hjalmar Petersen was a leader in the Farmer-Labor party, and was the founder and editor of the local newspaper, the Askov American, in which he expressed his political philosophy and which, for a time, had the largest circulation in the country for a newspaper published in a community of its size. The newspaper has never missed an issue since 1914 and is the most widely read newspaper in northern Pine County. The newspaper continues to play an important part in Askov’s economic and cultural life.

    Petersen was married twice, first to Rigmor C. Wosgaard in 1914 and later to Medora Grandprey in 1934. He died in 1968 in Columbus, Ohio. - Wikipedia

    • January 17, 2022
    • (CST)
    • January 17, 2023
    • (CST)
    • 2 sessions


    Benedict Nordentoft (17 January 1873 – 12 December 1942) was a Danish educator and cleric, principally remembered for the years he spent in Solvang, California, where he and his colleagues established a Danish community with a Lutheran church and a folk high school.

    Photo: Nordentoft was the 3rd President of Grand View College 1903 - 1910

    Benedict Nordentoft was born in the rectory at Brabrand, a town just west of Aarhus, Denmark, on 17 January 1873. He was the seventh of the thirteen gifted children raised by Pastor Peter Nordentoft and Vincentia Christiane Michelsen.  In the footsteps of the famous theologian and philosopher N. F. S. Grundtvig, from the age of 11 he attended the Aarhus Cathedral School before studying theology at Copenhagen University. Later he would comment: "Although I was often moved by the sermons of Grundtvigian priests and although many of my student friends were Grundtvigians, I have never been able to accept Grundtvig's excessively dogmatic views." After graduating with honours in 1898, he became a substitute teacher at Herlufsholm School before becóming a tutor for Count Brockenhuus-Schack's eldest son in Ringsted in 1899.

    Though pleased with his position, he could not resist the urge to go to America where he had been offered a post as a lecturer at Grand View College, a Danish seminary and folk high school in Des Moines, Iowa, believing that America would open up new horizons for him.

    One of his first tasks as a lecturer at Grand View was to coordinate relations between Danish Lutheran churches in Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine. In the summer of 1901, he returned to Denmark specifically to be ordained in Aarhus Cathedral. Back in America, he continued his work as a lecturer at Grand View. In 1903, when he was only 30 years old, he became the college's third president, a post which he held until 1910.  That year, as a result of differences with his colleagues at the college who were far more Grundtvigian than he, Nordentoft was pressured to leave.

    From 1906, Nordentoft together with Jens M. Gregersen, a pastor from Kimballton, Iowa, and Peder P. Hornsyld, a lecturer at Grand View, had discussed the possibility of creating a new Danish colony with a dedicated Lutheran church and school on the west coast.  In 1910, together with other Danish-Americans, they created the Danish-American Colony Company in San Francisco. Later that year, their land agent, Mads J. Frese, found suitable land in the Santa Ynez Valley northwest of Santa Barbara. On 23 January 1911, the contract was signed and Solvang was founded. The Danes had bought almost 9,000 acres of the Rancho San Carlos de Jonata land grant, paying an average of $40 per acre.

    Soon after the establishment of Solvang, a school was opened with 21 students on 15 November 1911 with Nordentoft as president.

    At the end of 1912 when it became almost impossible to sell any more plots of land, the company's income was vastly reduced. The shareholders persuaded Gregersen to give up his position as Solvang's pastor and travel to Iowa and Nebraska to convince Danish immigrants to buy land in the new colony. He enjoyed considerable success, relieving the colony of any further threats. After Gregersen's departure, Nordentoft became the pastor. Before long, Solvang also had a store, a bank, a lumber yard, a barbershop and a post office with Hornsyld as postmaster. Where there had just been fields, there was now a small town.

    Nordentoft was not content with the little school established in Solvang. When he was unable to convince his Danish colleagues that a larger educational institution was needed, he bought them out and started to raise funds for a bigger and better school. The following year, in August 1914, a rejsegilde, or topping-out ceremony, was held for the impressive new building which Nordentoft called Atterdag College in memory of Valdemar Atterdag who did much to consolidate the kingdom of Denmark in the 14th century.

    Photo: Atterdag College

    What surprised many of those who came to the celebration was the great similarity the building had with Grand View College. Standing on a hilltop with a commanding view of the village, the new college or folk high school was designed to teach Danish-speaking students in their late teens how to lead more meaningful lives with an emphasis on lectures, singing, gymnastics, folk dancing and fellowship. A difficult period followed as World War I put a stop to Danish emigration to America leading to a reduction in the number of young people requiring a school education. It also became difficult to maintain a Danish-speaking school at a time when American nationalism was steadily growing.

    On 26 April 1918 when he was 45, Nordentoft married 20-year-old Mary Hansine Christiansen, the daughter of a Danish farmer from Newell, Iowa, and one of his earlier students. By 1921, the family had two children and a third was on the way. Nordentoft, who felt he had achieved his ambitions in America and wished to have his children educated in Denmark, sold the college to the congregation of Solvang's Bethania Church in 1921 for $5,000. He then returned to Denmark with his wife and family.

    Back in Denmark in 1921, he was first a priest in Tranebjerg on Samsø, then in Mariager and in March 1926 he became pastor of St Nicolai Church in Kolding. The family who raised no less than 11 children were always very welcoming to anyone who wished to visit them at the rectory in Hyrdestræde. All the children were given the middle name Atterdag in memory of the college.

    Nordentoft not only taught at the high school in Kolding but became a popular public speaker in the area, thanks to his entertaining and humorous delivery. He often spoke affectionately about his years in America and was active on the committee for the Danish-American Mission. In 1941, he was awarded the Order of the Dannebrog for his services to Danish-American relations.

    Benedict Nordentoft died in Kolding on 12 December 1942. A few years later, the authorities in Solvang decided to name two streets in his memory: Nordentoft Way and Kolding Avenue. - Wikipedia

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Wilmette, Illinois 60091

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