event Calendar

midwest United States (il, wi, mi, KY, OH)

    • October 31, 2020
    • (EDT)
    • November 01, 2020
    • (EDT)


    Deadline: November 1, 2020

    New York, NY—The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications for Fellowships & Grants for Americans to Study in Scandinavia during the 2021-22 academic year.

    ASF offers both year-long fellowships of up to $23,000 and short-term (1-3 month) grants of up to $5,000 to graduate students (preferably dissertation-related) and academic professionals interested in pursuing research or creative arts projects in the Nordic region. Awards are made in all fields.

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

    Deadline: November 1, 2020

    For email inquiries, please contact grants@amscan.org.

    The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) promotes firsthand exchange of intellectual and creative influence between the United States and the Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. A publicly supported American nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, ASF has an extensive program of fellowships, grants, intern/trainee sponsorship, publishing, and cultural activities. Headquartered in New York City, ASF has members throughout the United States, and alumni and donors worldwide. For more information, visit amscan.org.

    • October 31, 2020
    • (CDT)
    • October 31, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • 3 sessions


    Peter Lassen (31 Oct 1800 - 26 April 1859) born in Farum (Copenhagen), Denmark in 1800, is the namesake for both Lassen County and Lassen Volcanic National Park. He was a blacksmith by trade and characterized the “old pioneer” spirit and explorations of the Wild West. (Historical records differ on his specific birth date.)

    Lassen began his life in America in Boston, moved to Philadelphia and Missouri as he continued westward, eventually reaching Oregon, Fort Ross and Bodega Bay. He traveled south to Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento, where he was appointed to a posse to look for horses stolen from Sutter’s Ranch.

    When Lassen arrived at the confluence of the Sacramento River and Deer Creek, he was so impressed with the country side, he obtained the required Mexican citizenship so he could purchase 22,000 acres at Deer Creek. In 1845 he established the Bosuejo Ranch and then returned to Missouri to bring people to live there. The emigrants in his group were the first to cross the Lassen Trail.

    He established Benton City, also known as Lassen Ranch. He built Adobe buildings, a blacksmith shop and a store. Benton City became one of the most important sites in Northern California at the time. It was a residence for Colonel Fremont in 1846, for he and 60 of his men.

    Lassen later sold and divided his property holdings between two men and went prospecting for gold. Lassen found gold in 1855 in Honey Lake Valley and held many leadership positions. One of his many roles was president of the Nataqua Territory and surveyor. He was friends with several Native American tribes. He and his party built a cabin for the winter. The cabin burned down in 1896 and was not replaced.

    Lassen continued to search for additional locations for prospecting. He discovered a silver mine near Black Rock Dessert in Nevada. He organized a scouting party of two groups to meet at Black Rock Canyon. The day after he and his two traveling companions, Edward Clapper and Lemericus Wyatt, arrived at the site in April of 1859, Lassen and Clapper were shot and killed. Speculation remains if the shot was indeed fired by a Native American or a member of his own scouting party. Native Americans are attributed for their deaths on the Lassen Monument. Wyatt escaped being shot and rode 124 miles to Susanville to share the tragic news.

    A scouting party was able to recover Lassen’s body, but not Clapper’s. Area residents erected a monument to Lassen to recognize him for the many good deeds of his lifetime. He is buried under the Ponderosa pine tree he camped his first night in the Honey Lake Valley. The original monument burned in 1917 and was replaced with the current one.

    According to historic documents, Clapper’s body was recovered in May 1990 by rock hunters in the Black Rock Desert. They found a skull and upper body skeleton that was determined to be the remains of Edward Clapper. In May of 1992, his remains were placed at the Lassen Monument located on Wingfield Road, just south of Susanville.

    Lassen County

    High in the northeastern Sierra is Lassen County, where volcanic activity has shaped the landscape. Peter Lassen, a Danish immigrant, came to Oregon in 1839 and later settled in the northern Sacramento Valley. He returned to Missouri and led a 12-wagon emigrant train along “Lassen Emigrant Trail” in 1848 into California. - Wikipedia

    • October 31, 2020
    • (CDT)
    • September 30, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • Online - The Danish American Archive and Library - Blair, NE


    The Danish American Archive and Library in Blair, Nebraska, presents its first stand-alone online exhibit: Spreading “The Word”: The Dana College Theater Troupe Tour of 1942. The exhibit tells the story of a group of students at the now-defunct Dana College who went on tour to 12 Midwestern Danish American communities in six states. The students performed a play in the original Danish language by the acclaimed Danish playwright Kaj Munk, who two years later was assassinated by German Nazis. Dana College had strong Danish roots, and the exhibit also highlights how WWII and the German occupation of Denmark impacted the students.

    View The Exhibit

    Photos: Copyright and courtesy of The Danish American Archive and Library - Blair, NE

    The world and the Danish American Archive and Library also face a challenge today. “During the Corona epidemic, we haven’t been able to welcome visitors to the archive as we usually do but with this online exhibit we hope to reach a wide audience – both locally and farther afield,” says Jill Hennick, the Danish American Archive and Library’s Executive Director. The archive has over 1,400 cubic feet of documents about Danish American lives and nearly 14,000 books in its library. “This exhibit will have a wide-ranging appeal to anyone interested in our country’s immigration history, the Scandinavian aspect of the Midwest, or WWII,” says Hennick.

    Through photos, letters and lively excerpts from a student diary, the exhibit provides insight into the troupe’s stops in 12 Danish American communities: Omaha, Nebraska; Kimballton, Des Moines, Cedar Falls, Hampton and Ringsted in Iowa; Chicago, Illinois; Racine, Wisconsin; Askov, Minneapolis and Evan in Minnesota; and Viborg, South Dakota. As shown in the exhibit, in many of these locations, residents as well as visitors can still find traces of Danish history, culture, language and cuisine.

    The Dana College drama troupe tour was led by Professor Paul Nyholm, a first-generation Danish immigrant pastor who later received a medal for his support of Denmark during the German occupation. The purpose of the tour was to create unity among Danish Americans, keep the Danish language alive, spread knowledge of Kaj Munk and his play, and encourage a strong faith in God.

    “Ultimately, the students’ performance was seen by 2,000 people but this theater troupe tour – the first in Dana’s history – was a big undertaking for the students and the director,” says Hennick, who lists several reasons: The student actors were second- and third-generation Danish immigrants who needed to learn the lines in a language that few, if any, of them spoke fluently. The Danish American communities were declining – by the 1940s, there were relatively few people who understood Danish, so gathering a local audience for a performance in that language was quite a feat. Added to that, Kaj Munk was somewhat controversial, and his play about faith and miracles is a serious dramatic play that might not appeal to everyone.

    Online internship

    The online exhibit was created working with a graduate history student from American Public University – a Danish American herself – who conducted her public history practicum remotely from South Carolina. “This is our first completely online intern – it’s one of the ways that we are adapting to the Corona epidemic but hosting an online internship also enables us to work with students from a wider geographical area,” says Jill Hennick. The archive has previously worked with ten interns from four different universities. Hennick says: “Being a research library, we find it ideal to work with interns who bring the items in our collection to life.”

    About the archive

    The Danish American Archive and Library in Blair, Nebraska, is dedicated to preserving and sharing Danish American history. It grew out of the archives of Dana College and the United Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church. Since 2010, when Dana College closed, the archive has been an independent non-profit institution. Its mission is to collect, catalog, preserve and make available to the public its vast holdings of documents, photos and other media that show the history and contributions to American life of Danish Americans. The archive is located at 1738 Washington Street in Blair and is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday by appointment only. To find out more about the archive and for a detailed list of the collections, go to danishamericanarchive.com or call 402-426-7910.

    View the new online exhibit at dana1942theword.org.

    • October 31, 2020
    • (CDT)
    • October 31, 2024
    • (CDT)
    • 5 sessions


    Autumn Images from Tivoli

    (Photos by NFDA Officer Katrine Vange)

    Halloween, contraction of All Hallows’ Eve, a holiday observed on October 31, the evening before All Saints’ (or All Hallows’) Day. The celebration marks the day before the Western Christian feast of All Saints and initiates the season of Allhallowtide, which lasts three days and concludes with All Souls’ Day. In much of Europe and most of North America, observance of Halloween is largely nonreligious. - Britannica

    Pumpkins and ghosts have captured the imagination of Danish kids, leaving the barrel-smashing, cat-liberating February fancy dress fest of Fastelavn behind.

    Although Halloween is generally considered a tradition with American origins, it’s actually European, and is thought to have its roots in Celtic customs up to 2,000 years old.

    In Ireland, offers were made to Celtic gods and the dead, and scary-looking lamps were carved out of beets – setting the tradition for today’s pumpkins.

    Conversion to Christianity later saw the Celtic tradition combined with All Saints Day – the result was Hallow’s Evening or Hallowe’en.

    The tradition was largely imported to the United States by Irish immigrants in the 19thcentury.

    Although Halloween is one of the biggest annual celebrations in the US, it has been slow to catch on in many European countries which celebrate All Saints Day – or in the case of the United Kingdom, Guy Fawkes’ Night – at the same time of year.

    That has also been the case in Denmark. Although the country does not have a tradition for celebrating All Saints Day due to the predominance of the Lutheran Church of Denmark, kids have traditionally had the chance to dress up and win sweet-tasting treats in February, during Fastelavn.

    As such,Halloween did not really register in Denmark until around the turn of the century.

    In 1999, toy store chain Fætter BR began selling Halloween costumes, contemporary reports from broadcaster DR show.

    Almost half of all families with children in Denmark now buy sweets or candy at Halloween, according to DR.

    That has given a boost to the country’s pumpkin farmers, who have seen sales double over the last ten years.

    "Trick or treat" has now been rendered as the somewhat clunky, and no less aggressive, ‘slik eller trylleri, ellers er dit liv forbi’ (‘candy or magic, or your life is over!) and can be heard on Danish doorsteps on October 31st.

    More people in Denmark now purchase fancy dress costumes for Halloween than they do for Fastelavn, according to sales figures from supermarket company Coop reported by DR.

    Coop's sales of fancy dress costumes for Fastelavn have been on a downward curve at since 2011, and were overtaken by sales for Halloween in 2007.

    Last year saw Coop sell three times as many costumes for Halloween compared to Fastelavn, DR reports.

    General enthusiasm for and pervasion of American culture in Denmark are no small part of the explanation for the trend, according to DR, which notes that Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day have also been successfully transplanted into the Danish calendar.

    Halloween’s timing also benefits stores, which can sell items for the day at a time of the year when a lack of other events makes it ideal for promotion. - From "The Local" DK

    • November 01, 2020
    • (CDT)
    • November 27, 2020
    • (CST)
    • Danish Windmill - Elk Horn, IA


    Auction bidding November 1 - November 27

    Online Auction Site

    2020 Windmill Christmas Catalogue

    • November 01, 2020
    • (CST)
    • April 10, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • 76 sessions
    • The Danish Home - Chicago, IL


    Danish Home residents and staff only

    Please check with the Danish Home about event attendance restrictions now in place.

    Every Sunday 2:00PM

    Danish Home Capital Campaign

    Contribute to the Campaign Here

    Visit www.danishhomeofchicago.org for events updates.

    The Danish Home
    5656 N Newcastle
    Chicago, IL  60631

    Telephone - (773) 775-7385
    The Danish Home Email

    • November 03, 2020
    • (CST)
    • November 03, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions


    Christian Fenger (November 3, 1840 – March 7, 1902) was a Danish-born surgeon, pathologist, and medical instructor. In the later half of his life, he worked at several medical institutions in Chicago, and became one of the most highly regarded surgeons in the United States.

    Born to a farming family, Fenger studied engineering at the Copenhagen Polytechnic Institute before his father convinced him to pursue a medical degree at the University of Copenhagen. He gained experience as a surgeon during the Danish-Prussian War and Franco-Prussian War and received his MD in 1874. From 1875 to 1877, Fenger worked in Egypt, where he studied trachoma and schistosomiasis. However, he did not cope well with the Egyptian climate, and at the advice of a group of Americans he met in Cairo, he set off for the United States. He eventually settled in Chicago, which had a prominent Scandinavian community.

    Fenger was invited to perform some autopsies at Cook County Hospital, and soon joined that hospital's surgical staff. He worked there until 1893, while also holding various teaching positions at the Chicago Medical College and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Chicago. From 1893 to 1899, Fenger worked as chair of surgery at the Chicago Medical College; he then became a professor of surgery at Rush Medical College. Fenger's lectures were very popular, and over the years, he trained several prominent physicians, including William James MayoCharles Horace MayoNicholas SennJames B. HerrickLudvig Hektoen, and Howard Taylor Ricketts.

    In Chicago, Fenger helped demonstrate the bacterial origins of endocarditis and developed techniques for cleft palate repair, vaginal hysterectomy, and the relief of ureteral strictures. He also became one of the first surgeons to remove an intramedullary tumor from the spinal cord. He performed thousands of autopsies, and used his knowledge of about twelve languages to keep abreast of medical literature.  A writer in the Journal of the American Medical Association declared, "There is nothing that he has written, at least nothing with which we are familiar, that does not contain something of value, valuable at least for the time at which it was produced."

    In 1901, Fenger was named to the Order of the Dannebrog by the king of Denmark. He died of pneumonia a year later.   Christian Fenger Academy High School in Chicago is named in his honor. - Wikipedia

    Fenger Academy High School is a public 4–year high school located in the Roseland neighborhood on the far south side of ChicagoIllinois, United States. Fenger is a part of the Chicago Public Schools district. The school is named for Danish surgeon Christian Fenger. Fenger opened in 1893. Fenger, along with its former principal Elizabeth Dozier and numerous staff and students was featured prominently in the 2014 CNN documentary series Chicagoland. - Wikipedia

    • November 07, 2020
    • (CST)
    • November 07, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • 2 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). (Photo from The Danish American Archive and Library - Blair, Nebraska)

    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. 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

    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

    Photos: The first Danish Folk School in America in Elk Horn, Iowa, and an early photo of the Blair College, Trinity Seminary - later "Old Main" at Dana College in Blair. From: Dansk luthersk mission i Amerika i tiden før 1884

    • November 07, 2020
    • (PST)
    • May 07, 2021
    • (PDT)
    • 7 sessions
    • Concert Schedule


    Venue & Tickets

    Internationally renowned Danish violinist, composer and two-time Grammy Award-winner Mads Tolling is a former member of the Turtle Island Quartet and The Stanley Clarke Band. He has toured internationally and has released three studio albums: “The Playmaker,” “Celebrating Jean-Luc Ponty-Live at Yoshi’s,” and “Mads Tolling & The Mads Men — Playing the 60s.” Mads has been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, and his recordings have received rave reviews in Downbeat Magazine, Strings Magazine, the Washington Post, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Mads Tolling and The Mads Men bring a fun and exciting program that is as nostalgic as it is contemporary, with reimagined classic songs from 1960s television, film, and radio. The repertoire in the music of the mad men era ranges from “Mission Impossible” and “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” to “A Taste of Honey” and “Georgia on my Mind.”

    In addition to his illustrious career as a performer, Mads Tolling is also an active composer and educator, creating work on his original albums and leading masterclasses and workshops throughout the U.S. and Canada as a certified Yamaha clinician.

    Mads Tolling Website

    Mads Tolling Facebook

    • November 10, 2020
    • (CST)
    • November 10, 2024
    • (CST)
    • 5 sessions


    Sankt Morten is the Danish name of Saint Martin of Tours. According to legend, Martin was forced to become a bishop by his parishioners and tried to hide in a barn. However, the noise of the geese gave him away. For this reason, but probably in reality because of the goose slaughtering season, it is tradition to eat a goose dinner, although over time duck has become a more practical dish on this occasion.

    In Denmark, Mortensaften, meaning the evening of St. Martin, is celebrated with traditional dinners, while the day itself is rarely recognized. (Morten is the Danish vernacular form of Martin.) The background is the same legend as mentioned above, but nowadays the goose is most often replaced with a duck due to size, taste and/or cost.

    Mortensaften Youtube Video

    • November 11, 2020
    • (CST)
    • November 18, 2020
    • (CST)
    • The Danish Pioneer - Chicago, IL


    The Danish Pioneer’s Big Holiday Issue 2020 is Around the Corner

    Deadline: November 18

    The Danish Pioneer’s Staff will be working on the newspaper’s big holiday issue through the Thanksgiving Weekend. If you would like to repeat your holiday greeting from last year or place a NEW holiday greeting ad or advertise for the first time, your support is very much appreciated. Please send an e-mail to Editor Linda Steffensen at dpioneer@aol. com or call 847-882-2552 for the 2020 Christmas Issue Advertising Prices. The economical ad prices are the same as last year. The Danish Pioneer celebrates its 148th anniversary in 2020. Thank you to all!

    • November 12, 2020
    • (CST)
    • May 14, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • 4 sessions
    • Des Plaines Elks Lodge - Des Plaines, IL


    Virtual meetings on ZOOM during COVID

    Meeting on the second Thursday.
    (recently changed from Tuesday)

    October - Planning meeting for November General Assembly

    November 12th - General Assembly Meeting

    Social hour at 7:30PM, meeting at 8:00PM

    Please Check with the Officers on Special Events & Meeting Locations

    Lars Rasmussen, President - 630-699-0343
    Per Bøgehegn, Membership - 847-439-4549

    Des Plaines Elks Lodge
    495 Lee Street
    Des Plaines, IL 60016

    Telephone - (630) 350-2850 

    Dania Chicago Website

    Dania Chicago Facebook

    • November 13, 2020
    • (EST)
    • May 13, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • 8 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

    • November 15, 2020
    • (CST)
    • September 15, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • 9 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

    • November 18, 2020
    • (CST)
    • April 21, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • 6 sessions
    • Virtual Meeting (Zoom) - Kenosha, WI


    Danish Sisterhood Lodge No. 20, Kenosha,WI is holding virtual meetings via Zoom on the third Wednesday of each month.  

    Lodge # 20
    Kenosha, Wisconsin

    For more information:

    Majbritt Stewart, Lodge President
    mandmstewart@mac.com | 847-812-1551 

    Anna Nielsen, Lodge Secretary
    annamnielsen88@gmail.com | 262-412-4482


    • November 18, 2020
    • (CST)
    • March 17, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • 5 sessions
    • Danish Home of Chicago, Chicago, IL


    Please check with the Danish Home about event attendance restrictions now in place.

    Birthday party for the residents at 2 pm. Remember to bring raffle prize, chocolate, wine, etc.

    Visit www.danishhomeofchicago.org for events updates.

    The Danish Home of Chicago
    5656 N. Newcastle Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60631

    Telephone - (773) 775-7385
    The Danish Home Email

    Danish Home Website

    • November 20, 2020
    • (CST)
    • July 20, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • 9 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

    • November 22, 2020
    • (CST)
    • The Danish Home - Chicago, IL


    Dagmar Lodge No. 4, Chicago

    General meetings, which are traditionally held at The Danish Home of Chicago (5656 North Newcastle Avenue), are now virtual. Please join us.

    Sunday November 22 Annual Cookie Walk

    2:30 pm Social Connections
    3:00 pm General Meeting begins

    For Information, please contact:

    Events Coordinator Bente Rasmussen, 630-699-0332 
    E-mail: benterasmussen1@aol.com

    Secretary Jean Jackson, 708-784-0827
    Email: jean.m.jackson@att.net


    • December 06, 2020
    • 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM (CST)
    • Russel Acton Folk Center - Berea, KY


    At Russel Acton Folk Center.  Contact Sune Frederiksen for more information 859-248-0690

    Russel Acton Folk Center
    212 W Harrison St
    Berea, KY  40403

    Telephone - (859)248-0690

    • December 10, 2020
    • (CST)
    • December 10, 2021
    • (CST)
    • 2 sessions


    Johannes Gelert (1852-1923) was a Danish-born sculptor, who came to the United States in 1887 and during a span of more than thirty years produced numerous works of civic art in the Midwest and on the East Coast.  

    Gelert was born December 10, 1852 in the town of Nybøl in southern Denmark. He demonstrated an early talent for art and after moving with his family to Copenhagen in 1866 was apprenticed to a woodcarver. In 1870 he enrolled in the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, where he graduated with honors in 1875. For the next ten years he worked and studied in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, France and Italy, becoming a protégé of some of Europe's leading sculptors.  Gelert exhibited his sculpture at several notable events: the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis and the 1915 Panama–Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco.

    In 1890 Gelert created a bronze statue of President Ulysses S. Grant. That statue was financed and commissioned by Chicago Time-Herald publisher, Herman H. Kohlsaat. Gelert had moved to New York at the time of his commission. Gelert's statue of Grant was displayed and dedicated at Grant Park in Galena Illinois on June 3, 1891. Grant is displayed as a citizen standing having his right hand in his pocket. Gelert told city officials that the statue was to depict Grant as a private citizen of Galena "as you knew him..." Grant's widow, Julia Grant, was critical of Grant holding his hand in his pocket, but she approved the final version of the statue.

    Johannes Gelert's 1912 statue of John H. Stevens, an early settler in Minneapolis, was based on drawings by the Norwegian-born sculptor Jacob Fjelde. Originally located in downtown Minneapolis, it was later moved to one of the city's most popular parks.  Other works by Gelert are found at frequently visited attractions throughout the country: the Brooklyn MuseumChicago's Auditorium Theatre and Lincoln Park and the St. Louis Art Museum. He also designed the tomb of businessman Francis Furman, which is the largest memorial at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Nashville.

    There is, however, limited public access to one of his best-known pieces. Gelert's Haymarket Memorial, showing a Chicago policeman with an upraised arm, was unveiled in Haymarket Square on May 30, 1889. After being struck by a streetcar, defaced with black paint and targeted with bomb attacks during the Vietnam War, it was moved to the headquarters of the Chicago Police Department in the early 1970s, where it has remained in secure locations ever since.

    Historians and scholars note that Gelert's works displayed contemporary and interesting themes of economic class, labor, and social movements.

    After major fire damage in 1890, McVicker's Theatre in Chicago was redesigned by the architectural firm of Adler and Sullivan.  Johannes Gelert contributed two panels in bas-relief: "one depicting the march of LaSalle, which was the entrance of Christianity into Illinois, the other symbolizing in a picture of the Fort Dearborn massacre the final struggle of savagery to hold its own against the new civilization of the State."  Dating from 1872, the building was demolished in 1922 to make way for the third version of McVicker's Theatre, a movie palace that lasted until 1984 and was taken down the following year.

    A bronze bust of Beethoven, created by Gelert in 1897, stood in Lincoln Park for over seventy years. Stolen in 1971, a fragment of the base remains.

    In 1899 Gelert was one of twenty-eight sculptors working on the Dewey Arch, which honored Admiral George Dewey and his victory in the Battle of Manila Bay the previous year.  The monument, erected for a parade on September 30, 1899, was made of staff, a material often used for temporary structures at international fairs and expositions. Soon after the celebration the arch began to deteriorate. When funds could not be raised to remake it with durable materials, the arch was destroyed.  - Wikipedia

    • December 15, 2020
    • (CST)
    • December 15, 2024
    • (CST)
    • 5 sessions


    The Danish Sisterhood of America was founded on December 15, 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 Website

    • December 18, 2020
    • (CST)
    • August 20, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • 5 sessions
    • Viking Lodge, Tinley Park, IL


    Please wear your mask!

    If you want to meet fellow Danes, you will be welcome at

    Danish Brotherhood Lodge No. 35

    We meet Fridays every other month
    at the Viking Lodge, 6730 W. 175th St., Tinley Park, IL plus we have additional special events!

    For more information on exact schedule, please contact:

    Treasurer Ray Nielsen at 708-799-5182

    President Maureen Neidle, Vice President Carol Vashinko, Financial Sec’y Elayne Young & Recording Sec’y Therese Jacobsen

    Meeting every other month on the third Friday. Contact Ray Nielsen at 708-799-5182.

    Facebook Group Page

    Viking Lodge
    6730 W 175th Street
    Tinley Park, IL 60477

    Telephone (708) 799-5182

    • December 24, 2020
    • (CST)
    • December 25, 2020
    • (CST)
    • Denmark and United States


    Christmas in Denmark embodies the spirit of joy and enthusiasm to the maximum. As December approaches, every house and street is lit up with colourful lights, so much so that it neutralizes the effect of a dull winter. Most Danes believe that Christmas is about carols and songs, the aroma of spruce, oranges and freshly baked cookies. One of the city's oldest traditions is being adorned with thousands of candles to create an atmosphere of warmth, togetherness, relaxation and love. Usually, every store and street is elaborately decorated with green, red or white paper hearts, since this is the Danish symbol during Christmas. Again, even houses and dinner tables are ornamented with lights and hearts. Christmas cookies and æbleskiver are made for both the children and adults. Read on to learn more about the customs and traditions of Christmas in Denmark. 

    Some people in Denmark give and receive extra Advent presents on the four Sundays of Advent.

    Different types of Advent candles and calendars are popular in Denmark. A Kalenderlys (calendar-candle) is an Advent candle and most people have one of these types of candles. A Pakkekalender (gift calendar) is also a fun way to countdown to Christmas Eve. There are 24 small gifts for the children in the calendar, one for each day until Christmas Eve.

    Julekalender (christmas calendar) is a television series with 24 episodes. One episode is shown each day in December with the last one being aired on Christmas Eve. The first Julekalender was shown on TV in Denmark in 1962. The two main Danish TV channels DR and TV2 both show different versions of Julekalender each year. The theme of the stories in the Julekalender normally follow a similar storyline, with someone trying to ruin Christmas and the main characters saving Christmas!

    As well as the TV series, both DR and TV2 produce paper advent calendars to go along with the stories! DR is the oldest TV channel in Denmark and it's paper calendar is called Børnenes U-landskalender (Children's U-Country Calendar) (goes to another site). It's been making the calendars for over 50 years and profits from the sale of the calendar go to help poor children in a developing country. The calendar made by TV2 is called julekalender and profits from that calendar go to help Julemærkefonden, a children's charity in Denmark.

    You can also support Julemærkefonden when you send Christmas Cards in Denmark. Every year a set of Christmas stamps/stickers/seals called julemærket are sold in December to help raise money for the charity. You use a normal postage stamp as well, the julemærket stickers just make the post look more Christmassy! You can out more about julemærket on https://www.julemaerket.dk (goes to another site)

    Christmas Parties are held from 1st November to 24th December where everyone has a good time! Making cakes and biscuits is popular in the time before Christmas. Gingerbread cookies and vanilla ones are often favorites.

    In Denmark most people go to a Church Service on Christmas Eve about 4.00pm to hear the Christmas sermon or talk. It's also an old, traditional custom to give animals a treat on Christmas Eve, so some people go for a walk in the park or woods and they might take some food to give the animals and birds. You might also go for a walk to give you an appetite for the Christmas meal!

    When they get home the main Christmas meal is eaten between 6.00pm and 8.00pm. It's served on a beautifully decorated table. Popular Christmas foods include roast duck, goose or pork. They are served with boiled and sweet potatoes, red cabbage, beetroot and cranberry jam/sauce.

    Most families have a 'ris á la mande' (a special kind of rice pudding, made of milk, rice, vanilla, almonds and whipped cream) for dessert. All but one of the almonds are chopped into pieces. The person who finds the whole almond gets a present called a Mandelgave (almond present). Traditionally the little present was a marzipan pig! Now a marzipan pig is still sometimes given, but it's also often something like sweets or a little toy.

    After the meal the lights on the Christmas Tree are lit, people might dance around the tree and sing carols. Then it's time for people to open their presents. The Christmas tree normally has a gold or silver star on the top and often has silver 'fairy hair' on it to make it glitter.

    On Christmas day people meet with their family and have a big lunch together with danish open-faced sandwiches on rye-bread.

    In Denmark, children believe that their presents are brought by the 'Julemanden' (which means 'Christmas Man' or 'Yule Man'). He looks very similar to Santa Claus and also travels with a sleigh and reindeer. He lives in Greenland, likes rice pudding and is helped by 'nisser' which are like elves.

    St. Lucia's Day (or St. Lucy's Day) is also celebrated on December 13th, although it's more famous for being celebrated in Denmark's neighbor, Sweden.

    In Danish Happy/Merry Christmas is 'Glædelig Jul'. Happy/Merry Christmas in lots more languages.

    • January 01, 2021
    • (CST)
    • January 01, 2025
    • (CST)
    • 5 sessions


    New Year’s Eve rituals exist in many parts of the world and Denmark is no different. Here’s a short guide to understanding some of the best-known traditions.

    The Queen Margrethe’s New Year’s Eve speech at 6pm signals the beginning of a long and festive night. It’s a live broadcast from the Queen’s office in Christian IX’s Palace at Amalienborg, an annual essential that first started with King Christian IX in the 1880s. The Queen takes this opportunity to summarize the year’s main political events, both global and local. The speech always concludes with a salute to the nation with the words “Gud bevare Danmark” (God preserve Denmark), which signals the time to begin the meal.

    Unlike the Christmas dishes consumed just a few days prior, the New Year’s Eve menu consists of boiled cod, served with home-made mustard sauce and all the trimmings. However, Danes are less traditionally bound to the food when it comes to New Year. So, many Danes prepare exotic and alternative specialities for their New Year’s dinner.

    For dessert, the famous Kransekake, a Danish invention from the 1700s. Like champagne, it is one of the fixed elements of New Year’s Eve. It’s a towering cake made from layer-upon-layer of marzipan rings. The cake’s turret-like shape promises happiness and wealth for the coming year.

    Just before midnight, many Danes gather in front of the television to watch a short movie in black and white from 1963 called “90-års fødselsgaden” (“Dinner for one”, also known as “The 90th Birthday”).

    At the midnight countdown, it is a tradition for everyone celebrating indoors to stand on a sofa or a chair and jump into the new year. It symbolizes the hope for better time/eases the transition and then everyone wishes each other a Happy New Year. At this point a choir performs the Danish anthem and the Danish Monarch song.

    Shortly afterwards, people gather in the streets to set off fireworks. Danes traditionally celebrate New Year with lots of fireworks. It was only around 1900 that fireworks began to become something that ordinary people could buy. Before that, New Year was celebrated by using guns to fire shots into the air. It was done because of an old belief that loud noises and fireworks keep spirits and negative energies away.

    • February 02, 2021
    • (CST)
    • February 02, 2039
    • (CST)
    • 19 sessions


    Dale Thomas Mortensen (February 2, 1939 – January 9, 2014) was an American economist and Nobel laureate. Mortensen was born in Enterprise, Oregon. Mortensen had been on the faculty of Northwestern University since 1965 and a professor of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences at the Kellogg School of Management since 1980. He was the Niels Bohr Visiting Professor at the School of Economics and Management, Aarhus University, from 2006 to 2010.[4]In February 2011, Mortensen had a building named in his honor at Aarhus University. The Dale T. Mortensen Building is the central hub for all international and PhD activities and contains the new PhD House, Dale's Café, the university's International Centre and the new IC Dormitory for international PhD students.

    • March 25, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • March 25, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 3 sessions


    William Signius Knudsen (March 25, 1879 – April 27, 1948) was a leading automotive industry executive and an American General during World War II.  His experience and success as a key senior manager in the operations sides of Ford Motor Company and later General Motors led the Franklin Roosevelt Administration to directly commission him as a Lieutenant General in the United States Army to help lead the United Stateswar material production efforts for WWII.  Knudsen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark.  His name was originally Signius Wilhelm Poul Knudsen. He immigrated to the United States arriving in New York in February 1900.

    Knudsen was working for the John R. Keim Company of Buffalo, New York, a bicycle and auto parts maker, when the Ford Motor Company bought it in 1911 for its steel-stamping experience and tooling.  Knudsen worked for Ford from 1911 to 1921, a decade that saw the formative development of the modern assembly line and true mass production.  Working first for the Ford Motor Company and later for General Motors from 1921, Knudsen became an expert on mass production and a skilled manager. Knudsen was president of the Chevrolet Division of General Motors from 1924 to 1937, and was president of General Motors from 1937 to 1940.

    In 1940, President Roosevelt, at the recommendation of Bernard Baruch, asked Knudsen to come to Washington to help with war production. Knudsen was appointed as Chairman of the Office of Production Management and member of the National Defense Advisory Commission, for which he received a salary of $1 per year.

    In January 1942, Knudsen received a commission as a lieutenant general in the U.S. Army, the only civilian ever to join the Army at such a high initial rank, and appointed as Director of Production, Office of the Under Secretary of War. In this capacity, he worked as a consultant and a troubleshooter for the War Department.

    In both of these positions, Knudsen used his extensive experience in manufacturing and industry respect to facilitate the largest production job in history. In response to the demand for war material, production of machine tools tripled. Total aircraft produced for the US military in 1939 was less than 3,000 planes. By the end of the war, America produced over 300,000 planes, of which the Boeing B-29 Superfortress benefitted greatly from Knudsen's direction.[10] Production of both cargo and Navy ships also increased astronomically. Knudsen's influence not only smoothed government procurement procedures, but also led companies that had never produced military hardware to enter the market. America outproduced its enemies. As Knudsen said, "We won because we smothered the enemy in an avalanche of production, the like of which he had never seen, nor dreamed possible."

    He was appointed Director of the Air Technical Service Command when it was founded in July 1944 at Patterson Field, Ohio. He served in the Army until his resignation on June 1, 1945.

    Knudsen was featured on the cover of Time magazine's October 7, 1940 issue. He was a member of Epiphany Lutheran Church (Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod) in Detroit and contributed greatly to the synod's projects around the Detroit area, including buildings for Epiphany Lutheran Church, Outer Drive Faith Lutheran Church, and the Evangelical Lutheran Institute for the Deaf.  Knudsen's son Semon "Bunkie" Knudsen was also a prominent automobile industry executive.

    Knudsen was awarded the Vermilye Medal by the Franklin Institute in 1941.

    He was also appointed a Knight of the Order of the Dannebrog by the Kingdom of Denmark in 1930 and was promoted Grand Cross of the Order of the Dannebrog in 1946.

    Knudsen was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1968.

    His daughter started a scholarship in the name of her parents.

    Knudsen was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in 1944 and again in 1945 for his service in the Army during World War II. He also received the American Campaign Medal, and World War II Victory Medal for his wartime service.

    • 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



    • 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 02, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • April 02, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 3 sessions


    Buddy Ebsen, (born Christian Ludolf Ebsen Jr.,April 2, 1908 – July 6, 2003; also known as Frank "Buddy" Ebsen) was an American actor and dancer whose career spanned seven decades. His most famous role was as Jed Clampett in the CBS television sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies (1962–1971); afterwards he starred as the title character in the television detective drama Barnaby Jones (1973–1980).  A middle child with four sisters, Buddy Ebsen was born as Christian Ludolf Ebsen Jr., on April 2, 1908, in Belleville, Illinois.  His father, Christian Ludolf Ebsen Sr., was a Danish choreographer.

    Originally a dancer, Ebsen began his career in Broadway Melody of 1936. He also appeared as a dancer with child star Shirley Temple in Captain January(1936). Ebsen was the original choice for the role of the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, but fell ill due to the aluminum dust in his makeup and was forced to drop out. He appeared with Maureen O'Hara in They Met in Argentina (1941) and June Havoc in Sing Your Worries Away (1942). In Breakfast at Tiffany's(1961), he portrayed Doc Golightly, the much older husband of Audrey Hepburn's character. Before his starring role in The Beverly Hillbillies, Ebsen had a successful television career, the highlight of which was his role as Davy Crockett's sidekick, George Russell, in Walt Disney's Davy Crockett miniseries (1953–54).

    • April 03, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • April 03, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions


    Carl Wilhelm Daniel Rohl-Smith  (April 3, 1848- August 20, 1900) was a Danish American sculptor who was active in Europe and the United States from 1870 to 1900. He sculpted a number of life-size and small bronzes based on Greco-Roman mythological themes in Europe as well as a wide number of bas-reliefsbustsfunerary monuments, and statues throughout Denmark, the German Confederation, and Italy. Emigrating to the United States in 1886, he once more produced a number of sculptures for private citizens. His most noted American works were a statue of a soldier for a Battle of the Alamo memorial in Texas, a statue of Benjamin Franklin for the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, a statue group in Chicago commemorating the Fort Dearborn Massacre, and the General William Tecumseh Sherman Monument in Washington, D.C.

    Rohl-Smith was born on April 3, 1848, in Roskilde, Denmark, to Caspar Wilhelm Smith and Johanne Marie Frederikke Sophie Röhl Smith. His father was a philologist at the University of Copenhagen. As a child, Rohl-Smith exhibited an artistic nature and was making sculptures out of any materials he could find.

    Rohl-Smith studied at the Copenhagen Academy under Herman Wilhelm Bissen beginning in 1865, and graduated in 1869. During his education, he won several prizes for his work. He then studied under Albert Wolff at the Prussian Academy of Arts in Berlin from 1870 to 1872. His 1872 bronze Wounded Philoctetes won a gold medal, and was purchased by the King of Greece. He completed additional studies in RomeVienna, and Paris from 1877 to 1881. While in Rome, he executed another major work, Bellerophon, in 1872. It was purchased by the Danish embassy in Rome.

    Rohl-Smith became a professor at the Copenhagen Academy in 1885.

    Looking southwest at the northeast corner of the General William Tecumseh Sherman Monument in Sherman Plaza in Washington, D.C., in the United States. The monument was designed by Danish-American sculptor Carl Rohl-Smith between 1896 and 1900, but he died in 1900 before it was finished. Various sculptors finished the monument. The memorial was dedicated in 1903.

    Rohl-Smith was already recognized as a prominent sculptor in Denmark

    and Austria-Hungary. He contributed a number of architectural figures for Frederik's Church (also known as the Marmorkirken, or Marble Church) in Copenhagen, the Austrian Parliament Building in Vienna (the Akroterie, and the Winged Nike over the main entrance), and for numerous parks and public spaces in Denmark, the North German Confederation, and states of the former German Confederation. Perhaps his best known work in Europe was a bronze statue of Ajax, commissioned in 1878 for the second Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen. It won an Honorable Mention at the art exhibit at the Paris World's Fair of 1878. It was destroyed in the 1884 fire which consumed the palace.

    At some point before leaving Denmark for the United States, he married his wife, Sara.

    In 1886, Rohl-Smith emigrated to the United States and became an American citizen. Although the sculptor had used the last name Smith in Denmark, he began using the name Rohl-Smith in the U.S. He settled in New York City, and worked at the Hecla Iron Works in Brooklyn and then at the Perth Amboy Terra Cotta Company in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Between 1886 and 1889, he executed numerous sculptures of famous people in bas-relief and busts. He also designed a number of larger-than-life funerary statues and monuments for famous and wealthy individuals in BostonMassachusettsMemphis, Tennessee; and Louisville, Kentucky. One of these included the funerary monument to William W. Belknap in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.

    Rohl-Smith moved to Louisville, Kentucky, in 1889. He executed a funerary monument to Henry A. Montgomery, a prominent local businessman and politician and founder in 1888 of the New Memphis Jockey Club. (Montgomery had died during the club's opening.) In 1890, Rohl-Smith was asked to implement Harriet A. Ketcham's design for the Iowa Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Ketcham's design was chosen by the state legislature in 1888, but she died of a stroke in 1890. Rohl-Smith was commissioned to finish the work, which was completed in 1896.

    Rohl-Smith's most important works prior to 1892 were his Alamo soldier and statue of Judge Reid. The Texas Legislature commissioned James Senille Clark, a well-known manufacturer of stock monuments, to erect a memorial to the Battle of the Alamo on the grounds of the state capitol. Clark, in turn, commissioned Rohl-Smith in 1891 to sculpt the bronze statue of the soldier atop the monument. It is the oldest bronze statue in Texas. Rohl-Smith's other notable American work at this time was a statue of Kentucky Superior Court Judge Richard Reid.

    Rohl-Smith moved to Chicago in 1891. His next important American work came in 1892. The commission was for a bronze statue of a young Benjamin Franklin holding a kite for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Rohl-Smith's prestige was such that he was also named Royal Danish Commissioner to the fair. The Franklin statue was widely praised, but unfortunately it was not preserved after the fair closed. Around this time, Rohl-Smith became associated with Peter Emil Dreier, a Danish American lawyer and Danish consul in Chicago. Dreier's large circle of friends included many prominent painters and sculptors, and Rohl-Smith's fame began to spread in the artistic community.

    The praise for the Franklin statue caught the attention of Chicago industrialist George Pullman, who commissioned Rohl-Smith's next great work. Pullman's Chicago mansion was built on or near the site of the 1812 Fort Dearborn Massacre, in which 28 men, 12 children, and two women were killed by rogue warriors of the Potawatomi Native American tribe. In 1893, Pullman commissioned Rohl-Smith to create a memorial to the Fort Dearborn Massacre (whose 85th anniversary was approaching). After researching the event with his wife, Rohl-Smith decided that the most important and dramatic part of the narrative was the incident in which a rogue warrior is prevented from killing Margaret Helm and her child by the Potawatomi chief Black Partridge. Dr. Isaac Van Voorhees lies dying beneath Helm's feet. Two members of the Lakota nation, Kicking Bear and Short Bull, were imprisoned at nearby Fort Sheridan for having fired at United States Army troops during the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890. Short Bull posed as the less muscular, younger warrior attempting to kill Helm, while Kicking Bear posed as Black Partridge. Pullman donated the sculpture to the city of Chicago. Pullman was so pleased with the memorial that in 1895 he commissioned Rohl-Smith to sculpt bas-relief portraits of his parents for Pullman Memorial Universalist Church in Albion, New York.

    From 1891 to 1897, Rohl-Smith continued to produce an extensive number of bas-reliefs, busts, and statues of famous people.

    Rohl-Smith received his last, and perhaps greatest, commission in 1895. Renowned American Civil War Major General William Tecumseh Sherman died on February 14, 1891. On July 5, 1892, Congress enacted legislation authorizing a General William Tecumseh Sherman Monument and establishing the Sherman Memorial Commission. In 1895, the Sherman Memorial Commission issued a call for proposals for an equestrian statue of Sherman. A committee of the National Sculpture Society agreed to judge the submissions. When the competition closed on December 31, 1894, 23 sculptors had submitted proposals. Models of all the proposed statues were exhibited in Washington, D.C., to large crowds. The submission by Carl Rohl-Smith generated the most popular acclaim. The National Sculpture Society (NSS) narrowed the submissions down to a short list of four. The submission by Rohl-Smith did not make the short list; indeed, it was ranked almost dead last by the NSS committee. On May 27, the Sherman Memorial Commission overruled the judging committee and chose Rohl-Smith's design. The National Sculpture Society was outraged, and protested the award strongly to the memorial commission and the press. The New York Times called the decision "one of the most discreditable events ever in the annals of the public art of the United States". Senator Edward O. Wolcott sponsored legislation to investigate the award process. Although his resolution was not successful, the Senate debate over the award process was rancorous and showed the Senate's deep distrust of "art experts". Rohl-Smith was accused of using political influence to win the commission, an accusation he vehemently denied. After two months of protests, the National Sculpture Society ceased to contest the award.

    After winning the Sherman Monument commission, Rohl-Smith moved to Washington, D.C., in 1897 and set up a studio on the White House grounds next to the memorial's location. A large, barn-like structure was built on Treasury Place NW. With a front door extending 50 feet (15 m) high, verandas on three sides, lean-tos in the rear for mixing of plaster, tall windows, and a tin roof, the structure was intended not only to function as a workshop for the construction of a life-size model of the Sherman monument but also as living quarters for the Rohl-Smiths.

    Carl Rohl-Smith never saw his Sherman Monument completed. He died in Copenhagen in August 1900, and was buried in Vestre Cemetery.

    Although the government determined that the contract with Rohl-Smith was null after his death, the memorial commission agreed to allow Rohl-Smith's assistant and wife, Sara, to oversee the statue's completion. Mrs. Rohl-Smith asked sculptors Theo Kitson, Bush Brown, and Jens Ferdinand Willumsen to help with the statue's completion. Later reports do not mention Brown or Willumsen's work on the monument, but Lauritz Jensen worked on the main statue, while Danish sculptor Stephen Sinding modeled the War and Peace figures. Sinding created plaster models for these pieces from Rohl-Smith's sketches. But upon review, the postures and sizes of the two figures were found not to harmonize with the rest of the monument. Sigvald Asbjornsen remodelled them. As Rohl-Smith had already completed three of the four soldier figures on the corners of the monument, Sigvald Asbjornsen completed the fourth. Sources differ as to whether Asbjornsen completed the artilleryman or the cavalryman. Kitson completed the medallions which depicted the corps commanders who served under Sherman. Jensen completed the four bas relief panels based on work already completed by Rohl-Smith, as well as completing the badge (eagle) of the Army of the Tennessee. The design for the stone pedestal was complete at the time of Rohl-Smith's death. The monument was dedicated by President Theodore Roosevelt on October 15, 1903.

    Rohl-Smith fell ill with malaria and returned to Europe in June 1896, where he stayed until the fall. Although Rohl-Smith returned to the United States, his ongoing ill health (due to another attack of malaria) kept him from working on the Sherman statue through October 1898. Ill health continued to plague him. By March 1900, he had only completed the design for the pedestal (which had been erected) and three of the four corner "sentry" figures. Only sketches had been made for the equestrian statue itself, the side panels, the "War" and "Peace" statue groups, and the medallions.

    Rohl-Smith departed Washington for Denmark in July 1900 to escape the city's severe summer heat and humidity. In August 1900, Rohl-Smith became suddenly ill. He died of Bright's disease at St. Josef's Hospital in Copenhagen on August 22, 1900, with his wife at his side.

    Sara Rohl-Smith died in Copenhagen in August 1921.

    Notable works

    • Bellerophon, Danish embassy, Rome, Italy, 1872.
    • Akroterie and Winged Nike, Austrian Parliament Building, Vienna, Austria, c. 1874 to 1883.
    • Ajax, Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1878 (now lost).
    • Apollo and DianaPan and DaphneSummerWinter (architectural sculpture), Eremitage PalaceDyrehaven, Denmark, 1881-1886.
    • Saint AthanasiusSaint Irenaeus of LyonJohn the BaptistMoses (architectural sculpture), Marmorkirken (The Marble Church), Copenhagen, Denmark, 1883-1884.
    • Bacchante Group, private collection, United States, 1885.
    • Young Benjamin Franklin With Kite, World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, Illinois, United States, 1893 (now lost).
    • The Fort Dearborn Massacre MonumentChicago History Museum, Chicago, Illinois, United States, 1893.
    • Bas-relief portraits of Emily Caroline Pullman and James Lewis PullmanPullman Memorial Universalist Church, Albion, New York, United States, 1895.
    • Equestrian Statue of General John M. CorseCrapo Park, Burlington, Iowa, 1896.
    • William W. Belknap Monument, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington County, Virginia, United States, 1897.
    • General William Tecumseh Sherman MonumentPresident's Park, Washington D.C., United States (unfinished)
    - Wikipedia

    • April 26, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • April 26, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 3 sessions


    Ingeborg Bruhn Berthelsen (26 April 1894 - 26 June 1977) was a Danish actress born in Copenhagen.  Berthelsen was married twice. First in 1930 with the revue writer Paul Sarauw and the second time with actor Edgar Hansen. She died in 1977 of lung cancer.

    When she was young, her family moved to Valby, where she begged Nordisk Film to allow her to star in a film. They eventually agreed, and she made her film debut in 1911 and starred until 1921 in about 80 silent films. Initially in supporting roles (The Beautiful Sewing Girl, The Maid, etc.), but later also in larger roles. She was known for her beautiful looks and quickly became a popular actress.

    Alongside the films, she was engaged in a number of Danish theaters. She made her debut in 1914 with a small theatre troupe in Esbjerg. In 1916-17 she performed at the Odense Theatre and later in 1917 in Copenhagen. From 1920 she began performing in Tivoli revue and at Tivoli Summer Theatre. Here she had great success and sang in the 1920s in several revue shows. She was also one of the first actors to appear in commercials when she advertised a washing powder in 1929. She was an immensely popular star and highly paid. She bought a villa in Klampenborg and had expensive cars and horses.

    Berthelsen stopped at the peak of her career in 1930 due to a lack of resources and a malicious rumor. Word was that she had a sexual relationship with her son. The audiences greeted her with vulgar heckling and had fun barking loudly as soon as she stepped onto the stage. The rumors continued to grow and were expanded with several salacious details. In an attempt to combat the rumors, her longtime friend, theatre director Paul Sarauw, married her in 1930 and the pair fled to the French Riviera.

    Later the couple returned to Denmark and she was reduced to playing smaller roles in operetta companies touring the province and as a soloist in restaurants. Her marriage had ended, and in her mid-30s, she again tried a performance in the Circus Revue. She loved to ride, and in 1939 she and circus director Frantz Bruun started the Circus Bruun & Bruhn. Her idea was a whole new kind of circus, also with variety and theatre, but the war put an end to the plans. In 1940 she starred again in the Circus Revue and during the occupation she was busy with various theatre and cabaret tours around the country.

    After the war, rumors and gossip persisted, and in 1947 she emigrated to the United States to live with her sister, Gerda Grandt.  In the United States, she helped out at her sister's  restaurant "Up-Town" in the town of Madison, Wisconsin. In 1963/64 a chair in Danish language and literature was established at the University of Wisconsin.  The first professor of Danish was Jørgen G. Rasmussen, who arranged a 'Danish Day' in the city and at the university, where Berthelsen was the main attraction reading Hans Christian Andersen works.

    • 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

    • June 16, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • June 16, 2024
    • (CDT)
    • 4 sessions


    Max Henius (June 16, 1859 – November 15, 1935) was a Danish-American biochemist who specialized in the fermentation processes. Max Henius co-founded the American Academy of Brewing in Chicago.

    Max Henius was born in Aalborg, Denmark. His parents were Polish Jewish immigrants Emilie (née Wasserzug) and Isidor Henius. His father emigrated from Poland in 1837,  and founded De Danske Spritfabrikker, a Danish Distillery which is now part of V&S Group.  Isidor also built a small castle in Aalborg, now called Sohngaardsholm Slot, since 2005 a gourmet restaurant. Max Henius emigrated to the United States in 1881 at the age of 22 from Aalborg, settling in Chicago.

    In Chicago, he married Danish-born Johanne Louise Heiberg, who was the sister of historian Johan Ludvig Heiberg and related to Danish author Peter Andreas Heiberg.  His great-grandchildren are actors Keith CarradineRobert Carradine, Christopher Carradine, and Michael Bowen.

    Together with Robert Wahl, Henius founded an institute for chemical and mechanical analysis. Founded in 1891, the Chicago-based American Brewing Academy (later known as the Wahl-Henius Institute of Fermentology) was one of the premier brewing schools of the pre-prohibition era. This institute was later expanded with a brew master school.

    At the turn of the century Max Henius began to be interested in Danish-American organizations in Chicago. Funds were being raised by Danish Americans to purchase 200 acres (0.81 km2) of heather-covered hills, located in part of Rold Forest (Danish: Rold Skov), Denmark's largest forest. In 1912 Max Henius presented the deed to H.M. King Christian X as a permanent memorial from Danish Americans. Rebild National Park (Danish:Rebild Bakker) is today a Danish national park situated near the town of Skørping in Rebild municipalityRegion Nordjylland in northern JutlandDenmark. Every July 4 since 1912, except for the two world wars, large crowds have gathered in the heather-covered hills of Rebild to celebrate American Independence Day. On the slope north of Rebild, where the residence of Max Henius was once located, a bust is placed in his memory.
    Compiled by World Heritage Encyclopedia™

    • 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



    • August 19, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • August 19, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 3 sessions


    Morten Andersen (born August 19, 1960), nicknamed the "Great Dane", is a Danish-American former American football kicker who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 25 seasons, most notably with the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons. Following a career from 1982 to 2007, Andersen holds the NFL record for games played at 382. He also ranks second in field goals (565) and points scored (2,544). In addition to his league accomplishments, he is the Saints' all-time leader scorer at 1,318 points. Andersen was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017 and, along with Jan Stenerud, is only one of two exclusive placekickers to receive the honor.

    Andersen was born in Copenhagen and raised in the west Jutland town of Struer, Denmark.  As a student, he was a gymnast and a long jumper, and just missed becoming a member of the Danish junior national soccer team. He visited the United States in 1977 as a Youth For Understanding exchange student. He first kicked an American football on a whim at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis. He was so impressive in his one season of high school football that he was given a scholarship to Michigan State University.

    Andersen, with his left leg as his dominant kicking leg, starred at Michigan State, setting several records, including a Big Ten Conference record 63-yard field goal against Ohio State University. He was named an All-American in 1981. His success landed him the kicking job with the New Orleans Saints. On September 24, 2011, he was inducted into the Michigan State University Athletics Hall of Fame.

    Morton Andersen Website

    • August 20, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • August 22, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • Greenville, Michigan


    A festival that celebrates the homecoming of family and friends and our area's Danish Heritage.

     History of the Danish Festival
    In 1964 a contest was held to develop a way to promote Greenville.  Three business owners offered a cash prize to the person submitting the winning idea.  Mrs. Dorothy Oliver was the winner with her suggestion that a day be set aside to honor the Danish heritage that Greenville enjoys.

    The first Danish Festival was held on August 18, 1965.  Today a 15-25 member Board of Directors and hundreds of volunteers are responsible for developing and presenting the festival, which draws crowds of over 75,000.  This total community effort makes it possible for Greenville to host the Danish Festival year after year.
    Every effort is made to maintain the festival as a non-commercial community event.  The Danish Festival incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1968 and achieved 501c3 status in 2015.

    Greenville Danish Festival
    210 S. Lafayette St
    ​Greenville, MI 48838

    Danish Festival Website

    Danish Festival Facebook

    • 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 05, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • September 05, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 3 sessions


    Arthur Charles Nielsen Sr. (September 5, 1897 – June 1, 1980) was an American businessman, electrical engineer and market research analyst who created and tracked the Nielsen ratings for television as founder of the A.C. Nielsen Company.

    Arthur Charles Nielsen was born in ChicagoIllinois. He was of Danish descent. Nielsen was educated at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he received a B.S., summa cum laude in 1918. He was a member of Tau Beta Pi (engineering honor society), the Sigma Phi Society and a captain of the varsity tennis team from 1916 to 1918. He subsequently served in the U.S. Naval Reserve.

    Nielsen worked as an electrical engineer for the Isko Company from 1919 to 1920 and for the H. P. Gould Company, both in Chicago, from 1920 to 1923. He founded the AC Nielsen company in 1923, and in doing so advanced the new field of market research. This involved: (1.) test marketing new products to determine their viability prior to costly mass marketing and production; and (2.) measuring product sales at a random sample of stores to determine market share. Careful statistical sampling was crucial to this process. The techniques developed by Nielsen were especially important for the efficient operation of a market prior to the introduction of computerized digital networks that in the 1990s enabled continuous and comprehensive monitoring of sales by product retailers. Nielsen was also a pioneer in developing methods of measuring the audience of radio and television broadcasting programs, most notably the Nielsen ratings.

    Nielsen inaugurated a National Radio Index for broadcasters and advertisers in 1942, followed by a television ratings service in 1950. By the time of his death, the company's revenue was US$398 million annually.

    With his son Arthur Nielsen Jr. he won the U.S. Father and Son doubles tennis titles in 1946 and 1948. He was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1971 for his contributions to the sport. The University of Wisconsin awarded him an honorary Doctor of Science (ScD) in 1974. Nielsen was appointed a Knight of the Order of the DannebrogRidder af Dannebrog (1961) by the government of Denmark.

    Nielsen and his wife Gertrude (d.1998) donated the Nielsen Tennis Stadium to the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In 1990, the A.C. Nielsen family made a donation to UW-Madison to establish the A.C. Nielsen Center for Marketing Analytics and Insights, which provides MBA, MS, and certificate programs in marketing research, consumer insights, and analytics. It is the only full-time market research program in the United States. A small tennis center in Winnetka, Illinois, is named after him. 

    - Wikipedia

    • 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.

    • October 24, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • November 03, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • Tempe Embassy Suites - Tempe, Arizona


    The Arizona Rebild Annual Conference, originally scheduled for last spring, has been rescheduled for October 2021.  The new dates have the Pre-tour to the Grand Canyon and Sedona October 24-27, the Conference at the Tempe Embassy Suites October 27-30, and the Post-Tour to Tombstone and Tucson October 31-November 3.

    “We were very disappointed that we had to cancel the conference last spring due to COVID-19”, said Rebild U.S. Vice President Bruce Bro, but we are excited to reschedule for October 2021.  Late October and early November is an equally beautiful time of year in Arizona, and we know everyone will enjoy the weather and the entertaining program”.

    The program is essentially the same as was planned for last March.  The Pre-Tour includes a welcome dinner at the Tempe Embassy Suites on October 24, followed by the Ranchos de los Cabelleros  in Wickenburg with a cowboy barbecue and entertainment, an afternoon at the Grand Canyon, and finishing with a night and morning in beautiful Sedona.

    The conference runs October 27-30 with a welcome dinner the first night, filled by a Desert Botanical Gardens tour and Smørrebrødfest, a tour of the Scottsdale Museum of the West on October 29 along with dinner and a Bull Riding show at the Buffalo Chip Saloon, and finally a tour of the Heard Museum and the Gala Dinner on Saturday night October 30.  Rebild leadership and board meetings will be conducted the mornings of the conference with the Rebild General Membership meeting on Saturday morning October 31.

    One addition to the events not offered in March will be a tour of the Niels Petersen House Museum in Tempe.  Petersen, a Danish Immigrant in the 1800’s was a rancher and a founding father of the town of Tempe.  He built a beautiful Victorian style house near Tempe in the late 1800’s, which is now a museum.  The house offers a glimpse of the life of Niels and Susanna Petersen during that time period.

    The Post-Tour will depart Tempe Sunday morning October 31 and travel to Tombstone and “The Gunfight at the OK Corral”.  On Monday November 1 the tour group will explore the incredible Kartchner Caverns followed by an evening banquet and entertainment in Tucson.  Tuesday morning November 2 includes a tour of Tucson’s Sonoran Desert Museum and then back to Tempe for a farewell dinner.  Departures for home will be the next day, Wednesday November 3.

    “We once again welcome all Rebild Members to Arizona”, added Bro.  “But we also extend a welcome to non-members to join us and learn about Rebild - the Danish American Friendship Society”.

    Registration information will be released soon, but you may email Bruce Bro at BruceABro@icloud.com for more information, and to be added to the waiting list.

    Rebild Arizona 2021 Schedule
    Updated 10/26/2020

    Sunday October 24
    - Pre-Tour Welcome Dinner at Tempe Embassy Suites
    Overnight at Tempe Embassy Suites

    Monday October 25 - Pre-Tour Ranchos de los Caballeros
    Overnight at Caballeros

    Tuesday October 26 - Grand Canyon/Sedona
    Overnight at Hampton Inn, Sedona

    Annual Conference Schedule - 
    Wednesday October 27 - Conference Arrival at Tempe Embassy Suites
    Reception and Welcome Dinner

    Thursday October 28 - Chapter Presidents/Rebild Board Meetings
    Desert Botanical Gardens/Smørrebrødfest

    Friday October 29 - Combined Presidents/Board Meeting
    Petersen House Museum tour
    Museum of the West/Buffalo Chip Saloon

    Saturday October 30 - General Membership Meeting
    Heard Museum/Gala Dinner

    Sunday October 31 - Conference Departures

    Sunday October 31 - Morning Departures to Tombstone
    Gunfight at the OK Corall
    Overnight in Tombstone

    Monday November 1 - Kartchner Caverns/Tucson Dinner
    Overnight at Tucson Embassy Suites

    Tuesday November 2 - Sonoran Desert Museum
    Return to Tempe & Farewell Dinner
    Overnight at Tempe Embassy Suites

    Wednesday November 3 - Post Tour Departures

    More Information and Pre-Register - 

    Email - Bruce Bro

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

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