event Calendar

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

    • September 17, 2021
    • December 18, 2021
    • Chicago, IL

    CHICAGO ARCHITECTURE BIENNIAL

    From The Chicago Architecture Biennial website and the Creative Denmark website -

    The fourth edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial (CAB) will open to the public on September 17, responding to an urban design framework that proposes connecting community residents, architects, and designers to develop and create spaces that reflect the needs of communities and neighborhoods. Over 80 contributors from more than 18 countries will respond to this framework through site-specific architectural projects, exhibitions, and programs across eight neighborhoods in Chicago and in the digital sphere.

    Curated by the Biennial’s 2021 Artistic Director—designer, researcher, and educator David Brown—The Available City will present projects and programs that ask and respond to the question of who gets to participate in the design of the city by exploring new perspectives and approaches to policies. The Available City illuminates the potential for immediate new possibilities, highlights improvisational organizers of the city, and underscores the exponential impact of small elements in aggregate.

    The Biennial is free and open to the public beginning on Friday, September 17. It will be on view at sites and in locations throughout the city, activated through in-person and online programming through December 18, 2021. - Chicago Architecture Biennial Website

    Chicago Architecture Biennial Website

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    When America's largest architecture and design event Chicago Architecture Biennial 2021 opens in September, the new SoilLab will represent Denmark with a project that puts communities first.

    "We are delighted to have been chosen to represent Denmark at the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial and are grateful to the jury for believing in our proposal," says the Soil Lab team.

    According to the Danish team, the core of the winning project is to work with the residents of the hard-hit district in Chicago in transforming one of the district's countless built spaces into a new, common urban space that can bring positive change to the community.

    The 2021 commission is the second time the Statens Kunstfond has invited Danish creatives to propose a site-specific project for Chicago. 

    The Soil Lab team consist of Eibhlín Ní Chathasaigh, James Martin, Maria Bruun, and Anne Dorthe Vester. - Creative Denmark Website

    Creative Denmark Website

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    Soil Lab is the winner of an Open Call hosted by the Danish Arts Foundation in collaboration with the Chicago Architecture Biennial for a major new commission in the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago. Soil Lab will include workshops and built elements grounded in bricks, a material with significance to both the Chicago and the Danish architectural vernacular. The commission reflects the DAF’s mission to highlight Danish architecture and design traditions on a global platform while also facilitating conversations about the role of the arts and design in shaping communities. The project also emphasizes global collaboration—between cultures, between disciplines, and between the winning design team and the local community in Chicago. 

    The 2021 commission is the second time the DAF has invited Danish creatives, and creatives with close ties to the Danish architecture and design field, to propose a site-specific project for Chicago. During the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial, Cabbage Patch—an installation of 10,000 cabbages developed by Danish artist duo Gamborg/Magnussen—was sited at the Garfield Park Conservatory. This year’s commission directly responds to CAB’s 2021 edition theme The Available City, led by Artistic Director David Brown. Conceived of as an urban design approach rooted in community engagement, The Available City brings together local and international design thinkers with community stakeholders, residents, and students to chart new, impactful uses for design and architecture that respond to the reality of the existing city fabric. The DAF commission enacts this methodology on a global scale, enabling a close collaboration between an international design team and Chicago residents.

    The Soil Lab project involves two main efforts: the making of structures out of bricks, rammed earth, and ceramic tiles; and the construction of spaces for communal gathering. Soil Lab is inspired by the work of Jens Jensen—a Danish-American landscape architect whose work can be seen throughout several of Chicago’s major parks—who believed in the importance of reconnecting with oneself and one’s community through engaging with nature and natural materials. Soil Lab suggests a special meeting between architecture, object, and the body as participants are invited to engage in the process of creating bricks, to slow down and consider the materiality of the spaces that we occupy. Various proposed built elements such as benches, tables, and a gallery wall made from brick encourage movement, interaction, pause, and conversation.

    The Soil Lab team, made up of architects and designers based in Copenhagen and Dublin, will begin work this spring through a series of virtual conversations with local community groups in North Lawndale. Over the course of the next seven months, the final site design and implementation of the project will be shaped and rolled out with input from and in close collaboration with local residents and organizations. Soil Lab will be activated throughout the 2021 Biennial, which opens in September.

    The DAF and CAB partnership looks to the collaborative methodology of The Available City to create a new, shared space with and for residents of North Lawndale. The new commission builds on an ongoing process of repurposing vacant lots into community assets across Chicago and in North Lawndale specifically: the project will be sited near the corner of 13th and Pulaski just down the street from a permaculture food forest run with students from the nearby CCA Academy and a site currently being developed by the Young Men’s Employment Network (YMEN).

    Three finalist projects received honorable mentions: Creative Community of North Lawndale: A Project of Mapping and Connecting – JAC Studios, Eve Fineman, Bridgette Buckley, Norman Teague Design Studios; The Communal Table – arki_lab in collaboration with and Alberte Nicoline Tranberg; and Movement in a Frame – Iben Jørgensen.

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    The Soil Lab project team is made up of three architects, James Albert Martin, Eibhlín Ní Chathasaigh, and Anne Dorthe Vester, and one designer, Maria Bruun, working across different scales, materials, and disciplines. James, Eibhlín, and Anne Dorthe studied together at the Aarhus School of Architecture in Denmark and have since collaborated on several projects. James and Eibhlín are based in Dublin, where they have both worked for internationally renowned architecture firms. Maria and Anne Dorthe are based in Copenhagen, where they founded the studio MBADV in 2013. Their practice with MBADV is at the intersection of architecture, design, and fine art. The project team comes together around a belief in making as a collaborative act: making moments, and making spaces and places for people to gather, to celebrate, and to treasure space. 


    Eibhlín Ní Chathasaigh graduated from the Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark, in 2011. Since graduating she has worked for Atelier Peter Zumthor in Switzerland and Grafton Architects in Dublin, Ireland. In 2018, Eibhlín joined James and Anne Dorte in participating in the REFORM Design Biennale with their collaboration Woven Construct, constructed in the garden of Munkeruphus Center of Contemporary Art, in Zealand, Denmark. Eibhlín believes imagination is the central strength of architecture and is interested in the social act of architecture and design as a collaborative conversation. It is with great pleasure that, together with the people of North Lawndale and the Soil Lab team, she embarks on transforming a vacant lot in West Chicago into a new public space.

    James Albert Martin is a registered architect with the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland and Grade 3 Accredited in Architectural Conservation. He has taught at The Aarhus School of Architecture and at University College Dublin where he is currently a Design Fellow. James is interested in the act of making, and his work is informed by this collaborative act. James holds a MA from The Aarhus School of Architecture and has also undertaken courses in joinery at Capellagården - a school for craft and design. Since graduating he has worked with international studios; Sou Fujimoto Architects, Herzog & de Meuron, and Grafton Architects. In 2018, James, Eibhlín, and Anne Dorte participated in REFORM Design Biennale with their collaboration Woven Construct, a seat, a screen, space, which they constructed in the garden of Munkeruphus, north of Copenhagen.

    Throughout her work, whether small or large scale, architect Anne Dorthe Vester's projects are based on the study of materials and the processing of these. The craft in itself is central to her understanding of materials. She is also part of the duo MBADV that works with objects in the cross-field between art, architecture, and design. MBADV is a collaboration with furniture designer Maria Bruun. Anne Dorthe Vester holds a MA from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, and a BA from Aarhus School of Architecture. Additionally, she has taken courses in joinery at KTS (Copenhagen technical college) and at Capellagården - school for craft and design.

    With her work, the Danish designer Maria Bruun joins a long-standing design tradition. With sincere respect for classic Danish furniture, Bruun builds on this foundation with an innovative approach, creating her design in close dialogue with skilled craftspeople. She often devotes her work to the refinement of the individual elements and persistently seeks out new possibilities in her field. Bruun was appointed emerging talent 2019-2020 by the Danish Arts Foundation. This honorable appointment positions her as one of the most promising emerging designers in Denmark right now. She is a part of the duo MBADV that works with objects in the cross-field between art, architecture, and design. MBADV is a collaboration with architect Anne Dorthe Vester. Maria Bruun holds a MA in furniture Design from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design.

    • September 21, 2021
    • (PDT)
    • December 16, 2021
    • (PST)
    • 7 sessions
    • Virtual Event

    VIRTUAL DANISH BOOK CLUB AND LITERARY EVENT SERIES

    All who are interested in Danish literature are invited to join several Danish American organizations for a series of online events beginning this fall. Current and classic works of Danish literature will be read and discussed, accompanied by author and special guest interviews; all events will take place in the English language. The virtual events will begin in September and continue each month until May of 2022; Book Club events will take place as Zoom meetings with participation open to all, and Literary Event Series will take place as webinars or pre-recorded discussions.

    Moderator for the Book Club discussions will be University of Wisconsin-Madison Scandinavian Studies Department Faculty Associate Nete Schmidt. The Literary Event Series is a collaboration between American-Scandinavian Foundation, Museum of Danish America, and The National Nordic Museum. Facilitator for the Museum of Danish America Conversation With The Author events will be former Lecturer of Danish at the University of Washington, and columnist at the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, Désirée Ohrbeck.

    September 21 Literary Event
    This Should Be Written in the Present Tense
     by Helle Helle (2011)

    Simulcast on Facebook and YouTube
    Tuesday, September 21, 2021
    10 am Pacific / 1 pm Eastern

    Event series facilitator Désirée Ohrbeck will be talking to Claus Elholm Andersen, Ph.D., the Paul and Renate Madsen Assistant Professor of Scandinavian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Andersen has written extensively on the Danish contemporary writer Helle Helle and in 2018 edited a special issue about her writings for Spring, a scholarly journal.

    Désirée Ohrbeck is a former Visiting Lecturer of Danish (2010-2016) for the Scandinavian Studies Department at the University of Washington, now serving on its advisory board. She is a columnist for the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten and a frequent contributor in Danish media.

    Watch this conversation for free on Facebook or YouTube, hosted virtually by the Museum of Danish America. Direct links will be available closer to the event date. 

    Click here if you’d like to be sent a reminder email in advance: https://campaigns.danishmuseum.org/h/i/A4295E2CBF2D0023

    The autumn 2021 tentative schedule looks like this; more information will be available closer to the dates:

    September - This Should be Written in the Present Tense by Helle Helle
    Dorte is 20 and adrift, pretending to study literature at Copenhagen University. In reality, she is riding the trains and clocking up random encounters in her new home by the railway tracks. She remembers her ex, Per – the first boyfriend she tells us about, and the first she leaves – as she enters a new world of transient relationships, random sexual experiences, and awkward attempts to write.
    Tuesday September 14 5:00PM PDT/8:00PM EDT - Book Club group discussion 
    Tuesday September 21 10:00AM PDT/1:00PM EDT - Discussion TBD

    October - The Employees by Olga Ravn
    Structured as a series of witness statements compiled by a workplace commission, The Employees follows the crew of the Six-Thousand Ship which consists of those who were born, and those who were made, those who will die, and those who will not. When the ship takes on a number of strange objects from the planet New Discovery, the crew is perplexed to find itself becoming deeply attached to them, and human and humanoid employees alike start aching for the same things: warmth and intimacy, loved ones who have passed, shopping and child-rearing, our shared, far-away Earth, which now only persists in memory.
    Tuesday October 12 5:00PM PDT/8:00PM EDT - Book Club group discussion 
    Tuesday October 19 10:00AM PDT/1:00PM EDT - Conversation With The Author - Pre-recorded (American Scandinavian Foundation) Interview with Olga Ravn

    November - Victim 2117 by Jussi Adler-Olsen
    Jussi Adler-Olsen is Denmark’s #1 crime writer and a New York Times bestselling author. His books routinely top the bestseller lists in Europe and have sold more than 24 million copies around the world.  In Victim 2117, readers finally learn the backstory of Assad, the mysterious middle easterner who is oneofthe 4 detectives which constitute Department Q.
    Tuesday November 16 5:00PM PST/8:00PM EST - Book Club group discussion 
    Tuesday November 23 10:00AM PST/1:00PM EST - Conversation With The Author (Author Interview)

    December - Babette’s Feast by Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen)
    Denmark, 1870s. Two deeply religious elderly sisters living in an isolated village take in a French refugee from the Franco-Prussian war, Babette. She becomes their housekeeper and is happy to work for no pay. Fourteen years later, Babette wins a large amount of money in a lottery. The event coincides with the 100th anniversary of the birth of the sisters' father, a devout Christian minister who had a great following in the village. Babette decides to throw a great dinner for the remaining followers to honor the occasion. One thing: the dinner will be French, and once the ingredients start to arrive, the unsophisticated villagers suspect that something unholy is about to take place.
    Tuesday December 14 5:00PM PST/8:00PM EST - Book Club group discussion 
    Thursday December 16 10:00AM PST/1:00PM EST - Conversation With The Author (Special guest interview)

    See complete details for the monthly group discussions on the Northwest Danish Association website here - https://northwestdanish.org/nationalbookcluband also on the Museum of Danish America website here - https://www.danishmuseum.org/explore/danish-american-culture/book-club

    The 2022 (January-May) books and guests will soon be determined.  Books will be available for purchase through independent booksellers, and digital versions may also be available through online resellers.  Please contact one of the participating organizations if you have difficulty purchasing one of the selections.  Please watch for further announcements along with the Zoom link from the participating organizations:

    • American-Scandinavian Foundation and Scandinavia House - New York
    • Embassy of Denmark - Washington D.C.
    • Museum of Danish America - Elk Horn, Iowa
    • National Foundation for Danish America - Chicago
    • National Nordic Museum - Seattle
    • Northwest Danish Association - Seattle
    • Scan Design Foundation - Seattle
    • University of Washington Scandinavian Studies
    • University of Wisconsin Scandinavian Studies

    CONVERSATION WITH THE AUTHOR FACILITATOR
    Désirée Ohrbeck https://desireeohrbeck.com served as a Danish Lecturer at the Scandinavian Studies Department at University of Washington from 2010-2016 years. She is now a proud board member for University of Washington Scandinavian Studies Advisory Board.

    Désirée is also a columnist writer for the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten and a frequent contributor in Danish media both on TV and radio. She has written op-eds, commentaries, and essays for Politiken, Berlingske Tidende and Jyllands-Posten. 

    “I am not afraid to reflect on and ask questions centering around life choices, culture and religion, something I intend to utilize in my interviews with Danish authors. I am straight forward, and it is important to me to deal with topics in a way that is focused on bringing everyone in on the conversation in dealing with topics that affects all people. What better place to do this than in a conversation about literature?”

    MEET THE BOOK CLUB MODERATOR
    Nete Schmidt, a native of Aarhus, received her degrees in English and Danish from the University of Copenhagen and taught at Bjerringbro Junior College and the University of Aarhus for many years. She came to the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998, and following eight years as Visiting Assistant Professor, she became a Faculty Associate in the Scandinavian Studies Unit in the Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic (GNS). She has been teaching Danish and Scandinavian Literature courses such as The Tales of Hans Christian Andersen, Criminal utopias, and Sexual Politics in Scandinavia.

    In 2008, she started The Danish Book Club in Madison, and it is still going strong.  She is also a member of several other book clubs and thoroughly enjoys reading and discussing literature.

    She hopes that the National Danish Book Club will provide its participants with a number of interesting, thought-provoking, new, and old books to read and discuss.  And discussion and participation in a very relaxed manner is definitely an important aspect.  Everybody is invited to share thoughts and ideas in a non-judgmental, non-biased, respectful, and very open setting, so every book club will be a different experience depending on the participants and their views. There is, of course, no obligation to participate if one is more inclined to listen and absorb the opinions of others, but rather than lecturing or teaching, there will be open discussion.  As always, with literature, there are no right or wrong thoughts or answers; what matters is interest, engagement, and a willingness to share one’s thoughts.

    • September 21, 2021
    • 12:00 PM
    • Stonewall Orchard Golf Course - Grayslake, IL

    21ST ANNUAL GOLF OUTING

    The Danish American Athletic Club and The Danish Home of Chicago

    21st Annual Golf Outing
    Tuesday, September 21st, 12:00 PM  
    Stonewall Orchard Golf Course
    Grayslake, Illinois

    Rt. 60, west of Rt. 83, south of Rt. 120 (847-546-9650)

    September 18 Registration Deadline

    Registration Form Here

    The price is $95 per player and includes 18 holes with cart, (2) beverage

    and (1) sandwich on the course. Food and drinks will be carryout only.


    Check in starts at 12:00 noon

    Two-Person Scramble Format – tee times begin at 1:00 PM sharp


    **If weather prohibits the outing, rain checks will be issued**

    Practice Range (balls included) will be open before tee times.

    Prizes will be awarded for the following categories:

    Longest Drive Closest to the Pin - Longest Putt Lowest scoring teams

    Visit with some old friends – meet some new ones!

    Entries with payment must be received by September 18th

    (Sorry, no refunds after September 18th)

    *** Hole Sponsorships Welcome! ***

    ***$100 per hole***

    • September 22, 2021
    • October 27, 2021
    • 2 sessions
    • Armstrong, Iowa

    GLENN HENRIKSEN - DANISH AMERICAN KEYBOARD ENTERTAINER

    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

    • October 14, 2021
    • (PDT)
    • Concert Schedule

    MADS TOLLING - 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

    • October 14, 2021
    • January 13, 2022
    • 4 sessions
    • Virtual Meeting

    TIVOLI LODGE #300 MONTHLY VIRTUAL GATHERING

    Join us for a monthly virtual komsammen (get together)! Our time together includes a program on Danish traditions or culture, time to get to know each other, and a brief business meeting. 

    This Danish Sisterhood Lodge differs from other lodges because we are a 100% virtual lodge! Our members join us from around the country and enjoy each other through the use of Zoom technology.  Contact us by email at tivolilodge300@gmail.com for Zoom call information.



    Tivoli Lodge Facebook

    Danish Sisterhood Website

    • October 15, 2021
    • January 15, 2022
    • 4 sessions
    • New Issue Released

    CHURCH AND LIFE - NEW ISSUE

    For more information and to Subscribe...

    Subscribe Here

    CHURCH AND LIFE: A BRIEF HISTORY

    by Thorvald Hansen

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

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

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

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


    Reference: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


    • October 15, 2021
    • June 17, 2022
    • 5 sessions
    • Viking Lodge, Tinley Park, IL

    DANISH BROTHERHOOD LODGE #35

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

    Danish Brotherhood Lodge No. 35

    Face Masks Still Required

    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 Joel Powless, Financial Sec’y Lori Powless & 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

    • October 20, 2021
    • December 15, 2021
    • 3 sessions
    • Danish Home of Chicago, Chicago, IL

    BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR RESIDENTS

    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

    • October 20, 2021
    • December 15, 2021
    • 3 sessions
    • Virtual Meeting (Zoom) - Kenosha, WI

    DANISH SISTERHOOD LODGE #20 OF KENOSHA REGULAR MEETING

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

    DANISH SISTERHOOD OF AMERICA
    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

    Danish Sisterhood National Website

    • October 20, 2021
    • December 15, 2021
    • 3 sessions
    • Milwaukee, WI

    VIRTUAL MEETING - DSS LODGE #15 MILWAUKEE

    Dronning Margrethe Lodge #15 | Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Organized September 21, 1891

    Emailannmarieccc@gmail.com

    Fall 2021 Newsletter

    Spring 2021 Newsletter

    Lodge Website


    Lodge Facebook Page

    • October 21, 2021
    • January 09, 2022
    • Museum of Contemporary Art - Detroit, MI

    EXHIBITS FROM FOUR DANISH ARTISTS

    Beginning October 21 and running through January 9, 2022,  the Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art will present exhibits from four Danish artists.

    John Korner
    International Super Fruits

    Jeannette Ehlers
    Take Root

    Jane Jin Kaisen
    Parallax Conjunctures

    Hannah Toticki
    Universal Human Resource


    For more information, please see the MOCAD website here -

    Museum of Contemporary Art website

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

    2021 REBILD ANNUAL USA CONFERENCE

    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.

    Everyone interested in Danish American friendship is welcome!

    We look forward to a safe, enjoyable conference and gathering for everyone.  See our Covid strategy and policies here.

    “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, followed 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 Thursday morning of the conference with the Rebild General Membership meeting on Saturday morning October 31.

    Two additional event options for Friday morning October 29, not offered in March, will be a tour of the Niels Petersen House Museum in Tempe, and a Sonoran Desert Hike led by the Hiking Viking.  Niels 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.  Another option that same morning will be a 90 minute easy/moderate hike in the Sonoran Desert led by Bruce Bro.

    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 and friends  to Arizona”, added Bro.  “and we also extend a welcome to non-members to join us and learn about Rebild - the Danish American Friendship Society”.

    Registration Form

    Hotel Information: Hotel IS included for Pre and Post tours.  Your Hotel room during the conference is NOT included in your registration (Oct 27-31).  To reserve your room, call the hotel at the number on the registration form, or here directly with the hotel online.

    Rebild Arizona 2021 Schedule
    Updated July 26, 2021

    Pre-Tour
    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 Matterhorn Inn, Sedona

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

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

    Friday October 29 - No Business Meetings
    AM - Petersen House Museum tour
    AM - Morning Hike with the Hiking Viking (90 minutes easy/moderate)
    Afternoon - Museum of the West
    Evening - Buffalo Chip Saloon (Dinner and Bull Riding Show)

    Saturday October 30
    AM - General Membership Meeting
    Afternoon - Heard Museum
    Evening - Gala Dinner

    Sunday October 31
    Conference Departures

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

    Monday November 1
    AM - Kartchner Caverns
    Evening - Tucson Dinner and Mads Tolling concert at Embassy Suites
    Overnight at Tucson Embassy Suites

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

    Wednesday November 3 
    Post Tour Departures

    More Information and questions - 

    Email - Bruce Bro

    Registration Form
    • November 01, 2021
    • Wisconsin

    NEW BOOK CO-AUTHORED BY WISCONSIN HONORARY DANISH CONSUL ANNEMARIE SAWKINS
    A Creative Place: The History of Art in Wisconsin 

    A Book Project with the Cedarburg Art Museum

    Co-authored by Thomas Lidtke and Annemarie Sawkins, PhD

    Support The Project! - Click Here for More Information

    Today, Wisconsin boasts vibrant art scenes in its major cities and across the state. But how did we get here? The history of art in Wisconsin begins with the state’s first Indigenous inhabitants and extends through millennia. But the history of Wisconsin’s earliest artists and the accomplishments of successive generations of visual arts practitioners has not been adequately researched or published. To date, the only book to address the topic is Porter Butts’s Art in Wisconsin: The Art Experience of the Middle West Frontier, which appeared in 1936 and has been neither updated nor succeeded by a new publication.

    A Creative Place: The History of Art in Wisconsin will be a comprehensive history of art and artists in Wisconsin. With contributions and guidance from experts in the field, our project is to produce the most complete book on artists throughout Wisconsin. From the spiritual and creative endeavors of Wisconsin’s First Nations, through four hundred years of French and British occupation, the transition from territorial status to statehood, and the turn to the modern era, the book will extend through the twentieth century.

    For the purposes of this volume, Wisconsin artists will be defined as the men and women who have resided in what is now the state of Wisconsin and have created noteworthy work while in the area, or during their careers. Since visual art takes many forms, this history will consider art in a range of mediums and will present the creative output of the Wisconsin artists in broader contexts of social and cultural history and historical events.

    Organized chronological and thematically, this publication will celebrate the artistic talent that is part of our Wisconsin heritage. For the first time, examples of Wisconsin’s Indigenous peoples’ ancient effigy mounds, petroglyphs, pictographs, pottery, stone carving, and metal work will be identified and analyzed in a manner consistent with current art historical publications that deal with the ancient world. The art of early non-Native explorers of this region will be considered, with attention to early maps of Wisconsin that include drawings made by French explorers during the 1700s. The art of early itinerant and settler artists will follow and will lead to the era of academically trained artists. The book will next consider the massive nineteenth-century influx of German speaking people to Wisconsin, including artists who trained the first generation of Wisconsin-born artists in the stylistic tradition established in Europe and greatly enhanced the cultural environment of Wisconsin, particularly in Milwaukee. As a direct result of the strong presence of German culture, Milwaukee became one of only a small handful of American cities that produced enormous panorama canvases that covered 20,000 square feet. The era in which academic art predominated in Wisconsin lasted a quarter of a century, but the legacy of these academically trained artists was much longer. The story of Wisconsin art that this book will tell continues into the twentieth century, with the waning of academic realism shortly after World War I and the ascension of the rich and charming style known as American regionalism. That style would survive in Wisconsin until the end of World War II and set the art of the Midwest apart from other American art. As the book moves into the post-World War II era, it will provide an extensive overview of the many variations of twentieth century modernism in Wisconsin, including surrealism, magic realism, and abstraction, and conceptual art. We conclude with a look at the diverse expressions of postmodernism that characterized Wisconsin’s art scene in the last decades of the twentieth century, and trends that point to the future of art in our state.

    Woven into the book’s chronology, our text will deal with minority artists, art education, arts organizations, artist communities, Wisconsin’s most notable expatriate artists, national art innovators, and self-taught artists who called Wisconsin, “home”. Readers will also gain insight into how Wisconsin artists survived financially by responding to the artistic needs of businesses, as well as selling their art to patrons.   

    This richly illustrated volume will feature an abundance of full-color images of the art that is discussed, along with portraits of artists and other documentary images. It will highlight significant events in the history of Wisconsin as a creative place. For readers who seek additional information, the book will also include notes and an extensive bibliography. 

    About the Authors

    Robert F. Boszhardt

     An archaeologist based in Madison, Robert F. Boszhardt has worked for several decades for the Mississippi Valley Archeology Center at the University of Wisconsin, La-Crosse. He continues to conduct field work and has published numerous articles and authored or coauthored four books on nearly every aspect of Native American archeology of the Upper Mississippi River Valley. His most recent book, Hidden Thunder: Rock Art of the Upper Midwest, was published in 2016.

    Tom Lidtke

     With over three decades of museum leadership, Tom Lidtke transitioned the West Bend Art Museum into the new Museum of Wisconsin Art. During his tenure as the Museum’s director he also conducted graduate courses in the history of Wisconsin art and wrote several publications on the subject. Since his retirement, following the opening of the Museum’s new facility in 2013, he has been working as a consultant to art collectors and museums.                         

    Annemarie Sawkins, PhD.

    Annemarie Sawkins is an independent curator, art historian, and author. She has curated several exhibitions for the Charles Allis/Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museums which have traveled or are currently traveling the country. Sawkins assisted with the publication of Layton’s Legacy: A Historic American Art Collection, 1888–2013 and More Love: Art, Politics and Sharing since the 1990s for the Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. From 1999 to 2012, she was a curator at the Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University. While at the Milwaukee Art Museum from 1997 to 1999, Sawkins contributed to A Renaissance Treasury: The Flagg Collection of European Decorative Arts and Sculpture (1999).  A frequent juror and portfolio reviewer, Annemarie Sawkins holds an MA and PhD in Art/Architectural History from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

    Cedarburg Art Museum Website

    More Information Here about 

    • November 03, 2021
    • November 03, 2023
    • 3 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - CHRISTIAN FENGER

    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, 2021
    • The Danish Home - Chicago, IL

    FALL FESTIVAL WITH FRIKADELLER LUNCHEON

    The Danish Home’s Fall Festival will either be an In-Person Frikadeller Luncheon or a Drive-Thru Event like last year depending on current health and safety rules.

    The Danish Home
    5656 N Newcastle
    Chicago, IL  60631

    Telephone - (773) 775-7385

    Danish Home Website

    Danish Home Email

    • November 10, 2021
    • (EST)
    • Online and Live Concert Schedule

    CONCERT SCHEDULE - DANISH FOLK MUSIC WITH KRISTIAN BUGGE AND GANGSPIL

    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

    SONNICH LYDOM & KRISTIAN BUGGE

    "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..”


    GANGSPIL
    Telephone -
    (360) 701-4931
    Email - 
    kristian@kristianbugge.com

    Kristian - Website

    Gangspil - Website

    Kristian - Facebook

    • November 11, 2021
    • May 12, 2022
    • 4 sessions
    • Temporarily on Zoom

    DANIA SOCIETY OF CHICAGO MEETING

    Meetings now again in person at The Elks Club!

    Dinner will start at 6:00 pm

    The Meeting will start at 8:00 pm

    Scheduled membership meetings:
    Every other month at the second Thursday starting with September:

    November 11, 2021  

    January 13, 2022  

    March 10, 2022  

    May 12, 2022  

    Summer break

    Meeting on the second Thursday.

    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 
    Emaildania.chicago@gmail.com

    Dania Chicago Website

    Dania Chicago Facebook

    • November 13, 2021
    • November 12, 2022
    • 5 sessions
    • Via Zoom

    REBILD CHAPTER LEADERSHIP VIRTUAL MEETING

    Quarterly International Chapter Leadership meeting on Zoom.

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

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

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

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

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

    April 2022 in Chicago, Illinois

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

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

    Rebild Website

    • December 01, 2021
    • December 01, 2024
    • 4 sessions

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

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

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

    Danish Sisterhood History

    Danish Sisterhood Website

    • December 04, 2021
    • Knights of Columbus Hall - Arlington Heights, IL

    DAAC ANNUAL CHRISTMAS PARTY

    December 4, 2021

    The Danish American Athletic Club plans to hold its Annual Christmas Party at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Arlington Heights, IL.

    DAAC Website

    • December 10, 2021
    • December 10, 2023
    • 3 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - JOHANNES GELERT

    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 11, 2021
    • 4:00 PM
    • Edison Park Lutheran Church - Chicago, IL

    DANISH CHRISTMAS SERVICE

    4:00PM

    Edison Park Lutheran Church
    6626 N Oliphant Ave
    Chicago, IL. 60631

    (773) 631-9131

    Church Website

    • December 18, 2021
    • Hyatt Lodge - Oak Brook, IL

    DANISH HOME FOUNDATION'S ANNUAL BENEFIT & LILLEJULEAFTEN

    The Danish Home Foundation is planning its Annual Benefit in conjunction with a community-based “Lillejuleaften”.  And, help us celebrate the Danish Home's 130th Anniversary!

    Hyatt Lodge Oak Brook
    2815 Jorie Blvd
    Oak Brook, IL

    Please mark your calendars now! * For updates from The Danish Home of Chicago and to connect to The Danish Home’s social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) and E-News, please visit https://danishhomeofchicago.org.

    Telephone - (773) 775-7385

    The Danish Home Email

    Danish Home Website

    Donate Here

    • December 24, 2021
    • December 25, 2022
    • 2 sessions
    • Denmark and United States

    GLÆDELIG JUL!

    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!

    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'.

    • December 27, 2021
    • December 27, 2023
    • 3 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - PETER EMIL DREIER

    Peter Emil Dreier (December 27, 1832 - October 22, 1892) served as Danish Consul in Chicago beginning in 1867.  

    Dreier was the "moving force" behind a group of influential Danes (including Rebild founder Max Henius) in the Chicago Danish community who regularly met at Wilken's Cellar in the Chicago Loop at "The Round Table".  George R. Nielsen wrote about this group of intellectual or "Cosmopolitan Danes" in his book The Danish Americans...

    "Many of the cosmopolitans participated in the activities of the Danish-Danes and the Danish Americans, but there were distinctions.  Very few concerned themselves with the church, some were Socialists, and Emil Dreier was an atheist.  Others such as Max Henius and Morris Salmonsen were prominent Danish Jews and Henry Hertz had a Jewish heritage.  The meeting place for this group, in the first two decades of the Danish community's existence, was Wilken's Cellar in the Loop, and the Round Table around which they gathered became its symbol.  As the Danes moved west, other locations, such as the newspaper office of Chicago Posten of taverns, became replacements for Wilken's Cellar, but none gained the fame of the original meeting place.

    The moving force behind this group was Emil Dreier who migrated in 1854 and worked first for Miller in the Loop.  He then opened a pharmacy on Milwaukee Avenue and in 1867 became the Danish Consul in Chicago.  He sported side whiskers and was corpulent, so his friends called him "The Turtle."  The heat and gout bothered him and he was temperamental, but he had many friends.  His appointment as consul had created some controversy because the Danish consul in New York asked the Dania Society of Chicago for nominations when the vacancy occurred.  Anton Skov nominated George Bay and Ferdinand Winslow supported Dreier.  In the discussion that took place in the presence of the two candidates, Skov spoke disparagingly of Dreier, and when Dreier received the support of Dania, Skov expressed these same feelings in a letter to the consul in New York.  Dreier received the appointment, and Dania ordered Skov to apologize to Dreier for his attack, primarily because it was a breach of club rules.  Skov did go to Dreier's residence to apologize to Dreier for his attack, but the appointed witnesses and Dreier did not think it a suitable apology.  Dreier was insulted by the actions of Skov and the lukewarm support from Dania, so he resigned taking Winslow and other supporters along.  Winslow then started the Scandinavian Society, which lasted until 1872, when his bank collapsed.  Dreier retuned to Dania that same year, primarily through the efforts of Henry Hertz.

    Wilken's Cellar, with its Round Table, was the place where Drier and his friends met several times a week late in the afternoon.  The table was reserved for the Danes and guests, and generally writers, architects, sculptors, and intellectuals were "invited" to join.  One of the regulars, Max Henius, described the experience:

    One went down eight steps and found oneself in a half-dark cellar, where it was necessary to use gaslight overhead to see anything.  Tables and chairs were the cheapest kind - wood.  Just beside the entrance stood the so-called "round table."  Its surface had never known a table cloth.  The table was covered with a pattern of rings made by many wine glasses.  The uninitiated called the place "the sewer."  Promptly at five in the afternoon, the cellar stairwell was darkened by the Consul's gigantic frame and soon his red face was visible with his curious self-made glass cigar.  His friends were waiting patiently as the consul always led the conversation.  Wilkens provided free lunch with a five-cent or ten-cent glass of wine."


    • January 09, 2022
    • Museum of Contemporary Art - Detroit, MI

    EXHIBITS FROM FOUR DANISH ARTISTS

    Exhibit ends January 9

    The Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art presents exhibits from four Danish artists.

    John Korner
    International Super Fruits

    Jeannette Ehlers
    Take Root

    Jane Jin Kaisen
    Parallax Conjunctures

    Hannah Toticki
    Universal Human Resource


    For more information, please see the MOCAD website here -

    Museum of Contemporary Art website

    • January 30, 2022
    • January 30, 2023
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - CHRISTINE HEMMINGSEN

    Christine Hemmingsen (January 30, 1840 - August 24, 1884) is remembered as a caring, compassionate, and courageous woman. Her home was open to friends and a mecca for old and young Danes seeking to adjust to the ways of the new world. Sorrows were shared, and joys multiplied by family fellowship. They cared. One day, after a brief illness, a young woman who was a friend of the Hemmingsen’s, died, leaving a bereaved husband and two children. The grief was even greater, as the financial burden of funeral expenses was realized. Christine’s kind heart reacted to their friends grief and problems – but she also acted. She was very much aware of fraternal organizations including the Danish Brotherhood, with “sick and death benefit” as their purpose. But they were for men. And so, motivated by compassion, caring, and concern, she took steps to formally organize Danish women into a funeral benefit society.

    [Taken from “Origin of Danish Sisterhood of America and History of Christine Lodge #1” by Millicent Jensen, Member of Christine Lodge #1, April 1, 1983]

    More on the Danish Sisterhood Site...

    DSS History

    • February 02, 2022
    • February 02, 2025
    • 4 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - DALE THOMAS MORTENSEN

    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.  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.

    Dale Mortensen Obituary


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

    A ROYAL BIRTHDAY - 
    HRH THE CROWN PRINCESS

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

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

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

    Family Photo: Franne Voigt 

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

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

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

    HRH The Crown Princess

    • February 17, 2022
    • March 25, 2022
    • Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky

    NATIONAL DANISH PERFORMANCE TEAM TOUR

    The National Danish Performance Team is slated for a tour of the US from March 17 through March 25, 2022. The NDPT tour will include visits in Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky. More info contact Sune Frederiksen at 859-248-0690.

    Pictured: (L-R) Team Manager Bie Andersen, US Coordinator Sune Frederiksen and NDPT General Manager Mette Holm Rod

    • February 18, 2022
    • The Swedish Institute - Minneapolis, MN

    EXHIBIT - PAPER DIALOGUES: THE DRAGON AND OUR STORIES

    The American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis
    February 18 through July 10, 2022

    Leslie Anne Anderson of the National Nordic Museum - Seattle, WA - In 2010, Sino-Norwegian diplomatic relations were strained when the Norwegian Nobel Committee, the members of which were selected by parliament, awarded the annual Peace Prize to Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobao. Bilateral relations normalized six years later; however, it was under these conditions that an important cross-cultural conversation began through art.

    Danish papercutting artist Karen Bit Vejle traveled with support of the Norwegian government to China. She had been invited to exhibit her work there. Vejle, who is knowledgeable in Nordic art history, draws inspiration from Norway’s medieval wood carvings and the 19th-century papercuts of Danish Golden Age author Hans Christian Andersen. She not only understands the visual culture of her home region, but also that of others that have fostered the art of papercutting for centuries. China witnessed the birth of the art form over 1,500 years ago. Interestingly, it was a craft that thrived amongst women artists in rural areas who used it as a form of expression.

    When Vejle visited this cradle of papercutting, she sought out a colleague with whom to collaborate on a project exploring how the two cultures approach the same artistic medium. In April 2013, she met Professor Xiaoguang Qiao at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, and they selected a common motif in Nordic and Chinese art – the dragon – to depict alongside each other. The dragon figures prominently in Chinese culture throughout time and is an auspicious symbol (called “long”), while the Norse dragon is most often associated with the Viking Period and the Middle Ages as an apotropaic (evil-repelling) symbol.

    Though the artists spoke different languages and relied on translators for verbal communication, Vejle shared that she and Qiao are “likeminded” in their artistic philosophies, but their styles and methods of display differ. For example, Vejle’s mounting of sizeable papercuts between glass plates and reliance on lighting the papercuts to cast shadows, giving the two-dimensional works a three-dimensional, or sculptural, presence, was new to Qiao. The artists’ works informed each other, as previous cultural encounters had on artists of earlier eras. One of Vejle’s papercuts produced during this collaboration alludes to earlier exchanges. One piece in the exhibition features a knitting pattern popularized by Norwegian women in World War II. The pattern became a cryptic symbol of camaraderie among compatriots, yet its origins are Asian.

    Their cross-cultural approach lent itself to an exhibition that travels the world. Hosted by the ArtHouse Jersey in the Channel Islands, the exhibition Paper Dialogues expanded to include two new local artists, Layla May Arthur and Emma Reid, in 2016. It is this iteration of the exhibition that will travel to the National Nordic Museum in Fall 2021, encouraging American practitioners in the art of psaligraphy to join in the conversation.

    Leslie Anne Anderson
    Director of Collections, Exhibitions, and Programs

    The American Swedish Institute Website

    Karen Bit Vejle Website

    • February 21, 2022
    • February 21, 2023
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - WILLIAM PETERSEN

    William Louis Petersen (born February 21, 1953) is an American actor and producer. He is best known for his role as Gil Grissom in the CBS drama series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000–2015), for which he won a Screen Actors Guild Award and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award; he was further nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards as a producer of the show.

    He also starred in the films To Live and Die in L.A. (1985), Manhunter (1986), Young Guns II (1990), Fear (1996), The Contender (2000), Detachment (2011), and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012).

    Petersen was born in Evanston, Illinois, the youngest of six children of June (née Hoene; 1909–2006) and Arthur Edward Petersen (1901–2004), who worked in the furniture business. Of Danish and German descent, he was raised in the Roman Catholic faith of his mother. He has two brothers, Arthur Jr. and Robert, and three sisters, Anne, Mary Kay, and Elizabeth.

    He graduated from Bishop Kelly High School in BoiseIdaho, in 1972. He was accepted to Idaho State University on a football scholarship. While at Idaho State, Petersen took an acting course, which changed the direction of his life. He left school along with his wife, Joanne, in 1974, and followed a drama professor to the Basque country, where he studied as a Shakespearean actor. Petersen was interested in Basque culture: He studied the Basque language and gave his daughter the Basque name "Maite Nerea" ("My Beloved"); she was born in Arrasate/Mondragón in 1975. Petersen returned to Idaho with the intention of being an actor. Not wanting to work a nonacting job in Idaho, he returned to the Chicago area, living with relatives. He became active in the theater and earned his Actors' Equity card. He performed with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, of which he has been an ensemble member since 2008, and was a co-founder of the Remains Theater Ensemble, which also included other prominent Chicago actors Gary Cole and Ted Levine.

    In 1975, Petersen and his wife Joanne Brady welcomed a daughter, Maite. In June 2003, Petersen married longtime girlfriend Gina Cirone. He has two grandsons, Mazrik William (born October 2003) and Indigo August (born August 2009). He is an avid Chicago Cubs fan. In 2004, he described to Playboy a near-death experience he had in the 1980s which gave him "assurance" that there is an afterlife.

    On July 5, 2011, Petersen and Cirone (via surrogate) welcomed opposite-sex twins (a son and a daughter).

    On February 3, 2009, Petersen received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. - Wikipedia

    William Petersen - biography

    • March 08, 2022
    • March 08, 2024
    • 3 sessions
    • Wisconsin

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY: RASMUS MØLLER SØRENSEN

    From: Wisconsin Magazine of History by William J. Orr

    In the annals of American immigration history, Rasmus Sørensen is generally acknowledged to be the first and perhaps most influential promoter of Danish settlement in the United States. A religious revivalist, educational reformer, and democratic agitator whose career in Denmark repeatedly foundered in the face of public apathy, entrenched tradition, and, most of all, his own personal shortcomings, he came to view Wisconsin especially as the very embodiment of that broadly diffused prosperity, social equality, religious freedom, and democratic liberty that his own country so sorely lacked. First as a publicist, then as a settler, and finally as an emigration agent, he contributed, as few individuals have done, to the Danish influx to this state. His own life well reflects the economic distress, social tensions, and political frustrations that compelled so many other Danes to depart for foreign lands. And his endeavors demonstrate that, however important were the impersonal forces that impelled mass migrations, persuasive and forceful personalities could also play a decisive part.

    Rasmus Møller Sørensen was born on March 8, 1799, of a well-to-do peasant family in Jelling, near Vejie in southeastern Jutland. Despite his humble origins he was blessed with alertness, intelligence, and the opportunity to become a schoolteacher, one of the few routes of social advancement open to the lower classes in Denmark during this era. Between 1816 and 1818 he attended the Vesterborg Seminary, which had been founded by enlightened aristocrats who aspired to transform rude peasant youths into loyal, dedicated teachers who would in turn elevate their less fortunate compatriots. Already, in the confines of this somewhat paternalistic institution, the young man showed something of that defiance which would be the hallmark of his entire subsequent career as his teachers chided him for "lack of modesty." After graduation, he accepted his first appointment in Aarhus, in his native Jutland, where he soon collided with the local clergy over the use of textbooks, a potentially damaging dispute from which he extricated himself in 1821 by taking a position at Brandstrup School in Lolland. In 1827, at the invitation of Count F.A. Holstein, one of Denmark's most renowned aristocratic reformers and Christian philanthropists, he accepted an appointment at Venslev School in Zealand, the principal Danish Isle. Here he was to remain until 1844 and gain general recognition as a tireless and dedicated, if not wholly innovative teacher.

    Read more about Sørensen's emigration and life in Wisconsin in this article from the Wisconsin Magazine of History by William J. Orr -
    Rasmus Sørensen

    • March 17, 2022
    • March 17, 2023
    • 2 sessions

    ST PATRICKS DAY

    Although the holiday originally started as a Christian feast day celebrating the life of St. Patrick and the spreading of Christianity to Ireland, today, it is a day of revelry and a celebration of all things Irish.

    • March 25, 2022
    • March 25, 2023
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - WILLIAM SIGNIUS KNUDSEN

    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.


    • April 01, 2022
    • April 01, 2024
    • 3 sessions

    BODTKER GRANTS - DEADLINE

    Deadline for Submission: April 15

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

    The Arnold N. Bodtker fund was created by the DAHS in 1998 to honor Arnold Bodtker, who founded the Danish American Heritage Society in 1977. After Arnold Bodtker’s death at age 95 in 2000, the Bodtker fund was endowed by a generous contribution from the Bodtker family. The DAHS subsequently created the Edith and Arnold N. Bodtker Grants for Research and Internship (henceforth referred to as the “Bodtker Grants”) to allow Bodtker funds to be used to support historical research in areas of interest.

    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

    See the DAHS Website for more information -

    DAHS Website

    • April 02, 2022
    • April 02, 2023
    • 2 sessions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Livia Gershon

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

    smithsonianmag.com 
    March 2, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • April 02, 2022
    • April 02, 2023
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - BUDDY EBSEN

    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, 2022
    • April 03, 2024
    • 3 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - CARL ROHL-SMITH

    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 13, 2022
    • April 13, 2023
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - NELLA LARSEN

    Nellallitea "Nella" Larsen, born Nellie Walker (April 13, 1895 – March 30, 1964), was an American novelist of the Harlem Renaissance. Working as a nurse and a librarian, she published two novels, Quicksand (1928) and Passing (1929), and a few short stories. Though her literary output was scant, she earned recognition by her contemporaries.

    A revival of interest in her writing has occurred since the late 20th century, when issues of racial and sexual identity have been studied. Her works have been the subjects of numerous academic studies, and she is now widely lauded as "not only the premier novelist of the Harlem Renaissance, but also an important figure in American modernism.

    Nella Larsen was born Nellie Walker in a poor district of south Chicago known as the Levee, on April 13, 1891, the daughter of Peter Walker, believed to be a mixed race Afro-Caribbean immigrant from the Danish West Indies, and Pederline Marie Hansen, a Danish immigrant, born 1868 in Brahetrolleborg parish on the island of Fyn (Funen), died 1951 in Santa Monica, Los Angeles county. Her mother who went by Mary Larsen (sometimes misspelled Larson) in the U.S., worked as a seamstress and domestic worker in Chicago.  Her father was likely a mixed-race descendant on his paternal side of Henry or George Walker, white men from Albany, New York, who were known to have settled in the Danish West Indies about 1840.  In that Danish colonial society, racial lines were more fluid than in the former slave states of the United States. Walker may never have identified as "Negro." He soon disappeared from the lives of Nella and her mother; she said he had died when she was very young. At this time, Chicago was filled with immigrants, but the Great Migration of blacks from the South had not begun. Near the end of Walker's childhood, the black population of the city was 1.3% in 1890 and 2% in 1910.

    Marie married again, to Peter Larsen aka Peter Larson (b. 1867) a fellow Danish immigrant. In 1892 the couple had a daughter Anna Elizabeth aka Lizzie (married name Gardner) together.  Nellie took her stepfather's surname, sometimes using versions spelled Nellye Larson and Nellie Larsen, before settling finally on Nella Larsen.  The mixed family moved west to a mostly white neighborhood of German and Scandinavian immigrants, but encountered discrimination because of Nella. When Nella was eight, they moved a few blocks back east.

    The American author and critic Darryl Pinckney wrote of her anomalous situation:

    as a member of a white immigrant family, she [Larsen] had no entrée into the world of the blues or of the black church. If she could never be white like her mother and sister, neither could she ever be black in quite the same way that Langston Hughes and his characters were black. Hers was a netherworld, unrecognizable historically and too painful to dredge up.[2]

    Most American blacks were from the South, and Larsen had no connection with them or their histories.

    From 1895 to 1898 Larsen visited Denmark with her mother and her half-sister. While she was unusual in Denmark because of being of mixed race, she had some good memories from that time, including playing Danish children´s games which she later published in English. After returning to Chicago in 1898, she attended a large public school. At the same time that the migration of Southern blacks increased to the city, so had European immigration. Racial segregation and tensions had increased in the immigrant neighborhoods, where both groups competed for jobs and housing.

    Her mother believed that education could give Larsen an opportunity and supported her in attending Fisk University, a historically black university in Nashville, Tennessee. A student there in 1907-08, for the first time Larsen was living within an African-American community, but she was still separated by her own background and life experiences from most of the students, who were primarily from the South, with most descended from former slaves. Biographer George B. Hutchinson found that Larsen was expelled for some violation of Fisk's strict dress or conduct codes for women.  Larsen went on her own to Denmark, where she lived for a total of three years between 1909 and 1912.  After returning to the US, she continued to struggle to find a place where she could belong.

    Larsen returned to New York in 1937, when her divorce had been completed. She lived on alimony until her ex-husband's death in 1941. Struggling with depression, Larsen stopped writing. After her ex-husband's death, Larsen returned to nursing and became an administrator. She disappeared from literary circles. She lived on the Lower East Side and did not venture to Harlem.

    Many of her old acquaintances speculated that she, like some of the characters in her fiction, had crossed the color line to "pass" into the white community. Biographer George Hutchinson has demonstrated in his 2006 work that she remained in New York, working as a nurse.

    Larsen died in her Brooklyn apartment in 1964, at the age of 72.

    In 2018, the New York Times published a belated obituary for her.

    Nella Larsen was an acclaimed novelist, who wrote stories in the midst on the Harlem Renaissance. Larsen is most known for her two novels, Passing and Quicksand, these two pieces of work got a lot of recognition with positive reviews. Many believed that Larsen was intended to be the new up and coming star African American novelist, until she soon after left Harlem, her fame, and writing behind.

    Larsen is often compared to other authors who also wrote about cultural and racial conflict such as Claude Mckay and Jean Toomer.

    Nella Larsen’s works are viewed as strong pieces that well represent mixed raced individuals, and the struggles with identity that some inevitably face.

    There have been some arguments that Larsen’s work did not well represent the “New Negro” movement because of the main characters in her novels being confused and struggling with their race. However, others argue that her work was a raw and important representation of how life was life for many people, especially females, during the Harlem Renaissance.

    Larsen’s novel Passing is being made into a film. - Wikipedia

    The Performance of Racial Passing

    Nella Larsen - 2018 New York Times Obituary

    • April 15, 2022
    • September 15, 2022
    • 2 sessions

    BODTKER GRANTS - DEADLINE

    Deadlines for Submission: April 15 and September 15

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

    The Arnold N. Bodtker fund was created by the DAHS in 1998 to honor Arnold Bodtker, who founded the Danish American Heritage Society in 1977. After Arnold Bodtker’s death at age 95 in 2000, the Bodtker fund was endowed by a generous contribution from the Bodtker family. The DAHS subsequently created the Edith and Arnold N. Bodtker Grants for Research and Internship (henceforth referred to as the “Bodtker Grants”) to allow Bodtker funds to be used to support historical research in areas of interest.

    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

    See the DAHS Website for more information -

    DAHS Website

    • April 16, 2022
    • April 16, 2023
    • 2 sessions
    • Fredensborg Palace, Denmark

    A ROYAL BIRTHDAY
    HM QUEEN MARGRETHE II


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

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

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

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

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

    Foto: Per Morten Abrahamsen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    More Information:

    Royal House Website

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

    GOD PÅSKE (EASTER SUNDAY)

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

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

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

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

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

    Aliki Seferou

    Danish traditions, Easter Eggs

    Danish traditions, Easter Eggs | © andreas160578 / Pixabay

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

    Celebrating springtime

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

    Danish countryside in spring | © Per Ganrot / Flickr

    Gækkebreve

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

    Danish Easter tradition,Gækkebreve | © Nillerdk / Wikimedia Commons

    Eggs, eggs and eggs

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

    Tivoli Easter Eggs Decoration | © David Jones / Flickr

    Easter lunch

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

    Danish Easter lunch | © Andreas Hagerman / Flickr


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

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - INGEBORG BRUHN BERTHELSEN

    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.


    • April 27, 2022
    • April 27, 2023
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - NIELS JUUL

    Niels Juul (April 27, 1859 – December 4, 1929) was a U.S. Representative from Illinois.

    Juul was born in Randers in Midtjylland, Denmark. Juul attended the public school (realskole) in Randers. He emigrated to the United States and settled in Chicago, Illinois, in 1880. He engaged in the publishing business. He studied law, and graduated from the law department of Lake Forest University in 1898. He was admitted to the bar in 1899 and commenced practice in Chicago.

    He was an alternate delegate to Republican National Convention from Illinois in 1892. He served as a member of the State senate from 1898 to 1914. He served as assistant attorney of the Sanitary District of Chicago from 1907 to 1911. Juul was elected as a Republican from Illinois's 7th congressional district to the Sixty-fifth and Sixty-sixth Congresses (March 4, 1917 - March 3, 1921). He was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1920.

    He was appointed by President Warren G. Harding United States Collector of Customs for the Port of Chicago on January 1, 1921, and served until December 31, 1922, when he resigned. He resumed the practice of law until his death in Chicago, on December 4, 1929.

    Niels Juul was married to Hulda E Risberg Juul (1858-1897). They were the parents of three children including Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball coach Herb Juul. Niels Juul died in 1929 and was interred in Mount Olive Cemetery in Chicago. - Wikipedia

    • April 27, 2022
    • April 30, 2022
    • Chicago, IL

    SAVE THE DATES - 2022 REBILD USA SPRING CONFERENCE

    Rebild USA will return to the annual spring conference schedule in 2022.  The meeting will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Schaumburg, IL (Chicago area).

    Here is the tentative schedule:

    Wednesday April 27 - Arrivals and Welcome Reception

    Thursday April 28 - Meetings of Chapter Presidents and National Board

    Friday April 29 - Combined Chapter Presidents and National Board meeting

    Saturday April 30 - General Membership meeting and Gala Dinner event

    Sunday May 1 - Departures

    For more information Contact:
    Rebild USA National Secretary Linda Steffensen - rebildusa@gmail.com
    Rebild USA National Vice President Bruce Bro - bruceabro@icloud.com

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

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - JO JORGENSEN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    LIGHT A CANDLE IN YOUR WINDOW FOR DENMARK LIBERATION DAY

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

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

    De Frie Danske

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

    May 5

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


    LIBERATION DAY

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

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

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

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

    May 4

    More Information

    May 1945 Video

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

    This film is a part of the archive of The National Museum of Denmark, in which the recordings are titled “Film: Privatoptagelser fra befrielsesdagene 1945 i København“. The archive has noted the following informations (and more): Description: “Optagelser fra dagene 5. - 12. maj i København. Bl.a. opløb d. 5/5 ved Dagmarhus, som stadig bevogtes af tyske soldater. Modstandsfolk i dækning under træfninger i havnen. Britiske landtroppers ankomst ad Vesterbrogade 8/5 fotograferet fra en af de britiske biler. Feltmarksal Montogomery ved Langelinie 12/5. 16 mm. Stum. 14:05.” License: “No known rights” Photographer/creator: “Ukendt” Time of recording: “5. maj 1945 – 12. maj 1945” City: “København”
    • May 11, 2022
    • May 11, 2023
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - IB PENNICK

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

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

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

    Chicago Tribune -
    Ib Pennick Obituary


    • May 15, 2022
    • May 15, 2023
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - FREDERIK LANGE GRUNDTVIG

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

    GRUNDLOVSDAG (CONSTITUTION DAY)

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

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

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

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

    More Information (In Danish)

    • June 05, 2022
    • June 05, 2023
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - BATTLING NELSON

    Oscar Matthew "Battling" Nelson (June 5, 1882 – February 7, 1954), was a Danish-American professional boxer who held the World Lightweight championship. He was also nicknamed "the Durable Dane".

    Nelson was born Oscar Mathæus Nielsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, on June 5, 1882. He emigrated to the United States the following year and was raised in Hegewisch, a neighborhood on the Southeast side of Chicago.

    A two-time world lightweight boxing champion, the Durable Dane lived in Huron, South Dakota in his youth and worked as an errand boy for Edler’s Meat Market and chore boy for “Mom” Robbins’ boarding house. In 1898, he enlisted in South Dakota Company G for the Spanish-American War. - South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame

    In 1913, he married Fay King, a cartoonist who did his portrait for Nelson's 1911 guide The Wonders of the Yellowstone National Park. In 1916, they had a very public divorce.

    Nelson died February 7, 1954 in ChicagoIllinois, from lung cancer The Veteran Boxing Association paid for part of the cost of his funeral; his ex-wife paid the remainder, in addition to purchasing "beautiful arrangements" for the ceremony.

    Nelson began boxing professionally at age fourteen, in 1896. He fought for the vacant white lightweight title against Jimmy Britt on December 20, 1904, but lost a twenty-round decision. He lost to Abe Attell in 1905, but beat Jack O'Neill to secure another shot at the white championship on September 9, 1905, finally beating Britt by an 18-round knockout. 

    He defeated Terry McGovern in a no decision Newspaper decision, but then faced a greater challenge when he was given the opportunity to challenge the reigning world lightweight champion Joe Gans on September 3, 1906, in Goldfield, Nevada. Gans dropped Nelson repeatedly during the bout, but could not knock him out. Finally, in the forty-second round, Nelson hit Gans below the belt causing him to lose the fight by disqualification .

    In 1907 and 1908, Nelson split a pair of bouts with Britt and fought Attell to a draw. He then challenged Gans again for the world lightweight title on July 4, 1908. This time he knocked Gans out in the seventeenth round. Two months later, Nelson knocked out Gans in the twenty-first round.

    In 1909, Nelson fought Ad Wolgast in a fight held over the lightweight limit. Wolgast beat him, and Nelson gave Wolgast a chance at his title on February 22, 1910. Eventually unable to see due to the accumulation of punches, Nelson lost the title when the referee stopped the fight in either the fortieth or the forty-second round.

    Nelson continued to fight, and in 1917, he challenged Freddie Welsh for the lightweight title. He lost a twelve-round decision and retired from fighting in 1920.

    He was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1992.

    In 2016, award-winning biographer Mark Allen Baker published the first comprehensive biography on Nelson with McFarland, a leading independent publisher of academic and nonfiction books. - Wikipedia

    South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame

    • June 11, 2022
    • Midwest Groundcovers - St Charles, IL

    CHICAGO BIRDSHOOT (FUGLESKYDNING)

    Returning in June 2022

    Date to be announced
    Image: wood birdshoot target displayed on a vintage WWII military vehicle for the 2019 Birdshoot in Chicago





    When shooting birds, it is not a matter of hunting flying game, but rather an old traditional sport where shooting is done to a carved bird made of willow, which is covered with various iron fittings. The brackets must be shot in a certain order, and each shot triggers a win for the shooter. The one who shoots the last plate down (the breast plate) becomes the bird king.

    The shooting does not take place free-standing, but from a shooting buck, where the shooters, in the order they have signed up, bring their rifles into a fixed position and shoot at the fitting they have reached on the bird.

    Over half of the brackets are attached so they can fall for a single well-aimed shot. On the other hand, some of them are very small or narrow and horizontal, so one has to be pretty careful with sieving and venting.

    The rest of the brackets are stronger plates that are not difficult to hit, but which can be attached very well, so many shots are needed before they fall down. Here it is important to be lucky to get to the buck when the plate has been loosened by the previous shooters, but also here skill comes into play; the experienced shooter will know where on the plate he should place his shot so that it most likely falls down.

    It usually takes 4-5 hours before the last plate is shot down, so most of the time at a bird shooting goes with cozy company and other activities, e.g. series shootings where there are also prizes.

    Bird shooting was probably invented in France in the 13th century and spread from here to Germany and the Netherlands. Back then, this sport was called parrot shooting (hence the term: having shot the parrot) and the weapons were bow or crossbow. The arrows or bolts were blunt with no point. As early as the 14th century, parrot shooting reached Denmark. In the 16th century, firearms became more common in these shootings.

    From the outset, the bird-shooting societies were organized as low, which were to serve to promote the defensive will and ability of the citizens of the free towns of the time, but gradually they lost their military importance and became more social associations for the better citizenship of the cities.

    In Denmark, bird shooting is on the decline in the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century, but with the rise of the shooting cause in the middle of the 19th century, shooting associations flourished everywhere also in the small rural parishes, and many of these began to hold annual bird shoots.

    Herlufsholm Boarding School at Næstved (South Zealand) holds this more than 200-year-old tradition every year. The bird shooting takes place one of the first Saturdays after school starts, ie in August. The event begins with a procession. The actual bird shooting takes place by the students taking turns shooting an arrow at a wooden bird. There are two birds; "Little bird" and "Big bird" for respectively. 6-10. class and 1-3.g. The bird is shot down in several parts, it consists of, among other things, crown, right and left wing, head, body, etc., the individual parts each trigger their prize. The whole bird is usually shot down in the late afternoon. The one who shoots the last part down is named the King of the Year. Immediately after the part falls down, the person must try to escape, while a whole crowd of students chase the person and then throw the new Bird King in Susåen. - Wikipedia

    • June 16, 2022
    • June 16, 2024
    • 3 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - MAX HENIUS

    Max Henius (June 16, 1859 – November 15, 1935) was a Danish-American biochemist who specialized in the fermentation processes. He is the founder of the Rebild National Park and the Rebild National Park Society.  He 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™

    Read More from Nicolai Schousboe (2012), Chicago Midwest Rebild Chapter Member:
    Max Henius


    • June 23, 2022
    • June 23, 2023
    • 2 sessions

    SANKT HANS AFTEN (MIDSUMMER'S EVE)

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

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

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

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

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

    Burning the witches in Denmark

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

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

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


    Midsommervisen “Vi elsker vort land”  
    (Youtube)

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

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

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

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

    English Translation...

    Vi Elsker Vort Land/"We Love Our Country"

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

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

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

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

    • July 02, 2022
    • (RDT)
    • July 05, 2022
    • (RDT)
    • Rebild National Park near Aalborg, Denmark

    REBILD FESTIVAL IN DENMARK

    Celebration of Danish American Friendship Since 1912

    The Annual Rebild Festival at the Rebild National Park near Aalborg, Denmark

    Live Stream Recording from 2021

    Tenative Schedule for 2022
    July 2 -
    Danish American Club Aalborg - Garden Party Picnic Aalborg Defense & Garrison Museum 10.00-12.00
                       Afternoon Gathering - Western House next to Top Karins Hus in Rebild - 13.30-16.00

    July 3 - Gala Dinner at Hotel Comwell Hvide Hus Aalborg followed by fireworks - 19.00-24.00

    July 4 - Tent Luncheon - 12.00-14.00 
                     Celebration in the Rebild Hills 15.00-17.00

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

     The New Rebild Website

    Rebild National Park Society

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

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

    • Preservation of Danish culture and heritage in USA

    • Assistance to Danish newcomers with acclimatization and business networking

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

    • Friend-shipping and socializing

    • Study abroad scholarships to Denmark

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • July 03, 2022
    • July 03, 2025
    • 4 sessions
    • Dannebrog, Nebraska

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY: LARS HANNIBAL

    Lars Hannibal (Born Lars Hannibalsen, July 3, 1822 in Fuglse, Lolland, Denmark- Died December 28, 1882 Davenport, Iowa, USA) is widely considered the founder of the Danish community of Dannebrog, Nebraska.  As a young man he participated in the first Dano-Prussian war (1848-50).  Tired of his hand-to-mouth existence and poor prospects as a smallholder, he left Denmark for the United States.  He and his family sailed on the "Elbe", arriving in New York Harbor on May 21, 1856.  They settled (his father Hannibal Larsen, his wife Marie, and four children) in Pine Lake, Waukesha County, Wisconsin.

    Photo: Sgt Lars Hannibal, Civil War c.1860

    When the Civil War broke out, he enlisted as a sergeant in Company B of the 15th Wisconsin Regiment, but was mustered out after only a year due to a recurring illness.  After the war he returned to Denmark and brought back a group of new settlers.  Following the death of his first wife, Lars married the widow of one of his former comrades-in-arms.  Hannibal was the founder of the Danish Land Company, and led the formation of the Danish Pioneer settlement in Dannebrog in Howard County, Nebraska.

    Hannibal named the settlement "Dannebrog", the name of the red and white national flag of Denmark.  The book "Dannebrog on the American Prairie" by Torben Grøngaard Jeppesen describes the naming of Dannebrog... "There is no doubt that Lars Hannibal had envisioned from the start his homestead land as the place where the colony's formal center should be built.  Well placed in a pretty spot close to the Middle Loup River with Oak Creek running through it as a future tractive force for a water mill, the ground here should be taken for a town.  But in order for that to occur, there needed to be more Danes enticed to the area, who could occupy the land in a race with other land hungry settlers, who surely would follow in this summer and in the years to come.  There was, however, no time to waste.  The more land that he and his few countrymen could settle on the better.
         Soon there should be a name for the new colony.  The new settlers suggested "Hannibal" or "Chartago" in honor of the founder.  But Lars Hannibal would have none of that, because he stressed that the colony was not a single man's work, but the work of Danish peasants, and he suggested the name "Dannebrog".  And that was the name chosen".


    - Thanks to Tim Hannibal of Dannebrog (direct descendant of Lars Hannibal)

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

    Lars Hannibal Obituary

    Dannebrog Nebraska

    Tim Hannibal discusses his ancestor Lars Hannibal

    • July 05, 2022
    • July 05, 2023
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - CARL CHRISTIAN CHRISTIANSEN

    NFDA recently received this fascinating story from James Milton Nielsen of Racine, WI, who told us about his uncle, Carl C. Christensen born July 5, 1902...

    "Mange hilsen from the Historically Danish City of Racine, Wisconsin.

         I am a 66 year old individual of 100% Danish decent who has been a life long resident of Racine. My mother originating from the Hirtshals/Uggerby area of Northern Jutland and my father originating  from the Borglum/Lokken area of Jutland. My story has to do with my Grandmother Johanne Christiansen Nielsen's 1st marriage to a Mathias Christiansen and her 1st born son of 3 children, Carl Christian Christiansen.  Following Mathias's untimely death at a very young age my Grandmother then married my father's father, my Grandfather, N. Christian Nielsen whom she had met and married in the City of Racine. My Grandfather Christian was a carpenter teaching Carl everything he knew so when the depression hit, and Carl in 1930 having no work and no money placed an add in a Chicago newspaper stating, "Carpenter for Hire, Will work for Room and Board"  and shortly thereafter a wealthy railroad executive named Joe Ilg contacted and hired Carl for the purpose of building Joe a resort in the Manitowish Water's area of Northern Wisconsin.. Carl took the job and moved from Racine up to the North Woods in 1930 at first working for his food and clothing, soon to move on to building then running Joe's resort, and finally opening his own tavern called "The Blind Pig."  Please know there was no Las Vegas back in 1930's, the place for all the wealthy Chicago Businessmen and gangsters alike all went to Northern Wisconsin to find some kind of rest and relaxation, good food and alcohol. The winter of 1934 hit hard and Carl told me it was the winter of unbearable proportion. Subzero Cold, never ending wind, lots of snowstorms and virtually no tourism within the area, so for financial reasons in April of 1934 Carl was voted and accepted the job of  becoming the Manitowish Waters Town Constable.

    Photo above: Carl Christiansen holding the lamb skin coat he wore April 22, 1934, the night of the shooting 

        Little did Carl know literally 1 short week following his election, on April 22, 1934 the United States Department of Justice, (FBI) would be contacting Carl telling him, NOT asking him, to accompany  2 FBI Agents, a J.C. Newman and a W. Carter Baum along with their Ford Coupe, for the purpose of scouring the Manitowish Water's Little Spider Lake area looking for any unusual suspect signs, people, or car's that for some reason might be considered to be in the wrong area and possibly any recommendations of where to put up road blocks due to the fact that the United States Department of Justice, criminal's on the FBI's "Most Wanted List" John Dillinger and his Gang were thought to be held up at the Little Bohemia Lodge, less than 1 mile down the road. They never had told Carl that the shootout had already occurred and that the entire Dillinger gang had already escaped into the darkness of the woods.

        So with Agent J.C. Newman behind the wheel in the driver's seat, Agent Carter Baum sitting center, along with his Thompson Sub Machine gun on his lap and my father Mickey Nielsen's oldest half brother Uncle Carl C. Christiansen sitting on the passenger side window seat carrying no firearm what-so-ever, they all together took off into the dead of night around 9:00 pm or a little after driving down a series of country roads within the area in search of anything involving the notorious John Dillinger and his gang of thugs.

        Upon driving past Koerner's Resort, now about 10:30 pm, located on Little Spider Lake, Carl asked Newman to slow down a bit as something at Koerner's just didn't look right. Upon pulling into the driveway Carl looked at a parked automobile that seemed to be running, but it was not Alvin Koerner's automobile, it was another elderly neighbors car.... and why in the world would it be running that late at night?

    Photo:  The lamb skin coat riddled with bullet holes on display at Kohler Memorial Library, Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin 

        As J.C. Newman slowly drove up close to the running automobile looking at it's passenger door on his left, a man jumped out of the drivers door quickly running over to Newman's open window pointing what Newman described as a .45 caliber rapid fire handgun within 6 inches of his forehead, with the man yelling "I know who you son's a bitches are and I know yer all wearin' flack jackets so I'm gonna' shoot ya all in the head, and he opened fire hitting Newman several times grazing his head as he was attempting and successfully get out of the car. He then shot Agent Carter Baum only 1 time directly in the throat above the flack jacket, while my Uncle Carl had opened the passenger door while making every attempt to run up to the protection of Alvin Koerner's home, only making it up to the white picket fence, never making it to the locked doors of Koerner's Resort. Carl's body was hit 8 times, all but 1 passing through his body, as they found 12 bullet holes piercing his lamb skin coat. Carl told me as he lay somewhat supported up against Koerner's white picket fence,  he could hear Agent Carter Baum who laid within a few feet from Carl, gasping for his last few breaths of air. They had all seen pictures of the shooter before and they knew there was no question, he was Lester Gillis, alias Baby Face Nelson. Nelson then jumped into the FBI's warm and running Ford Coupe heading back out into the darkness of the cold winter's night. Carl laid there in the snow for up to 3 hours as all the people behind the locked doors of Koerner's resort were scared to come out, and it wasn't until Emil Wanetka, owner operator of Little Bohemia Lodge accompanied by Melvin Purvis, Chicago Director of the FBI, came looking for their agents of which had yet to return from their search and seizure assignment. It was said the coldness of the snow may have been a determining factor in slowing the blood flow out of Carl's bullet riddled body and saving Carl's life. He was then transported at least another 1/2 hour away to the Grandview Hospital, Ironwood, Michigan in the back of an open pickup truck. It was said upon entering the hospital Carl was laid upon a sheet of plywood instead of blankets as to not destroy the blankets with his loss of blood. Eventually Carl was awarded a couple thousand dollars by the United States Federal Government for his services rendered and after regaining his stamina he was able to turn his Tavern Business somewhat into a business involving postcards and reprinted newspaper clippings involving the events of that April 22nd evening. The picture of Carl holding his bullet ridden Lamb Skin coat was that of a post card he had created and sold for profit from his entrance door table at his tavern. Also I was just notified several weeks ago by  J. Kohl of the Manitowish Waters Kohler Memorial Library that there is a Plaque of  Honorable Mention soon to be constructed by the United Stated Federal Bureau of Investigation naming and in honor of W. Carter Baum, J.C. Newman, and it was requested by the J.Kohl, administrator of the Kohler Memorial Library and accepted that my Uncle Carl Christian Christensen's name be included on this Historic Plaque of Honorable Mention due to all of their over and above the call of duty provided on that night of April 22, 1934. In closing I would like to express my Thanks to J.Kohl and all those involved in the Kohler Memorial Library and the entire Manitowish Waters Historical Society for their never ending efforts of bringing the history of their wonderful community of Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin open to the public and to all those brave individuals that are no longer with us, and a most Loving Thanks to my beloved Uncle Carl C. Christensen".

    With the Most Honoring and Loving Respect,
    James Milton Nielsen

    • August 19, 2022
    • August 19, 2023
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - MORTON ANDERSEN

    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

    • September 04, 2022
    • September 04, 2023
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - PAUL HARVEY

    Paul Harvey Aurandt (September 4, 1918 – February 28, 2009), better known as Paul Harvey, was an American radio broadcaster for ABC News Radio. He broadcast News and Comment on mornings and mid-days on weekdays and at noon on Saturdays and also his famous The Rest of the Story segments. From 1952 to 2008, his programs reached as many as 24 million people per week. Paul Harvey News was carried on 1,200 radio stations, on 400 American Forces Network stations, and in 300 newspapers.

    Harvey was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the son of Harry Harrison Aurandt (1873–1921) and Anna Dagmar (née Christensen) Aurandt (1883–1960). His father was born in Martinsburg, Pennsylvania; his mother was a native of Denmark. He had one sibling, an older sister Frances Harrietta (née Aurandt) Price (1908–1988).

    Obituary from the Chicago Tribune February 28, 2009 - 

    Paul Harvey, a Chicago radio man whose melodious voice and hearty "Hello, America" were cherished by millions for more than 57 years on national broadcasts that were an entrancing mix of news, storytelling and gently persuasive salesmanship, died Saturday. He was 90.

    Called "the voice of Middle America" and "the voice of the Silent Majority" by the media for his flag-waving conservatism, Harvey died surrounded by family in a Phoenix hospital, an ABC Radio Networks spokesman said. The cause of death was not immediately available.

    "Paul Harvey was the most listened to man in the history of radio," said Bruce DuMont, president of the Museum of Broadcast Communications and host of the nationally syndicated "Beyond the Beltway." "There is no one who will ever come close to him."

    Paul Harvey Jr., who after he was struck by a car in 1976 began writing his father's show, "The Rest of the Story," offered condolences, even amid his own loss, to those who loved to listen.

    "My father and mother created from thin air what one day became radio and television news. So in the past year, an industry has lost its godparents and today millions have lost a friend," he said in a statement.

    The show reached an estimated 24 million listeners on more than 1,200 radio stations nationally and 400 Armed Forces Radio stations around the world.

    In Chicago, Harvey was heard on WGN-AM 720, but his local ties ran deeper.

    Returning to civilian life after a three-month stint in the Army, Harvey moved to the radio big-time in Chicago.

    While broadcasting the news at WENR-AM in Chicago's Merchandise Mart in 1951, Harvey became friends with the building's owner, Joseph P. Kennedy, who helped him get on ABC nationally.

    Harvey's 45-minute routine started at 3:30 a.m., when the alarm clock would ring in the family's 22-room home in west suburban River Forest. It never varied: brush teeth, shower, shave, get dressed, eat oatmeal, get into car and drive downtown.

    He dressed formally -- in shirt, coat and tie -- as if going to work as the president of a bank.

    "It is all about discipline," Harvey told the Tribune in 2002. "I could go to work in my pajamas, but long ago I got some advice from the man who was the engineer for my friend Billy Graham's radio show. He said that one has to prepare in all ways for the show. If you don't do that in every area, you'll lose your edge."

    Harvey rejected numerous offers to move his show to the East Coast so he could "stay in touch with his listeners and the American people," DuMont said.

    His five-minute "The Rest of the Story" broadcasts featured historical vignettes with surprise endings like the story of the 13-year-old boy who receives a cash gift from Franklin Roosevelt and turns out to be Fidel Castro. Or the one about the famous trial lawyer who never finished law school (Clarence Darrow). He'd end each broadcast with his signature: "Paul Harvey. [long pause] Good day!"

    Born Paul Harvey Aurandt in Tulsa on Sept. 4, 1918. He and his sister were raised by their mother after their police officer father was killed in the line of duty when Harvey was 3. He dropped his last name for professional reasons in the 1940s.

    Harvey developed an early infatuation with the new medium of radio, picking up stations from a homemade cigar-box crystal set.

    Beginning as an unpaid gofer at a Tulsa radio station in 1933, Harvey worked his way up the radio ladder.

    While working in St. Louis, Harvey met Lynne Cooper, a student-teacher from a socially prominent family who read school news announcements. Instantly smitten with the young woman he nicknamed "Angel," Harvey later asked her to dinner. On the night of their first date, he proposed as they sat in her parked car. They married in June 1940.

    "Since the first day of our marriage, we've worked side by side," Harvey told the Tribune. "I think that if we had not worked so closely the marriage would not have survived. There has never been the opportunity for neglect."

    Lynne Harvey remained her husband's closest professional collaborator until she died last May.

    Harvey's typical broadcast included human interest stories he loved to tell in order to satisfy the public's "hunger for a little niceness."


    Stories like the one about the woman in Sheboygan, Wis., who was saved from a knife-wielding assailant: "The rescuer?" Harvey asked rhetorically. "Well, the rescuer is a gutsy woman who just happened to be passing by. And she says if I won't tell her name, it's all right to tell her age. [pause] Eighty."

    DuMont said Harvey had a litmus test for all his stories: Would Aunt Betty care about this? He thought about the interest level of his real Aunt Betty to get away from "highfalutin" foreign affairs discussions to discuss "meat and potato" issues like health care, DuMont said.

    A Harvey broadcast from the late 1980s included these items:  "Spec-tac-u-lar liftoff from Cape Canaveral this morning, into an azure sky," Harvey said, describing a rocket launch. Then it was on to "New York City. Last year. 8,064 people bitten by dogs. 1,587 people bitten [pause] by people."


    Harvey said his trademark pauses were originally developed as a "a lazy broadcaster's way of waiting for the second hand to reach the top of the clock."

    Steve Edwards, acting program director at Chicago Public Radio, called them "pauses you could drive a truck through."

    "One of the things that radio broadcasters are taught from Day 1 ... is that dead air is a big no-no and it's only after years and years in the field that you realize that silence is your most powerful tool, [and] he did it better than anyone," said Edwards, who remembers listening in the back seat of his parents' station wagon.

    Chicago radio legend Steve Dahl remembers working in the same studios when he first came to town in 1978.

    "One morning he walked past me and said, 'Good morning, American!' " Dahl recalled. "That made me feel like I'd finally hit the big time. Paul Harvey was the man. He sure made me feel like one."

    Known for his staunch conservatism -- he called it "political fundamentalism" -- Harvey supported McCarthyism in the 1950s. During the turbulent 1960s, Harvey echoed the sentiments of many older Americans by saying he felt like "a displaced person" in his own country.

    But in 1970, Harvey shocked many of his listeners with his most famous broadcast. In the wake of Richard Nixon's expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia, Harvey said: "Mr. President, I love you. But you're wrong."

    Harvey heard plenty of criticism and praise and assessment, but preferred to stay away from the whole issue.

    "What makes Paul Harvey tick? That question is better asked of the listeners," he told the Tribune. "If I thought too much about it, it might be self-defeating."

    Harvey, who also read his own commercials on air, has been credited with coining words like "guesstimate," "trendency" and "snoopervision."

    While he made his living with words, retirement wasn't in his vocabulary. In 2000, at age 82, he signed a reported $100 million contract that would have kept him on the air for 10 more years.

    Simply put, Harvey preferred a life "sitting at that typewriter painting pictures" -- and then reading those "pictures" over the air.

    As he once said, "I'm just a professional parade watcher who can't wait to get to the curbside."

    Dennis McLellan of the Los Angeles Times and Tribune reporters Mary Owen, Rick Kogan and Trevor Jensen contributed to this report.

    • September 05, 2022
    • September 05, 2023
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - A.C. NIELSEN

    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, 2022
    • September 09, 2023
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - ALBERT RAVENHOLT

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

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

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

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

    Sandi Doughton - Seattle Times staff reporter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    His accomplishments were rooted in hard work, not privilege.

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

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

    He also realized he could make a difference.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    • September 13, 2022
    • September 13, 2023
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - JENS JENSEN

    Jens Jensen Biography

    Jens Jensen (September 13, 1860 - October 1, 1951) was born in Denmark (near Dybbøl) in 1860. Warfare destroyed his family home and saw the surrounding territory annexed to Prussia shortly thereafter. This traumatic experience left a deep mark on Jensen and would eventually prompt his emigration to America (1884). Jensen developed a keen love for the natural world before leaving the Old World. As his biographyon the Cultural Landscape Foundation’s website states,

    “Much of his education took place outdoors, where Jensen learned to celebrate the change of seasons and their place in the legends and mysteries associated with the Danish landscape and its history. Through this experience he cultivated a fascination with cultural traditions and nature which would later play a major role in his design work and conservation activities after his immigration to the United States in 1884.”

    Here in Chicago, that love of the natural world played a huge role in his rise up the ranks of the West Park Commission. He worked as a laborer and rose to foreman. By 1888, only four years after arriving in the US, Jensen designed the American Garden in Union Park. Jensen filled this garden was filled with naturally-arranged wildflowers, which he’d transplanted from the nearby prairie. It’s hard to overstate how new and different this would’ve felt to Gilded Age Chicagoans. Theirs was an an age full to bursting with classically-designed and highly formalized European-style gardens. Jensen’s approach to landscape architecture was breaking the mold.

    Induction into the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame

    West Park Redesigns

    The lagoon and boat house at Humboldt Park exemplify the Prairie School designs of Jens Jensen. Photo via Wikimedia.

    The West Park Commission handled the construction and care of GarfieldDouglas, and Humboldt Parks. The grounds and their connecting boulevards were mostly designed in the 1870’s. Corruption and lack of money had left them in a moldering or incomplete state by the turn of the 20th Century. In comes our man Jens Jensen. He designed formal gardens, additional buildings, and new lagoons and creeks for the massive West Side parks.

    Humboldt Park demonstrates his touch most clearly. Jensen redesigned the park’s waterways to look and feel like a slow, lazy prairie river wandering amidst cattails and grasses. It’s easy to feel a million miles out in the country walking along the Humboldt Park lagoon. Jensen’s Prairie Style boat house also adorns the lagoon. Its architectural design lends the park a glimmer of Progressive Era prestige.

    Columbus Park

    One of the charming, naturalistic waterfalls in Columbus Park. Photo via Wikimedia.

    Columbus Park is the only Chicago park that Jens Jensen designed entirely by himself. The far West Side swarmed with people, but had very little open recreational space. So the West Park Commission, er, commissioned Jensen to do what many consider to be his finest work in landscape design for our Chicago parks.

    My favorite element of this sprawling park are the endlessly charming cascades and waterfalls. The water courses are lined with stacked stones, which create the feeling of stepping into a remote grotto. Jensen meant them to resemble the natural rock outcroppings of the Midwest’s post-glacial landscape. Columbus Park features the only Chicago example of Jensen’s beloved “council ring.” This stone circle invites visitors to sit down for storytelling and contemplation among the brush.

    Garfield Park Conservatory

    A historic postcard shows the Garfield Park Observatory’s eye-popping nature. Image via the Boston Public Library.

    The Garfield Park Conservatory is likely the most celebrated and widely-visited work of architecture by Jensen. The conservatory is also neck and neck for the Michigan Avenue Bridge for the title of Chicago’s most heavily-used engagement and wedding photos location. So mind you don’t step on some bride’s veil if you visit.

    Supposedly, Jensen designed the Prairie Style building to look like a Midwestern stack of hay. Which…I think I see that? It’s a little abstract for me, to be honest. But I can definitely see that contrasted to the more ornate architecture of the Lincoln Park Conservatory.

    Regardless, the Garfield Park Conservatory’s main claim to fame came from its interior architecture. Jensen designed this space to be a natural landscape under a glass roof. This stood in stark contrast to previous conservatories, where exotic plants were merely potted and arranged. The effect, especially in the midst of a long Chicago winter, is utterly transporting.

    Stepping into the Garfield Park Conservatory is like stepping clear across the globe.

    Jens Jensen Outside Chicago

    You can spot some of Jensen’s building architecture and landscape architecture if you’re doing some Midwestern road-tripping this summer. Henry Ford was a huge fan of Jensen and hired the master for several designs. These include the grounds of Henry Ford’s estate, Fair Lane, and magnum opus, the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, right outside Detroit. Jensen also designed the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Garden in Springfield and created the Clearing Folk School in Wisconsin. It’s interesting to note that, much like his contemporary Frank Lloyd Wright, Jensen used Chicago as the capital of his Midwestern architectural design empire.

    Regardless of where you see his work, I think it’s fair to say that Jens Jensen had a huge impact on Chicago’s recreational spaces. Jensen is the landscape equivalent of Wright’s ground-breaking architecture. He’ll likely never have the architectural profile of Wright, but his is a name and approach to landscape design worth knowing.

    – Alex Bean, Content Manager and Tour Guide

    See Also:   Jens Jensen Prairie Landscape Park
    Museum of Danish America - Elk Horn, Iowa

    • October 05, 2023
    • October 08, 2023
    • Twin Cities, Minnesota

    2023 DANISH SISTERHOOD NATIONAL CONVENTION



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

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