FELLOWSHIPS AND GRANTS FOR AMERICANS TO STUDY IN SCANDINAVIA
Deadline: November 1, 2020
New York, NY—The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications for Fellowships & Grants for Americans to Study in Scandinavia during the 2021-22 academic year.
ASF offers both year-long fellowships of up to $23,000 and short-term (1-3 month) grants of up to $5,000 to graduate students (preferably dissertation-related) and academic professionals interested in pursuing research or creative arts projects in the Nordic region. Awards are made in all fields.
For further information and to begin an online application, please click here!
Deadline: November 1, 2020
For email inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) promotes firsthand exchange of intellectual and creative influence between the United States and the Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. A publicly supported American nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, ASF has an extensive program of fellowships, grants, intern/trainee sponsorship, publishing, and cultural activities. Headquartered in New York City, ASF has members throughout the United States, and alumni and donors worldwide. For more information, visit amscan.org.
NEW VIRTUAL EXHIBIT - SPREADING "THE WORD": THE DANA COLLEGE THEATER TROUPE TOUR OF 1942
The Danish American Archive and Library in Blair, Nebraska, presents its first stand-alone online exhibit: Spreading “The Word”: The Dana College Theater Troupe Tour of 1942. The exhibit tells the story of a group of students at the now-defunct Dana College who went on tour to 12 Midwestern Danish American communities in six states. The students performed a play in the original Danish language by the acclaimed Danish playwright Kaj Munk, who two years later was assassinated by German Nazis. Dana College had strong Danish roots, and the exhibit also highlights how WWII and the German occupation of Denmark impacted the students.
View The Exhibit
Photos: Copyright and courtesy of The Danish American Archive and Library - Blair, NE
The world and the Danish American Archive and Library also face a challenge today. “During the Corona epidemic, we haven’t been able to welcome visitors to the archive as we usually do but with this online exhibit we hope to reach a wide audience – both locally and farther afield,” says Jill Hennick, the Danish American Archive and Library’s Executive Director. The archive has over 1,400 cubic feet of documents about Danish American lives and nearly 14,000 books in its library. “This exhibit will have a wide-ranging appeal to anyone interested in our country’s immigration history, the Scandinavian aspect of the Midwest, or WWII,” says Hennick.
Through photos, letters and lively excerpts from a student diary, the exhibit provides insight into the troupe’s stops in 12 Danish American communities: Omaha, Nebraska; Kimballton, Des Moines, Cedar Falls, Hampton and Ringsted in Iowa; Chicago, Illinois; Racine, Wisconsin; Askov, Minneapolis and Evan in Minnesota; and Viborg, South Dakota. As shown in the exhibit, in many of these locations, residents as well as visitors can still find traces of Danish history, culture, language and cuisine.
The Dana College drama troupe tour was led by Professor Paul Nyholm, a first-generation Danish immigrant pastor who later received a medal for his support of Denmark during the German occupation. The purpose of the tour was to create unity among Danish Americans, keep the Danish language alive, spread knowledge of Kaj Munk and his play, and encourage a strong faith in God.
“Ultimately, the students’ performance was seen by 2,000 people but this theater troupe tour – the first in Dana’s history – was a big undertaking for the students and the director,” says Hennick, who lists several reasons: The student actors were second- and third-generation Danish immigrants who needed to learn the lines in a language that few, if any, of them spoke fluently. The Danish American communities were declining – by the 1940s, there were relatively few people who understood Danish, so gathering a local audience for a performance in that language was quite a feat. Added to that, Kaj Munk was somewhat controversial, and his play about faith and miracles is a serious dramatic play that might not appeal to everyone.
The online exhibit was created working with a graduate history student from American Public University – a Danish American herself – who conducted her public history practicum remotely from South Carolina. “This is our first completely online intern – it’s one of the ways that we are adapting to the Corona epidemic but hosting an online internship also enables us to work with students from a wider geographical area,” says Jill Hennick. The archive has previously worked with ten interns from four different universities. Hennick says: “Being a research library, we find it ideal to work with interns who bring the items in our collection to life.”
About the archive
The Danish American Archive and Library in Blair, Nebraska, is dedicated to preserving and sharing Danish American history. It grew out of the archives of Dana College and the United Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church. Since 2010, when Dana College closed, the archive has been an independent non-profit institution. Its mission is to collect, catalog, preserve and make available to the public its vast holdings of documents, photos and other media that show the history and contributions to American life of Danish Americans. The archive is located at 1738 Washington Street in Blair and is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday by appointment only. To find out more about the archive and for a detailed list of the collections, go to danishamericanarchive.com or call 402-426-7910.
View the new online exhibit at dana1942theword.org.
Autumn Images from Tivoli
(Photos by NFDA Officer Katrine Vange)
Halloween, contraction of All Hallows’ Eve, a holiday observed on October 31, the evening before All Saints’ (or All Hallows’) Day. The celebration marks the day before the Western Christian feast of All Saints and initiates the season of Allhallowtide, which lasts three days and concludes with All Souls’ Day. In much of Europe and most of North America, observance of Halloween is largely nonreligious. - Britannica
Pumpkins and ghosts have captured the imagination of Danish kids, leaving the barrel-smashing, cat-liberating February fancy dress fest of Fastelavn behind.
Although Halloween is generally considered a tradition with American origins, it’s actually European, and is thought to have its roots in Celtic customs up to 2,000 years old.
In Ireland, offers were made to Celtic gods and the dead, and scary-looking lamps were carved out of beets – setting the tradition for today’s pumpkins.
Conversion to Christianity later saw the Celtic tradition combined with All Saints Day – the result was Hallow’s Evening or Hallowe’en.
The tradition was largely imported to the United States by Irish immigrants in the 19thcentury.
Although Halloween is one of the biggest annual celebrations in the US, it has been slow to catch on in many European countries which celebrate All Saints Day – or in the case of the United Kingdom, Guy Fawkes’ Night – at the same time of year.
That has also been the case in Denmark. Although the country does not have a tradition for celebrating All Saints Day due to the predominance of the Lutheran Church of Denmark, kids have traditionally had the chance to dress up and win sweet-tasting treats in February, during Fastelavn.
As such,Halloween did not really register in Denmark until around the turn of the century.
In 1999, toy store chain Fætter BR began selling Halloween costumes, contemporary reports from broadcaster DR show.
Almost half of all families with children in Denmark now buy sweets or candy at Halloween, according to DR.
That has given a boost to the country’s pumpkin farmers, who have seen sales double over the last ten years.
"Trick or treat" has now been rendered as the somewhat clunky, and no less aggressive, ‘slik eller trylleri, ellers er dit liv forbi’ (‘candy or magic, or your life is over!) and can be heard on Danish doorsteps on October 31st.
More people in Denmark now purchase fancy dress costumes for Halloween than they do for Fastelavn, according to sales figures from supermarket company Coop reported by DR.
Coop's sales of fancy dress costumes for Fastelavn have been on a downward curve at since 2011, and were overtaken by sales for Halloween in 2007.
Last year saw Coop sell three times as many costumes for Halloween compared to Fastelavn, DR reports.
General enthusiasm for and pervasion of American culture in Denmark are no small part of the explanation for the trend, according to DR, which notes that Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day have also been successfully transplanted into the Danish calendar.
Halloween’s timing also benefits stores, which can sell items for the day at a time of the year when a lack of other events makes it ideal for promotion. - From "The Local" DK
ELVERHOJ MUSEUM REOPENS
Nearly eight months after its forced closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Elverhoj Museum of History and Art will reopen to the public on Friday November 6. New, modified, public walk-in hours will be in effect from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
During the closure, exhibitions were updated and reimagined to enhance the visitor experience and better enable COVID safety. As per the public health department’s requirements, face covering will be mandatory for entrance and physical distancing will be practiced.
A highlight of the reopening is the return of the gallery exhibition, “Legacy of Decency: Rembrandt, Jews and Danes.” This heralded collection of 21 prints by Dutch Master Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669) is paired with displays about the Danish WWII rescue of their Jewish population. The exhibition links people, time and place through artwork and action with a legacy created by neighbors who cared for, and about, one another.
“The humanity Rembrandt expressed in his artwork continues to resonate today, nearly 400 years later,” said Elverhoj Executive Director and exhibit curator Esther Jacobsen Bates. “The exhibition originally opened February 29 and had only been on view for two weeks. It has been patiently waiting during our COVID closure and we are excited to again share the experience with guests.”
The Rembrandt prints highlight the artist’s nuanced relationship with Amsterdam’s Jewish citizens. They are detailed and intimate, much like Rembrandt’s relationship with his subjects, many of whom were neighbors and friends. The art is from the collection of Howard and Fran Berger, gift to Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art.
Rembrandt’s achievements as an etcher are characterized by the new and innovative techniques he introduced to printmaking. His legacy of decency is displayed in the emotional and psychological depth given to his Jewish subjects; expressive faces, dramatic body language, and bold use of shadow and light combine with his mastery as a printmaker.
The concept of caring is also found in janteloven – the unofficial Danish law for "no one is better than the other." The janteloven principle that everyone is accepted and equal plays a key part in Danish culture and mentality as was exemplified by the remarkable story of the Danish WWII resistance. Posters from the Danish Museum of Resistance in Copenhagen tell about a few intense weeks in 1943 when a “living wall of people” raised up and rescued over 95% of the Jewish population in Denmark from the Holocaust.
Elverhoj Museum of History and Art is located at 1624 Elverhoy Way in Solvang. There is no charge for admission; suggested donation is $5. For more information, phone the Museum at (805) 686-1211 or visit elverhoj.org.
ESTHER JACOBSEN BATES / email@example.com
ELVERHØJ MUSEUM OF HISTORY & ART
1624 ELVERHOY WAY
SOLVANG, CA 93463
PHONE 805.686.1211 / www.elverhoj.org
A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - PETER LASSEN
Peter Lassen (31 Oct 1800 - 26 April 1859) born in Farum (Copenhagen), Denmark in 1800, is the namesake for both Lassen County and Lassen Volcanic National Park. He was a blacksmith by trade and characterized the “old pioneer” spirit and explorations of the Wild West. (Historical records differ on his specific birth date.)
Lassen began his life in America in Boston, moved to Philadelphia and Missouri as he continued westward, eventually reaching Oregon, Fort Ross and Bodega Bay. He traveled south to Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento, where he was appointed to a posse to look for horses stolen from Sutter’s Ranch.
When Lassen arrived at the confluence of the Sacramento River and Deer Creek, he was so impressed with the country side, he obtained the required Mexican citizenship so he could purchase 22,000 acres at Deer Creek. In 1845 he established the Bosuejo Ranch and then returned to Missouri to bring people to live there. The emigrants in his group were the first to cross the Lassen Trail.
He established Benton City, also known as Lassen Ranch. He built Adobe buildings, a blacksmith shop and a store. Benton City became one of the most important sites in Northern California at the time. It was a residence for Colonel Fremont in 1846, for he and 60 of his men.
Lassen later sold and divided his property holdings between two men and went prospecting for gold. Lassen found gold in 1855 in Honey Lake Valley and held many leadership positions. One of his many roles was president of the Nataqua Territory and surveyor. He was friends with several Native American tribes. He and his party built a cabin for the winter. The cabin burned down in 1896 and was not replaced.
Lassen continued to search for additional locations for prospecting. He discovered a silver mine near Black Rock Dessert in Nevada. He organized a scouting party of two groups to meet at Black Rock Canyon. The day after he and his two traveling companions, Edward Clapper and Lemericus Wyatt, arrived at the site in April of 1859, Lassen and Clapper were shot and killed. Speculation remains if the shot was indeed fired by a Native American or a member of his own scouting party. Native Americans are attributed for their deaths on the Lassen Monument. Wyatt escaped being shot and rode 124 miles to Susanville to share the tragic news.
A scouting party was able to recover Lassen’s body, but not Clapper’s. Area residents erected a monument to Lassen to recognize him for the many good deeds of his lifetime. He is buried under the Ponderosa pine tree he camped his first night in the Honey Lake Valley. The original monument burned in 1917 and was replaced with the current one.
According to historic documents, Clapper’s body was recovered in May 1990 by rock hunters in the Black Rock Desert. They found a skull and upper body skeleton that was determined to be the remains of Edward Clapper. In May of 1992, his remains were placed at the Lassen Monument located on Wingfield Road, just south of Susanville.
High in the northeastern Sierra is Lassen County, where volcanic activity has shaped the landscape. Peter Lassen, a Danish immigrant, came to Oregon in 1839 and later settled in the northern Sacramento Valley. He returned to Missouri and led a 12-wagon emigrant train along “Lassen Emigrant Trail” in 1848 into California. - Wikipedia
11:00AM SUNDAY SERVICE LIVESTREAM
Enjoy our weekly the live-streamed service on our Facebook Page.
Read this message from the Church Council and Pastor regarding Coronavirus Precautions.
November Events and Fall Auction
Danish Lutheran Church and Cultural Center
16881 Bastanchury Road
Yorba Linda, CA 92886
Telephone - (714) 993-6362
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
U.S. ELECTION DAY
Voting Information Center (Facebook)
U.S Embassy - Denmark (Facebook)
U.S. Embassy Denmark (Website)
A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - JOHN "SPIDER" JORGENSEN
On April 15, 1947, in Brooklyn, New York, an African American player took the field in a major-league baseball game for the first time in the modern baseball era. In descriptions of Jackie Robinson’s arrival, there is rarely mention of another rookie who debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers that afternoon, a third baseman who batted seventh and wore number 21, Spider Jorgensen.
John Donald Jorgensen was born on November 3, 1919, in Folsom, California, near Sacramento. He was the seventh child (along with two sisters and four brothers) of Walter and Winifred (Carney) Jorgensen. Walter, the son of a Danish-born father and Irish-American mother, was a California-born dredge operator in the Sacramento River delta. Winifred, also born in California, was the daughter of Irish immigrants. There is little documentation regarding Jorgensen’s early life or scholastic athletic career. At Folsom High School, from which he graduated in 1936, John acquired the nickname Spider. In the June 1998 issue of Baseball Digest, sportswriter Phil Elderkin wrote that the nickname came from a pair of black shorts with an orange stripe down the side that Jorgensen wore playing basketball. “The weekend before, a teacher had been cleaning out a woodshed and had to kill a black widow spider,” Jorgensen related. “When he saw me, he told everyone I reminded him of the spider.”
A proposed scholarship to study business at the University of Santa Clara fell through, consequently Jorgensen spent two years at various jobs in Sacramento and playing baseball in the semipro Sacramento Winter League. In 1939, and again in 1941, he played baseball at Sacramento City College. A second baseman when he entered college, he was moved to third base when the team’s regular third baseman was injured.
In 1940 Jorgensen participated in a Dodgers’ tryout camp run by scout Tom Downey in San Mateo, California. He performed well enough that, in 1941, after he had finished at Sacramento City College, scouts Downey and Bill Svilich persuaded him to sign a contract with Brooklyn. The twenty-one-year-old left-handed-hitting infielder was assigned to the Dodgers’ Santa Barbara team in the Class C California League. There, in his first pro season, Jorgensen appeared in 140 games and batted .332 with nine home runs and forty-three doubles. He also made forty-eight errors at third base, but still was named the league’s Most Valuable Player as Santa Barbara won the league championship.
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor put Jorgensen’s career on a four-year hold. On February 17, 1942 he enlisted in the US Army. He was assigned to the Army Air Corps, and during the war reached the rank of technical sergeant, while serving at duty stations in Idaho, Arizona, and Texas. In Texas he met Lenore Jones and married her in October 1946. In addition to Lenore’s two children from a previous marriage, the couple had a daughter, Jonel. Spider and Lenore remained married until her passing in 1995.
Jorgensen was discharged in 1945, and in 1946 he reported to the Class AAA Montreal Royals, the Dodgers’ affiliate in the International League. At Montreal Spider became part of an infield that included Jackie Robinson at second, and future Dodgers general manager Al Campanis at shortstop. Jorgensen hit .293 in 117 games with the Royals.
After spring training in Cuba in 1947, Jorgensen assumed he was heading back to Montreal. But injuries to veteran infielders Cookie Lavagetto and Arky Vaughan forced the Dodgers to keep him. Jorgensen told writer Phil Elderkin, “I came into Ebbets Field on Opening Day, scared to death. I didn’t think I was going to play. I didn’t have any equipment with me. My glove, bats, everything else went to Syracuse because the Montreal club opened up there. Then Jackie comes over and says ‘Here, use my second base glove.’ He was going to play first base. So I used his glove and borrowed a pair of spikes and I’m in the lineup. So I really didn’t have time to get nervous.”
Spider logged a walk and an RBI in three at-bats that day. Two days later, on April 17, he had what proved to be one of his best days in the majors, driving in six runs on a home run and two doubles. In the twenty-seven-year-old rookie’s only major-league season as a regular, he played 128 games at third base and hit .274, with twenty-nine doubles and eight triples. Dan Daniel, writing in the August 13 edition of The Sporting News, called him the “best of the hot corner rookies.” Jorgensen played in all seven games in the World Series loss to the Yankees that fall, getting four hits with three runs batted in.
During the winter the five-feet-nine, 155-pound Jorgensen bruised his arm—due to the recoil from a hunting rifle—and then damaged it permanently by throwing too aggressively in spring training. In April manager Leo Durocher told The Sporting News not to be surprised if Jorgensen was his starting third baseman again in 1948. But, most likely due to the sore arm, Jorgensen started the season as a reserve and was replaced at third base by the newly-acquired Billy Cox.
Jorgensen was left in St Louis on June 5 after a series with the Cardinals for further testing of his arm and shoulder. He did not get into any more games and within two weeks the Dodgers sent him to their American Association farm team in St. Paul. It was the beginning of the end of Jorgensen’s major-league career. While he had hit .300 in thirty-one Dodgers games in 1948, he appeared in only 107 major-league games after that season.
Spider was a Dodgers reserve in 1949, and he played in his second World Series that fall, hitting just .182 (2-for-11) with two doubles. On May 17, 1950, after appearing in only two games, the Dodgers sold Jorgensen to the New York Giants for what The Sporting News described as likely well over the $10,000 waiver price. The thirty-year-old infielder played in twenty-four games for the Giants with five hits in thirty-seven at-bats. He also played in sixty-four games for the Class AAA Minneapolis Millers, batting .330 in 215 at-bats.
Spider played his final game in the majors on June 30, 1951, flying out as a pinch-hitter. The next day the Giants traded Jorgensen, hitting just .235, and pitcher Red Hardy to the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League for outfielder Earl Rapp.
Between 1951 and 1955, Jorgensen played third base, shortstop, and the outfield for the Oaks under managers Mel Ott, Augie Galan, Charlie Dressen, and Lefty O’Doul. In 1956 the Oakland Oaks moved to Vancouver to become the Mounties, a Baltimore Orioles farm club. Spider continued to parlay his reliable defense and sufficient offensive skill into three more years of professional baseball. His regular playing career ended after the 1958 season, but the 39-year-old returned to the Dodgers family the next year as a spring-training mentor, and then coached for the Mounties during the season.
His skill in dealing with younger players garnered positive attention, so in 1960 Spider was named player-manager (although he played in just four games) of the Dodgers’ Great Falls (Montana) Electrics in the Class C Pioneer League. The next season Jorgensen dropped a level to manage the Artesia (New Mexico) Dodgers of the Class D Sophomore League. That league was a purely instructional entity and Jorgensen remained at that level in 1962, shifting within the organization to the St. Petersburg Saints of the Florida State League.
After the 1962 season with St. Petersburg, Jorgensen left professional baseball and returned to his home in Sacramento. However, he could not stay away from the sport. Although unpaid, he put his knowledge and experience to work coaching amateur baseball, serving as head coach of the Fair Oaks American Legion team, a squad that won the Legion North Division championship in 1967. Jorgensen may have had more raw talent on that Legion team than on any of the three minor-league teams he had managed, as the squad was led by future major-league star, Dusty Baker. In a 2004 book, How To Be Like Jackie Robinson, Baker, by then manager of the Chicago Cubs, was quoted as saying, “In all the time he coached us, I never knew Spider played for the Dodgers. I knew he was a terrific coach, but he never once mentioned he was a former player.”
In 1969 Jorgensen returned to professional baseball as a scout and spring-training instructor for the Kansas City Royals. As a scout, he was directly responsible for signing future major leaguers Greg Minton, Doug Bird, and John Wathan. He also had a stint of sixty-nine games managing the Royals’ Winnipeg Goldeyes in the short-season Northern League.
After Kansas City Jorgensen scouted for the Philadelphia Phillies for a few years, and found pitcher Bob Walk, among others. As a scout for the Chicago Cubs, he persuaded the team to draft Mark Grace, who proved to be one of the finest hitters of the 1990s.
Years later, in an obituary written by Jim Gazzolo, others commented on Spider’s scouting ability and on his character. “I don’t think there is a person in the world who didn’t love him,” Ontario High baseball coach Bob Beck told Gazzolo. “To my knowledge, he didn’t have an enemy in the world. He had an unassuming manner about himself. He was just very friendly, accommodating, but he didn’t miss a trick. He always knew what was going on.”
In 1996 Jorgensen was a member of the first group of inductees into the Sacramento City College Athletic Hall of Fame. A baseball man to the end, Jorgensen was still scouting locally for the Cubs when he died on November 6, 2003, at San Antonio Hospital in Rancho Cucamonga, California, three days after his eighty-fourth birthday. He is inurned at Lakeside Memorial Lawn Cemetery in Folsom, California. - Bill Johnson
DANISH SOLDIERS CLUB - SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Here in So. Cal. we are still waiting for the LA County health Department to open up for Get-Togethers.
But it looks like that Church services and meetings in June, might be allowed, as long as the 6 ft. spacing is followed. Hopefully this means, that Naver-Dalen can open the outside picnic area for controlled club events.
It has now been 3 months since all the Danish Clubs and the Danish Church, have been open for socializing with friends and family. Important events like the traditional Danish Grundlovsfest has been cancelled.
Singing our dear old songs might not be allowed, unless a face mask is covering your mouth, as the concern is, that singing, spreads droplets from your mouth, and could cause Covid-19 trouble.
The following Danish Clubs might be able, to have a limited outside social picnic in June, with a 6 ft. spacing.
The Danish Soldiers Club, The LA Naver Club, The Danish Brotherhood and the Danish Frokost Club.
Of course, if you are concerned about the Virus, you should stay home.
Below 2019 photo of the LA Naver picnic area.
Always meets first Friday of the month
Lunch and Meeting
616 Norumbega Road
Monrovia, CA. 91016
Web - Danish Natl Committee
Email - email@example.com
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
FALL CONCERT: JAZZ AND SHOW TUNES
Peak into November
We are planning a fine Fall Concert in tents
on the parking lot with distance/mask/caution.
Great music and entertainment by
Rush, Christine, Cymbaline, Sharon, Mette & Peggy.
Wine & treats will be served and hygge will be at the tables!
Dress up for a fun evening together at last!
A fun way to support the church and enjoy a good evening.
$ 25 per person
Danish Lutheran Church and Cultural Center
16881 Bastanchury Road
Yorba Linda, CA 92886
THE DANISH BROTHERHOOD - LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
The following Danish Clubs might be able, to have a limited outside social picnic, with a 6 ft. spacing...
Meeting and Lunch. Meets 2nd Monday monthly. No meeting-July & August.
President: Richard Rowse phone: 626-446-8125
Contact: Secretary: Connie Hanson : 626-688-9120
Treasurer: Melissa Lay: 805-433-2241
The Danish Brotherhood In America was formed in 1882, with headquarters in Omaha, and was designed as an insurance firm for Danish immigrants. It is now a mostly social club with lodges all over the nation, loosely tied to a larger fraternal organization which does provide insurance for those who wish. The Los Angeles Lodge was formed in 1899 and celebrated its 114th anniversary in October, 2013. The Lodge publishes a monthly newsletter to which anyone can subscribe for $15 per year. You can belong to a Danish organization with membership costing $15 per year. Our lodge meets monthly, mostly on the second Tuesday at 11:30 am. We have a short business meeting, then lunch and refreshments. Yes, we do speak English mostly. You don't have to be Danish to join. Anyone with an interest in things Danish is welcome.
616 Norumbega Rd
Monrovia, CA 91016
Email - Connie Hanson
Sankt Morten is the Danish name of Saint Martin of Tours. According to legend, Martin was forced to become a bishop by his parishioners and tried to hide in a barn. However, the noise of the geese gave him away. For this reason, but probably in reality because of the goose slaughtering season, it is tradition to eat a goose dinner, although over time duck has become a more practical dish on this occasion.
In Denmark, Mortensaften, meaning the evening of St. Martin, is celebrated with traditional dinners, while the day itself is rarely recognized. (Morten is the Danish vernacular form of Martin.) The background is the same legend as mentioned above, but nowadays the goose is most often replaced with a duck due to size, taste and/or cost.
Mortensaften Youtube Video
DANISH PIONEER HOLIDAY ISSUE DEADLINE
The Danish Pioneer’s Big Holiday Issue 2020 is Around the Corner
Deadline: November 18
The Danish Pioneer’s Staff will be working on the newspaper’s big holiday issue through the Thanksgiving Weekend. If you would like to repeat your holiday greeting from last year or place a NEW holiday greeting ad or advertise for the first time, your support is very much appreciated. Please send an e-mail to Editor Linda Steffensen at dpioneer@aol. com or call 847-882-2552 for the 2020 Christmas Issue Advertising Prices. The economical ad prices are the same as last year. The Danish Pioneer celebrates its 148th anniversary in 2020. Thank you to all!
CHURCH AND LIFE - NEW ISSUE
For more information and to Subscribe...
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
November 21 - Mortens Aften Dinner (Reservations by November 18)
December 11 - Christmas Dinner and meeting
January 8 - Fish Dinner and meeting (Election of Officers)
Details in the November/December Newsletter...
November 2020 Newsletter
Naverne is an old organization for well-traveled journeymen from Scandinavia, with clubs in many countries, also in the USA and Canada. The website has moved to: www.Naverne-CUK.dk. The site is now located at: www.naverne.com/web - but you can go directly to the LA website by using: Click on USA, Los Angeles home page for more information and a contact person. We meet every 2ndFriday of the month at 5:30 pm, in our Club House in Monrovia.The Naverettes is an associated ladies organization, meeting 2ndWednesday every month, ask for Bodil Olsen.
October 2020 Newsletter
May 2020 Newsletter
April 2020 Newsletter
March 2020 NewsletterFebruary 2020 Newsletter
The Los Angeles Naver Club
616 Norumbega Road
Monrovia, CA 91016
Telephone - Arne Olsen 949-456-3711
Arne B. Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Naver Club Site on NFDA
A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - JAMIE LEE CURTIS
Jamie Lee Curtis was born on November 22, 1958 in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of legendary actors Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis. She got her big break at acting in 1978 when she won the role of Laurie Strode in Halloween (1978). After that, she became famous for roles in movies like Trading Places (1983), Perfect (1985) and A Fish Called Wanda (1988). She starred in one of the biggest action films ever, True Lies (1994), for which she won a Golden Globe Award for her performance. Curtis also appeared on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979), and starred in Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story (1981) as the title role. Her first starring role was opposite Richard Lewis on the ABC situation comedy Anything But Love (1989). In 1998, she starred in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998) in which she reprised her role that made her famous back in 1978.
Her paternal grandparents, Emanuel Schwartz and Helen (Klein), were Hungarian Jewish immigrants. Her maternal grandfather, Frederick/Fred Robert Morrison, had English, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, German, Swiss-German, and French ancestry, and her maternal grandmother, Helen Lita (Westergaard), was from a family of Danish immigrants.
ÆBLESKIVER AND GLOGG IN THE TENT
As our annual Julemarked has been canceled, we hope you will join us for a cozy afternoon in the tents with Æbleskiver and Glogg.
Telephone - (714) 993-6362
Email - email@example.com
DANISH LUNCH CLUB - SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
The following Danish Clubs might be able, to have a limited outside social picnic, with a 6 ft. spacing.
Web - firstname.lastname@example.org
Email - email@example.com
Christmas in Denmark embodies the spirit of joy and enthusiasm to the maximum. As December approaches, every house and street is lit up with colourful lights, so much so that it neutralizes the effect of a dull winter. Most Danes believe that Christmas is about carols and songs, the aroma of spruce, oranges and freshly baked cookies. One of the city's oldest traditions is being adorned with thousands of candles to create an atmosphere of warmth, togetherness, relaxation and love. Usually, every store and street is elaborately decorated with green, red or white paper hearts, since this is the Danish symbol during Christmas. Again, even houses and dinner tables are ornamented with lights and hearts. Christmas cookies and æbleskiver are made for both the children and adults. Read on to learn more about the customs and traditions of Christmas in Denmark.
Some people in Denmark give and receive extra Advent presents on the four Sundays of Advent.
Different types of Advent candles and calendars are popular in Denmark. A Kalenderlys (calendar-candle) is an Advent candle and most people have one of these types of candles. A Pakkekalender (gift calendar) is also a fun way to countdown to Christmas Eve. There are 24 small gifts for the children in the calendar, one for each day until Christmas Eve.
Julekalender (christmas calendar) is a television series with 24 episodes. One episode is shown each day in December with the last one being aired on Christmas Eve. The first Julekalender was shown on TV in Denmark in 1962. The two main Danish TV channels DR and TV2 both show different versions of Julekalender each year. The theme of the stories in the Julekalender normally follow a similar storyline, with someone trying to ruin Christmas and the main characters saving Christmas!
As well as the TV series, both DR and TV2 produce paper advent calendars to go along with the stories! DR is the oldest TV channel in Denmark and it's paper calendar is called Børnenes U-landskalender (Children's U-Country Calendar) (goes to another site). It's been making the calendars for over 50 years and profits from the sale of the calendar go to help poor children in a developing country. The calendar made by TV2 is called julekalender and profits from that calendar go to help Julemærkefonden, a children's charity in Denmark.
You can also support Julemærkefonden when you send Christmas Cards in Denmark. Every year a set of Christmas stamps/stickers/seals called julemærket are sold in December to help raise money for the charity. You use a normal postage stamp as well, the julemærket stickers just make the post look more Christmassy! You can out more about julemærket on https://www.julemaerket.dk (goes to another site)
Christmas Parties are held from 1st November to 24th December where everyone has a good time! Making cakes and biscuits is popular in the time before Christmas. Gingerbread cookies and vanilla ones are often favorites.
In Denmark most people go to a Church Service on Christmas Eve about 4.00pm to hear the Christmas sermon or talk. It's also an old, traditional custom to give animals a treat on Christmas Eve, so some people go for a walk in the park or woods and they might take some food to give the animals and birds. You might also go for a walk to give you an appetite for the Christmas meal!
When they get home the main Christmas meal is eaten between 6.00pm and 8.00pm. It's served on a beautifully decorated table. Popular Christmas foods include roast duck, goose or pork. They are served with boiled and sweet potatoes, red cabbage, beetroot and cranberry jam/sauce.
Most families have a 'ris á la mande' (a special kind of rice pudding, made of milk, rice, vanilla, almonds and whipped cream) for dessert. All but one of the almonds are chopped into pieces. The person who finds the whole almond gets a present called a Mandelgave (almond present). Traditionally the little present was a marzipan pig! Now a marzipan pig is still sometimes given, but it's also often something like sweets or a little toy.
After the meal the lights on the Christmas Tree are lit, people might dance around the tree and sing carols. Then it's time for people to open their presents. The Christmas tree normally has a gold or silver star on the top and often has silver 'fairy hair' on it to make it glitter.
On Christmas day people meet with their family and have a big lunch together with danish open-faced sandwiches on rye-bread.
In Denmark, children believe that their presents are brought by the 'Julemanden' (which means 'Christmas Man' or 'Yule Man'). He looks very similar to Santa Claus and also travels with a sleigh and reindeer. He lives in Greenland, likes rice pudding and is helped by 'nisser' which are like elves.
St. Lucia's Day (or St. Lucy's Day) is also celebrated on December 13th, although it's more famous for being celebrated in Denmark's neighbor, Sweden.
In Danish Happy/Merry Christmas is 'Glædelig Jul'. Happy/Merry Christmas in lots more languages.
New Year’s Eve rituals exist in many parts of the world and Denmark is no different. Here’s a short guide to understanding some of the best-known traditions.
The Queen Margrethe’s New Year’s Eve speech at 6pm signals the beginning of a long and festive night. It’s a live broadcast from the Queen’s office in Christian IX’s Palace at Amalienborg, an annual essential that first started with King Christian IX in the 1880s. The Queen takes this opportunity to summarize the year’s main political events, both global and local. The speech always concludes with a salute to the nation with the words “Gud bevare Danmark” (God preserve Denmark), which signals the time to begin the meal.
Unlike the Christmas dishes consumed just a few days prior, the New Year’s Eve menu consists of boiled cod, served with home-made mustard sauce and all the trimmings. However, Danes are less traditionally bound to the food when it comes to New Year. So, many Danes prepare exotic and alternative specialities for their New Year’s dinner.
For dessert, the famous Kransekake, a Danish invention from the 1700s. Like champagne, it is one of the fixed elements of New Year’s Eve. It’s a towering cake made from layer-upon-layer of marzipan rings. The cake’s turret-like shape promises happiness and wealth for the coming year.
Just before midnight, many Danes gather in front of the television to watch a short movie in black and white from 1963 called “90-års fødselsgaden” (“Dinner for one”, also known as “The 90th Birthday”).
At the midnight countdown, it is a tradition for everyone celebrating indoors to stand on a sofa or a chair and jump into the new year. It symbolizes the hope for better time/eases the transition and then everyone wishes each other a Happy New Year. At this point a choir performs the Danish anthem and the Danish Monarch song.
Shortly afterwards, people gather in the streets to set off fireworks. Danes traditionally celebrate New Year with lots of fireworks. It was only around 1900 that fireworks began to become something that ordinary people could buy. Before that, New Year was celebrated by using guns to fire shots into the air. It was done because of an old belief that loud noises and fireworks keep spirits and negative energies away.
DANISH NATIONAL COMMITTEE MEETING
To be held at the Naver Club in Monrovia
Lunch followed by meeting
Danish National Committee
of Southern California
Email - DanishNatlComm@gmail.com
A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - BENEDICTE MARIE WRENSTED
Benedicte Marie Wrensted (February 10, 1859 – January 19, 1949) was a notable Danish-American photographer best known for the many photographs she took of the Shoshone native people in Idaho. She is remembered for her documentation of the Northern Shoshone, Lemhi, and Bannock tribes in Idaho between 1895-1912.
Born in Hjørring, Jutland, Benedicte learned photography (one the the few professions considered suitable for women at the time) from her aunt, Charlotte Borgen. She then opened her own studio in Horsens, which she ran until she emigrated to the United States in 1894.
After arriving in America, Benedicte moved to Pocatello, Idaho where her brother Peter had settled. Here she acquired a studio in 1895 where she took photographs of the local inhabitants and recorded the growth of the town. Her documentary photographs of the Shoshone and Bannock Native Americans are still considered to be of great anthropological importance. Many of her Native American images are preserved at the Smithsonian Institution and the National Archives.
Wrensted's parents were Captain Carl V. Wrensted, later an innkeeper, and Johanne Borgen. She grew up and attended school in Frederikshavn in the far north of Jutland. One of the few professions considered suitable for women at the time was photography. Wrensted learnt the craft in the 1880s from her aunt, Charlotte Borgen, who was a photographer in Frederikshavn. She then opened a studio of her own in Horsens.
She was known for her expressive handling of natural light and the painterly quality of her photographs. Wrensted photographed The Edmos, a prominent Native American family from the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, quite often.
Wrensted became a U.S. citizen in 1912, at age 53, and the same year she ended her career as a photographer. She sold her studio in Pocatello and moved to Los Angeles where she died on January 19, 1949 shortly before her 90th birthday.
Many of her Native American images are preserved at the Smithsonian Institution and the National Archives. In the fall of 1984, Smithsonian anthropologist, Joanna Cohan Scherer was looking for photographs in the Smithsonian Institute's "Handbook of North American Indian" and came across the clutter of the Bannock County Historical Society in Pocatello, Idaho. She came across some Bannock County images that had the imprint "B. Wrensted, Pocatello." After rediscovering these photographs and finding a collection of glass plate negatives in the National Archives labeled "Portraits of Indians from Southeastern Idaho Reservations, 1897"., she was determined to find out more about Wrensted. She consulted tribal elders from the nearby Fort Hall Indian Reservation, wrote letters to people, checked business directories and looked through tons of museums and libraries in an effort to uncover the background of Wrensted and her photographs. The Idaho Museum of Natural History has a goal of demonstrating ways in which photographs can be placed within a historical context. Only 1% of Wrensted's images at the National Archives and Records Administration were identified at the onset of a digital library collection project. Once they were shown to the descendants at the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, information regarding families of origin were discovered and with the help of written records, 84% of Wrensted subjects have now been identified.
Scherer encourages the reader to "go beyond consideration of Wrensted's portraits as art," by advocating for the identification of the individual people portrayed in the photos as a means of avoiding stereotyping and the characterization of generic Indians as more "noble savages". "What sets Wrensted's work apart," says Schere, "is her skill in portraying the humanity—the individuality—of the people who posed for her. She captured their presence with a dignity and beauty that transcend time and place." According to Scherer's estimates, today 170 of Wrensted's Shoshone Bannock images are known to exist in various collections, with a substantial number at the Idaho Museum of Natural History. Wrensted's photographs of her Indian subjects were not left with the people of the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, but were, as Scherer tells us, "uprooted from their place of origin and put into impersonal hands—namely, the National Archives in Washington, D.C."
Idaho State University - Benedicte Wrensted Collection:
View Collection Online
Leslie William Nielsen OC (11 February 1926 – 28 November 2010) was a Canadian actor, comedian, and producer. He appeared in more than 100 films and 150 television programs, portraying more than 220 characters. He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and later worked as a disc jockey before receiving a scholarship to study theatre at the Neighborhood Playhouse. He made his acting debut in 1950, appearing in 46 live television programs a year. Nielsen made his film debut in 1956, with supporting roles in several drama, Western, and romance films produced between the 1950s and the 1970s. Nielsen was born on 11 February 1926 in Regina, Saskatchewan. His mother, Mabel Elizabeth (née Davies), was an immigrant from Wales, and his father, Ingvard Eversen Nielsen (1900-1975), was a Danish-born constable in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
BODTKER GRANTS - DEADLINE
Deadline for Submission: April 15
The Danish American Heritage Society is pleased to offer grants to qualified researchers for study in area of common interest. Bodtker Grants provide stipends of up to $5,000 for students or graduates interested in exploring topics related to Danish history and heritage in North America.
A Bodtker Grant is primarily intended for research and internship at Danish American Archive and Library in Blair, Nebraska; the Danish American Archive at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa; or the Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn, Iowa. At the Board's discretion, proposals involving other Danish cultural and archival institutions may be considered.
Deadlines: April 15 (Notification: May) or September 15(Notification: October)
Stipend Amount: Up to $5,000
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).
Olaf Wieghorst (April 30, 1899 in Viborg, Denmark – April 27, 1988 in California, United States) was a painter of the American West in the vein of Frederic Remington and Charles Russell and is known for his Indian, cowboy and horse paintings. In 1992, he was inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
Wieghorst emigrated to the United States from Denmark in 1918 where he lived the rest of his life.
He spent his working career on mounted patrol with the U.S. Cavalry, with occasional interludes as a wrangler on ranches in the western states. Wherever he went, he sketched and painted the Western culture he loved, often selling his work as calendar and magazine illustrations (such as Zane Grey's Western Magazine and Hoofs and Horns, an honor he shared with other cowboy artists such as Dan Muller).
In 1924, Olaf Wieghorst married a Brooklyn girl named Mabel Walters and they had a son. In the same year, he joined the New York City Police Department (1924-1944) where he became a Mounted Police Officer with the Department. Due to his knowledge of horses, he was quickly sent to the Remount Section of the Mounted Unit where he broke and trained horses for the Unit. In 1945, Wieghorst eventually settled in El Cajon, California, San Diego County, California and spent the rest of his life there working on his art. He was a self-trained artist and learned to work with oil painting and water colors himself. Over time he became a proficient painter and as a result, Grand Central Art Galleries of the Biltmore Hotel chose to display his paintings. He also painted horses and studied their nature. The most famous of his models were Gene Autry’s Champion, Tom Morgan’s stallion and Roy Rogers’ Trigger.
He appeared in two John Wayne movies in the 60's, McLintock! and El Dorado. Some of his art work was used in the open titles sequence in the film El Dorado.
In 1985 two of his works, The Navajo Madonna and The Navajo Man were sold for over $1 million. He died on April 28, 1988 in La Mesa, CA. - Wikipedia
Olaf Wieghorst Museum Website
REBILD FESTIVAL IN DENMARK
Celebration of Danish American Friendship - The annual Rebild Festival at the Rebild National Park near Aalborg, Denmark
Official Detailed 2021 Schedule to be Announced
July 3 - Rebild Park events and Gala in Aalborg
July 4 - Tent Luncheon and Festival in the Rebild Hills
July 5 - General Membership Meeting
A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - KIETH CARRADINE
Keith Ian Carradine (Born August 8, 1949) maternal Great Grandfather was Danish American Max Henius, founder of Rebild. Keith was the main American speaker at the Rebild 100 year anniversary celebration in 2012. He is an American actor, singer and songwriter who has had success on stage, film and television.
He is known for his roles as Tom Frank in Robert Altman's film Nashville, Wild Bill Hickok in the HBO series Deadwood, FBI agent Frank Lundy in Dexter, and US President Conrad Dalton in Madam Secretary. In addition, he is a Golden Globe– and Academy Award–winning songwriter. As a member of the Carradine family, he is part of an acting dynasty that began with his father, John Carradine.
Carradine was born in San Mateo, California. He is the son of actress and artist Sonia Sorel (née Henius) and actor John Carradine. His paternal half-brothers are Bruce Carradine and the late David Carradine. His maternal half-brother is Michael Bowen, and his full brothers are Christopher and Robert Carradine.
Carradine's childhood was difficult. He said that his father drank and his mother “was a manic depressive paranoid schizophrenic catatonic — she had it all.” His parents were divorced in 1957, when he was eight years old. A bitter custody battle led to his father gaining custody of him and his brothers, Christopher and Robert, after the children had spent three months in a home for abused children as wards of the court. Keith said of the experience, "It was like being in jail. There were bars on the windows, and we were only allowed to see our parents through glass doors. It was very sad. We would stand there on either side of the glass door crying".
He was raised primarily by his maternal grandmother, and he rarely saw either of his parents. His mother was not permitted to see him for eight years following the custody settlement.
After high school, Carradine entertained the thought of becoming a forest ranger, but opted to study drama at Colorado State University. He dropped out after one semester and drifted back to California moving in with his older half-brother, David. David encouraged Keith to pursue an acting career, paid for his acting and vocal lessons, and helped him get an agent.
Deadline for Submission: September 15
A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - TOM KNUDSEN
Thorkild Rostgaard (Tom) Knudsen was born September 10, 1890 in the Danish country village of Lohals on the island of Langeland. Shortly after his birth his mother passed away and Tom's father, Valdemar Knudsen, had to raise four children by himself. Tom found his first job as an errand boy for a tobacco manufacturer when he was nine years old. He attended school in the mornings and worked in the afternoons. In 1902, Tom won a scholarship to a technical school and, at sixteen, he graduated with high grades. He dreamed about owning his own farm. For the next three years he worked his way up to better and better jobs on various dairy farms in Denmark. He soon realized he could not earn enough in Denmark to make his dream come true. He had a strong sense of adventure. Tom decided to travel to America where there were “golden opportunities”.
Tom left Denmark when he was twenty years old and emigrated to America. He paid his way across the Atlantic by peeling potatoes. He arrived in New York on May 30, 1910. He believed one should have integrity, ambition, and live by the Golden Rule. He was not afraid of hard work and worked as a hospital janitor in his first job. He soon became a farmhand on a progressively managed dairy farm. He learned a management style that he would carry forward to his own business. He was treated as an associate, and his boss gave suggestions rather than orders. Management and employees dined together and each employee was addressed by his first name. This was in stark contrast to prevailing customs, and highly unusual in an era when most employees were treated with little or no respect. Employees were considered members of the family. He studied the American dairy production process and determined he could improve the quality and taste of many products. He then discovered he could make more money as a fireman on a locomotive and get paid to travel, so he took a fireman’s correspondence course. He found a job with the New York Central railway. By 1912 he had saved enough money and returned to Denmark to buy a dairy farm and fulfill his dream. It only took him a few days to realize that the American way of life had “gotten under my skin”. He returned to America a year later.
He earned his way across America by shoveling coal, and finally in the fall of 1914 he founded a consulting dairy laboratory called Knudsen laboratories with his brother Carl who had preceded him to Southern California. They acted as consultants and showed dairies how to keep their products fresher longer. The brothers soon patented a process for making cottage cheese which they licensed to dairy product manufacturers throughout the nation. The new product was well received and they prospered. But the war came in 1917 and the two brothers gave the government their patented process as a contribution to the “Food Will Win the War” campaign. In doing so they gave away the lab’s most important asset. Tom and Carl Knudsen relinquished personal financial security to help in the war effort.
At the end of the war the Knudsen brothers were without their patent and the laboratory was no longer profitable. Tom had to start all over again. Tom and Carl began producing their own buttermilk for the Southern Pacific railroad and Knudsen Laboratories began its rapid expansion. Quality, taste, and customer service were the engines of growth. In 1924 Tom and Carl decided to divide the business between them. Carl wanted to specialize in yogurt and Tom took the remainder of the dairy products including ice cream, mixes, buttermilk, and cottage cheese. On July 17, 1925 Tom made his full commitment to America when he became a naturalized citizen.
He subsequently changed the company’s name to Knudsen Creamery. He began with three employees, a second hand delivery truck, a few hundred dollars in borrowed capital, some used machinery, and his personal philosophy of high-quality and fair dealings. His zeal for excellence created superior products. His philosophy became the company’s slogan: “The Very Best”. The Knudsen Creamery became known for its high quality products, it's impeccable customer service, and a great place to work because Tom Knudsen treated his employees like he had been treated years before on the New York dairy farm. Eighteen years after arriving in America Tom Knutson was recognized as an undisputed authority within the dairy industry and set the standards that others would follow. The business grew to 32 dairies in California
Tom met his wife Valley at the Danish American Club in Los Angeles in 1916. They were married December 14, 1917. Tom and Valley became the proud parents of Elinor Gene and later adopted Marie, an orphaned Danish American girl. As time passed Tom and Valley both became more and more involved with civic activities and gave both time and money to help others. In the 1930’s the Knudsen’s raised money to help underwrite expenses for Danish athletes competing in the 1932 Olympic games in Los Angeles. The funds left over were used as seed money for the Danish Cheer Committee, now part of The Danish Lutheran Church and Cultural Center, which aided and assisted needy Danes.
After World War II when many Danes wanted to immigrate to the United States, Tom and Valley personally sponsored more than 100 people. They were, in effect, the uncrowned leaders of the Danish community and created strong ties between Denmark and California. For their involvement, Tom was Knighted by His Majesty King Frederick IX of Denmark as Commander of the Order of Dannebrog and Valley was awarded the King Christian X Liberty Medal.
Valley Mary Knudsen (Filtzer) was born March 24,1895 in Chicago, Illinois and moved to Los Angeles when she was nine. Valley became one of the most active civic leaders Los Angeles has ever known, at times holding literally dozens of civic posts simultaneously. Her greatest and certainly her most lasting achievement was the founding of Los Angeles Beautiful in 1949. She served as president for the next 20 years. This organization planted trees and removed trash from the cities streets. Her campaign was so successful that by one estimate Los Angeles Beautiful had planted 250,000 trees valued at $6 million in 15 years. Under her leadership the organization helped landscape numerous public facilities, converted fourteen miles of deserted railways into green spaces and fought a tireless battle against urban litter. Los Angeles Beautiful became the model for similar efforts in communities across the country. Tom passed away October 29, 1965 and Valley September 10, 1976.
The Danish Church and Cultural Center in Yorba Linda would not have been built without the financial support from the Tom and Valley Knudsen Foundation. The Tom and Valley Knudsen Foundation was established in 1951 and provided moral and financial support to worthy community causes. The Tom and Valley Knudsen Foundation had generously donated over $1 million to construction of the Danish Lutheran Church and Cultural Center. The Danish Cultural Center was named the Tom and Valley Knudsen Cultural Center in honor of their support to the entire Danish community.
Knudsen Biography from The Danish Lutheran Church of Southern California 100 Years - A Century of Trials and Triumphs
Photos of portrait and bust from the Tom and Valley Knudsen Cultural Center
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