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 email@example.com.
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.
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
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 / firstname.lastname@example.org
ELVERHØJ MUSEUM OF HISTORY & ART
1624 ELVERHOY WAY
SOLVANG, CA 93463
PHONE 805.686.1211 / www.elverhoj.org
SUNDAY MORNING WORSHIP SERVICES
Bethania has suspended in-person services. You are invited to join us via live-streaming. See the link at the bottom of the listing.
Click the link to read my letter about what will be happening and how we'll stay connected. Also, Bethania Preschool will be communicating directly should they choose to close, but at this time, they're still open.
Pastor Chris letter
VELKOMMEN TIL BETHANIA LUTHERAN CHURCH
Journeying Together: Rooted, Growing, Branching Out
Sunday Worship 9:30 a.m.
Coffee Time 10:30 a.m.
Worship Service 11:00 a.m.
Sunday School 11:00 a.m.
Bethania Lutheran Church
603 Atterdag Rd
Solvang, CA 93463
Telephone - 805-688-4637
Email - email@example.com
Bethania Lutheran Website
U.S. ELECTION DAY
Voting Information Center (Facebook)
U.S Embassy - Denmark (Facebook)
U.S. Embassy Denmark (Website)
REOPENING - ELVERHØJ MUSEUM OF HISTORY AND ART
Members Only Reopening Celebration -
November 4 & 5 11am - 4pm
Open To All - Beginning November 6
EXTENDED THROUGH 2020
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669) was an innovative and prolific master and is generally considered one of the greatest visual artists in the history of art. He lived and worked in Amsterdam, a city renowned for its welcoming spirit towards the thousands of Jewish migrants and refugees who survived the Inquisition and had been expelled from Spain and Portugal.
The 21 prints on view 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 series of small prints present a powerful message and encourage the viewer to get up close and engage with the people depicted.
Rembrandt’s legacy as an etcher is characterized by the new and innovative techniques he introduced to printmaking. He broke with longstanding, traditional depictions of Jews in biblical narratives. Rembrandt’s legacy of decency is displayed in his art as he added emotional and psychological depth to his subjects through expressive faces, dramatic body language, and bold use of shadow and light.
The humanity Rembrandt expressed in his artwork resonates today, nearly 400 years later. This concept is found in the unofficial Danish law—jantiloven—for "no one is better than the other." The jantiloven concept 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. During the Nazi Occupation, over 95% of the Jewish population in Denmark was rescued by their fellow countrymen.
The founding of Solvang was based upon that deeply held Danish principle of cooperation. More than 100 years later, the close-knit community continues to thrive and support its neighbors.
The Rembrandts are from the collection of Howard and Fran Berger, gift to Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art. The exhibition remains on display through May 24.
Elverhøj Museum of History and Art
1624 Elverhoy Way
Solvang, CA 93463
Telephone - (805) 686-1211
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
HEJLS MINDE #23 MEETING
Meetings Canceled Until Further Notice
1st Wednesday of every month.
12:00 Noon Meeting
Secretary Jean Kardel
Bit O' Denmark
473 Alisal Rd
Danish Societies Website
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
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
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.
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.
A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - BENEDICT NORDENTOFT
Benedict Nordentoft (17 January 1873 – 12 December 1942) was a Danish educator and cleric, principally remembered for the years he spent in Solvang, California, where he and his colleagues established a Danish community with a Lutheran church and a folk high school.
Photo: Nordentoft was the 3rd President of Grand View College 1903 - 1910
Benedict Nordentoft was born in the rectory at Brabrand, a town just west of Aarhus, Denmark, on 17 January 1873. He was the seventh of the thirteen gifted children raised by Pastor Peter Nordentoft and Vincentia Christiane Michelsen. In the footsteps of the famous theologian and philosopher N. F. S. Grundtvig, from the age of 11 he attended the Aarhus Cathedral School before studying theology at Copenhagen University. Later he would comment: "Although I was often moved by the sermons of Grundtvigian priests and although many of my student friends were Grundtvigians, I have never been able to accept Grundtvig's excessively dogmatic views." After graduating with honours in 1898, he became a substitute teacher at Herlufsholm School before becóming a tutor for Count Brockenhuus-Schack's eldest son in Ringsted in 1899.
Though pleased with his position, he could not resist the urge to go to America where he had been offered a post as a lecturer at Grand View College, a Danish seminary and folk high school in Des Moines, Iowa, believing that America would open up new horizons for him.
One of his first tasks as a lecturer at Grand View was to coordinate relations between Danish Lutheran churches in Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine. In the summer of 1901, he returned to Denmark specifically to be ordained in Aarhus Cathedral. Back in America, he continued his work as a lecturer at Grand View. In 1903, when he was only 30 years old, he became the college's third president, a post which he held until 1910. That year, as a result of differences with his colleagues at the college who were far more Grundtvigian than he, Nordentoft was pressured to leave.
From 1906, Nordentoft together with Jens M. Gregersen, a pastor from Kimballton, Iowa, and Peder P. Hornsyld, a lecturer at Grand View, had discussed the possibility of creating a new Danish colony with a dedicated Lutheran church and school on the west coast. In 1910, together with other Danish-Americans, they created the Danish-American Colony Company in San Francisco. Later that year, their land agent, Mads J. Frese, found suitable land in the Santa Ynez Valley northwest of Santa Barbara. On 23 January 1911, the contract was signed and Solvang was founded. The Danes had bought almost 9,000 acres of the Rancho San Carlos de Jonata land grant, paying an average of $40 per acre.
Soon after the establishment of Solvang, a school was opened with 21 students on 15 November 1911 with Nordentoft as president.
At the end of 1912 when it became almost impossible to sell any more plots of land, the company's income was vastly reduced. The shareholders persuaded Gregersen to give up his position as Solvang's pastor and travel to Iowa and Nebraska to convince Danish immigrants to buy land in the new colony. He enjoyed considerable success, relieving the colony of any further threats. After Gregersen's departure, Nordentoft became the pastor. Before long, Solvang also had a store, a bank, a lumber yard, a barbershop and a post office with Hornsyld as postmaster. Where there had just been fields, there was now a small town.
Nordentoft was not content with the little school established in Solvang. When he was unable to convince his Danish colleagues that a larger educational institution was needed, he bought them out and started to raise funds for a bigger and better school. The following year, in August 1914, a rejsegilde, or topping-out ceremony, was held for the impressive new building which Nordentoft called Atterdag College in memory of Valdemar Atterdag who did much to consolidate the kingdom of Denmark in the 14th century.
What surprised many of those who came to the celebration was the great similarity the building had with Grand View College. Standing on a hilltop with a commanding view of the village, the new college or folk high school was designed to teach Danish-speaking students in their late teens how to lead more meaningful lives with an emphasis on lectures, singing, gymnastics, folk dancing and fellowship. A difficult period followed as World War I put a stop to Danish emigration to America leading to a reduction in the number of young people requiring a school education. It also became difficult to maintain a Danish-speaking school at a time when American nationalism was steadily growing.
On 26 April 1918 when he was 45, Nordentoft married 20-year-old Mary Hansine Christiansen, the daughter of a Danish farmer from Newell, Iowa, and one of his earlier students. By 1921, the family had two children and a third was on the way. Nordentoft, who felt he had achieved his ambitions in America and wished to have his children educated in Denmark, sold the college to the congregation of Solvang's Bethania Church in 1921 for $5,000. He then returned to Denmark with his wife and family.
Back in Denmark in 1921, he was first a priest in Tranebjerg on Samsø, then in Mariager and in March 1926 he became pastor of St Nicolai Church in Kolding. The family who raised no less than 11 children were always very welcoming to anyone who wished to visit them at the rectory in Hyrdestræde. All the children were given the middle name Atterdag in memory of the college.
Nordentoft not only taught at the high school in Kolding but became a popular public speaker in the area, thanks to his entertaining and humorous delivery. He often spoke affectionately about his years in America and was active on the committee for the Danish-American Mission. In 1941, he was awarded the Order of the Dannebrog for his services to Danish-American relations.
Benedict Nordentoft died in Kolding on 12 December 1942. A few years later, the authorities in Solvang decided to name two streets in his memory: Nordentoft Way and Kolding Avenue. - Wikipedia
THIS DATE IN DANISH AMERICAN HISTORY - SOLVANG CALIFORNIA FOUNDED
On January 23, 1911 Solvang, California was founded by Danish settlers. In 1906, Danish Lutheran pastor and Grand View College President Benedict Nordentoft, together with Jens M. Gregersen, a pastor from Kimballton, Iowa, and Peder P. Hornsyld, a lecturer at Grand View, had discussed the possibility of creating a new Danish colony with a dedicated Lutheran church and school on the west coast. In 1910, together with other Danish-Americans, they created the Danish-American Colony Company in San Francisco. Later that year, suitable land was found in the Santa Ynez Valley northwest of Santa Barbara. On January 23, 1911, the contract was signed and Solvang was founded.
More Solvang History from the Elverhøj Museum of History and Art...
Elverhøj Museum Website
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
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
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
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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