event Calendar

southwest United States (TX, NM, AZ, CO, UT)

    • June 01, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • September 15, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • Tempe Embassy Suites - Tempe, Arizona

    REGISTER HERE - 2021 REBILD ANNUAL USA CONFERENCE

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

    Everyone interested in Danish American friendship is welcome!

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Registration Form

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

    Rebild Arizona 2021 Schedule
    Updated 2/14/2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Sunday October 31 - Conference Departures

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

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

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

    Wednesday November 3 - Post Tour Departures

    More Information and questions - 

    Email - Bruce Bro

    Registration Form
    • June 11, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • June 11, 2024
    • (CDT)
    • 4 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - PETER OLSEN HANSEN

    Peter Olsen Hansen (11 June 1818 – 9 August 1895) was the translator of the Book of Mormon into Danish.  Throughout Danish American history,  the State of Utah has had one of the highest concentrations of Danes and those of Danish ancestry.  That is directly due to the work of early Mormon missionaries like Peter Olsen Hansen and his contemporaries.

    Hansen was born in CopenhagenDenmark.  A sailor by trade, he joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Boston in 1844. After this, Hansen moved to Nauvoo, Illinois. While at Nauvoo. Hansen assisted in building the Nauvoo Temple and, at the request of Brigham Young, worked on the translation of the Book of Mormon into Danish.  Hansen was a Mormon pioneer and arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in September 1847.

    Hansen accompanied Erastus Snow on the first Latter-day Saint mission to Denmark.  He served on this mission from 1849 to 1855, during which he served as the first editor of the Skandinaviens Stjerne. Hansen later served additional missions in Denmark from 1873 to 1875 and from 1880 to 1882.

    The Mormon missionaries arrived at an opportune time for the propagation of their faith.  The new Danish constitution written in 1849 granted religious liberty and the missionaries to Denmark did not experience the restraints by the state encountered by the missionaries in Norway and Sweden.  Religious life in Denmark also was undergoing upheaval, and people were questioning the ineffective Lutheran Church.  Baptists, Methodists, and religious dissenters appeared on the scene and sowed the seeds of religious debate.  The Mormons, therefore, were protected against government intervention and found an audience attuned to new religious approaches.

    Even though the constitution of Denmark guaranteed religious freedom there were no laws supporting that right.  As a result some religious and political leaders attempted to place restrictions on the Mormons, but they were unsuccessful.  The Mormons also suffered harassment from the populace.  At Aalborg, for example, a crowd of more than 1,000 who had come to witness a Mormon Baptism by immersion in the Limfjord, was antagonized by the Mormon speaker when he told them that their church and clergy were of the devil.  The crowd stoned the Mormons and broke windows in Mormon homes.  More personal violence and property damage took place in small towns, where converts were more easily identified, than in large cities.  In the cities hostility was directed to the religious services by unruly elements who disturbed the services and interfered with the speaker.  But the government would not prohibit the assembly of the Mormons, and after ten years, after the Mormons became more commonplace, harassment declined.  The actual loss in converts is hard to estimate, but as in most other instances, the victims probably gained from the publicity and the attention.   (From: The Danish Americans by George R. Nielsen)

    Hansen died in 1895 at Manti, Utah Territory.

    • June 18, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • June 27, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • Virtual Event

    15th ANNUAL NORDIC JAZZ FESTIVAL

    Nordic Embassies in Washington D.C. Present 15th Annual Nordic Jazz Festival

    Virtual Event June 18 - 27th

    Washington D.C., June 10 – Every summer, the Nordic Embassies in Washington D.C. present the Nordic Jazz Festival – a cherished tradition showcasing top artists from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. This June, the Embassies are teaming up with the acclaimed Blues Alley Jazz Club – this time virtually – to present the 15th annual Nordic Jazz Festival. For an entire week, jazz enthusiasts can watch four jazz concerts online, all free of charge.

    WHEN: The concerts will be available to watch between June 18, at 5:00 PM (ET), and June 27, at 5:00 PM (ET)

    WHERE: The festival will take place online at bluesalley.com; registration is required.

    Nordic jazz artists present a unique sound that emphasizes the natural elements of the Nordic countries with a modern interpretation. Nordic jazz music tends to be experimental, but melodically strong, with a spacious sound and open song structures. The participants in the 2021 Nordic Jazz Festival are some of the Nordic countries’ most creative artists and have strong educational backgrounds, international careers, and are recipients of multiple jazz awards. Read more about the participants below.

    More Information


    • June 20, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • September 22, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • 4 sessions
    • Armstrong, Iowa

    GLENN HENRIKSEN - DANISH AMERICAN KEYBOARD ENTERTAINER

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

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

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

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

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

    Glenn Henriksen Facebook

    • June 23, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • June 23, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 3 sessions

    SANKT HANS AFTEN (MIDSUMMER'S EVE)

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

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

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

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

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

    Burning the witches in Denmark

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

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

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


    Midsommervisen “Vi elsker vort land”  
    (Youtube)

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

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

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

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

    English Translation...

    Vi Elsker Vort Land/"We Love Our Country"

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

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

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

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

    • June 25, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • Little Bighorn Battlefield - Southeastern Montana

    THE BATTLE OF THE LITTLE BIGHORN

    June 25, 1876

    Included in the casualties at The Battle of Little Bighorn were six Danes - three were killed, and three survived.

    The following is from author and Danish American historian Stig Thornsohn.  NFDA thanks Stig for providing this information about the Battle of Little Big Horn from the Danish American perspective...

    AmeriDanes

    AT THE LITTLE BIGHORN

    ”The sight of the oldest flag in the world – the Danish flag – and the Stars and Stripes flying together will remind us of the long-standing friendship and spirit of understanding which exists now between our two peoples and between our two countries and must exist in the future as long as we both survive.”

    From President John F. Kennedy’s taped speech to Rebild July 4th 1963. 

    Kennedy was right. And countless Danes have fought for the Stars and Stripes since the War of Independence. The 13 stripes were actually a Danish idea.

    Abraham Markøe came from a sugar-rich Danish family in the Danish West Indies. He was sent to the center of power in Philadelphia and became a close friend of George Washington. Markøe created a regiment for the War of Independence, the “Philadelphia Light Horse”, today known as “First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry”, the longest existing military unit in the United States. The regiment also served as a personal bodyguard for Washington. Markøe designed a special flag for his troops, who still use it. It had thirteen blue-silver, stripes that Washington chose to use in the final version of the Stars & Stripes. That’s missing in the official history.

    We have always been strong allies and borne arms with the Americans. P. S. Vig compiled the first description in his two-volume book “Danes fighting for America from approx. 1640 to 1865”.

    That doesn’t include the scores of veterans from the Slesvig wars with Germany. Denmark won the first in 1848 and lost the second in 1864. A good reason for close to 60.000 “German Danes” to emigrate to America, where many chose to serve on the frontier.

    Christian Madsen spent 15 years in the 5th cavalry and later 26 years as a U S marshal. His story will be told later. He was surprised as an old man to find his name on the memorial at Little Bighorn as a casualty of the (in)famous fight - even misspelled Madson. 

    But that was another Dane. Christian Madsen, private in the 7th cavalry company F, born in Kerteminde, Fyn, February 1848, tanner by occupation. He enlisted August 24th 1872 and died with Custer on the hill.

    So did Charles Siemon, Blacksmith, company L. Born 1843, Copenhagen, Denmark. He enlisted  July 19. 1872.

    And Corporal William Teeman, company F. Born 1846. He enlisted Aug 27, 1872.

    Three of six Danes that gave their lives because of a much-debated decision by Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer to attack a superior force of Native Americans perhaps 2.500 warriors dividing his outnumbered force, app. 600 in three battalions. Three companies under the command of Major Marcus Reno, three under the command of Captain Frederick Benteen, five companies under Custer’s direct command. The last of the 12 companies was with Captain Thomas McDougall protecting the pack train with provisions and extra ammunition. Benteen was sent south on a scouting mission, Custer went north to attack the village and Reno was directed to attack from the south where he was met with fierce resistance and had to fall back across the river to take a stand on a hilltop where he was joined by Benteen. They suffered severe casualties.

    Photo: Colonel George Armstrong Custer

    Private Frederick Holmstead, company A was one of them. He was in the valley and the hilltop fights where he was wounded. He died March 27th 1880 at Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory. He was born 1849 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Enlisted November 6th 1872.

    Private Jens Mathiasen Møller, aka Jan Moller, company H was wounded at the hilltop fight. He enlisted January 15th 1872. Born September 13th in Hasle, Bornholm, Denmark and died February 23rd 1928 in Deadwood, South Dakota.

    It seems private Christian C. Boisen managed to survive without physical damage. He was part of the hilltop fight for two days. He was born in Denmark December 1854, registered as a bootmaker and enlisted March 25th 1873. He died January 21st 1923 at Fort Smith, Arkansas.

    The battle of Little Bighorn or Peji Sla Wakapa, Greasy Grass as the lakotas name it, is iconic in the “Indian” wars. Custer was a favorite hero before and became a martyr to many afterwards. The news of his total defeat with his 208 men made the news just as America was celebrating its centenary. One of the biggest Native victories, but costly because of the revenge. The Lakotas and the Cheyennes fought a just battle for land that were theirs by right and treaty, but the American westward expansion ignored the treaties. Gold was found in the mountains, like Paha Sapa, the Black Hills and the land was “needed” for the settlers and the railroads.

    As Sitting Bulls said at the Powder River Council, 1877:

    “Strangely enough they have a mind to till the soil and the love of possessions is a disease with them . . . They claim this mother of ours, the earth, for their own, and fence their neighbors away…”

    Photo: Sitting Bull

    It’s hard to blame the soldiers. They were pawns in a big game. Christian Madsen lived a violent life as a soldier and U S marshal. It seems appropriate to conclude with some of his thoughts in late life that say something about the experiences he gathered in a life of fighting and action:

    “... and other nations will realize that a country that spends more billions on war materials than on schools, and trains more officers than teachers - that country is digging its own grave.”

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

    A&E Television Networks, LLC - The Battle of the Little Bighorn, fought on June 25, 1876, near the Little Bighorn River in Montana Territory, pitted federal troops led by Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer (1839-76) against a band of Lakota Sioux and Cheyenne warriors. Tensions between the two groups had been rising since the discovery of gold on Native American lands. When a number of tribes missed a federal deadline to move to reservations, the U.S. Army, including Custer and his 7th Cavalry, was dispatched to confront them. Custer was unaware of the number of Indians fighting under the command of Sitting Bull (c.1831-90) at Little Bighorn, and his forces were outnumbered and quickly overwhelmed in what became known as Custer’s Last Stand.

    More Information

    • July 01, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • January 15, 2022
    • (CST)
    • 6 sessions
    • Online - New Issue Available

    CHURCH AND LIFE - NEW ISSUE

    For more information and to Subscribe...

    Subscribe Here

    CHURCH AND LIFE: A BRIEF HISTORY

    by Thorvald Hansen

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

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

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

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


    Reference: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


    • July 02, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • July 05, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • Rebild National Park near Aalborg, Denmark

    REBILD FESTIVAL IN DENMARK

    Celebration of Danish American Friendship Since 1912
    The Annual Rebild Festival at the Rebild National Park near Aalborg, Denmark

    The 2021 Rebild Celebration will be a combination of live and on-line events.

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

    July 3 - Gala Dinner at Hotel Comwell Hvide Hus Aalborg followed by fireworks - 19.00-23.00

    July 4 -  Celebration in the Rebild Hills 15.00-17.00
                       Keynote Speakers - Andreas Mogensen and Anders Agner

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

    Please email General Secretary Lars Bisgaard for tickets and reservations - lars@rebildfesten.dk

    Now Open! 2021 Rebild Virtual Benefit Auction (Now - July 4)
    Help raise funds to support the Rebild National Park in Denmark!
    See Items and Bid Here

    New Rebild Website-
    Rebild Website

    Rebild National Park Society

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

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

    • Preservation of Danish culture and heritage in USA

    • Assistance to Danish newcomers with acclimatization and business networking

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

    • Friend-shipping and socializing

    • Study abroad scholarships to Denmark

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • July 08, 2021
    • (PDT)
    • September 09, 2021
    • (PDT)
    • 3 sessions
    • Concert Schedule

    MADS TOLLING - CONCERT SCHEDULE

    Venue & Tickets

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

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

    Mads Tolling Website

    Mads Tolling Facebook

    • July 25, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • Columbine Lakes Clubhouse - Littleton, CO

    DENVER DANES ANNUAL PICNIC

    2021 Event Schedule - 

    Jan 24 - Annual Meeting at Columbine Hills Clubhouse

    Apr 25 - Annual Roadtrip at TBD

    Jul 25 - Annual picnic at Columbine Hills Clubhouse

    Oct 24 - Annual  smørrebrød fest at Columbine Hills Clubhouse

    Dec 12 - Julefest at Columbine Hills Clubhouse


    $35 per event

    If you're interested in the Denver Danes, IM us or email: thedenverdanes@gmail.com 

    The Denver Danes
    Columbine Lakes Clubhouse
    4192 W Pondview Dr
    Littleton, CO  80123


    thedenverdanes@gmail.com 

    Denver Danes Facebook

    • August 14, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • November 12, 2022
    • (CST)
    • 6 sessions
    • Via Zoom

    REBILD CHAPTER LEADERSHIP VIRTUAL MEETING

    Quarterly International Chapter Leadership meeting on Zoom.

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

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

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

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

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

    April 2022 in Chicago, Illinois

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

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

    Rebild Website

    • September 15, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • September 15, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • 3 sessions

    BODTKER GRANTS - DEADLINE

    Deadlines for Submission: April 15 and September 15

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


    A Bodtker Grant is primarily intended for research and internship at Danish American Archive and Library in Blair, Nebraska; the Danish American Archive at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa; or the Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn, Iowa. At the Board's discretion, proposals involving other Danish cultural and archival institutions may be considered.

    Deadlines: April 15 (Notification: May) or September 15(Notification: October)
    Stipend Amount: Up to $5,000

    Grant Application

    DAHS Website


    • October 21, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • October 21, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 3 sessions
    • Petersen House Museum - Tempe, AZ

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - NIELS PETERSEN

    Niels Petersen was born on October 21, 1845, to Peder Mikkelsen and Gunder Marie Nisdatter in Vilslev, Denmark, a small farming village in the southwestern portion of Jutland. Petersen spent several years in the English Merchant Marines, beginning in 1863, allowing him to travel the world. He continued in this stead until 1870, when he immigrated to the United States.

    Photos courtesy: Tempe History Museum  -  At right: Niels and Susanna Petersen

    In 1871, Petersen arrived in the Salt River Valley of central Arizona, where he decided to stake a homestead claim and begin farming. He filed a declaratory statement on July 1, 1874, claiming 160 acres in section 29, southwest of Tempe (the original homestead is currently bordered by Priest, Southern, Alameda and 52nd Streets).  After submitting his claim, Petersen began work on the construction of a two-room adobe house. Four years later, in 1878, Petersen became a United States citizen and subsequently filed a homestead entry, the next step in permanently establishing himself in the valley. The final action in this process was the filing of a homestead proof, providing evidence that improvements to the land had been made by the claimant, which Petersen filed on May 12, 1883. By the time of his final homestead filing, Petersen had built two small adobe houses on the property and maintained 140 acres in cultivation.

    Among his various undertakings was the operation of Tempe founder Charles Hayden’s general store when he was away on business. Additionally, he worked for the Tempe Irrigating Canal Company, eventually earning shares in the company. In 1884, Peterson married Isabel Dumphy, a teacher at Tempe Grammar School; Isabel subsequently resigned from her teaching position and moved into the Petersen house. She died during childbirth one year later, in 1885, and their infant son, John Petersen, is believed to have likewise died within months of his birth.

    Within a few years, Petersen began acquiring properties surrounding his homestead claim, thus expanding his interest in the area. His ranch grew to more than 1,000 acres  and Petersen emerged as one of the area's leading producers of cattle and grain.

    As his financial interests grew, so too did his involvement in the Tempe community. Petersen served as a trustee for the Tempe School District and was a member of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, thus asserting his interest in local education. He played a role in the development of the Tempe Methodist Episcopal Church, the Bank of Tempe, and the Tempe Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, which was chartered on March 5, 1888. Other positions held by Petersen included treasurer of the Tempe Irrigating Canal Company, president of the Farmers and Merchants Bank, and a term on the Arizona's Eighteenth Territorial Legislature from 1895-1896.

    By the 1890s, Petersen had emerged as one of the Salt River Valley's wealthiest and most revered citizens. In 1892, he made the decision to construct a new home, in the Queen Anne Victorian style. Architect James Creighton was commissioned by Petersen to design the new two-story home to be constructed at Petersen's ranch south of town. While the new home was being built, Petersen traveled back east, where he met his future bride Susanna Decker of South Montrose, Pennsylvania. They were married on September 1, 1892, and when he returned to his new house in Tempe his new wife accompanied him. Upon completion, Petersen's house was widely considered one of the most elegant homes in the region.

    Niels Petersen died in Tempe on April 27, 1923, at the age of 78. As a testament to his status in the community, flags were flown at half-mast and all schools and businesses were closed during his funeral. Originally buried in Tempe's Double Buttes Cemetery, he was exhumed and reburied on the grounds of his home next to the grave of his wife Susanna.

    Photos: Susanna Petersen and her dogs c1900  -  Niels and Susanna on the front porch shortly after house construction completed c1893

    History of the house

    The house is significant as the oldest Queen Anne Style brick residence in the Salt River Valley. When Rev. Edward Decker inherited the house in 1927, he made modifications.  It is further important for its design by James Creighton, a well-known Arizona architect. The house was built for Petersen who came to Tempe in 1871 and developed substantial land holdings, was president of a local bank, co-founder of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and representative at the 18th Territorial Legislature. Creighton, the architect, worked for many years in Arizona, and among his extant works are the Pinal County CourthouseOld Main (Arizona State University), and the Tempe Hardware Building on Mill Ave. in Tempe. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. 

    Petersen House Museum Video

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

    2021 REBILD ANNUAL USA CONFERENCE

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

    Everyone interested in Danish American friendship is welcome!

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Registration Form

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

    Rebild Arizona 2021 Schedule
    Updated 2/14/2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Sunday October 31 - Conference Departures

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

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

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

    Wednesday November 3 - Post Tour Departures

    More Information and questions - 

    Email - Bruce Bro

    Registration Form
    • October 24, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • Columbine Lakes Clubhouse - Littleton, CO

    DENVER DANES ANNUAL SMØRREBRØD FEST

    2021 Event Schedule - 

    Jan 24 - Annual Meeting at Columbine Hills Clubhouse

    Apr 25 - Annual Roadtrip at TBD

    Jul 25 - Annual picnic at Columbine Hills Clubhouse

    Oct 24 - Annual  smørrebrød fest at Columbine Hills Clubhouse

    Dec 12 - Julefest at Columbine Hills Clubhouse


    $35 per event

    If you're interested in the Denver Danes, IM us or email: thedenverdanes@gmail.com 

    The Denver Danes
    Columbine Lakes Clubhouse
    4192 W Pondview Dr
    Littleton, CO  80123


    thedenverdanes@gmail.com 

    Denver Danes Facebook

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

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

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

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

    Danish Sisterhood History

    Danish Sisterhood Website

    • December 12, 2021
    • (CST)
    • Columbine Lakes Clubhouse - Littleton, CO

    DENVER DANES ANNUAL JULEFEST

    2021 Event Schedule - 

    Jan 24 - Annual Meeting at Columbine Hills Clubhouse

    Apr 25 - Annual Roadtrip at TBD

    Jul 25 - Annual picnic at Columbine Hills Clubhouse

    Oct 24 - Annual  smørrebrød fest at Columbine Hills Clubhouse

    Dec 12 - Julefest at Columbine Hills Clubhouse


    $35 per event

    If you're interested in the Denver Danes, IM us or email: thedenverdanes@gmail.com 

    The Denver Danes
    Columbine Lakes Clubhouse
    4192 W Pondview Dr
    Littleton, CO  80123


    thedenverdanes@gmail.com 

    Denver Danes Facebook

    • February 05, 2022
    • (CST)
    • February 05, 2023
    • (CST)
    • 2 sessions
    • Denmark

    A ROYAL BIRTHDAY - 
    HRH THE CROWN PRINCESS

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

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

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

    Family Photo: Franne Voigt 

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

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

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

    HRH The Crown Princess

    • February 11, 2022
    • (CST)
    • February 11, 2023
    • (CST)
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - LLOYD MILLARD BENTSEN JR

    Lloyd Millard Bentsen Jr. (February 11, 1921 – May 23, 2006) was an American politician who was a four-term United States Senator (1971–1993) from Texas and the Democratic Party nominee for vice president in 1988 on the Michael Dukakis ticket. He also served as the 69th United States Secretary of the Treasury under President Bill Clinton. Bentsen was born in Mission in Hidalgo County to Lloyd Millard Bentsen, Sr. (referred to as "Big Lloyd"), a first-generation Danish-American, and his wife, Edna Ruth (Colbath).

    New York Times Obituary May 24, 2006 - 

    Lloyd Bentsen - Obituary


    • March 06, 2022
    • (CST)
    • March 06, 2023
    • (CST)
    • 2 sessions
    • San Antonio, TX

    THIS DATE IN DANISH AMERICAN HISTORY - THE BATTLE OF THE ALAMO

    March 6, 1836 - Danish immigrant Charles Zanco dies in battle at the Alamo. Zanco is thought to have helped in the design which became the Texas flag, and originated the idea of the “lone star”.

    Charles Zanco, defender of the Alamo, son of Frederick Zanco, was born at Randers, Denmark, in 1808. Zanco and his father emigrated to America in 1834 after the death of Charles's mother. They settled in Harris County, Texas. The Zancos were farmers, and Charles was also a painter by trade. In the fall of 1835 Zanco joined the first volunteers at Lynchburg for service in the Texas Revolution. He helped design the company's flag, which featured a painted star and the controversial legend, "Independence." Zanco may have been the first person ever to paint a Lone Star on a Texan flag. He took part in the siege of Bexar as a member of the Texan artillery. He remained in Bexar as part of the garrison under Lt. Col. James C. Neill. He was promoted to lieutenant and served as an assistant to the garrison's ordnance chief. Zanco entered the Alamo on February 23, 1836, at the approach of the Mexican Army. He died in the battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836.

    Image: "The Fall of the Alamo" (1903) by Robert Jenkins Onderdonk, depicts Davy Crockett wielding his rifle as a club against Mexican troops who have breached the walls of the mission. 

    Battle of the Alamo

    • March 25, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • March 25, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - GUTZON BORGLUM

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

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

    Early Years

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

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

    - from the National Parks Service website

    Read More


    • April 01, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • April 01, 2024
    • (CDT)
    • 3 sessions

    BODTKER GRANTS - DEADLINE

    Deadline for Submission: April 15

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


    A Bodtker Grant is primarily intended for research and internship at Danish American Archive and Library in Blair, Nebraska; the Danish American Archive at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa; or the Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn, Iowa. At the Board's discretion, proposals involving other Danish cultural and archival institutions may be considered.

    Deadlines: April 15 (Notification: May) or September 15(Notification: October)
    Stipend Amount: Up to $5,000

    Grant Application

    DAHS Website


    • April 02, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • April 02, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Livia Gershon

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

    smithsonianmag.com 
    March 2, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • April 16, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • April 16, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions
    • Fredensborg Palace, Denmark

    A ROYAL BIRTHDAY
    HM QUEEN MARGRETHE II


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

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

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

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

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

    Foto: Per Morten Abrahamsen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    More Information:

    Royal House Website

    • April 17, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • April 20, 2025
    • (CDT)
    • 4 sessions

    GOD PÅSKE (EASTER SUNDAY)

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

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

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

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

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

    Aliki Seferou

    Danish traditions, Easter Eggs

    Danish traditions, Easter Eggs | © andreas160578 / Pixabay

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

    Celebrating springtime

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

    Danish countryside in spring | © Per Ganrot / Flickr

    Gækkebreve

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

    Danish Easter tradition,Gækkebreve | © Nillerdk / Wikimedia Commons

    Eggs, eggs and eggs

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

    Tivoli Easter Eggs Decoration | © David Jones / Flickr

    Easter lunch

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

    Danish Easter lunch | © Andreas Hagerman / Flickr


    • May 04, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • May 04, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions

    LIGHT A CANDLE IN YOUR WINDOW FOR DENMARK LIBERATION DAY

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

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

    De Frie Danske

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

    May 5

    • May 05, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • May 05, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions
    • Denmark


    LIBERATION DAY

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

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

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

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

    May 4

    More Information

    May 1945 Video

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

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

    GRUNDLOVSDAG (CONSTITUTION DAY)

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

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

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

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

    More Information (In Danish)


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

Contact Us

Log in
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software