Brief History of Denmark and Immigration to the United States of America
793 A.D. The Age of Vikings begins. Danish Viking ships sailed as far away as north Africa and Turkey.
935 The reign of Harald Bluetooth...he unites Denmark and Norway. He encourages Christianity. The people, though, still want to be on good terms with the benevolent God, Thor (PHOTO), the Son of Odin.
1003 Sweyn Forkbeard ravages England, where the ruler is Ethelred-the-Unready.
1219 Valdemar-the-Victorious conquers Estonia. The Danish flag, the Dannebrog, floats down from Heaven.
1397 Denmark, Norway, and Sweden are united at the Convention of Kalmar, called by Queen Margrethe I.
1460 Slesvig and Holstein, southern provinces claimed by both Denmark and Germany, are united under the Danish crown. This action fuels a centuries-long conflict.
1523 Reign of Frederik I. Denmark accepts the Protestant Reformation will little fuss.
1559 Reign of Frederik II. Denmark is prosperous as Kronborg Castle is built at Elsinore and the great astronomer, Tycho Brahe, works in observatories on the island of Hven.
1596 Christian IV is crowned, who founds new towns, doubles the size of Copenhagen, and creates Europe's most modern navy. He also plunges Denmark into the Thirty Year War.
1659 The Swedes storm Copenhagen and beaten back by men, women, and children. Casualities are 3000 Swedes and only 20 Danes.
1699 Reign of Frederik IV. His fondness of Italian architecture leads to Danish rococo. Intellectual life flourishes. Ludvig Holberg founds the Danish Theatre in Copenhagen.
1728 A great fire destroys most of Copenhagen. Vitrus Bering, a Dane, sails the strait that separates Asia from North America and which was later named after him.
1729 Denmark takes control of Greenland, the huge island colonized during the Viking Age and later forgotten.
1766 Reign of Christian VII. Industy and intellectual life are very strong during this time.
1792 Denmark abolishes the slave trade and becomes the first nation in the world to do so.
1801 Lord Nelson blasts and crushes the Danish naval fleet at Copenhagen. The incident starts the Seven Years War of the North with England.
1808 Reign of Frederik VI. Era of Hans Christian Andersen (story-teller), Soren Kierkegaard (philosopher), N.F.S. Grundtvig (an Educator that revives the national spirit), Thorvaldsen (the Sculptor), and Eckersberg (father of modern Danish painting).
1843 Tivoli Garden opens-- Copenhagen's enchanted garden filled with music, pantomime shows, and restaurants.
1844 Denmark's first railway is built in the Slesvig and Holstein provinces.
1848 The first Slesvig War is fought with Prussia (pre-Germany).
1849 The rule of the absolute monarchy comes to an end.
1864 The Prussian (pre-German) Army invades Denmark. Over a thousand Danes die. The Slesvig and Holstein provinces are lost to a newly emerging Germany. Over 50,000 Danes are forced to flee from the region and most emmigrate to the United States.
1865 Land reclamation and modernization begins. The cooperative movement takes root and strengthens agriculture.
1895 Bing and Grondahl introduce the first Christmas Plate. The idea came from "Juneplatter", an old holiday custom of offering delicacies on a wooden plate that could be hung on the wall when the goodies were gone.
1912 Denmark launches one of the world's first large ocean-going motor ships.
1915 Danish women are granted the right to vote.
1916 Denmark sells the Virgin Islands to the United States of America.
1920 North Slesvig is re-united with Denmark. Southern Slesvig and Holstein provinces remain captive to Germany.
1921 Greenland is formally declared as Danish territory.
1940 Hitler's Nazi troops swarm over Denmark in less than half a day.
1943 Danes are active in the Resistance-- organize distruptions, strikes, and sabotage. Danes smuggle Jews out of their country to safety.
1944 The Germans execute Kai Munk (Danish poet, playwright, and minister), which greatly accelerates Danish rage against German occupation.
1945 The candles of Victory-in-Europe glow from every Danish window. Denmark becomes a charter member of the United Nations.
1953 The Law of Succession is changed to allow Princess Margrethe to be the heir apparent. King Frederik IX has no sons.
1972 Margrethe II becomes the Queen of Denmark.
1973 Denmark mandates equal pay for men and women doing the same work.
1976 The building foundations in Copenhagen, like those in Venice and Amsterdam, are crumbling. Tedious hand excavation and repair work are applied. Queen Margrethe II visits the United States during the bicentennial celebration.
1989 Denmark becomes the first nation to pass a "Civil Union" law, allowing limited partner rights to same-sex couples. Other European countries pass similar laws during the 1990s to the present, based on the Danish law.
2005 A member of NATO and the Europeon Union, Denmark shares the challenges of other modern countries. Modern Danes retain their sense of humor, eat well, have a great relationship with the United States, and enjoys one of the highest standards of living in Europe.
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