Going on tour
In late May 1942, the students from Dana College drove off in two cars – nicknamed "Chris Chrysler" and "Stu Studebaker – to perform The Word in 12 Danish American communities across six states.
One of the students, Ed Hansen, made a scrapbook about the tour. Today, this scrapbook is located in the Ed Hansen collection at the Danish American Archive and Library. Among its contents are photos and the "Ordet Odyssey" – a series of daily notes about the tour. This document provides a look at the tour from the perspective of one of the students. It also offers glimpses of what life was like in Danish American Midwestern communities in the early 1940s. The following part of this exhibit contains excerpts from the "Ordet Odyssey."
Despite the fact that the number of Danish-born immigrants was declining by the 1940s, the cities, towns and villages that the students visited still had viable Danish communities. To this day, many of them retain some aspects of Danish American history, architecture, culture, language and food.
The students drove almost 5,000 miles across Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin to perform for a total of about 2,000 people. Click on the button at the bottom of this page to join the tour for stops in Omaha, Kimballton, Des Moines, Cedar Falls, Hampton, Chicago, Kenosha, Racine, Askov, Minneapolis, Evan, Viborg and Ringsted.
Click on the map above for a Google map of the tour route.