A new exhibit at the Danish American Archive and Library (DAAL) in Blair is celebrating a year of milestones through photographs, books, magazines and other memorabilia.

With several local, national and international achievements and anniversaries being celebrated in 2019, Executive Director Jill Hennick said DAAL staff and volunteers began looking through their archives for materials celebrating any Danish connections, as well as Danish milestones.

With Blair celebrating its 150th year, one display called "Danish American businessmen helping to build Blair" looks at the contributions made by Korshoj Construction Company and the Larsen and Jipp Company.

A magazine featuring a story on Simon Korshoj is among the items on display, along with a list of accomplishments of the Larsen and Jipp Company.

Hennick said the Larsen and Jipp Company, which later split into two different companies, was responsible for several buildings in Blair, including many on the Dana College campus and the post office, which she said they owned and leased to the federal government.

The Blair display also features a program from 1915 for a voice recital held at the Blair Fire Department Opera House.

Other milestones featured in the DAAL display are the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and the contributions made by a Danish-American man from Milwaukee, Wis.; the 400th anniversary of the Jens Munk Expedition to North America (1619-2019); and the 800th anniversary of the Danish National Flag, the "Dannebrog."

Legend has it, Hennick said, that the flag descended from the heavens in 1219 during a fierce battle between the Danes and the pagan Estonians. King Vlademar II of Denmark then raised it and went on to the win the battle. A book illustrating the event is one of the featured items in the display.

With so many milestones in one year, Hennick and Sandra Wigdahl said it was a good time to pull out some of the items in the DAAL archives for the display and they encourage the public to stop by and see it.

In looking through the items, Hennick said she found books that listed Blair telephone numbers as two digits and then later four digits.

"I found that interesting," she said. "It's so different than what it is now when we have to dial all 10," she said.

The display will be available for viewing until the Dana College Homecoming weekend in October.

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