Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame
The Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame (SAHF) was established in 1984 in Minot, N.D., by the Norsk Høstfest Association. The Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame is "an enduring means of honoring the persons of Scandinavian descent in North America who have achieved greatness in their fields of endeavor and/or whose efforts have contributed significantly to the betterment of mankind. Each year a handful of noteworthy individuals of Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, Norwegian or Swedish descent are inducted into the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame, which is held in conjunction with Norsk Høstfest, the annual 5-day fall festival celebrating Scandinavian heritage located in Minot, N.D.
Inductees include former U.S. Secret Serviceman Clint Hill, American pilot Charles Lindbergh, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, actor Josh Duhamel, actress Tippi Hedren, Vegas casino owner Ralph Engelstad, Arctic explorers Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen, Norway's Princess Astrid, American broadcaster Orion Samuelson, Norsk Høstfest founder Chester Reiten and many more.
In 2009, the induction of Karl Rove into the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame became a major dispute as political views clashed over the announcement. Gov. John Hoeven was scheduled to introduce Rove during the SAHF banquet, but Hoeven was unable to attend due to a schedule conflict. At that time, Rove was being investigated by the Democrats in Congress for his role in the 2006 dismissal of nine U.S. attorneys. In addition to the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame Awards, it has been the practice of the Norsk Høstfest Association to recognize deserving non-Scandinavian-Americans and also notable Scandinavian nationals. These individuals are recognized in the following categories: Merit of Distinction Award in the Performing Arts; Humanitarian Award; The Høstfest Heritage Award; International Scandinavian Cultural Award; Høstfest Millennium Award; Explorer of the Millennium; and the Trailblazer Award. "The (Scandinavian-American) Hall of Fame is the premiere event at Norsk Høstfest," said Chester Reiten, founder of Norsk Høstfest. "It shows younger generations that they also may one day follow in these role models' footsteps."
History of the SAHF
In 1983, Princess Astrid of Norway paid a royal visit to Norsk Høstfest in Minot, N.D. The visit was arranged to help put the Scandinavian festival on the map in Norway, as well as across the United States and Canada. A special banquet had been arranged to honor Princess Astrid during her 1983 visit - a banquet that proved to be so successful that organizers wanted to duplicate it the next year. The result: the inaugural Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame Banquet, held Oct. 19, 1984, and highlighted by the inductions of Sondre Norheim, the father of modern skiing; Casper Oimoen, a champion skier who captained the U.S. Olympic Ski Team in 1932 and 1936; pilot/explorer Carl Ben Eielson, the first person to fly nonstop over the top of the world; North Dakotan Brynhild Haugland, who, at her retirement, was the longest-serving state legislator in the nation; and Myron Floren, the famed accordionist on TV's "The Lawrence Welk Show. Then Minot Mayor and Høstfest founder Chester M Reiten stated "I really feel this could be the biggest thing we could ever do because Minot and North Dakota are in the center of the nation and are a center of Scandinavian American population. It is only fitting that Minot be chosen as the home of the permanent Scandinavian(-American) Hall of Fame. The purpose of the Høstfest is to build pride in our heritage and so it's also fitting then the Høstfest sponsor the Hall of Fame."
2016 Beatrice Ojakangas, Stein Ove Fenne, and the Stenehjem family
2011 Clarence Iverson; Asger Boots Hansen; Chester Reiten; Henry, Harry and Mary Bakken
2008 John Ydstie; Clinton H. Severson; SSgt. William Dean Wilson; Doug Burgum
2006 Carroll Juven; Jerry Iverson; John M. Lund; Governor John Hoeven
2005 Norma Larsen Zimmer; John D. Johnson; Ragnhild Hagen; Crown Princess Märtha
1995 Joseph Enright; Celeste Holm; Harold Schafer; Gen. David C. Jones; Lt. General Donn R. Pepke; Lt. General Donn J. Robertson; Major General Neil D. Van Sickle; Rear Admiral Kenneth L. Veth; Brig. General John H. McGee; Joy Steenson Reiten
1990 Victor Borge; John Hanson; Dr. Merton Utgaard
Merit of Distinction Award in the Performing Arts Charley Pride - 1996, Country Music Superstar and longtime performer at Norsk Høstfest; Bjøro Håland (also spelled Bjøro Haaland) - 1997, Norwegian Country Music Star
Humanitarian Award Fritz Scholder, 1991; Earle Hyuman, 1993; Chet Atkins, 1994; Harold Schafer, 1995; Dale Brown, 1997; Ragnhild Hagen, 2005; Johann Olav Koss, 2007; Sister Thomas Welder, 2007; Doug Burgum, 2008; Olav Thon, 2009
Meritorious Patriotism Award In the wake of the infamous terror attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., on Sept. 22, 2001, the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame Awards Banquet on Oct. 8, 2003, proudly conferred five outstanding military leaders from Minot, N.D., with the prestigious Meritorious Patriotism Award presented by the Honorable Byron Dorgan, United States Senator and 1994 Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame Inductee. The 2003 award recipients were: Lt. Gen. Jerry L. Sinn; Rear Admiral Michael H. Miller; Maj. Gen. Claude V. Christianson; Maj. Gen. Michael J. Haugen; Mark Lehner.
In 1995, as the world marked the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II and the restoration of peace and freedom for the peoples of many countries who were subject to a reign of terror and oppression, the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame recognized six flag officer, an admiral and five generals, all whom fought in WWII and were raised in the Magic City of Minot, N.D. Those award recipients were: Gen. David C. Jones; Lt. General Donn R. Pepke; Lt. General Donn J. Robertson; Major General Neil D. Van Sickle; Rear Admiral Kenneth L. Veth; Brig. General John H. McGee
Høstfest Heritage Award Theodore Roosevelt Association, 1998; Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, 1998; United States Marine Corps Staff Sergeant William Dean Wilson, 2008
Høstfest Millennium Award Established in 1999 to pay tribute to the living past and present governors of North Dakota: Gov. William L. Guy; Gov. Arthur A. Link; Gov. Allen I. Olson; Gov. George A Sinner; Gov. Edward T. Schafer
Explorer of the Millennium American Viking Leif Eriksson
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