The next morning I drove north to Dannebrog, NE, which boasts the title: *Danish capital of Nebraska'. Dannebrog (literally: 'Danes' banner') is the name of the Danish flag (the Danish Stars and Stripes)
. According to legend it fell from heaven on June 5, 1219, when Danes were fighting in Estonia to conquer the area and to convert the local population to Christianity. The battle wasn't going too well, so the Danish bishop raised his hands in prayer, and down came the flag. This so reinvigorated the Danes, that they won the battle. All according to legend... Anyway, the Danish flag (a white cross on a red background) is the oldest national flag in the world. Dannebrog was a nice little town with 350 inhabitants, down from 450 in its heyday. Have a look at the photos for more information. Tom at the Danish Bakery said that I should definitely also visit the Lutheran church nearby which I did. The altar and the pulpit were made by a Danish craftsman, Jes Schmidt. I spent the night in Lincoln, NE.
I was intrigued to find that Lincoln is home of the 'American Historical Society of Germans from Russia'. Its mission statement is: 'To discover, collect, preserve, and disseminate information related to the history, cultural heritage and genealogy of German settlers in the Russian Empire and their descendants.' Hundreds of thousands of ethnic Germans settled in Russia from the 16th century and onward, mostly in the Volga region. They preserved their national identity but became increasingly repressed beginning at the end of the 19th century, and many decided to emigrate to the US. They were mostly farmers, so it was natural for them to settle in farming states like Nebraska
. The museum in Lincoln has a rich collection of artifacts donated by the German-Russian immigrants. It also has a rich collection of genealogical material. It is privately funded. (See more on: www.ahsgr.org
Time passed quickly. But it was time to move on. I still had the top down. But when the temperature dropped to 44 F, and it started raining, I realized that I had to put it back up. By the way, I haven't seen a convertible car in 10 days. I managed to get all the way to Ames, Iowa, before I checked into the Holiday Inn at app. 6.00 pm. (My host family took me to Ames to a college football game in 1962. I don't remember who played but I do remember that it was in Ames, Iowa.)
Well, let's say I'm headed to Chicago (or rather Kenosha, WI), but am not quite there yet. After some memorable days in Cheyenne with Gina as a gracious hostess, it was time to move on. Monday morning I got on the old Lincoln Highway (Hwy 30). It's amazing to think that it was the main thoroughfare between Chicago and San Francisco before WWII. On long stretches it's just a two-lane highway connecting little towns. Most traffic chooses Interstate-80, so once again I had the road almost to myself. The weather was again sunny, so I took the car top down and enjoyed the drive through Nebraskan corn fields. Most of the corn has been harvested but there are still enormous areas with yellow dry corn that needs to be harvested - presumably for cattle fodder. I got as far as Kearny, NE, and decided to stop for the night at the Holiday Inn Express.