Monday, June 15, 2009

Icelandic National Day

Icelandic National Day (Icelandic: Þjóðhátíðardagurinn, the day of the nation's celebration), June 17, 1944, is a holiday in Iceland and celebrated as the day that The Republic of Iceland (Lýðveldið Ísland) was formed, becoming independent from the Danish Monarchy. The date of 17 June was chosen because it is the birthday of Jón Sigurðsson, a major figure of Icelandic culture and the leader of the 19th century Icelandic independence movement.
June 17, was chosen as Iceland's National Holiday to recognize Jón's efforts toward Icelandic independence. He is often referred to as President ("Jón forseti") by Icelanders. The main reason for this is that since 1851 he served as President of the Copenhagen Department of Hið íslenska bókmenntafélag (the Icelandic Literature Society). He was also the president of Althing several times, for the first time in 1849. He is currently pictured on Iceland's 500 kroner bill, and has been honored on Icelandic postage stamps on the centenaries of his birth and death, the 150th anniversary of his birth, and on the creation of the Republic of Iceland (on his 133rd birthday).
Jón Sigurðsson was born 17 June 1811 at Hrafnseyri, near Arnarfjörður in the Westfjords area of Iceland; he was the son of pastor, Sigurður Jónsson and Thordis Jonsdottir. He moved to Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1833 to study grammar and history at the university. He married Ingibjorg Jonsdottir, born 9 October 1804.
Jón Sigurðsson took part in discussions that led to the Danish king Christian IX’s restoration of the old Icelandic Althing (parliament) as an advisory body in 1843. Jón was elected to that body for its first session in 1845, later becoming its speaker. As a leader of the Patriotic Party, Jón successfully negotiated for Iceland’s freedom of trade in1854; he also led in the modernization of Iceland’s agriculture and fishing techniques. Always pressing Denmark for self-government, he undoubtedly influenced the granting by Denmark in 1874 of a constitution that provided for Iceland’s control of its finances and for legislative power shared with the Danish crown.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Iceland Days 2009 at Spanish Fork, Utah

Iceland Days 2009 at Spanish Fork, Utah

26 June, Iceland Culture Workshops
Where: LDS Chapel, 1006 East 200 South, Spanish Fork, UT
Time: 7:00 pm

27 June, Iceland Days Family Festival
Where: Spanish Fork City Park, Main Street and 100 South, Spanish Fork, UT
Time: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

28 June, Iceland Heritage Fireside
Where: LDS Chapel, 300 East Center Street, Spanish Fork, UT
Time: 7:00 pm

More information see June 2009 newsletter at

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


EINAR PÁLSSON was born 17 March 1878 in Vestmannaeyjar, the son of Pall Arnason, born 22 February 1852 at Vilborgstadur, Vestmannaeyjar, died 2 August 1836 in Spanish Fork, Utah; and Kristin Eiriksdottir, born 6 December 1842, died 10 October 1934 in Spanish Fork, Utah.
Einar and his mother, Kristin, and his brother Arni left Iceland with a small group of Icelandic Saints to immigrate to Zion in 1881. Pall followed her in 1882. Einar married Magnea Sigridur Agusta Magnusdottir (Maggie Sigridur Einarson), born 9 August 1877 in Reykjavik. She emigrated to Spanish Fork, Utah with her father in 1886. They had nine children: Jennie 1899-1904, Pauline 1900, Hazel 1903-1904, Einar Alexander 1905-1906, Levon 1910-1910, Maggie 1912-1912, Dellroy 1913-1931, Clifford, and Ranae.
Einar worked at the diversion dam in Spanish Fork Canyon for seventeen years. Iceland Days were held at the diversion dam on occasions. Einar died 22 May 1928 and is buried in the Spanish Fork City Cemetery. He was known as Einar P. Johnson. He is number 253 in Icelanders of Utah.