Swedish–American Historical Society

Our History

The Swedish–American Historical Society grew out of the national 1948 Swedish Pioneer Centennial celebration marking the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first Swedish immigrants in the Midwest. In Chicago, 18,000 people filled the stadium on June 4th to hear President Truman, Prince Bertil of Sweden, Carl Sandburg, and representatives from many Swedish–American organizations. Four months later, on October 15, 1948, the leaders of the centennial celebration met in Chicago and formed the Society, originally called the Swedish Pioneer Historical Society.

Our Mission

The Swedish–American Historical Society is a nonprofit organization founded in 1948, with the mission of recording and interpreting the Swedish presence in America. The society is devoted to the mission of studying the Swedish emigration, its history and culture of the Swedes in North America through research, publications, programs and archives.

In 1983, the Board of Directors approved a change in the organization's name to the Swedish–American Historical Society. By then it had moved well beyond a focus on just the "pioneer" period and serves to promote interest in the entire Swedish presence in America, from the first settlers on the Delaware in 1638 to the present day.

Learn more about us here.