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was keenly interested in historical facts and data of the Finns and of their share in building the United States. He became very active in the historical work of the background of Finnish people and early pioneers in Minnesota. This interest brought about the beginning of the Minnesota Finnish-American Historical Society which was organized under his direction and, to a great extent, by his financing. He became the first president of the Society, which post he has held since. The Society was the first to publish a notable history book of the Finns in Minnesota. The first issue is in the Finnish language and this English version is a translation of the original. Several other states are also working on this type of project.

For this meritorious work for his people, the Republic of Finland chose to honor Alex Kyyhkynen by appointing him a Consul of Finland on August 20, 1949, and in September 1965, the President of Finland honored him with the insignia of the White Rose Knighthood of Finland, in the first degree.

Governor Luther W. Youngdahl Proclaims Finnish Pioneer Day

When Minnesota was celebrating its Centennial festival, the Finnish-American Historical Society took an active part in the festivities, arranging an all-day festival at Como Park in St. Paul, Minnesota. They invited the government of Finland to be present at the observation and Finland was very well represented.

The day of this observance, Sunday, August 21st, was declared by Governor Luther W. Youngdahl as "Finnish Pioneer Day," which is the origin of the pioneer day which is annually observed by the Finnish people of Minnesota under the sponsorship of the Minnesota Finnish-American Historical Society.

It is very fitting to pause for a day in each year to remember our pioneers, our forefathers in this land of ours.


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