The History of the Nation
According to history (or legend), the Nation was founded in 1639 by nineteen countrymen who felt the urge to meet each other in more organised forms, and thus founded the Landskap of Västmanland and Dalarna, today known as Västmanlands-Dala Nation. The exact year can be discussed, as well as the motive, but this is the story which has been impressed on the hearts of the countrymen and is, accordingly, held for true.
An easy way to summarise the history of the Nation is by making a list of some of the important dates and events. Enjoy!
The founding of the Nation, and the creation of the first funds and regulations. Anders Andersson from Sala and Johan Otto from Falun are elected Curators of the Nation - that is, treasurers.
Then the Academy says that Nations aren't allowed, and prohibits them.
The Curators find it suitable to enter regularly in the books. The Academy still thinks that the existence of Nations is questionable. The prohibit remains.
The Academy decides that using the Nations to keep the students in order is better than prohibiting them. As a consequence, Professors Olof Rudbeck and Johan Sundell are appointed Inspectors of V-Dala Nation.
The Academy realises that the using of Nations is superb, and makes membership of V-Dala obligatory to all countrymen.
The first book about the history of V-Dala is published under the name "Annales societatis Nationalis Studiosorum et Westmannia Dalekarliaque Upsaliae degentium."
The Nation starts keeping the minutes of its official gatherings.
The Nation arranges its last great party before the beginning of the "boring 18th century".
The Nation realises that something needs to be done about the coming lack of parties, and decides to start arranging disputations and orations linked to Academy life. These then came to dominate nation life for more than 200 years.
Margareta Tersera institutes the first Nation scholarship.
Baron Ludvig "Generous Lewis" Fahlström donates a lot of books to the Nation. These books are said to have laid the basis of the Nation library.
The Nation abolishes the rules about younger members having to run the errands of older members. To compensate for the loss of manpower, one single wee countryman was hired to perform those duties.
The Nation realises that a caretaker would do a much better job than one single wee countryman, and takes appropriate action.
The three Seniors Gustav Anton Boudrie, Olof Rabenius and Per Niklas Christiernin are honored by the Nation by receiving free membership for life, an event which is said to have been the starting shot of the institution of Nation Honorary Membership.
Gustav Adolf Schilling is elected to the position of caretaker of the library, an event which is said to have been the starting shot of the institution of the office of Librarian.
The Nation starts having only one Curator at a time.
The Nation gets the idea that a society of such importance and with such a great library should have its own house, and therefore establishes a property fund.
The Nation realises that its organisation must be organised in a better way, now that there is a fund to manage, and therefore constitutes a Building Committee.
The Nation buys the yard Lutgården from Upland's Nation for a cost of 633 kronor and 16 shilling banco. According to legend, we were tricked, since Lutgården was - more or less - a swamp, and that the traditional feud with the Uplanders was born because of this.
A new Nation house at Lutgården is inaugurated. Party!
Countryman Johan Olof Wallin is elected Archbishop. The Nation pays homage to him by having its house poet Carl Wilhelm Böttiger write him a poem. Wallin is so touched that he, in turn, writes the Song of Westmanno-Dala, which, even today, is our national anthem. He then starts the tradition of holding Ceremonial Landskaps by instituting the Nation's first prize.
The Nation is of the opinion that such a dignified organisation, which even had its own yard, should have both a Chairman and a Treasurer instead of one person who served as both. Hence, the Curatorship was now divided into a First Curatorship and a Second Curatorship.
The Nation gets its first flag.
The Nation decides that its parties should be arranged in more efficient ways, and thus creates club regulations and elects countrymen Tengman and Nordeman to its first Clubmasters.
The Library Commission, later on known as the Library Committee, is established, and takes charge of the purchasing of literature from the hands of the Senior Convent.
The Nation creates new regulations, in which the oration- and disputation constraints from 1695 are abolished in which the Building Committee, due to extended responsibilities, changes its name to the Committee of Administration.
The Nation arranges a song tour to the home district to collect money to the administration of the Nation house.
The Society of Provincial Dialect.
The heirs to the Honorary Members Hans and Carl Thomas Järta donate a great part of these famous gentlemen's private library to the Nation.
Lilly Bergstrand and Lydia Wahlstöm become the first two countrywomen at the Nation.
The Nation realises that its gravesite is starting to fill up, which is why a new one is established.
Inspector Wilhelm Erik Svedelius is buried in the new nation grave, and a huge memorial is erected.
The first portrait catalogue of the Nation is published.
Carl Larsson donates his cartoon of the fresco-painting "Gustaf Wasas intåg i Stockholm" (Gustav Wasa's entry into Stockholm) to the Nation.
The Nation arranges its first spex (student farce) tour to the home district, with "Erik XIV" and "Cleopatra" on the agenda.
The Nation house is inaugurated after an extensive reconstruction.
Honorary Member Anders Zorn finds it tiresome that Uplanders can watch him while he relieves himself in the direction of their garden, which is why a wall is raised around Lutgården at his expense.
The first Nation songbook is created.
The first Treasurer of the Nation, Rudolf Andersson, is elected.
The constitution of the Drafting Committee.
The first part of the Nation script series is published.
The Nation also decides that its parties should be arranged in even more efficient ways, and thus elects its first Clubmistress.
The spex "Frithiof och Ingeborg" is performed for the first time.
The Nation celebrates its 300th birthday at Uppsala Castle - a bit late, due to the Second World War.
The Nation establishes the International Committee, as someone finally realises that it isn't very efficient to create a new committee for each and every new international student's university.
The Housing Foundation is established and buys two pieces of land at Övre Slottsgatan - both of which, however, a building ban is imposed on.
During a party, it gets so hot that the top layer of the portrait of Gustav II Adolf melts and has to be sent to restorer.
The Nation housing area Triangeln is inaugurated.
Anders H Pers becomes the Nation's first editor and starts publishing the periodical Landskapsosten.
ab Kruthornen is established at the initiative of Håkan Gezelius.
The spex "Gustaf den II Adolf" is performed for the first time.
Famous architect Alvar Aalto is asked to design the new Nation house.
The Nation housing area at Svartmangatan is inaugurated.
The Nation string band, now called Spelmanslaget, is formed.
On April 6, the demolition of the Nation house begins.
On November 19, the Nation arranges a topping-out party at Småland's Nation to celebrate the completion of the framework for the roof on its new house.
In connection to the procuration of a new house, Curt Nyström is elected to the Nation's first Barmaster.
On september 3, the new Nation house is inaugurated.
The forming of Letta Gardet.
A Nation Rally is held for the first time.
And it so happened, that Ofvandahls was given to V-Dala, one day when other incomes were low... As an act of providence, as a twist bun from the sky. We have sold it now, but, Lord, was it fun.
(This is, more or less, a translation of the song "Ofvandahls" which can be found in the Nation's songbook. Look at page 148 for the entire version. Ofvandahls is a well-known café in Uppsala.)
V-Dala Choir is formed.
For economic reasons, the Nation is forced to reorganise. The regulations are put out of the running, a managing director - later on known as the Head of Economy and Property - is taken into service and replaces the Second Curator as Treasurer and administrator of the Nation house. Instead, the Second Curator becomes the Head of the Nation's public entertainments and events, the Clubmaster is replaced by a Third Curator and the Librarian ceases to be a full-time employee.
The Nation gets back up on its feet again, after its worst economy-related crisis ever.
New regulations, written by retired First Curator Bo Aulin, are adopted. The organisation of today, with a Board, Committees and Commissions is established. The Third Curator is once again known as the Clubmaster and the Second Curator is given a well defined role as Head of the so called Program Committee - that is, the Committee that is in charge of public entertainments and events.
The Nation celebrates 350 years by throwing a ball at Uppsala Castle and by arranging a jubilee performance of the spex "Gustav den II Adolf".
Two countrymen hoist V-Dala's flag by using the flagpole at Upland's Nation.
The forming of the Culture Club.
The Nation's summer restaurant Taket is opened on the newly built roof terrace.
The Housing Foundation starts renting houses at Döbelnsgatan.
The Nation holds summer sessions in Idre and ends it by marching back to Uppsala. This march makes the subscription known as "Harald Riesenfeldt's Fund for the Renovation of the Nation House" visible to the home district, and municipalities, county councils, county administrative boards and companies start donating money.
The sphere of information activities is reorganised, V-Dala gets an own homepage, and the Nation elects Gustaf Brandberg to its first Secretary of Information.