May 15 in Swedish History
1914: The Baltic Exhibition was held in Malmo from May 15, 1914 until October 4, 1914. (The official closing date, September 30, was later extended by four days, as permitted in the general rules.) The event showcased the industry, art and culture of Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Russia—the four countries then bordering the Baltic Sea. The city itself has no beaches on the Baltic, but there is one nearby at Öresund.

The 100-year anniversary was commemorated in 2014 through a variety of events in Malmö (beginning on May 15) The celebration site is still accessible: www.malmotown.com/baltiska2014/

ADVERTISEMENT
Volvo Overseas - the ultimate experience

The Baltic Games were held at the same time; the swimming competitions, lasting for twelve days, attracted many internationally known athletes.
For the occasion, many of Malmö's parks were renovated and a large new park, Pildammsparken, covering more than 100 acres, was created. The Swedish architect Ferdinand Boberg designed several of the buildings constructed for the exhibition. Although most were removed soon afterward, a few have survived.
World War I interrupted the exhibition when Germany and Russia entered the conflict on opposing sides. After the war, Russia no longer existed, and some of the Russian art displayed in Malmö remained and eventually became part of the city's own collections.

The Swedish Film Institute, SF, has a 15-minute film clip on the exhibition in its online archival film collections, Baltiska utställningen i Malmö 1914 or www.filmarkivet.se/sv/Film/?movieid=380&returnurl. It is quite impressive to watch. Look closely and you’ll see, for instance, the present King’s grandfather, then the Crown Prince.

The popular songwriting team Hellström and Svenning—the ABBA of the times—created a waltz to commemorate the exhibition. One can listen to it through a recording from 1919 at the Library of Congress with Lager and Olson: The Baltic Exposition waltz; a.k.a. Malmövalsen or www.loc.gov/jukebox/recordings/detail/id/7313