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In articles I have written for the Norwegian-American Weekly and for this blog I have noted some interesting Norway related facts from the 1893 Columbia Exposition in Chicago.

  • I know of only three building left from the 1893 Expo, 1) Art Institute of Chicago building, 2) Museum of Science & Industry building, 3) The Norway Building in Little Norway Wisconsin.
  • A viking ship replica sailed from Bergen Norway to Chicago to prove that a ship of this type could make it to North America and is still around for you to see.
  • Norwegian smoked sardines were introduced to the United States at the World Exhibition in Chicago. Additionally, other world markets were explored.

Ken Nordan
Contributing Editor

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I wanted to thank my friends at Th!nk for sending a Th!nk City all electric car to the Park Ridge Illinois (Chicago Area) Syttende Mai Parade, also known as the Norwegian Constitution Day (May 17) celebration.

After looking at the pictures I submitted in the prior post, it is easy to see that the Park Ridge parade brings together members (young and old) of the Chicago Norwegian Community to celebrate our common heritage. And with the Th!nk City in the parade this year, not only were all ages of people found at the parade but also all ages of cars. As you can see in the following pictures we had a few older cars and (with the all electric, Norwegian designed, and soon to be American built) Th!nk City car we had a very new car as well.

Hank Solberg driving his Model A car in the parade. (photo Kathy Larson)


That is me driving the Th!nk City. (photo Ken Larson)

Contributing Editor,
Ken Nordan

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Having written the previous post several weeks ago and not published it I realized that I am still not doing my part on this blog.  So I published the previous blog and now also submit these pictures for your enjoyment. If you missed out on the parade or some of the other activities, I hope you can get out there next year waving your Norwegian flag. We do it at the same time (around May 17) and place (Park Ridge for the parade), every year no excuses if you don’t get an invitation. 😉

Ken Nordan,
Contributing Editor

Members of NACC show off their Bunads

Members of NACC show off their Bunads

Seth

Seth Howard

Lorraine saving our heritage

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First, I want to say that I am sorry for not posting to this blog in a while.   I have many excuses, some are better than others.  The better ones are that I have been very busy and have been burning the candle at all ends (sometimes in the middle too). Many of these activities have not been related to the theme of this blog, thus nothing to write about.

My original goal for this blog was to write about some of the fun things I do and think about which relate to Norway or my Norwegian roots.  And many of those things I am still doing, including:

  1. Working with companies both here in the USA and Norway,
  2. Torske Klub
  3. Vesterheim
  4. Genealogy
  5. NACC
  6. Sons of Norway

to name a few.  As a part of that goal, I had also hoped to include input from readers and sharing of stories with many others of Norwegian background or who enjoy Norway like I do.  I had also hoped to find things that were different than the usual to talk about and discuss.

Some of these goals have been met.  I was introduced to the Norwegian-American Weekly newspaper out of Seattle Washington (Hi to Jake and Christy, see norway.com) and have enjoyed writing a few articles for them as well as doing article research for their blog (blog.norway.com).  This has been fun but has also been time consuming.  I’ve also had the great chance to talk to and meet some fabulous people including many of the people that I  have written about here, far too many to single out right now.

Some of my goals have not been met.  I had hoped to open a dialog among Norwegians, in particular those living in Chicago, but also, others living throughout the USA and in Norway.  Many of us like reading about our Norwegian roots but not too many have wanted to talk and discuss those roots.  I had also hoped to influence in some small way how we relate as Norwegians to each other, how we relate to Norway, and in some way maybe help Norway to relate better to us.

I realize that the later goal will take much time, effort and energy, for which I will try to reapply, restart and rekindle.

I’ve taken a number of pictures in the last few months and collected a few from friends and I hope to make a new entry shortly so you can enjoy them.

Ken Nordan,
Contributing Editor

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All air travel in Northern Europe has been shut down due to the eruption of the Volcano in Iceland. A large ash cloud has moved over Norway and other Northern European countries closing airports. Check out the animation on the Aftenposten website to track the cloud.

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Norwegian World War II documents (over 5,000 in total) have been declassified and placed on the National Archives web site.

The sinking of Blücher is one of the main themes, and include documents  of the German attack plans for southern Norway, which were found on the shore of Gråøya two weeks after the sinking of the German warship.

On April 9, 1940 (70 years ago) the German warship Blücher and several other ships tried to slip into Olso to take over the Norwegian government.  A battery of gunners at the Oscar fortress shot 280 mm shells into the ship and along with torpedoes fired from the fortress submarine torpedo battery, sank the Blücher. Because of this short battle the Norwegian Government and Royal Family were able to escape Oslo and make their way to England and the United States.

King Haakon and Crown Prince Olav

We all remember the famous picture taken in the birch trees near Molde in April 1940 of King Haakon and Crown Prince Olav during the flight north after the German invasion of Norway.

As I read the documents I’ll report on any interesting items.

Contributing Editor
Ken Nordan

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The Norwegian company AquaFence (www.aquafence.com) has set up a demonstration flood protection system in the city of Fargo, North Dakota. Fargo with it’s large population of Norwegian decedents is under 100 year flood alert for the second year in a row.

Helge Krøgenes, chairman of the Norwegian company AquaFence, flew out to Fargo to demonstrate his companies flood protection system. “They can be more effective than sandbags”, said Helge Krøgenes. He says it takes 2000 volunteers 12 hours to build a 500 meter long wall of sandbags. Twenty five installers take one and a half hours to set up 500 meters of the Norwegian flood protection system.

Already protecting the city hall

“But already now, the water is up by the walls we have erected”, said Krøgenes. “A wall is protecting the town hall in the city, and another is set up at the riverbank.”

Source: NRK

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