Washington Lodge of the Sons of Norway

January 28, 2022 Version 1.12d

Tuesday, February 15, Tuesday, 7:30 PM Zoom Reading Circle Meeting

The Viking Heart by Arthur Herman

The Viking Heart, Arthur Herman melds a compelling historical narrative with cutting-edge archaeological and DNA research to trace the epic story of this remarkable and diverse people. He shows how the Scandinavian experience has universal meaning, and how we can still be inspired by their indomitable spirit. For more information, please contact Christine Meloni cfmeloni@hotmail.com

February 19, Saturday, 7 PM Zoom Lodge Meeting.

The History of Norwegian Sweaters

Most of us have a collection of Norwegian sweaters. But how much do we know about this useful clothing item. Lauranne Gilbertson will talk about the history of different types and styles of Norwegian sweaters, including Setesdal, Fana, Marius, and Olympic. She will also talk about the symbolism behind some of the patterns and colors on sweaters made today. Lauranne gave a great talk last year on the Sacred Symbols and Folk Art of Norway. Be sure to wear your favorite Norwegian sweater to this Zoom meeting.

Laurann Gilbertson holds a BA in Anthropology and an MS in Textiles & Clothing, both from Iowa State University. She has worked at Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, Iowa, for 30 years. She worked as the Textile Curator for 19 years and is now the Chief Curator. Among her duties are overseeing the collection of more than 30,000 artifacts, creating exhibitions, and leading Textile Study Tours to Norway.

Contact Bill DeRoche for more information. Programs@norwaydc.org

February 26 Saturday 3 PM GIG Zoom Meeting

Using Bygdebøker for Norwegian Genealogical Research

Many bygdebøker contain details about individuals and families and, thus, are useful resources for researching Norwegian ancestors. This presentation will provide search strategies and tips, utilizing a couple of research examples, along with advantages and disadvantages to using bygdebøker. In addition, I will discuss the history and activities associated with our Arne G. Brekke Bygdebok Collection at the University of North Dakota. -- Michael Swanson, Archivist, Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections, University of North Dakota. For more information, please contact Joel Myklebust at Joel.Myklebust@gmail.com

February 27, Sunday 3 PM NHR Zoom Meeting

Escape to Freedom

The occupation of Norway was a difficult time for Norwegians. The Nazis occupiers abolished democratic freedoms, surprised all opposition, and filled the concentration camps with patriots. However, they could not dampen the Norwegian Spirit. At the beginning of the occupation, eighty-Eight Norwegians devised an arduous plan to join the struggle against Nazi tyranny. They traveled from Norway to Scotland on makeshift collection of 20 small boats. The history of World War II is full of actions of heroic courage and unbelievable depravity. Often, we forget the individual acts of courage that lead to victory and the freedoms that we now enjoy. We are pleased to partner with Bjørn Tore Rosendahl of the Archives Peace and Human Rights Center in remembering the story of these courageous Norwegians. In April or May this year, four men will make the same journey using a similar small boat to honor their courageous voyage.

Bjørn Tore Rosendahl is a historian and professional leader of the Norwegian Center for War Sailor History at the ARCHIVES Peace and Human Rights Center in Kristiansand, Norway. He has led the establishment of the national and online War Sailors Register. He has previously published the book "They were also war sailors", about foreign sailors who were killed on Norwegian ships during World War II.

Contact Bill DeRoche for more information. Programs@norwaydc.org

New Videos on the Lodge YouTube Channel

Norman Borlaug

Norman Borlaug - YouTube

Norman Ernest Borlaug developed the groundwork for the “Green Revolution” that revolutionized agricultural technology. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, “His work in developing countries, especially on the Indian subcontinent, is estimated to have saved as many as one billion people from starvation and death”. His numerous awards include the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Science, the Congressional Gold Medal, and the United Nations FAO Agricola Medal.

The lodge was pleased to partner with the Norman Borlaug Heritage Foundation (NBHF) in presenting a program this distinguished Norwegian American. Our featured speaker was Tom Spindler who is a Past President, Property Manager and Education Coordinator for the NBHF in Cresco, Iowa.

Finnmark Witch Trials

Finnmark Witch Trials - YouTube

We’re all familiar with the Salem, MA witch trials of 1692-93, but did you know there were witch trials throughout northern Europe in the 17th century, and that in the remote region of Finnmark, Norway, over 100 “witches” were tortured to death or burned at the stake during that time? Dr. Liv Helene Willumsen will discuss the Finnmark witch trials at a joint Zoom meeting of the Reading Circle and the Norwegian History Roundtable on Sunday, Nov. 21. Dr. Willumsen is Professor Emerita of History, University of Tromsø, and translated the Finnmark witchcraft trial transcripts to English. Her publications include Witchcraft Trials in Finnmark, Northern Norway and Witches of the North, Scotland and Finnmark. The Reading Circle learned about these fascinating and appalling events thanks to the historical novel The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, who cites Dr. Willumsen’s “invaluable” research. You might want to start reading this novel now, before the meeting. The Zoom link will be emailed to the newsletter distribution list shortly before the meeting.

Brick Walls in Genealogy and how to Deal with Them.

If you do Genealogy, you have met Brick Walls. You have the name of a Great Grandfather but do not know where he was born. In this “nuts and bolts” session members discuss these problems and show how they got around them.


Roosevelt’s Vikings

Join us on the Norwegian History Round Table to learn about the 99th Infantry Battalion - the famed Norwegian-American army unit which fought in Europe during World War two. Many the battalion’s members were Norwegian sailors - one of them was Hans A. Larsen from Tønsberg, Norway. Antoni Pisani, Norwegian journalist and author of “The Canal Drive: The 99th Infantry Battalion and the Liberation of Belgian Limburg”, presented the overall history of the unit. Relatives of Hans A. Larsen shared his story. This was a Zoom meeting of the GIG on September 25, 2021


The Viking Heart

At the October meeting of Washington Lodge, Dr. Arthur Herman discussed his most recent book, "The Viking Heart: How Scandinavians Conquered the World." Herman is a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, a Pulitzer finalist, and the author of nine books. From a Wall Street Journal book review: "The Viking Heart is an absorbing and humane account of how the long-ago ancestors of modern-day Scandinavians—the Vikings—shaped Europe as warriors and how, later, their more orderly descendants left a profound cultural and material mark on the U.S. as immigrants." The presentation was given via Zoom on October16, 2021.


Velkommen to our new Website

The Sons of Norway members in the nation's capital, representing a diversity of background and nationality, share an interest in all things Norwegian and Scandinavian. We trust that all ages will find something of interest -- in our web site and in our lodge. We have around 300 members. Most are from the local area of DC, Maryland, and Virginia, but we also have members from another 16 states as well as Norway, Canada, and Great Britain (many of whom have a connection to the area).

For information on membership, contact Shelley Mitchell (703-815-4367) or vp@norwaydc.org .

To Join Washington Lodge Click Here

For other information, contact Dave Brown President@norwaydc.org .

You will have noticed that we have redesigned the website. The new site will provide better graphics and a seamless integration with external web sites such as Facebook and YouTube. It will also allow the special interest groups control over their part of the website. The disadvantage is that we are using two methods of navigation. The brown buttons are used to navigate outside of the main website (the one you are using now) to external website or documents. The tabs (on the black bar above main picture) are used to navigate within the main website.

Hint: When you push a brown button, it will open a new tab on your screen. However, if you close the tab, it will return you to the previous screen.