Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

Today marks the 99th anniversary of Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson's death. A Norwegian writer and the 1903 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate, Bjørnson is considered as one of "The Great Four" Norwegian writers; the others being Henrik Ibsen, Jonas Lie, and Alexander Kielland. He was also the author of the lyrics to Norway's National Anthem.

But even more important is the fact that "Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson" was the name first selected for Sons of Norway. However it was soon rejected on the realistic grounds that the American people would find it quite impossible to pronounce. "Sønner av Norge" was the name settled upon and the formal inception with the 18 founders was completed on 16 January 1895. Raise your hand if you knew that already.

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