The Friendly Fifth

Norwegian American History

Attention Teachers: Apply by January 8 for a teacher scholarship 

A D5 member has donated money to pay for five teacher scholarships for
the Sons of Norway District 5 Norwegian-American History course
starts on January 23, 2021.
  The scholarship application is an easy to
apply for using a one page form.  You can add additional comments as you
wish.  The scholarship will pay for the three books and the DVD needed
for the course and course tuition will be waived.  This is a non-credit,
non-accredited course.
  Any licensed pubic or private K-12 teacher in
the District 5 area (Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, or
Tennessee) is eligible to apply.

 Download the scholarship application here or by clicking on the pdf 
 on the right and email the completed form to

D5 virtual history class begins January 23 via Zoom - Norwegian-American settlement history

Learn fascinating details about Norwegian-American history to know more about your heritage.  In this 16-week course, we will start with three sessions which will give you a fast-paced overview of Norwegian-American history.  Weeks 4-10 will take you on a journey of Norwegian-American settlement of the District 5 area, beginning with the migration of the Sloopers (the first Norwegian colony in America) to a spot about 60 miles southwest of Chicago, then north to Chicago, radiating from far southern Wisconsin up the Mississippi River, Lake Michigan and inland onto Madison, Portage and new settlements near Waupaca, and on to the massive pine forests of northern Wisconsin and Michigan.  The course will briefly cover Michigan (week 13) and Indiana Norwegian-American history.

In weeks 11-12 we will explore pioneer life in a fictional lumber boomtown in northwest Wisconsin, written by writer/activist Waldamir Ager.  It is a very enjoyable read.

Our faculty are District 5 members who are expert in different areas of Norwegian-American history.  Bill Injerd, Dave Johnson and Mike Palecek have all published books on Norwegian-American history, Dana Kelly has worked on producing a documentary video, Dave and Ruth Amundson have created the HistoryAlive foundation to educate schoolchildren about their Norwegian-American ancestors past.

We have picked three books and a DVD, which will give you further insight in understanding Norwegian-American history.  You can download the "book correlation" showing what pages are recommended reading for each class.  Breakout sessions in each week's class will focus on discussion questions from the books/DVD.  If you haven't yet earned a SofN Cultural Skills Pin for Literature - Level 1, this is your chance!

To enroll, fill out the enrollment form and mail to Mike Palecek, D5 Nordic Legacy Foundation, 5747 Sandy Lane, Racine WI 53406, with your check.

If you have some of the books already, here are individual item breakdowns, with shipping and tax:
$20 - The First Norwegian Settlements in American, Palecek (ed.)
$32 - History of the Norwegian Settlements, Holand
$20 - Kaskeland DVD, Koshkonong Prairie Hist. Society
$28 - Sons of the Old Country, Ager
$25 - Course fee (D5 member)
$50 - Course fee (non-D5 member)

The Saturday course, beginning January 23 is from 9:00-10:30 AM (Central) / 10:00-11:30 AM (Eastern)
The Monday course, beginning January 25 is from 6:30-8:00 PM (Central) / 7:30-9:00 PM (Eastern)

Questions: email

Recommended Nordic News to watch for supplemental Norwegian-American history information:


04/28/2020: Norwegian Midwives in the Midwest (Glenn Borreson) (21:31)

06/02/2020: Coffin Ships -  Death on the Ocean Crossing and One Family’s Story (Glenn Borreson) (21:41)

07/21/2020: Erie Canal: Immigrant Gateway to the West - Daryl Wunrow (Fosselyngen-Milwaukee WI) (29:16)

10/20/2020: Tracing Norwegian Immigrant Journeys by Kayak - Dave Ellingson is a Sons of Norway member in Edmonds, Washington. (36:46)
Dave shared phenomenal views of two of his kayak trips, one on the fjords of Norway and the other on the Erie Canal and Hudson River to New York’s Statue of Liberty.

10/27/2020: Norwegian Naming Conventions by Carmen Collins Nordkap lodge in Detroit MI (26:44)
This is a must-watch presentation for anyone wanting to study Scandinavian naming conventions. It is great background information for genealogy or Nordic-American history studies.


10/13/2020: "The Sloopers" - Bill Injerd (Nordkap lodge - Detroit MI) (39:32)

06/30/2020: Norsk Museum - Norway IL - Dave Johnson (Cleng Peerson lodge - Norway IL)  (47:47)

12/16/2020: Sloopers First Christmas - Bill Injerd (Nordkap lodge - Detroit MI)


05/05/2020: Norwegian-Americans in Michigan: A Short History (Nordkap lodge)  (21:45)


07/07/2020: Norskadalen Norwegian-American Cultural Center (Lori Dubczek)  (38:10)

09/29/2020: Norwegians in WI logging (Glenn Borreson, Wergeland lodge) (20:12)