Spring 1998 Vol. 6 No. 2
Leif Ericson Viking Ship Norseman

Detailed planning is now under way for the journey of the NORSEMAN and crew to Stockholm, Sweden, to join the "Viking Invasion" July 31 thru August 3. The crew has scheduled a number of work parties at the Kalmar Nyckel yard in Wilmington, DE to prepare NORSEMAN for the ocean voyage and public appearances in the Stockholm area. At least 24 members will attend the event, including costumed crew members and a number of wives or relatives.


Not only normal maintenance but a great deal of sprucing up of NORSEMAN is required. In addition, detailed planning and preparations are in process for travel for the crew, hotel accommodations, costumes, ship operations, supplies, publicity, and other matters. Nearly everyone going has an extra duty, in addition to being a crew member. This will be by far the most distant and complex operation ever undertaken by NORSEMAN.


Rumors to the contrary, NORSEMAN is not being sailed to Sweden. Much as the crew would love to sail the Atlantic, the time and hazards involved for a small vessel make this impractical. (Vikings in Leif Ericsons’ day had no other options available and had to face the North Atlantic with the technology of the time.) Thanks to the assistance of Wallenius Lines, Inc., NORSEMAN will roll on to a ship in Baltimore with our van and trailer and roll off in Goteborg. It will then be driven to Stockholm by crew members to join the Viking Invasion. To return we will retrace the same route, with an estimated six weeks total required for NORSEMAN’s transport. The crew and those accompanying will fly to Stockholm. Individual travel plans vary from a week to two weeks or more, but all will attend the festival.


We have received generous assistance from Wallenius for ship transport plus some free hotel rooms from the Kultur98 sponsors. We continue to seek corporate or private sponsors to help with crew travel and lodgings costs. All those going are prepared to pay all their own expenses, however, if no other assistance is forthcoming.


Over twenty-five or thirty Viking ship replicas have been invited to Stockholm from all Nordic countries and beyond for the largest gathering of Viking ships in nearly a thousand years. NORSEMAN will be the only replica flying the US flag, however, so our presence will be unique. (On our shields, we bear the colors of the Nordic Nations to honor the countries of the ancestors of the crew and their Viking heritage). For the occasion, we also expect to add Canadian and Greenlandic colors as well.


The theme of our visit to Stockholm will be "The Return of the Norsemen to Viking Lands, bearing gifts from Vinland the Good" to the Mayor of Stockholm or his representative. A small gift basket of items from North America such as wild grapes, self-sown wheat, and other tokens will be presented at the welcoming ceremony of all the Viking ships. A Leif Ericson Honor Guard of Eight spear-carrying Vikings is being trained for this and other occasions, under the direction of Captain of the Guard Gil Jacobsen.


Other activities at the Viking Invasion will include appearances in Stockholm, Viking crafts and workshops, visits to the Maritime Museum, Viking dinners, sailing of the viking fleet on Lake Mälaren to the viking trading town of Birka, a visit to the new Birka Museum, and other activities over the four day period of our visit.


If you would like to help us by making a donation to help bear some of the extra costs of this expedition, kindly forward your check to "Leif Ericson Viking Ship NORSEMAN", earmarked for the "Viking Invasion".


No doubt you have read a lot about the Vikings. You have probably thought about what it was like to live during the Viking Age. Now tell us, in 550 words or less (about a page), what aspect of the Viking world you find most interesting. And tell us why. You can write about Viking art, farming techniques, language, legal system, travels, sagas, voyages, culture, craftsmanship, trading, boating skills, etc. But you should focus on just the one thing that most appeals to you. The winning entry will be published in the Norseman News and on our web site.

The winner will receive $100 (or $100 in merchandise) and a "Leif Landed First" T-shirt. The five runners-up will each be awarded a "Leif Landed First" T-shirt.


Eligibility. This contest is open only to residents of the United States who are 18 years or younger. No purchase is necessary. Offer is void where prohibited.


Deadline. All entries should be received by September 1st, 1998. The entries can be sent by mail to: Norseman News, 15 West Highland Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19118.or by email to: viking@Libertynet.org.


Winner Selection. The entries will be judged in terms of originality, knowledge, interest, and writing. The decision of our judges is final.


Ownership of Entries. All entries become the property of the Leif Ericson Viking Ship. All persons submitting an entry warrant that their entry does not violate or infringe any copyright or trademark.


Winners List. The names of all winners will be listed in the Norseman News and on our web site.

Visit our Main Page to WIN tickets to Scandinavia!



-Kristine Leander, Ph.D., Editor, FAMILY SAGAS; Stories of Scandinavian Immigrants, Published by the Scandinavian Language Institute, Seattle, WA., 1997.


A copy of this new book was kindly forwarded to us for review by the Editor, Dr. Kristine Leander. The book was inspired by the names on the Leif Ericson Statue given to the city of Trondheim, Norway, by private donations organized by the Leif Ericson Society of Seattle, Washington. The statue, a replica of the one in Seattle was created in 1962 for the Seattle World’s Fair by August Werner, Sculptor through the efforts of Trygve Nakkerud. The replica was cast and shipped to Trondheim for it’s unveiling ceremony on July 23, 1997. Nearly 580 immigrant’s names appear in Trondheim on the statue’s base, honoring those who donated money to make the statue possible.


Many who forwarded donations, large and small, to Kristine’s committee, added short notes and sometimes complete family histories to their checks. These family sagas inspired the idea of a book, to collect all these stories of immigration to the U.S. and Canada by the descendants of those who came to this new land. The result is the FAMILY SAGAS book.


A humorous foreword by Garrison Keillor sets the scene for the Sagas by retelling Leif’s Saga in Keillor’s inimitable style. A preface by Thomas A. DuBois of the University of Washington, Seattle, and an Introduction by the Editor explain in more detail the context of the immigration and the circumstances of the creation of the Trondheim Statue and the writing of the book.


The impact of the book is in the body, entitled "The Names, Faces and Stories". All of us who are descended from immigrants who came to America in the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries have similar stories in our backgrounds, whether we be from the east, Chicago, Minnesota, Seattle, or anywhere else in the US or Canada. Most of the stories are of people from Norway, but a number came from Sweden, Denmark or other Viking lands. Just as in our own families, these are truly Sagas, with all the adventure, risk, misfortune, and success found among those who undertook this great adventure. ‘Leif Landed First‘, and did not remain, but eventually hundreds of thousands and later millions were to follow in his path, to help build a great new world. Honoring the adventuresome spirit of Leif Ericson by presenting his Statue to the city of Trondheim is a magnificent tribute to the courage of all our immigrant ancestors, regardless of their place of origin.


This book is available from the Leif Ericson Book Project, (see order form in this edition of the Norseman News).




Mr. Wigo H. Skramm is Director of a project in Norway to organize for schools world-wide projects and programs about Viking history. They have enlisted a group of educators and established links with schools, colleges, universities, and other organizations to further education about Vikings and develop special programs around Leif Ericson. They have developed a web site at (www.viking.no) and will be establishing mutual links with Viking websites around the world, including that of the NORSEMAN.


News from Iceland includes information that Erik the Red's farm and home in the Dales of Northern Iceland, "Eiriksstadir" at Haukadalur, is being restored under the leadership of Mr. Oskar Ingi Ingason. They are also planning to build a Museum in the Dales to honor Leif's discoveries, all as a project for the Millennium.


Also in Iceland, a major Viking festival is planned at Hafnarfjordur, near Reykjavik, in cooperation with the Scandinavian Countries, Greenland, Canada, and the US. Re-enactors, Viking culture enthusiasts, crafters, viking ships, and others are all invited to take part. To be held in July, this festival is conceived as part of a succession of festivals in several countries and will be in harmony with the ideas and plans of the Millennium Committee.


Greenland also has major plans for the Millennium celebration, under the leadership of Benedikte Thorsteinsson of Nuuk. Plans include the building of a replica of the Church at Brattahlid built by Leif Ericson's mother, Thjodhildur, and the farmhouse nearby. Greenland will be planning in close cooperation with Iceland and with the Millennium Committee.



Leif Ericson's name is spelled in several different ways in various countries, usually depending on the language in which his name is written. The NORSEMAN NEWS follows the custom established by the Leif Ericson Society International by spelling the name as would be done in English, since that is the language of this publication. You will also see Eiriksson, Erikson, Eriksson, Ericsson, and possibly others. None are wrong and most are correct in their own language. We encourage any and all versions of his name, as long as Leif's discoveries are suitably recognized and publicized.


The Viking ship ISLENDINGUR will sail from Leif Ericson's farm in Breidafjord in Iceland to Brattahlid and then on to Canada and the USA in the summer of 2000, to take part in North American celebrations. Other Viking ships from Europe are expected to sail or be shipped over, including Sweden's SIGRID STORRÅDA, an 80 ft. replica of a Gokstad ship. It appears NORSEMAN will have a number of companion ships in the Millennium year.




The international Leif Ericson Millennium Committee, based in the Philadelphia area, continues to add members, carry planning forward, organize for special events in this area, and maintain communications with Leif Ericson celebrations planned throughout the various nations taking part in the year 2000 celebration.


The new Millennium Committee web site has been up and running for about ten weeks (www.leif2000.org) and is receiving thousands of hits every week from the US, Canada, Nordic countries, and around the world. They update news regularly and you can register yourself or your organization directly on line.


Distinguished Honorary Members added since the last news report include His Excellency, Ambassador Jon Baldwin Hannibalsson, Icelandic Ambassador to the US and Canada, Dennis R. Sorheim, President, Sons of Norway International, Mr. Kjell Bergh, Chairman, Bergh International Holdings, Earle Hyman, Actor, Grete Waitz, Olympic Athlete, and Jonathan Motzfeldt, Premier of Greenland.


The Board of Directors, made up of mainly Philadelphia area members and others from nearby States, has added several working members. They include Mr. Joe Jeantet, a well-known leader in the local Danish-American Community, Mr. Charles H. Nilsen, longtime Sons of Norway Officer, and Capt. Paul Govertsen, a Maritime shipping expert.


Visiting Philadelphia to attend a recent Millennium Committee Board meeting was the Project Director of Greenland Millennium events, Ms. Benedikte Thorsteinsson of Nuuk, the capital of Greenland. Ms. Thorsteinsson brought the Committee up to date on Greenland's plans and also visited the Board of the Viking Ship Norseman, charming all who met her. Her stay in Philadelphia also included a visit to Independence Hall, The Liberty Bell, and a little shopping at the Mall in King of Prussia. She is on a tour of Iceland, the US, and Canada to exchange information with other groups about Millennium plans. Except for Alaska, this was Benedikte’s first visit to the U.S.



We have deferred work on the boat shed in favor of preparations for the trip to Stockholm, but the temporary roof is effectively providing protection for NORSEMAN and gear. Fund-raising for the shed was given a boost with a major contribution from a local donor, and sufficient funds are now in hand to complete the final wood-shingled roof. We still need help to complete some Nordic decorative work and hand carving, however, and any added contributions will be welcomed.




Under the leadership of Membership Chairman Nord Bjorke and membership data manager Jerry Zinnes, the l998 membership campaign has been successfully completed, with good results in renewals and new members and friends. Our thanks go to this committee, and to all those who continue to support the NORSEMAN with their memberships, purchases, and gifts. A special feature of the membership campaign this year was the opportunity to nominate a candidate for our free youth's orientation program to be conducted later this summer. A few openings are still available for this training program. Any person who becomes a member, or renews as an active member, is eligible to nominate one youth for this program. For further information about ages and the training program, contact Skipper and Vice President Dave Segermark at 610-356-3723 or by E-mail (hppyvkng@email.msn.com). Note also that active members receive a 10 per cent discount on all Leif Landed First Merchandise.





After strong sales and mail orders last year, buyers seriously depleted our supply of Viking books and Leif Landed First merchandise. Resupply has been completed and we now have a full line available including children's Leif Landed First T-shirts, many new books on Vikings, and Viking helmets of various designs. (See the order form on page __ for more information and an order form.) Color photographs of some of our apparel items will soon appear on the NORSEMAN web site.




The Leif Ericson Millennium Committee is asking all Scandinavian-Americans to help petition the United States Postal Service for a commemorative stamp honoring Leif Ericson in the year 2000. This is part of the Committees= proposal to have all the Nordic nations, Greenland, Canada, and the US make a concurrent issue of stamps and possibly have a combined Afirst day@ event in each nation to begin circulation of these stamps. Greenland has joined in this effort to have Leif Ericson Stamps and other nations are expected to participate also.


If you wish to add your voice to this effort, please write to the USPS Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee, Room 4474E 475 L=Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, D.C.


For further information on the Stamp campaign and a sample letter, see the Leif Ericson Millennium Committee website (www.leif2000.org), then add your letter or that of your organization to this campaign. Readers in Canada and elsewhere are asked to write to your own Postal Service in support of this concurrent issue of stamps in your own nation. News of this campaign has also appeared in Nordstjernan, the Norway Times, and elsewhere.




To help support printing and distribution expenses and to allow wider circulation, NORSEMAN NEWS will accept advertising beginning with this issue. There will be no decrease in news content and hope that the newsletter will continue to grow in size and frequency. We encourage our readers to support our advertisers with their business, and to advertise your own goods and services in NORSEMAN NEWS. At an early date, we hope to offer a package for advertisers in which ads appear both in the Newsletter and on our website.


Ad rate information is provided below:


Insert – 8-1/2"x11" 1 or 2 sides,

Supplied by advertiser $300.00/issue

Full page ad - camera ready 200.00

Half page 125.00

Quarter Page 75.00

Per column inch 25.00

Business Card ad 25.00


Ten percent discount for members in good standing


Prices are camera ready. For layout and artwork, all black and white, add 50 percent. We will try to avoid errors and seek approval of all layouts before printing, but our liability is limited to running a corrected ad in one subsequent issue. We reserve the right to reject any advertising at our sole discretion.


Circulation is one thousand copies mailed 1st class per issue, plus another 5-800 copies distributed at Scandinavian Festivals and events. Deadlines are Mar. 15 (Spring), Aug. 15 (Fall) and Dec. 15 (Winter). Our readers consist of mainly Scandinavian-Americans including members, friends, and others who have shown interest in our mission, Vikings, and Leif Ericson. Ads will not be displayed on our web site at the rates quoted above. We are exploring making this feature available.

Winter '98 Newsletter 
(This page last modified Tuesday, May 19, 1998)

This site hosted by LibertyNet 
Search for sites in the Philadelphia region
Explore other sites in the Philadelphia region:
Fun in Phila.  Marketplace  Community 
Counties  Education Business Dev. 
Government  Health  Hospitality