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King Harald celebrated the Norwegian-American Association’s 100th anniversary

On Monday afternoon, His Majesty King Harald of Norway celebrated his patronage, the Norwegian-American Association’s 100th anniversary. His Majesty the King was present at the celebration of the Norway-America Association’s 100th anniversary at Akershus Fortress.

Philosopher Henrik Syse held the welcome speech at Akershus Fortress, while Charge d’Affaires from the US, Ann Barrows McConnell spoke on behalf of the US Embassy in Oslo. PhD candidate Camilla Lingjærde briefed on the Norwegian-American Association’s history, while violinist Sarah Chen performed a musical feature.

During the anniversary celebration, this year’s scholarships were awarded, and in September, the association will launch its anniversary book. The book is written by Kjetil Flatin and deals with 100 years of student exchanges between Norway and the United States. The Norwegian-American Association has, over the years, helped thousands of students finance their education. The scholarships that are awarded each year come from different funds and grants that the Norway-America Association administers.

His Majesty arrives at the celebration. Photo: Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen / The Royal Court.

Since 1919, NORAM has awarded more than 5,000 scholarships for studies in the United States and Canada. The Norwegian-American Association is a voluntary organisation that was founded in 1919 by the American-Scandinavian Foundation and Norwegians Worldwide. The organisations wanted to establish a fund that would support and encourage student exchange between Norway and the United States.

King Harald has a very special bond to the USA. He lived in exile there for many years during the Second World War together with his mother and two sisters. One of the notable events he remembers from that time was standing behind President Franklin D. Roosevelt when he was sworn in for his fourth term on the South Portico of the White House in 1945.

King Harald has visited the US many times since the end of the war. The states in the Midwest, especially North Dakota and Minnesota, have a significant number of Norwegian-American residents.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written six books on historical subjects and more than 1.500 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.