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Neighborhood kids mug the camera during Constitution Day celebration, May 17, 1999
Neighborhood kids mug for the camera as they enjoy snacks provided in Peavy Park during the Syttende Mai  (17th of May) celebration. Photo: Liv Dahl

Ethnic Event in the Capital of Norwegian America

Made up of the city of Minneapolis and its suburbs, the Fifth District of Minnesota has a uniquely prominent Scandinavian presence among its ancestry groups. No other large urban area in the world -- outside of Norway -- contains such a high proportion of residents who claim Norwegian ancestry. The 1990 census revealed that people of Swedish and Norwegian descent comprised the third and forth largest populations of the District. Other ethnic groups are represented in the District's make-up: German-Americans, Polish- and Italian-Americans, Romanian and German Jews, Native-American and African-American communities share in the District's diverse populations.

Norwegian-Americans celebrate the cultural legacies they have bequeathed the city in the form of public observances of Norway's Syttende Mai (Constitution Day - May 17th) and during visits from the Norwegian royal family. These two specifically Norwegian events in 1999 had quite significant inter-ethnic dimensions: Norwegian-Americans and the visiting Norwegian Crown Prince Haakon both reached out to share their heritage with the city's diverse peoples and explicit address the need for tolerance, mutual acceptance, and cooperation.

Originally submitted by: Martin Olav Sabo, Representative (5th District).



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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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