On January 16, 1895, the original 18 members of Sons of Norway gathered for their first official meeting. Today we celebrate the 125 years that have passed since that meeting, as well as the fact that we have grown to become the largest Norwegian organization outside of Norway. Sons of Norway is now a thriving international organization with 50,000 members at 350 lodges across the United States, Canada and Norway, and our insurance sales are surpassing our goals year after year.
Many exciting developments have taken place at Sons of Norway since that first meeting 125 years ago. Here are some of the major milestones for our growing organization:
1910 – The first Canadian lodge was formed.
1946 – Membership was opened to non-Norwegians.
1961 – The official international headquarters was built.
1966 – The Sons of Norway Foundation was established.
1998 – Penny Joseph Knudsen was elected Sons of Norway’s first female international president.
As we enter 2020, we are aspiring to become the fastest growing fraternal organization in the United States. This year we will be moving back to our Lake Street address with a newly constructed headquarters building, and we are looking ahead to a future of continued growth and evolution.
To learn more about the history and growth of Sons of Norway, be sure to check out our feature article in the January issue of Viking magazine (member log in required).
Also be sure to check out our newly updated our Sons of Norway history video!
Thank you to our members, followers and supporters for helping us grow Sons of Norway into the organization that it is today.