Sons of Norway
Sons of Norway (Norwegian: Sønner av Norge) is a fraternal organization representing people of Norwegian heritage in the United States and Canada. It describes its mission as "to promote and to preserve the heritage and culture of Norway, to celebrate our relationship with other Nordic Countries, and provide quality insurance and financial products" to its members. The organization was founded by 18 members on January 16, 1895, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to insure each other when they were unable to secure life insurance on their own. Currently, the Sons of Norway has over 400 lodges in the United States, Canada, and Norway. With over 66,000 members, the Sons of Norway is the largest Norwegian organization outside of Norway.
History of Sons of Norway 
Sons of Norway was started by Norwegian founders that were cautious men that worried about survival for their families and neighbors. They recalled the assistance plan from Trondheim where members paid a small amount each week and in return received free medical care for themselves and their families. It was in this spirit of necessity that Sons of Norway was founded as a mutual assistance society, one built on the principles of American fraternalism. The organization provided not only security against financial crises via life insurance and an outlet to celebrate their nationalism, but it also served to preserve their Norwegian heritage.
To qualify for membership originally, one had to be male, either Norwegian or of Norwegian descent, give proof of being morally upright, in good health, capable of supporting a family, at least 20 years old and no more than 50. Now, membership is open to everyone with an interest in Norwegian culture.
The organization slowly expanded across the United States and now includes Lodges in Canada and Norway. Today, Sons of Norway continues to make an effort to build on the traditions of the past while at the same time focusing on modern Norwegian-American lives. There must be programs to appeal to the 4th and 5th generation descendants who show interest in their roots.
Statistics for Sons of Norway 
As of December 31, 2010:
- Total Members 64,186
- Members in the United States 60,526
- Members in Canada 2,260
- Members in Norway 1,400
- Lodges 412
- Life Insurance In Force $639,252,000
- Number Insurance Certificates in Force 17,589
Notable buildings 
Some of the Sons of Norway's buildings are historic and/or are otherwise notable, including:
- Sons of Norway Building, 1455 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN
- Sons of Norway Hall, Petersburg, Alaska, built 1912, listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP)
- Sons of Norway building of Minot, North Dakota, built 1915, a contributing building in the NRHP-listed Minot Commercial Historic District:7:21
- History of Sons of Norway, an American fraternal organization of men and women of Norwegian birth or extraction by Carl G. O. Hansen, (Minneapolis: Sons of Norway Supreme Lodge, 1944).
- A brief history of Sons of Norway
- Mark T. Fiege, Mary E. McCormick, and Fredric L. Quivik (July, 1986). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Minot Commercial Historic District". National Parks Service. and accompanying photos
- Minot MRA
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