Friday, February 10, 2012

More Notable Norwegian Americans

We've had some great reader feedback on our "Nine Notable Norwegian Americans" article in the February issue of Viking. In addition to those we've featured in the article, readers have written in with these nominations:

John "Snowshoe" Thompson (b. 1827–1876) Remembered as "The Viking of the Sierra," Thompson's claim to fame was as a mail carrier in the Sierras. Between 1856 and 1876, he delivered mail two to four times a month, regardless of the weather, on a five-day route. Despite his 20 years of service, he was never compensated for his mail delivery.

Bernt Balchen (1899-73) One of the greatest aviators in American history, Balchen is also remembered as an explorer, participating in several Arctic and Antarctic expeditions. He was the first pilot to fly over both the North and South Poles and served the U.S. Air Force as an expert Arctic aviator.

Jan Stenerud (b. 1942) The Pro Football Hall of Famer was discovered at Montana State University, where he was attending on a skiing scholarship. His 19-season career in pro football, first with the Kansas City Chiefs and later with the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings, includes an impressive list of achievements, including 1,699 points, 373 field goals and six Pro Bowl games.

Are there other notable Norwegian Americans who didn't make our list? Send your suggestions to You'll find our original list, including Ole Evinrude, Ole Rølvaag, Knut Rockne and others, in the February issue of Viking!

Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585.

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