Friday, October 19, 2007

First post...

Well: this venerable ethnic newspaper has arrived in the 21st-century blogosphere. Welcome to Blögberg-Heimskringla, surely the most cumbersome, and yet strangely alluring, name since two Icelandic newspapers amalgamated in 1959.

I'll explain this now and then try to set up an FAQ, since I know many people will wonder why the long name for this blog.

Okay. In short, when the Icelanders began emigrating to North America in the 19th century, they brought with them their love of reading. The first Icelandic settlers were actually converts to the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-Day Saints, principally from the Westmann Islands, and they were directed to settle in Spanish Fork, UT, beginning in 1855. A later, and quite separate, emigration followed to Canada and the United States in the 1870s, with many Icelanders homesteading in Manitoba and North Dakota. (For all you hard-core Icelandic descendants reading this, yes, I know I am glossing over settlements in other places).

There were a number of attempts to begin publishing an Icelandic newspaper — Framfari ("Progress") began in 1877 and lasted until 1880. Another publication was Leifur, which lasted from 1884 to 1886.

However, in September 1886, Heimskringla (named after the famous work by Snorri Sturluson; roughly translated, the title means "the ring around the world") began publishing in Winnipeg, MB. In perhaps true Icelandic fashion, one of the founders decided he could not work with the others, and in January 1888 he founded Lögberg (named after the "law rock" of Iceland's parliament, the oldest in the world).

Both newspapers published in Icelandic out of Winnipeg, reaching Icelandic immigrants across North America. Heimskringla was seen as the more Conservative (politically) and Unitarian newspaper, where as Lögberg was Liberal and Lutheran.

After decades of rivalry, they amalgamated in order to keep publishing in 1959 — which is why the newspaper is now called "Lögberg-Heimskringla."

I called this blog "Blögberg-Heimskringla" just for fun.


Kristin M said...

Congratulations on the blog

Holly said...

This is fantastic, David.
The poll hasn't got too many hits, possibly because there are no options for people who have been reading it less than 60 years. My vote would be for: yes, I read it online.


Lögberg-Heimskringla said...

Shoot, I knew there were too few options. Unfortunately it seems I can't add any other choices for the poll after someone votes. I'll come up with something a bit more diverse for the next poll...