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Photo Credit: Tove Bendiksen

In a pattern of emigration and return that began with the Vikings in the year 800, Norwegians traveled the world seeking work and wealth to relieve poverty at home. Around the time of Norway’s independence in 1905, a shortage of fish sparked a movement of Norwegian fishermen from the coastal town of Karmøy to Brooklyn, New York. Eventually, many moved to New Bedford where they helped to develop the fishing and scalloping industries. Citizenship was required to become a fishing vessel captain, so early Norwegian immigrants often became United States citizens. After oil and natural gas were discovered off the coast of Norway in the 1960s, economic opportunities increased and immigration to the United States virtually ended.

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