The May Sons of Norway Kong Sverre Lodge’s event will be held on Monday, May 8, at the Community Center, 503 Elm Ave., Story City.


Laurann Gilbertson, chief curator at Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, will give the program “In Trunks, Hands, and Hearts: What Norwegian Immigrants Brought to the United States.” Norwegian immigrant trunks are often cherished family heirlooms, but they also serve as a way to begin thinking about immigrant experiences themselves. Between 1825 and 1980, nearly one million Norwegians left for new lives in America. What factors motivated people to leave family and their homeland to start a life in a new place? What did they choose to take with them on their voyage? What challenges did they face during their journeys and as they settled in a new land? The heirloom trunks that once held an immigrant’s belongings now hold their stories. Using photos of trunks from the museum’s collection and stories related to those trunks, Laurann will consider these questions and more.


The 6:30 p.m. catered dinner will be preceded by a social time at 6, where guests can sample Norwegian delights such as gjetost, flatbrød, herring and more at the special norsk appetizer table, as well as the “Syttende Mai” (Norwegian Constitution Day is the National Day of Norway and is an official national holiday observed on May 17 each year) dessert table after the dinner.


Cost is $7 for members and $15 for guests — free if you join that evening. The dinner is open to all interested in learning more about Scandinavian heritage and culture, and guests are always welcome. For reservations, phone Shirley Frandson (515-733-4482) or Ingrid Place (515-292-7513) by Thursday, May 4.