Sweden and Norway were "close to war"Sweden and Norway were "close to war"
These days the two Scandinavian neighbours are the best of buddies but a hundred years ago it was a very different story. As Norwegians throughout Sweden don their festive garb to celebrate their country's national day on Tuesday, Dagens Nyheter reported that previously unpublished government records show that the two countries were perilously close to war in 1905. That was the year Norway declared its independence, dissolving the union with Sweden that had been in place for over 90 years. The split has been viewed by history as being largely peaceful. In September 1905, in an atmosphere of suspicion, Sweden went so far as to send 5,000 fully-equipped soldiers to the Norwegian border. Norway responded with the partial mobilisation of its army. But with the posturing threatening to burst into conflict, Lundeberg met Norway's leader, Christian Michelsen and they reached a compromise.
May 17th - Norway's Constitution Day
May 17th, is Norway's National Day. It is celebrated all over the nation, from the largest community to the smallest, with parades, bands, flags, national costumes, festival services and festivities with everyone taking part, marking the day in 1814, when Norway adopted its new constitution. In Oslo, the children's parade is the main attraction, with all the city schools represented, 110 in all, each headed by the school's banner and brass band. (Photo: Karl Johans Gate - Oslo's Parade Street). This unique parade has become a world attraction, and each year thousands of visitors from all over the world come to watch. A few have been fortunate to obtain special seats set up in front of the Royal Palace, mainly reserved for diplomats and special guests. The length of this year's parade is again a new record with 113 schools participating. The long parade march up Oslo's main street, Karl Johans gate, to the Royal Palace, where they are received by the Royal Family standing on the front balcony, waving to the crowd.