Norway: A Rivalry over Roots

Mundal (pop. 150) is in the heart of Norway's scenic fjord country, and cruise-ship guides point it out as the place where Walter Mondale has his roots. Although nearly all Mondale's relatives left for the U.S. 130 years ago, the name evokes considerable civic pride. At the Mundal Hotel, where Mondale stayed in 1979, Manager Billie Orheim displays a guest book that reads, "Joan and I were thrilled to return home!"

But across the fjord in Vangsnes (pop. 270) some folks, including Mondale's fourth cousin Gunda Langeteig, have a different view of history. Mondale's great grandfather, Frederick Vangsnes, was a...

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