Scandinavia; key historical events
Denmark, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden
14/2/2015, In scenes reminiscent of the Paris Charlie Hebdo shootings (7/1/2015) an Islamist terrorist, Omar el Hussein, 22, shot dead Finn Norgaard, a 55 year old film director, at a Free Speech meeting at a cafe in central Copenhagen, at 3.30pm Saturday. The Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who portrayed the prophet Mohammed as a ‘mad dog’ in 2007, was belived to have been the main target; Hussein’s entry into the cafe was thwarted by a metal detector, prompting him to spray some 200 bullets from the entrance. Hussein then went to the Krystalgade synagogue and opened fire, killing the doorman Dan Uzan, 37, and wounding two police officers, at a Bat-Mitzvah, at 1am Sunday. Danish police identified the gunman and traced his address to an apartment in the Norrebro district; by then he was on his way to the synagogue. At 5am the next morning, 15 February, armed police shot Hussein at his apartment. Hussein had just been released from prison in Denmark two weeks earlier after serving a term for aggravated assault.
25/5/2013, A sixth night of rioting in the Swedish capital, Stockholm; many cars were burnt, mainly in poorer areas.
22/7/2011, Anders Behring Brevik shot 77 people on Utoya Island as a protest against immigration to Norway.
16/7/2009, Iceland’s Parliament voted to begin negotiations to join the European Union.
21/6/2009, Greenland took steps towards further separation from Denmark; it took control of police, law enforcement, the legal system and natural resources.
25/11/2008, Greenland held a referendum on further autonomy from Denmark, with a result 75% in favour.
22/8/2004, Edvard Munch’s famous painting, The Scream, was stolen at gunpoint from Norway’s Munch Museum, Oslo.
14/9/2003, In a referendum, Sweden rejected joining the Euro.
13/11/1994, In a referendum, Swedish voters chose to join the European Union.
16/4/1994, In a referendum in Finland, voters decided to join the European Union.
18/5/1993. The Danes voted yes to the Maastricht Treaty.
2/6/1992, Denmark, in a referendum, rejected the Maastricht Treaty.
28/2/1986. The Swedish Prime Minister, Olof Palme, was assassinated, and his wife Lisbeth wounded, in an ambush in central Stockholm.
14/11/1985, Holmfriour Karlsdottir of Iceland, 22, was crowned the 35th Miss World.
23/2/1982. Greenland, a Danish territory, with home rule, voted to leave the EC.
1/5/1979, Denmark granted Greenland home rule.
1/6/1976. Britain and
19/2/1976. Iceland broke off
diplomatic relations with
10/12/1975, The first shots
were fired in the Cod war between
1/11/1975, 3 died and 6 were injured in an explosion aboard the Ekofisk A oil rig.
For events of Cod War see also Great Britain 1970s
15/10/1975, Iceland unilaterally extended its fishing grounds to 200 miles,
leading to a resumption of the Cod war with
25/7/1974, The International Court of Justice at The Hague ruled that Britain was not bound to observe Iceland’s unilateral extension of its fishing rights from 12 to 50 miles in 1972.
8/11/1973, The Cod war
15/9/1973, Gustavus VI, King of Sweden since 1950, died aged 90.
24/5/1973. The Cod War continued
25/10/1972. Iceland boycotted British goods as part of the Cod War.
2/10/1972. Denmark voted in a referendum to join the Common Market.
26/9/1972. Norway voted in a referendum against joining the Common Market.
1/9/1972, Iceland extended its fishing limit from 12 to 50 miles.
14/1/1972, In Denmark, Margrethe II (31) became Queen, succeeding her father King Frederick IX, who died aged 72.
30/12/1968, Trygve Lie, Norwegian ambassador and Secretary-General to the UN, 1946 to 1952, died.
18/9/1961, Dag Hammarskjold, Swedish Secretary General of
the United Nations and Nobel Prize Winner, was killed a plane crash near Ndola
in Northern Rhodesia. He had been flying
troops began to leave
1/9/1958, British trawlers defied the Icelandic 12-mile fishing limit, which came into force this day.
1/6/1958. Iceland extended its fishing limits to 12 miles.
21/9/1957, Norway’s King Haakon VII died, aged 85. His son, aged 54, succeeded him as King Olav V.
5/6/1953, The Danish Parliament, or Riksdagen, was reformed. The upper chamber, or Landstinget, was abolished. The lower chamber, or Folketinget, now became the entire Parliament.
7/4/1953, Swedish civil servant Dag Hammarskold succeeded Trygve Lie as secretary of the United Nations.
3/4/1952, Miina Sillanpaa, Finnish politician, died.
27/1/1951, Carl Mannerheim, Finnish soldier and politician,
who as President secured his country’s independence from
29/10/1950, Gustav V, King of Sweden since 1907, died aged 92. He was succeeded by his 61-year old son, Gustavus VI.
20/4/1947, Christian X, King of Denmark, died aged 76. He was succeeded by his son Frederick IX, aged 48.
26/1/1947, Prince Gustav of Sweden was killed in a air crash near Copenhagen
9/1945, The Aaland Island Assembly unsucesfully tried to join Sweden.
31/5/1945, The Norwegian Government returned to govern in
17/6/1944. Iceland became an independent republic. The 25-year Union with Denmark had expired, see 1/12/1918.
29/8/1943, The Nazis occupying Denmark dismissed the Danish Government, following extensive strike action and acts of sabotage against the Germans. In response the Danes formed the Frihedsrad (Free Council) in order to coordinate and escalate resistance activity. It commanded a Danish Resistance Army of some 43,000 men; several of its members held government positions in the post-war Danish Government from 1945.
16/4/1940, Margrethe, Queen of Denmark, was born.
10/4/1940. Sweden insisted on its neutrality.
signed a peace treaty with the USSR, surrendering large areas of territory on the
16/2/1940. Soviet troops pierced the Mannerheim Line of the Finnish defences.
Soviet army launched an attack in
For main European events of World War Two see France-Germany
See also Russia for more events of Finland-Russia conflict 1939-40
28/11/1939. Stalin renounced the Finno-Soviet non-aggression pact. On 30/11/1939 the
13/5/1930, Fridtjof Nansen, Norwegian Arctic explorer and
subsequently politician, and Nobel Prize winner in 1922, died in
24/4/1929, Denmark elected a socialist government.
17/10/1927, Norway elected its first Labour government.
1925, Norway gained Spitsbergen.
1/1/1925. Norway’s capital, Christiana, was renamed Oslo.
13/12/1922, Hannes Hafstein, Prime Minister of Iceland, died.
recognised the independence of
10/7/1920, After a referendum amongst the inhabitants,
northern Schleswig was returned to
20/2/1920. Robert Peary,
American Arctic explorer and first man
to reach the North Pole in 1909, died in
9/2/1920, By a treaty signed in
6/10/1919. Norway adopted alcohol Prohibition.
declared war on
1/12/1918. Denmark granted independence to Iceland; a 25-year union with Denmark was instituted.
See Russia for events of 1917 Revolution
became independent from
29/7/1917, Taking advantage of Revolutionary chaos, the Finns declared their independence from Russia.
14/12/1916, A referendum in Denmark agreed by 64.3% for to 35.7% against to agree to the sale of the Danish West Indies to the US, for the sum of US$ 25 million. These islands became the US Virgin Islands; they were of strategic importance to the US now that the Panama Canal had opened. The islands were formally handed over on 1/4/1917, just before the US declared war on Germany.
10/2/1913. The remains of Captain Scott and two of his companions, who died returning from the South Pole in January 1912, were found dead, just 11 miles from a safe camp.
See Australia, New Zealand for more on exploration of Antarctica.
14/6/1912, King Frederick VIII of Denmark died, aged 69. He was succeeded by his son, 41-year old Christian X.
Robert Falcon Scott died in his
17/3/1912, Lawrence Oates died heroically during the return journey from the South Pole. On his 32nd birthday he left the tent, saying, ‘I am just going outside, and I may be some time’.
18/1/1912, British explorer Captain Scott reached the South Pole, with his companions Lawrence Oates, Lieutenant Bowers, Edward Wilson, and Edgar Evans, only to find that Roald Amundsen had beaten them by 35 days, leaving a tent behind for proof. All five died on the return journey. Amundsen, with his fast dog sleds, had possessed superior equipment.
14/12/1911. The Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen beat the British team, led by Captain Scott, to the South Pole. The British relied on motorised transport, the Norwegians on dog sleds. Captain Scott arrived at the South Pole on 17/1/1912 to find the Norwegians had beaten him to it.
14/11/1911, The Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen (1872 – 1928) reached the South Pole ahead of Scott.
6/4/1909. Commander Peary of the
8/12/1907, King Oscar II of Sweden, aged 78 died; his eldest son, Gustav V, 49, became King.
29/1/1906, Christian IX if Denmark died, aged 87. He was succeeded by his son, Frederick VIII, aged 62.
6/12/1905, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen landed at Fort Egbert, Alaska, after a 2 ½ year exploration of America’s Arctic coast.
18/11/1905. Prince Carl of
26/10/1905. Norway and
13/8/1905, A referendum in
29/7/1905, Dag Hammarskjold, Swedish
Secretary-General of the United Nations, was born in
16/7/1905. Commander Peary of the
7/6/1905. Norway declared independence from
22/1/1904, The Norwegian city of
22/9/1902. Czar Nicholas II abolished the nominal independence
16/7/1896, Trygve Lie, Norwegian politician and Secretary General at the United Nations, was born in Oslo.
13/5/1894, Asgeir Asgeirsson, President of Iceland, was born.
7/4/1891, Ole Kirk Christiansen, Danish toymaker who invented Lego, was born.
1890, Exploitation of the great iron ore deposits at Kiruna began; see railways (Sweden) for transport development here.
1888, Fridjtof Nansen explored the interior of Greenland.
11/11/1882, Gustav VI, King of Sweden, was born the eldest son of Gustav V.
3/8/1872, King Haakon VII of Norway was born in Charlottenlund. He refused to surrender to the Germans in World War Two.
26/9/1870, King Christian X of Denmark was born.
4/6/1867, Carl Mannerheim, Finnish soldier and politician, President, was born in Vilnas.
30/10/1864. By the Peace of Vienna, Denmark gave up Schleswig, Holstein, and Lauenberg. These provinces came under Austrian and Prussian rule.
1/2/1864, Austrian and Prussian troops under the command of Friedrich von Wangle invaded Schleswig, Denmark.
16/1/1864, Denmark rejected an ultimatum, from Germany over the Danish province of Schleswig.
24/12/1863. Following the Danish annexation of the province of Schleswig on 30/3/1863, Saxon and Hanoverian forces moved into Holstein.
15/11/1863, Frederick VII, King of Denmark, died.
20/7/1863, Denmark, with no hope of intervention from England, sued for peace over the German attack over Schleswig.
10/10/1861, Fridjtof Nansen, Norwegian Polar explorer, was born near Oslo.
16/6/1858. Gustav V, King of Sweden from 1907 to 1950, was born the son of Oscar II.
6/5/1856, Robert Peary, American Arctic explorer, was born in Cresson Springs, Pennsylvania.
26/8/1848. Denmark and Prussia signed a truce at Malmo. Both agreed to evacuate the disputed territory of Schleswig-Holstein.
20/1/1848, Christian VIII of Denmark died. He was succeeded by his son, Frederick VI.
1847, The Carlsberg brewery business began in Denmark when J C Jacobsen built a new brewery, and named it after his young son, Carl.
1/12/1844, Queen Alexandra, wife of Edward VII, was born, the eldest daughter of King Christian of Denmark.
8/3/1844, Charles XIV, King of Sweden, died aged 81. He was succeeded by his son, Oskar I, aged 44.
15/8/1843, In Copenhagen, the Tivoli Gardens opened. They were laid out on part of the old defensive works.
3/12/1839, Frederick VI of Denmark died, aged 71. He was succeeded by his nephew, Christian VIII, aged 53.
7/2/1837, Gustavus IV, King of Sweden, died.
1/6/1831. Sir James Clark Ross located the Magnetic North Pole on his Arctic expedition with Admiral Parry.
21/1/1829, Oscar II, King of Sweden and Norway, was born.
5/2/1818, Charles XIII of Sweden died aged 69. He was succeeded by Crown Prince Jean Bernadotte (55), who now became Charles XIV.
4/11/1814, Norway united with Sweden, see 7/6/1905.
17/5/1814, The independence of Norway was proclaimed.
14/1/1814, Britain made peace with Denmark, restoring all territories except Heligoland. The King of Denmark ceded Norway to Sweden.
17/11/1810. Sweden declared war on Britain.
1/3/1810, The world’s first Ombudsman, Lars Mannerheim, was appointed in Sweden.
1809, The Diet of Porvoo (Borga). Following the Russian invasion of Finland (formerly part of the Swedish Empire), Tsar Alexander I guaranteed the Finns the rights they had enjoyed under Swedish rule. This meant Finland enjoyed considerable autonomy within the Russian Empire, and effectively marked the start of the modern State of Finland.
17/9/1809, In February 1808 Tsar Alexander invaded Finland, then part of Sweden, without a declaration of war. On this day the Treaty of Fredrikshamn ended the war; Sweden ceded Finland and the Aland Islands to Russia.
13/3/1809, Swedish Army officers seized King Gustavus IV of Sweden and put him under house arrest in the royal apartments. A provisional government was announced, led by the Duke of Sudermania. On 29/3/1809 Gustavus IV officially abdicated, and on 10/5/1809 the Swedish Government announced that the Gustavus family would not regain the throne.
21/2/1808. Russia occupied Finland, which was formerly under Swedish domination.
29/3/1792, King Gustavus III of Sweden died, aged 46. He was succeeded by his son, 13-year old Gustavus IV.
16/3/1792, Gustavus III, King of Sweden, was shot at a masked ball; he died on 29/3/1792.
21/6/1788, King Gustavus III of Sweden invaded Russian Finland, without declaring war first.
1/11/1778, Gustavus IV, King of Sweden, was born.
19/8/1772, Gustavus III of Sweden re-established an absolute monarchy, as he removed the Riksdag’s power to legislate. However he also liberalised, abolishing torture and proclaiming the freedom of the press and of religious worship.
10/2/1771, King Adolphus Frederick of Sweden died, aged 60, in Stockholm. He was succeeded by his 25-year old son, Gustavus III.
26/1/1763, Charles XIV, King of Sweden, was born.
9/10/1757, Charles X, King of Sweden, was born.
6/4/1746, Christian VI of Denmark died aged 47. He was succeeded by his son, 23, Frederick V.
24/1/1746, Gustavus III, King of Sweden, was born.
12/10/1730, Frederick IV of Denmark died, aged 59, at Odense. He was succeeded by his 31-year old son, Christian VI.
11/12/1718, Charles XII, King of Sweden, was killed.
24/12/1715, Swedish troops occupied Norway.
6/8/1714, Naval Battle of Gangut, in the Baltic; Russia beat Sweden.
8/7/1709, The Battle of Poltava (in modern day eastern Ukraine). Peter the Great of Russia destroyed the Swedish army. Hanover and Denmark joined with Russia in attacking the Swedish Empire.
9/10/1708, Battle of Lesnaya; Russia beat Sweden.
4/7/1708, Battle of Holovsin; Sweden beat Russia.
2/7/1708, Battle of Kliszow; Sweden beat Russia.
13/4/1703, Battle of Pultusk; Sweden beat Russia.
18/7/1702, Battle of Hummelsdorf; Russia beat Sweden.
7/1/1702, Battle of Errestfer; Russia beat Sweden.
20/11/1700, Sweden defeated the Russians at Narva.
1699, Drottingholm Palace, near Stockholm, was completed.
14/12/1697, Charles XII was crowned King of Sweden, aged 15.
7/5/1697, The Royal Castle, Tree Kronor (Three Crowns) in Sweden burnt down, destroying a large part of the Royal Library.
5/4/1697, Death of King Charles XI of Sweden, aged 40. He was succeeded by his son, Charles XII, see 14/12/1697.
19/4/1689, Queen Christina of Sweden died; she had abdicated in 1654.
30/4/1683, France, Brandenburg-Prussia, and Denmark agreed that Sweden should be expelled from German territories.
17/6/1682, Charles XII, King of Sweden, was born.
14/7/1677, At the Battle of Landskrona, Sweden defeated Denmark.
31/5/1677, Danish ships defeated a Swedish naval force.
4/12/1676, The Swedish town of Lund was defended in the Battle of Lund, one of the bloodiest battles fought in Scandinavia.
9/2/1670, Frederick III, King of Denmark, died.
3/5/1660, At the Peace of Oliva (near Danzig), Frederick William ceded Eastern Pomerania to Sweden.
12/2/1660, Charles X of Sweden died, aged37. He was succeeded by his 4-year old son, Charles XI. Also this day the Treaty of Copenhagen ended hostilities between Sweden and Denmark. The Danes ceded the province of Scania, southern tip of Scandinavia, to Sweden.
25/6/1656, The Treaty of Mareinburg was concluded between Sweden and Brandenburg-Prussia. The Poles under John Casimir had expelled the Swedes, and under this Treaty Brandenburg-Prussia was promised part of the spoils should Poland be defeated by Sweden.
16/6/1654, Queen Christina of Sweden abdicated in favour of her cousin, Charles Gustavus (Charles X). There had been discontent at her luxurious lifestyle and failure to produce an heir. She had sold off large amounts of Crown Property to support the 500 nobles she had created . She fled disguised in men’s clothes as ‘Count Dohna’, to settle in Rome.
28/2/1648, Christian IV, King of Denmark, died.
16/11/1632, Gustavus II, King of Sweden from 1611, killed as his army gained victory in the Battle of Lutzen near Leipzig. He was succeeded by his 6-year old daughter, Christina; in the interim, Sweden was governed by Count Axel Oxenstierna.
17/9/1631, A battle was fought between Gustavus and the Holy Roman Empire forces under Tilly (see 4/7/1630). The Swedes won.
4/7/1630, Gustavus Adolphus landed at Peenemunde with an army of 13,000 men, in an attempt to bring the entire Baltic under Swedish control. See 17/9/1631.
8/12/1626, Queen Christina of Sweden was born.
27/2/1617, The Treaty of Stolbovo ended the Ingrian War between Sweden and Russia. Sweden gained Ingermanland and Karelia.
1611, Jan Mayen Land, between Spitsbergen and Iceland, was discovered by the Dutch explorer Jan Mayen.
30/10/1611, Charles IX of Sweden died aged 61. He was succeeded by his 16-year old son, Gustavus II.
12/3/1610, Swedish troops under Jacob de la Gardie took Moscow.
18/3/1609, Frederick III, King of Denmark, born.
4/4/1588, Frederick II, King of Denmark, died, aged 53. He was succeeded by his 10-year old son, Christian IV.
13/12/1570, The Peace of Stettin ended the war between Sweden and Denmark, recognising Swedish independence.
9/12/1564, Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, was born.
29/9/1560, Gustavus Vasa, King of Sweden, died.
25/6/1560, Gustavus I of Sweden abdicated, aged 64. He was succeeded by his son, Charles IX.
1/7/1534, Frederick II, King of Denmark, was born.
6/6/1523, Gustavus Vasa, aged 27, was elected King of Sweden, and finally established full independence from Denmark.
4/11/1520, Christian was crowned King of Sweden.
12/5/1496, Gustavus Vasa, King of Sweden, was born.
30/10/1495, An explosion at Vyborg Castle deterred Russian forces who were invading Sweden through Karelia.
21/5/1481, Christian I, King of Denmark and Norway, died and was succeeded by his son John (1481-1513).
15/5/1470, Charles VIII, King of Sweden, died
28/10/1412, Margaret, Queen of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, died.
20/6/1397. The Union of Kalmar united Denmark, Norway, and Sweden under one monarch. See 1380.
1380, Hakon, King of Norway, died. His surviving wife was Queen Margaret (born 1353, married 1363, and daughter of Waldemar III, King of Denmark). Her son Olaf died in 1387, which meant she became ruler of Denmark also. She defeated Albert, King of Sweden, thereby gaining that country too. Margaret then instituted the Union of Kalmar, 1380, to permanently unite these three countries. Margaret died in 1412.
8/7/1319, Three-year-old Magnus Eriksson was elected king of Sweden, thus uniting it with Norway. His mother Ingeborg of Norway was given a place in the regency in both Sweden and Norway.
31/8/1314, King Hakon V Magnusson moved the capital of Norway from Bergen to Oslo, where he built Akershus Fortress. Norway ws ruled from this fortress the next 500 years.
15/12/1263, Haakon IV, King of Norway, died.
15/7/1240. Alexander Nevski defeated the Swedish army, led by General Briger Jarl, on the banks of the Neva.
1090, King Ingo of Sweden acceded (died 1112).
Ca. 985, Erik the Red was banished from Iceland, and sailed to Greenland where he founded a new Viking colony. The name ‘Greenland’ may have been chosen to attract new colonists to an inhospitable place where farming was only possible, with a short growing season, in the extreme south-west. The Vinking colony died out in the 1400s as climatic conditiins deteriorated.
866, Floki Vilgeroarson, Norseman, made an early expedition to Iceland, and named it ‘Ice-Island’ due to the quantity of ice in its fjords.
850, Gorm the Elder united Jutand and the Danish Islands, and became King of Denmark.
800, The Vikings discovered the Faeroe Islands.