U.S. Embassy in Oslo celebrate Independence Day


Ambassador Whitney's youngest son, Cope Whitney, introduced his father. Phot: norway.usembassy.gov

Ambassador Whitney's youngest son, Cope Whitney, introduced his father. Phot: norway.usembassy.gov.

The U.S. Embassy in Oslo celebrated Independence Day on June 18 this year. They celebrate early every year before friends and contacts head off for summer vacation. 

The occasion also marked the farewell to Ambassador Whitney after his 3 1/2 years as the U.S. Ambassador to Norway. Th Ambassador and his family left for Washington D.C. two days later.

The 1000 guests did not let the pouring rain stop them from joining us in the garden of the Ambassador’s residence Villa Otium to eat hamburgers, listen to the U.S. Navy Brass Band ‘The Diplomats’ and taste the more than forty U.S. wines offered in our special wine tasting. It was a true celebration of the strong U.S.-Norwegian relationship.

Villa Otium, built in 1911, was designed by renowned Norwegian architect Henrik Bull for Hans Andreas Olsen, the Norwegian Consul General at St. Petersburg and his wife Ester, the niece of Alfred Nobel. The building recalls a Russian palace the family admired. The three-story villa is stylistically Art Nouveau, or Jugendstyle. Mrs. Olsen sold the property to the United States Government in 1924 — the $125,000 price reportedly making it the most expensive American residence abroad at the time and requiring Congressional approval. 

The Norwegian Preservation Agency has identified the Villa Otium as significant historical architecture.

Photos and Souce: Norway.usembassy.gov

Clockwise from left top: 1. The U.S. Marine Guards performed the Color Guard ceremony as the American anthem was played. 2. Ambassador whitney and family. 3. The highly respected Ambassador and friends. 4. and 5. The garden was decorated with tents, flags and balloons. 5. The guests enjoyed the food and great wine while the rain was pouring down outside.


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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.