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The Birthplace of America

By Linda Tancs

Unearthed by a local farmer in 1898, the Kensington Runestone is a grey, earthy rock with an inscription purportedly made by the Vikings more than a century before Christopher Columbus sojourned to America. This artifact is displayed in Alexandria, Minnesota, a town therefore proclaiming itself to be the “birthplace of America.” Doubtful of the claim? Maybe you can coax a response out of Big Ole, a 28-foot fiberglass statue of a Viking that has welcomed visitors to town since 1965.


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