The first issue of Heimskringla, named after Snorri Sturluson's History of the Kings of Norway, appeared on September 9, 1886 and it was the largest Icelandic newspaper that had ever been published. Freeman Anderson, Eggert Johansson, and Einar Hjorleifsson were the first editors.
The first issue of Lögberg was published January 10, 1888. It was named for the rock from which the law speaker announced the laws at the ancient Icelandic Althing, but also intended to suggest the common English newspaper named Tribune. The first editor was Einar Hjorleifsson.
The oldest continuously published ethnic newspaper in North America, the Lögberg-Heimskringla survives because it fulfills an important function by creating community for those of Icelandic descent in Canada and the United States of America and providing a link between Iceland and North America.
Lögberg and Heimskringla joined forces in 1959.
The Lögberg-Heimskringla newspaper is an independent, not-for-profit organization led by a group of dedicated community volunteers, committed to the continuance of the Icelandic culture in North America.
The board envisions Lögberg-Heimskringla to be the primary heritage cultural media for the Icelandic communities in Canada and the United States of America by publishing news and articles of interest to all people of Icelandic ancestry.
The by-laws of Lögberg-Heimskringla state that its purpose is to "Preserve, strengthen and promote the Icelandic identity and heritage in North America, primarily through the publishing of a newspaper, and in the process to collect, maintain and publish in other formats, documents relating to the people of Icelandic descent."
Lögberg-Heimskringla has seven guiding principles which are representative of the values held by the founders of the two original newspapers and which have served to sustain the newspapers throughout their long histories. These principles continue today to guide the Lögberg-Heimskringla team in the operation and management of the newspaper. They are:
- Maintain a high standard of quality and ethics in the editorial content
- Support and promote the Icelandic language, culture and heritage
- Support and promote Icelandic people, communities, businesses and organizations
- Promote and facilitate communication between Icelandic communities in North America and Iceland
- Produce a newspaper that appeals to all age groups
- Work as a team towards a common goal: the success of the newspaper
- Respect the opinions of the readers and of each other
The significant new and broadened scientific research, business and commercial activities between Iceland and North America have added an important element to Lögberg-Heimskringla's traditional mandate and the paper is increasingly supplying a communications conduit between businesses and governments in the three countries.