Historical and old photos of Bodø, Nordland
The village of Bodø was granted township status in 1816 and soon after, in 1818, it was known for the Bodø affair, smuggling by British merchants that later were compensated by Norway. The town of Bodø was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). On 1 January 1938, a part of the neighboring municipality of Bodin (population: 559) was transferred into the town of Bodø. On 1 January 1959, another part of Bodin (population: 1,303) was transferred into Bodø.
During the 1960s, there were many municipal mergers across Norway due to the work of the Schei Committee. On 1 January 1968, the town of Bodø (population: 14,252) was merged with the municipality of Bodin (population: 13,323) and this created the much larger Bodø Municipality. On 1 January 1984, the Tårnvika and Øygården areas (population: 22) northeast of the village of Kjerringøy in Sørfold Municipality was transferred to Bodø. On 1 January 2005, the entire municipality of Skjerstad was merged into the municipality of Bodø.
World War II
Most of the town of Bodø was destroyed during a Luftwaffe attack on 27 May 1940. Six thousand people were living in Bodø, and 3500 people lost their homes in the attack. Fifteen people lost their lives during the air attack (two British soldiers and 13 Norwegians).
Due to the acute lack of housing, the Swedish Government helped build 107 apartments in the winter of 1941. These houses were built tightly together just outside the town. This small area, today in the heart of Bodø, is still called Svenskebyen ("the Swedish Town"). The town was subsequently rebuilt after the war. The rebuilding ended in 1959 with the completion of the new town hall. German shipping in and around Bodø was attacked in October 1943 in Operation Leader.