Happy Leif Erikson Day!
But who was Leif Erikson and why does he have a national day of observance?
Leif Erikson Day is an annual American observance which occurs on October 9. It honors Leif Erikson, the Norse explorer who led the first Europeans believed to have set foot in North America.
Leif Erikson (Icelandic: Leifur Eiríksson, Old Norse: Leifr Eiríksson or Norwegian: Leiv Eiriksson)
The date ‘October 9’ is not associated with any particular event in Leif Erikson’s life. The date was chosen because the ship named ‘Restauration’ coming from Stavanger, Norway had arrived in New York Harbor on October 9, 1825, at the start of the first organized immigration from Norway to the United States.
Hey and this time we asked to come in instead of just showing up in longships and announcing how much silver it was going to cost you. Sorry – Norwegian Viking humor.
So who was Leif Erikson?
Leif Erikson (970 – 1020 AD) was an Icelandic explorer and the first known European to have discovered North America (excluding Greenland), before Christopher Columbus.
- Office of the Press Secretary (October 8, 2015). “Presidential Proclamation — Leif Erikson Day, 2015”. The White House.
- Anderson, Rasmus Bjorn (1874). America Not Discovered by Columbus: an historical sketch of the discovery of America by the Norsemen in the Tenth Century. Chicago: S.C. Griggs.
- Saga of the Greenlanders (Grœnlendinga Saga)
- Saga of Erik the Red (Eiríks Saga Rauða)
- Keneva Kunz (Translator), Gisli Sigurdsson (Introduction). “The Vinland Sagas”. (Penguin Classics).2008.
- T.J. Oleson. Early Voyages and Northern Approaches 1000-1632. Oxford University Press (1964). ISBN 978-0196473192
- The Sagas of Icelanders: A Selection. New York: Penguin, 2001. ISBN 978-0141000039.
- Farley Mowat, Westviking: The Ancient Norse in Greenland and North America. McClelland & Stewart,1973. ISBN 978-0771065798
- Kane, Njord. The Vikings : The Story of a People. 2nd ed. Yukon: Spangenhelm, 2015. ISBN 978-1943066018
by Njord Kane © 2016 Spangenhelm Publishing
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