Happy Leif Erickson Day!

October 8, 2010  |  Events

Happy Leif Erikson day! Well, happy pre-Leif Erickson day! The gem to the left up above is from the Sioux Falls Family YMCA & on the right is Leif in front of Hallgrímskirkja, in Reykjavik, Iceland – a present from the good ol’ USA .

Today’s his day and we’re going to party like it’s 999ad! To celebrate, we’re offering a 25% discount in our new store all weekend long! Use the code “LEIF”

In fourteen hundred ninety two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue

The land was grand which he found
which Leif Erickson should be renowned

for first finding this land a new
in the year one thousand two

Check after the jump to some background on Leif & this day

Leif Erikson was born of Norwegian descent around 970 CE in Iceland. It is thought that his father and grandfather were outlaws and explorers around Scandinavia and Greenland. His father founded two settlements in Greenland. Leif had two brothers and one sister. He married a woman named Thorgunna and they had one son, called Thorkell Leifsson.
Leif Erikson went to Norway to work for King Olaf I of Norway. During his stay, he converted to Christianity. When he returned to Island, he bought a boat and, in 1003, set out to explore the land west of Greenland that had been discovered by Bjarni Herjolfsson, and older explorer. The land that he had discovered was actually Newfoundland, which is now part of Canada. The ‘Saga of the Greenlanders’ tells of his adventures.

It is thought that he visited Baffin Island and Labrador and settled on the Northern part of the island of Newfoundland, now all part of Canada. There are speculations that Leif Erikson or later explorers may have traveled into the area that is now Minnesota in the United States. Some controversial archaeological finds, such as the Kensington Runestone and the Maine Penny, support this theory, but it is not considered proven.

October 9 was chosen because it is the anniversary of the day that the ship Restauration arrived in New York from Stavanger, Norway on October 9, 1825. This was the start of organized immigration from Scandinavia to the USA. The date is not associated with an event in Leif Erikson’s life.

Here’s an article on the Sons of Norway which gives a pretty good history on Leif Leif Erickson Was Historical A Character as Columbus


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