October 9, 2015

Happy Lief Erikson Day!


Today we celebrate the first Norsemen to arrive in North America, led by Lief Erikson. Lief was one of three sons of Erik the Red, born shortly before 1000 A.D. in Greenland, which his father Erik had colonized. Lief traveled to Norway and was converted to Christianity under the guidance of King Olaf I Tryggvason who had brought Christianity to Norway.  The King sent him home to spread Christianity across Greenland. His ships went off course and he landed in North America, Nova Scotia most likely. He named this new land "Vinland". He had arrived nearly five hundred years before the explorer Christopher Columbus. Although the exact location of "Vinland" is unknown the ruins of a Viking village with  thousands of Viking artifacts was discovered in 1963 in northern Newfoundland.

October 9th was chosen, not because it had any relationship to Lief Erikson (or just before Columbus Day) but it is the date that the ship "Restauration" left Norway for America in 1825, beginning Norwegian immigration to the United States.



Happy Lief Erikson Day!

- Ranae