By Jessica Serrenti
Each year, the president of the United States proclaims October 9 Leif Erikson Day. But who was Leif Erikson and why do we have a day in his honor? We searched EBSCOhost’s Academic Search Complete, the Gale Virtual Reference Library, and Films on Demand to find the answers.
According to Michael Lemonick and Andrea Dorfman’s article titled “The Amazing Vikings,” Leif Eriksson first came to North America in the 13th century and established a settlement called Vinland (Land of Wine) for the wild grapes that grew there in what is now Parks Canada. The settlement did not stay in North America for long, but did leave behind archeological evidence. Leif Eriksson is recognized as one of the first founders of the Americas before Christopher Columbus. Parks Canada has many national parks and museums today to preserve artifacts from the settlement. Check out their website to learn more about Leif Eriksson and see pictures of Vinland.
Today, we celebrate Leif Erikson Day to remember the first Nordic-American immigrants. It is also a day to remember the immigrants who sailed from their home in Norway to New York City in 1825. To learn more about the early lives of the Norwegian American immigrants, click on the link to Films on Demands’s video titled “Go West, Young Man.”
Gale Virtual Reference Library offers a biography of Leif Eriksson’s life in the World Eras Encyclopedia Volume 4. Click on the link to view the book’s pages.
Now you can go impress your professors and friends with the history you learned about Leif Erikson Day. Enjoy your day!