Chances are good that Lyndon B. Johnson didn’t have a scintilla of Scandinavian in him (although he was occasionally likened to a Viking). Nevertheless, in 1964 he proclaimed October 9 Leif Erikson Day in honor of the man President Calvin Coolidge in 1925 leif-erikson-4grudgingly admitted was the true discoverer of America, not that charlatan Columbus.

In 1930, Wisconsin became the first state to bestow a holiday on Erikson, son of Erik the Red, son of Thorvald the Blue, son of Knut the Orange, son of Sven the Green and so on. A year later Minnesota jumped on the Viking bandwagon. Come 1956, South Dakota, Illinois, Colorado, Washington, California and the Canbadian province of Saskatchewan were also singing Leif’s praises. Las Vegas, Nevada inexplicably made the day official in 2012.

For the country as a whole the day remains an observance not a holiday, requiring an annual Presidential proclamation. October 9 probably had no significance to Erikson (other than a time to thrown on an extra bearskin). The day was chosen because in 1825 the ship Restauration coming from Stavanger, Norway, arrived in New York Harbor beginning immigration from Norway.

Vikings, of course, are known for their raping and pillaging throughout their history and for a rather devilish sense of humor.

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Inspirational Quote for 10/9/16

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