Today in Medieval History: Happy Leif Erikson Day!

Today is officially Leif Erikson Day. Commemorated as a national holiday by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, the holiday is an observance of Leif Erikson and his companions as the first known Europeans to set foot in North America. The holiday gives the nation a chance to honor the contributions of Americans of Nordic descent and the overall spirit of exploration and discovery.

The date of October 9th is not the actual date Leif Erikson landed in North America, but it was chosen because the ship Restauration arrived in New York Harbor on October 9th, 1825, from Stavanger, Norway, which marked the beginnings of the first organized immigration from Norway to the U.S.

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