Some consider Leif Erikson to be the first European to reach America — and over a century ago, there was a push to recognize him over Columbus.
Leif Erikson Day doesn’t get as much recognition because it’s overshadowed by Monday’s Columbus Day — which, unlike Erikson’s day, is a federal holiday, meaning government employees get off work, as do many students and private-sector workers.
Christopher Columbus and his holiday are controversial today largely because of the way he and subsequent European explorers and settlers treated Native Americans. For years, there have been campaigns to celebrate an Indigenous Peoples’ Day. But in the late 19th and early 20th century, many people had a different problem with Columbus. They argued that the real credit for discovering North America should go to Erikson, whom they believed arrived 500 years before Columbus. Plus, unlike Columbus, he wasn’t Italian or Catholic.
This was a time of fervent anti-immigrant and anti-Italian sentiment in many parts of the United States, and “the idea that there might be a story where the first Europeans to America are not southern Europeans” was appealing, says Dr. JoAnne Mancini, senior history lecturer at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth and author of “Discovering Viking America.”
That aside, on October 10th in Philadelphia the Keystone State Skins held their 9th Leif Erikson Celebration to commemorate Leif Erikson. It was held behind the American Swedish Museum near the Boathouse. At the base of the Thorfinn Karlsefni statue
“Following Leif Ericson’s Discovery of North America in 1003, Thorfinn Karlsefni with 165 men and 35 women established a settlement which lasted for 3 years and his son Snorri was born in North America,” Leif Ericson Society of Pennsylvania, Scandinavian Craft Club of Philadelphia, October 9, 1974.
On October 9th, 2015, a Presidential Proclamation was made in observance of Leif Erikson day
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 9, 2015, as Leif Erikson Day. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs to honor our rich Nordic-American heritage.
Despite the observance and traditional celebration the Thorfinn Karlsefni statue was defaced and vandalized by the “Torch Antifa” whom some consider ‘extremist neo-Communist thugs.’
As always, the self anointed “Hatewatchers” are mysteriously blind to crimes which don’t fit their narrative. When a Confederate monument is vandalized or European memeorial is defaced, it is no big deal, but when a swastika is painted on a synagogue, it is a “hate crime.” They had nothing to say about the jihadist Muhammad Abdulazeez, or the Oregon shooter Christopher Harper-Mercer or Vester Flanagan’s race war. They made excuses for the violence of the Tinley Park 5. They celebrated the hate, vulgarity, violence, and vandalism of the mob in Washington, DC. They support the #BlackLivesMatter movement when it burns downs cities and assassinates police officers.
“Diverse” means formerly White… –Bob Whitaker
Bob Whitaker: A true American and former Reagan Administration appointee.
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