As I’m sure you have heard, Columbus did not actually “discover” America. The Vikings were here long before the Italian ever set foot on dry land. But let’s face it, the Spanish (ehem Catholic Church) had a better PR campaign about “discovering” the New World so everyone just assumed they were the first. I mean, why would the church and the royal crown ever lie to the people?! Plus, the Vikings were way more humble about their findings and didn’t really care about being the first to land anywhere as long as they could get some women and booze.
Leif Erikson is credited with being the actual first European to step foot on the American continent (even though he landed in Canada, which we all know if not America, but whatever, close enough) Columbus never even set foot on the North American continent. He landed in the Bahamas and Cuba! So he REALLY shouldn’t be credited with discovering “America” at all but with discovering the Caribbean! (Which is a pretty sweet vacation area, but still NOT America)
In 1964 President Johnson decided that he was tired of Americans only celebrating the fraud Christopher Columbus and so he declared that October 9th would be known as Leif Erikson day in order to celebrate the true explorer. But Americans were so used to Columbus Day that Erikson Day never really stuck.
If you ask me it would be a way better holiday if we celebrated Viking-style: pillaging, drinking, some light rough-housing and of course the plundering of women! Wait, scratch that last one.
I just feel so lied to and betrayed by my elementary school teachers. They drilled into our head “in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue” but that doesn’t even matter! How am I suppose to be all that I can be as an American when we can’t even get our origin story right?! I guess I’ll just have to celebrate America in the only way I truly know how: beer and fireworks! That’s how Leif would have wanted it! So Happy Vikings Day.