Leifur Eiríksson Day

Updated: Jul 11



Leifur Eiríksson was born about 970 in Iceland and is regarded as the first European to land in North America nearly 500 years before Christopher Columbus.

His mother is Thjóðhildr and his father is the famous Norwegian Viking named Eirík the Red.

October 9, 1929, the Wisconsin Legislature passed a bill to make October 9 “Leif Erikson Day”.

That date was not special in his life but was chosen because it commemorates the first organized immigration in 1825 from Norway to the United States.

In 1964, the US Congress proclaimed October 9 of each year as “Leifur Eiríksson Day”.


Icelandic Roots is a non-profit, educational, heritage organization specializing in genealogy, history & traditions of our Icelandic ancestors.

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