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Leif Erickson

Leif Ericson, the son of Eric the Red, was the first white man to set foot on American soil. According to legends and historical data left by these hardy navigators, Leif accidentally landed somewhere in North America in the year 1000, nearly 500 years before Columbus made his famed voyage.

Fifteen years after Eric settled in Greenland, Leif Ericson told his father he would like to visit their Mother Country, Norway, which he had never seen. Accordingly, Leif set sail, stopped at Iceland, the Faroes, and the Shetland Islands, and reached Norway in the year 999. There he spent the winter at the court of King Olaf, who requested him to return to Greenland to introduce Christianity among the settlers.

On Leif's return voyage, his ships were blown out of their course, and after many days of sailing southward, he landed on a far more beautiful land than either Iceland or Greenland. Because grapes were found there, he called it Vinland. It has since been identified as the eastern coast of North America, the exact location being unknown.

Leif Ericson and his men are said to have stayed in Vinland for some time, and then to have gone back to Greenland. Leif Ericson never saw Vinland again, although another party of Vikings is supposed to have attempted a settlement there two years later. Leif Ericson, was also called Leif, the Lucky.


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