The Troubling History of the Fight to Honor Leif Erikson—Not Columbus—as the Man Who 'Discovered America'Breaking News
tags: Columbus Day, Christopher Columbus, Leif Erikson, Leif Erikson Day
Many Americans will celebrate Monday as Columbus Day, a federal holiday that marks the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s Spanish-led expedition arriving in the Americas, or as Indigenous Peoples Day, to acknowledge those who were displaced by European settlement in North America.
Others, however, will wait for Tuesday to celebrate something else: Leif Erikson Day, a celebration of the Viking explorer credited with reaching the continent around the year 1000, nearly 500 years before Columbus did.
But, while it may sound only fair to share the credit for exploration, the movement to recognize Erikson also has a dark back story, as Leif Erikson Day’s history is connected to nativist backlash against immigration to the United States. At one point, for some people, the debate over who really “discovered” America came down to one question: who was whiter?
comments powered by Disqus
- The History Briefing on the 30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall
- History Says Bloomberg 2020 Would Be a Sure Loser
- Then and now: How Trump impeachment hearing is different
- Poland asks Netflix to make changes to documentary about Nazi death camp guard
- What is a caliph? The Islamic State tries to boost its legitimacy by hijacking a historic institution
- Black Perspectives Publishes Online Forum: "Researching, Teaching, and Embodying the Black Diaspora"
- Distinguished professor, civil war historian James I. “Bud” Robertson Jr. passes away
- Noel Ignatiev, scholar who called for abolishing whiteness, dies at 78
- Historians Elizabeth Catte, Rebecca Solnit, and Peniel Joseph Quoted in Washington Post Article, "The Democrats Are Moving Left. Will America Follow?"
- When Southern Historians Made History Themselves