Leif Erikson

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Faroe Islands postage stamp Discovery of America: Leif Erikson.
1968 U.S. postage stamp

Leif Eriksson or Ericsson, Erickson, and Ericksson (c. 970 – c. 1020) was a Norse explorer.[1] He was the first known European to travel to North America.[1]

Erikson was probably born in Iceland between 970-975 and grew up in Greenland. He had two brothers named Thorstien and Thorvald and a sister named Freydís. His father was Erik the Red,[1] who had created colonies in Greenland. Eriksson is said to have visited North America long before anyone else in Europe did.[1] According to Icelandic sagas (stories) he started a Viking settlement in Vinland. Many people think this was L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland in Canada. After landing in North America and when he was going back to Greenland, he rescued a man in his crew who had sunk. From that moment on, he was called “Leif the Lucky”. He generally believed to be the first European to reach the North American continent nearly four centuries before Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Leif Eriksson the Lucky". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 6 March 2011.