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On Leif Erikson Day, conquer the seas … or maybe your debt

Emily Crone

Today is Leif Erikson Day. Erikson was a Viking and, according to today’s historical consensus, the first European to venture to the continent of North America. The Nordic explorer came here nearly 500 years before Christopher Columbus.

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A 1968 U.S. postage stamp honoring Leif Erikson and his expeditions.

The day is marked by a presidential proclamation, which was issued in 1964. There is also a Leif Erikson Day Celebration today held in Philadephia that honors the explorer and aims to promote knowledge and a realistic history about the Viking culture and people.

Today’s date is actually not related to Erikson’s life, which is a shame, because it gives us one fewer reason to mention (and torture our spell-checkers with) the names of his father and mother, Erik Thorvaldsson (Erik the Red)  and Thjodhild, or his great-grandfather, Ãœlfur Högnason.

No, today is Leif Erikson Day because it coincides with the first organized immigration from Norway to the United States, which happened on this day in 1825.

Vikings are remembered as bold, adventurous explorers and warriors. In that vein, while it might not be as adventurous as sailing the ocean and discovering new continents, go out and celebrate Erikson by conquering your debt, aggressively saving and fight off the urge to spend those hard-earned dollars on frivolous purchases.

See related: Icelandic travel paid for with credit card, kronur, Iceland trip preparation provides education on travel, money

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