It's Columbus Day or rather the government holiday for Columbus Day so that a long weekend can be had by those fortunate enough to have it off. October 12th is traditionally Columbus Day but as with many holidays that have been moved out of convenience, the real date seems to have been forgotten. I personally don't forget because it's also my father's birthday - he'll be celebrating 91 yrs young.
Christopher Columbus is attributed with the founding of the Americas in 1492. Think of the excitement, the fear and speculation that he and his crews might never have returned. After all, it was still believed the earth was flat and that they would sail directly off the edge if they went too far. We keep with the tradition that it was Columbus and his men that first set eyes on the Americas. Of course, he landed in Central America, not New York City.
Many forget that it was the Vikings who first landed along the northeastern coast of North America nearly 500 years earlier. Of course, it wasn't as well documented or sponsored so perhaps that's the real reason we don't call it Leif Erikson Day instead of Columbus Day. However, yesterday - October 9 - was actually Leif Erikson Day and many, especially among the Scandinavian people of North America, do celebrate it. He represents the first Scandinavian to set foot on what is, today, American soil.
I grew up celebrating Columbus Day. We told the story of how in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue in three ships, The Niña, Pinta, and Santa María. Even today, there are parades in some of our biggest cities and of course, a three-day weekend for government employees. But what if it had been the Vikings who were given the real credit? Would it have made a difference to us?
Oh well, until someone pens it, ... hmmm ... doesn't sound like a bad idea actually, perhaps I will. Until then, we're happy with our Vikings, aren't we? Romance Novels featuring Vikings, I mean - like in Sandra Hill's newest release, THE NORSE KING'S DAUGHTER or perhaps in Connie Mason's VIKING!