Yesterday was October the 12th, that means it was Columbus Day. Saturday was the 9th, which means it was Lief Erikson day. No one gets Lief Erikson day off from work, but then not many people get Columbus day off either.
But I've noticed something on a large number of websites. Every one that is running a fluff piece on Columbus, makes mention of the earlier Norse exploration of the "New World".. But they always do it with the caveat that they "Maybe" found it first. Now, I don't understand this.. since I thought the L'Anse Aux Meadows site was pretty certainly Norse, and pretty certainly built around the year 1000. Which is just shy of 500 years before Columbus "Discovered" jack diddly.
I realize that in the US, there are, how shall we say, political ramifications of this shifting history. If you've seen the TV show "The Sopranos" they show several very outraged people's reaction to the altering of teaching about Columbus. But cultural identity means nothing compared to Facts. And the Fact is, that neither Lief Erikson, The Chinese Grand Fleet, or Columbus "Discovered" the new world. But as far as we know, even if it wasn't Lief specifically.. the Vikings were the first Europeans to build a settlement here as far as the current research allows us to know.
So why do they persist in making it sound as if its just a theory?