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The solution to the Columbus controversy



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Sonofjafar

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I vote we move Columbus Day to the 9th of October and just have it be Lief Erickson Day (which is technically already an observance in America). The guy didn’t mistake America for a completely different continent and didn’t kill and/or enslave any natives. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong about that. Out of all the people who have been listed as “discovering America”, Lief Erickson seems like the C least problematic to give the title and holiday
 

Soldier

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The guy didn’t didn’t kill and/or enslave any natives. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong about that.
I will,

Leif Erikson, was first and foremost a Viking. While it is true that we don't know as much of his life/accomplishments because Christians at the time didn't think it imperative to document the life of a pagan (though the then king of Norway did convert him to Christianity). Vikings have a bloodied history of pillaging and ransacking towns, most notably, taking people as thralls (which if you're unfamiliar, is what slaves were called during the VIking age). While Leif Erikson DID arrive on American soil first before Columbus was even born, his status as a Viking didn't make him a saint. His father Erik the Red had thralls, his brothers had thralls, and he most certainly took a few thralls during the summer time.

The guy didn’t mistake America for a completely different continent

He might not have, but he wasn't intending on discovering anything. Notably, of the two accounts of him discovering Vinland, among his crew were priests and clerics which he intended to have spread Christianity in Greenland, but was blown off course. If this account is true, he was the first missionary to bring Christianity to America by complete accident and predating Colombus' birth by a few hundred years.

Ultimately, Leif Erikson may have been a Christian, but was a Viking first and foremost. You can make the argument that he's on par with Colombus' in terms of atrocities, but given his proficiency in combat (especially naval warfare, which at the time was a new concept) made him much more lethal to be around. Don't forget, his father was Erik the Red, a notorious outlaw for his many crimes.

So you've got a choice between a colonizer and a viking for the "mascot" of the day of October 9th, pick and choose.
 
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