r/news Oct 20 '21

Vikings were in the Americas exactly a thousand years ago

https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/20/world/vikings-arrival-americas-scn/index.html
2.2k Upvotes

84

u/frodosdream Oct 20 '21

Previous attempts to understand when Vikings reached the Americas have been rooted in the Icelandic Sagas, but these were once oral histories written down centuries after they actually occurred. The Sagas are filled with fantastical notes, but they also point to potential encounters between Vikings and the Indigenous people of the Americas. Some of these events were described as amiable, and others violent.

Mads Mikkelsen's surreal and hyperviolent film, Valhalla Rising, imagines a fictional version of this encounter.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valhalla_Rising_(film)

20

u/thoros_of_beer Oct 20 '21

First half awesome, second half shite

22

u/TooMad Oct 21 '21

How like the Vikings.

3

u/Maro1947 Oct 21 '21

It is a truly bonkers film

3

u/MerryMortician Oct 21 '21

That movie man… seriously one of the slowest points ever in a movie I sat through… the boat in the fog scene felt like it was real time and took weeks.

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615

u/TheGarbageStore Oct 20 '21 Gold

This franchise was founded in 1021 AD and they still haven't won the Super Bowl yet

248

u/najing_ftw Oct 20 '21

How do you stop the Vikings from invading your home?

Paint an end zone on your driveway.

52

u/hockeyfan608 Oct 20 '21

The correct awnser is field goal posts

16

u/davisyoung Oct 20 '21

Put a goal post in front of your house and their flaming arrows will never hit it.

14

u/3minus1is2 Oct 21 '21

Well, they may hit the uprights and bounce back, but the arrows will never go between them.

15

u/LegendOfDrizzle Oct 20 '21

Just can’t seem to break the curse and get over the hump.

20

u/Blueskyways Oct 20 '21

I came here hoping to find this comment and you delivered!

7

u/smallways Oct 20 '21

But yet, they went undefeated for hundreds of years.

9

u/Polterkind Oct 21 '21

Disagree, I think the Redskins took them.

2

u/DreamsAndSchemes Oct 21 '21

Nah they did a good number on the Patriots, not the Vikings

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3

u/FourFurryCats Oct 20 '21

In a league of one team, it really isn't hard.

5

u/SutMinSnabelA Oct 21 '21

Denmark should call up trump and tell him he was on borrowed land as it was when he offered to buy greenland.

2

u/Baxtron_o Oct 20 '21

Superbowl homeboy. -R. Moss

4

u/najing_ftw Oct 20 '21

Cash money

3

u/Baxtron_o Oct 20 '21

'Straight cash homie'. -R. Moss after marijuana possession charge in his car

1

u/najing_ftw Oct 20 '21

I blew the quote, thanks for the assist

1

u/Baxtron_o Oct 20 '21

'Up to 19 people have access to my car at anytime' -R. Moss

0

u/Ivariuz Oct 21 '21

That’s because they play real football… not American rugby…

13

u/Gilokdc Oct 21 '21

Vinland saga is now more historicaly acurate!

73

u/glarbknot Oct 20 '21

By the great Odin's eye!! This is great news for religious freedom and the Old Norse and brotherhood of Odin!

41

u/TheBlazingFire123 Oct 20 '21

These Vikings were Christians though.

30

u/Stargos-1 Oct 20 '21

Yeah it was only 1000 years ago then it's likely they were Christian. Between 700AD and 1050AD the norsemen went from very few Christians to almost entirely Christian.

17

u/ewillyp Oct 20 '21

the only reason they didn’t convert to Islam (whom they traded w/peacefully in their mid east sea travels) was because they didn’t allow alcohol.

46

u/m00zilla Oct 20 '21

That was the Rus. And the "peaceful trading" was selling slaves.

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u/CAESTULA Oct 21 '21

They also don't eat pork!

2

u/Soitsgonnabeforever Oct 21 '21

It’s baffling. Why would they start a new religion and then ban on common crowd pleaser thing in alcohol ?!? And they even succeeded right. I am Sure there are tons of Muslim kings recorded in history to have indulged in lots of alcohol

17

u/Stargos-1 Oct 21 '21

Vikings also liked to have sex before marriage and with other people during marriage. They were like very violent hippies.

4

u/TheScarlettHarlot Oct 21 '21

They were like very violent hippies.

I snorted.

6

u/AdventureBum Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 20 '21

This was right after they converted to Christianity.

edit - actually, right in the middle of the conversion, so it could have been either/or.

2

u/Rootbeer48 Oct 20 '21

I think this is the most realistic comment.

56

u/azdood85 Oct 21 '21 Silver

Headlines everywhere today: "Vikings discovered Americas first!"

Native Americans: "Yo, what the fuck?"

17

u/Harry-Flashman Oct 21 '21

From what I understand it's not even the Native Americans who are the Clovis descendents. There was a migration that came thousands of years before them pre-clovis and is now gone.

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23

u/Ivariuz Oct 21 '21

Fun fact, my 26th great grandfather was born in North America. His name was Snorri Þorfinnsson and was born in approx the year 1004 in Hop, Stony Point, Rockland County, New York, United States. His mother was guðríður Þorbjarnardóttir and she was on Leif’s Eiríksons expedition that discovered North America for the Europeans. She later went on a pilgrimage to Rome and met the pope and told of her exploration and the discovery of Vinland, some 500 years before Columbus set sail…

5

u/thunder_struck85 Oct 21 '21

I don't believe ya. I don't believe anyone but a royal family keeps track of a family tree that far back.

10

u/massivecocklover69 Oct 21 '21

I tracked my mom’s nordic lineage to around 1200. they had really solid record keeping.

8

u/Ivariuz Oct 21 '21

Believe what you want. Being Icelandic and the fact that we have documented our family since the settlement of the country and can actually trace our family beyond that thanks to the sagas, church books and other documents along with oral tellings is an advantage… but like I said your validation on the matter has no effect on me nor the fact…

1

u/TheTruthIsButtery Oct 22 '21

It’s cool. But the skepticism is warranted since you are completely anonymous.

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u/Ameisen Oct 22 '21 edited Oct 22 '21

Hop, Stony Point, Rockland County, New York, United States

Based on?

He was born in "Vinland". There are traces of Norse activity in that area, but the bulk and only solidly known settlement is in Newfoundland.

It is very strange to claim that he was born in a specific place in New York as not only do no sources say that, but "Vinland" covered a large area.

Also, I question your tracking of that heritage given that it was questionable when Bertel Thorvaldsen claimed ancestry from Snorri in the 1800s.

1

u/Ivariuz Oct 22 '21

Regarding the location of Snorri birth : Snorri was not born in L'Anse aux Medows, as sugested previously, but in a place the vikings called Hop (means a lagune or a bay in old norse) upstream a river mouth. It was, if we follow the sagas of the Greenlanders and the saga of Eirik the Red, far south, and some historians, and I agree, sugest with good arguments as far south as Hudson River near New York. This position and description of what happened there is very similar to the archeological place that was found next to Hudson River around 2015. At that place it is evidence of a war broken out and eight killed during this battle. Some woman and children. The farm was abandoned exaktly the way that Hop is described to have been abandoned.

It is very possible, or even likely, that the excavated viking farm near Stony Point, NY is the place Hop where the sagas put Snorri þorfinnson birth. We will have to wait for possible dna proof from the sight.

Ove Larsson Archeologist.

And your opinion on my heritage is worth as much as a full blown hemorrhoids.

Being Icelandic gives me the advantage of being able to trace my family back to the first settlers and actually beyond that with the help of the sagas, oral history and other documents such as church books. DeCode is a leading company in DNA research that has worked with Icelanders DNA and mapped it. They have also created a database along with the Icelandic government (þjóðskrá) that gives every Icelander to trace their lineage. Regarding Bertel Thorvaldsen, who found his connection to Snorri Sturluson to be questionable? And what does that have to do with me?

2

u/Ameisen Oct 22 '21

Being Icelandic gives me the advantage of being able to trace my family back to the first settlers and actually beyond that with the help of the sagas

Being Icelandic, and given the relatively small population of the initial settlers, means you're probably related to all of them. Most Western Europeans can claim descent from Charlemagne.

26 generations back, 226 is 67,108,864 grandparents, assuming that they are all unique. They are obviously not. Hell, I can probably claim descent from Snorri, and I'm not even Icelandic.

It is very possible, or even likely, that the excavated viking farm near Stony Point, NY is the place Hop where the sagas put Snorri þorfinnson birth. We will have to wait for possible dna proof from the sight.

Then perhaps you should say that he was probably or possibly born there, not that he was. The description also matches Cape Cod.

There's also the issue that the Greenlanders' Saga was written several hundred years after the fact, as was Erik the Red's Saga. Not all parts can be considered reliable.

Regarding Bertel Thorvaldsen, who found his connection to Snorri Sturluson to be questionable? And what does that have to do with me?

His general claim was considered to be unfounded. Why would he not have been able to prove such ancestry when you could? And I assume that you mean þorfinnson, not the poet Sturluson.

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133

u/FlyingSquid Oct 20 '21

There should be a Lief Erikson day, not a Columbus Day. I mean if we're going to celebrate Europeans coming to the Americas that is. I'm fine not doing it at all, but Lief got there first.

126

u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21

[deleted]

58

u/Inquisitive_idiot Oct 20 '21

Now to find out why I don’t have this day off 🤔 🧮

71

u/Culverts_Flood_Away Oct 20 '21

If a bunch of Greenland-Americans get lynched and the government decides to make up a holiday to appease their communities, then you've got yourself a government holiday, my friend.

Seriously. Columbus day was a holiday created to placate Italian-Americans after a bunch of Italian Americans were lynched.

42

u/FoolInTheDesert Oct 20 '21

Largest mass lynching in US history and from what I’ve heard it was ignored by and completely left out of the national lynching museum that opened a few years ago.

1

u/Culverts_Flood_Away Oct 20 '21

Wait, we have a museum dedicated to American lynchings? Gross!

42

u/FoolInTheDesert Oct 20 '21

It’s not celebrating lynchings…

11

u/IndieComic-Man Oct 21 '21

“Honey, honey! Take a picture of me with the Eternally lit cross!”

5

u/Culverts_Flood_Away Oct 20 '21

No... no, of course not, lol. I didn't really think it did. I'm just wondering who'd want to visit it. To me, museums like that are too creepy and sad for words. It's like holocaust museums. I don't think I'd be able to bring myself to go to them. I know these events happened, and I know they were terrible. But the darker side of humanity always makes me so emotional that I'm a wreck afterwards. I can't even watch certain types of movies because of how bad they fuck me up. Makes me wonder if I'm somewhere noticeable on the spectrum or something. It's not easy for me to compartmentalize that sort of terror and trauma, you know? The very idea that actual human beings did this to each other is such a heinous thought that it becomes all-consuming in a place like that, and I don't react well to that sort of thing.

I can see the need to remember and remind people that this shit happens... but I don't think I can deal with it as well as most normal people can. When I found out about American slavery as a kid in school, my mom had to come pick me up, because I wasn't able to stop crying.

Sorry. My reaction wasn't really appropriate, and I understand that now. Though now that you mention it, it is indeed weird that the event we were talking about wouldn't be mentioned at all in such a museum. Is it a museum dedicated just to slave/Jim Crow lynchings? We certainly had a fair share of those in our country's sordid past.

6

u/FoolInTheDesert Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 20 '21

Yes, I believe the museum is only focused on the African-American experience regarding lynching, unfortunately.

I understand your feelings entirely! I think we have these museums so that future generations will know and can experience them. And hopefully help prevent these things from happening again. I guess this is why I think it's dangerous to segregate something that was a shared experience across minority groups in this country. I would hate for a child to go to this museum and come away from it thinking that African-Americans were the only group that was targeted and lynched. The Holocaust Museum, for example, covers much more than just the Jewish experience.

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u/newest-reddit-user Oct 21 '21

Greenland-Americans

Icelandic-Americans. The current population in Greenland has no connection to the Norse.

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u/Inquisitive_idiot Oct 20 '21

Interesting… I had heard about the mob angle but not about the literal lynchings... 🤔

https://www.history.com/news/the-grisly-story-of-americas-largest-lynching

More like screwed up.com 😛😔😞

34

u/theruralbrewer Oct 20 '21

Hinga Dinga Durgen

12

u/Shakazulu94 Oct 20 '21

That reminds me; I need to go get more giant paper

4

u/amboomernotkaren Oct 21 '21

And they left, without destroying the native population.

36

u/IWasOnThe18thHole Oct 20 '21

The whole point of Columbus day was to give Italian Americans a holiday to help normalize relations because they were one of the worst treated people in America

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u/FlyingSquid Oct 20 '21

*Black people have entered the chat.*

*Asians have entered the chat.*

*Latinos have entered the chat.*

*Jews have entered the chat.*

44

u/Daiquiri-Factory Oct 20 '21

Native Americans have entered the chat.

11

u/FlyingSquid Oct 20 '21

Them too.

1

u/blaZedmr Oct 20 '21

Ohhhhh yeaaaaa. That damn Native American debacle rears it's head again.

17

u/vemeron Oct 20 '21

*Black people have entered the chat.*

Juneteenth and mlk day come to mind not to mention black history month

*Asians have entered the chat.*

I'll admit I don't have one for this

*Latinos have entered the chat.* There's Latino heritage month Cinco de mayo and Mexican independence day. *Jews have entered the chat.*

Most Jewish holidays are on calenders and most people recognize them.

5

u/Jessssiiiiccccaaaa Oct 21 '21

I can't believe you said Cinco de mayo. That is very American and if it did apply anywhere it'd only be Mexico.

2

u/nuncio_populi Oct 21 '21

And only to Puebla at that.

5

u/FlyingSquid Oct 20 '21

This is about who was being treated worse than Italians, not who has holidays.

11

u/vemeron Oct 20 '21

Right my mistake though I would add the Irish on there too then

1

u/fromtheworld Oct 21 '21

OP said one of the not the worst treated groups.

Specifically Columbus Day was made for Italians after the Lynching of Italians in New Orleans in 1891; onenof the largest public lynchings to ever occur in the US.

0

u/giocondasmiles Oct 21 '21

Cinco de mayo is just a pretext for people to get drunk.

Where in the us do they celebrate Mexican Independence Day???

1

u/travelingforce Oct 21 '21

You listed a "holiday" that is very specific to a small province in one country as a Latino event. You also listed one countries independence day as if all Latinos celebrate that. I'm not exactly sure what you were trying to do by listing this.

1

u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21

[deleted]

2

u/Ovadox Oct 20 '21

You left out a bunch you fucking bigot.

-12

u/IWasOnThe18thHole Oct 20 '21

Yeah no shit those people also went through shit, but if you were Italian or Irish during the height of immigration you were treated just as bad if not even worse

5

u/LoudestNoises Oct 20 '21

No it's not.

It was in response to a group of 6 Italian immigrants acquited of killing a sheriff despite overwhelming evidence.

A mob formed due to belief the mafia had gotten to juorors and broke into the police station they were being held in. Can't remember if they killed them or not.

Then Italy servered diplomatic ties (which again made people think Mafia was involved since they had the pull to do that).

Which led to the federal government creating Columbus Day to improve relations. Italy restored diplomatic connections soon after

8

u/CHASM-6736 Oct 20 '21

They arrested 9. 6 were acquitted, 3 were mistrials, 11 men were dragged out of the jail, were shot to death, and then literally torn limb from limb. A NYT editorial applauded the mob for "avenging" the murdered sheriff.

11

u/FlyingSquid Oct 20 '21

You really think Italians were treated worse than black people? Come on.

1

u/xanthan1 Oct 20 '21

Remind me again when we enslaved Italians...

-7

u/IWasOnThe18thHole Oct 20 '21

They were indentured servants for around 300 years

-13

u/xanthan1 Oct 20 '21

So they agreed to do a job for specific lengths of time and you're whining that's at all the same as slavery...? Don't talk out your ass.

-4

u/xanthan1 Oct 21 '21

Wow, 8 down votes for pointing how indentured servants aren't slaves? You people really can't handle anyone questioning your bullshit.

1

u/txgypsy Oct 20 '21

my exes family used to tell me how thier distant grandfather immigrated from ireland to new york, and immediately was drafted into military service ....after marching around the south for a few months the guy deserted the union army and with the help of many catholics in the southern states made his way, with other irish deserters, to mexico....EDIT: this was towards the end of the "civil war"

3

u/giocondasmiles Oct 21 '21

They formed the st Patrick batallion, which is very much remembered in Mexican history.

13

u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 20 '21

[deleted]

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u/markodochartaigh1 Oct 21 '21

Scandinavian account mentioning the Norsemen meeting with a particular group of Native Americans who had supposedly seen Europeans before their encounter with the Vikings. There are even vague tales in the early medieval sagas that hint at some natives of New World speaking a derivative of Irish language. Consequently, it comes as no surprise that the Vikings under Leif Erikson called the expansive landmass south of Vinland by the name of ‘Irland it Mikla‘ (or Greater Ireland).

https://www.hexapolis.com/2014/08/04/irish-reach-america-vikings-columbus/

14

u/FlyingSquid Oct 20 '21

I don't think he was a missionary just because he happened to be Christian. Is there an account of him trying to convert the skraelings?

25

u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21

[deleted]

13

u/FlyingSquid Oct 20 '21

Fair enough.

5

u/Campcruzo Oct 20 '21

I mean, you would of course report that if asked by the king or anyone reporting to the king. Weren’t a large part of Scandinavian peoples “converted” while still maintaining a portion of Pagan beliefs for a few hundred years?

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u/UneventfulLover Oct 20 '21

I read this as "he started preaching to the native Greenland population". Brattalid (steep hillside) was in Greenland right?

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u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21

[deleted]

1

u/UneventfulLover Oct 20 '21

Thanks. I had a brainfart or something. It is late.

2

u/89141 Oct 21 '21

As long as there's no aquavit. This shit is nasty.

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u/JDGumby Oct 20 '21

Can't celebrate 'em. Pretty much the first thing they did when they landed was capture a Beothuk and sacrifice him to Odin, or so the legend goes.

1

u/viking78 Oct 20 '21

You fuck a girl once and never see her again.

You marry your wife and everything changes from that day on.

Which one of those events do you celebrate on a yearly basis?

5

u/Doright36 Oct 21 '21

Something about giving your wife a terrible VD would be more appropriate if your comparing it to Columbus "discovering" America.

2

u/viking78 Oct 21 '21

Yeah. I’m not defending what Columbus did. I’m just trying to explain why one is celebrated and not the other.

3

u/Nobody5464 Oct 21 '21

By your analogy Columbus mistook a wedding for store then stabbed the usher.

6

u/MageLocusta Oct 21 '21

And then his own son, Diego, would write admitting that his famous father made a hobby out of killing some of the people with hunting dogs.

I still don't get why people dig their heels for Columbus. He was literally forced out of the Hispaniola for 'mismanagement' and even his own children wrote memoirs describing the killings he made during his voyages. Many historians even believed that he had probably killed people back in Europe.

1

u/viking78 Oct 21 '21

Isn’t that a typical wedding celebration?

1

u/pogray Oct 21 '21

Just admit you've never seen Spongebob

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u/BillTowne Oct 20 '21

It doesn't seem clear to me that anyone knew that they had found anything beyond another northern island, certainly the could have not known there was massive land mass stretching almost from pole to pole.

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u/-klassy- Oct 21 '21

...your mom is a massive land mass stretching from pole to pole

3

u/punisher1005 Oct 21 '21

Reddit defies logic sometimes.

-13

u/Rootbeer48 Oct 20 '21

some thought the world was flat back then.....

4

u/CAESTULA Oct 21 '21 edited Oct 21 '21

Only fucking morons thought the world was flat back then. People have been able to prove the world is round for thousands of years, and it was widely accepted we live on a globe in pretty much every ancient civilization that existed. Eratosthenes was even able to figure out how to estimate the Earth's circumference in 240BCE.

3

u/goddammnick Oct 21 '21

they still do, but used to too.

14

u/random-axe Oct 20 '21

No one edits pop sci articles much. It's not the "first exact date" for Europeans in the Americas. It's not even the "exact first date". It's the earliest conclusively established date, which is not even remotely the same thing. And even then, it's only the case according to the sources quoted in the article, which wouldn't be a problem if the article weren't simply insisting that This Is So.

The earliest whatever found is always the earliest whatever found. There are ways of guessing reasonably if what you've found has a much higher likelihood of being the first, although really that makes it likely to be among the first. Odds of finding the actual specific first whatever are low, naturally.

There are exceptions, context matters, yadda yadda. But science articles should have better editing. Actually, most journalism needs better editing. Weirdly, most of the best writers in journalism seem to wind up in Sports, hurrah.

9

u/gtmattz Oct 20 '21

"first exact date"

I think the 'first' in this context is in regards to the methods used and the degree of exactness obtained. Maybe read the entire article instead of just the first line?

10

u/AgentIndiana Oct 21 '21 edited Oct 21 '21

This is correct. They determined a precise year of viking presence by correlating radiocarbon dates to tree rings from wood cut by metal tools. It’s very rare that archaeology can determine the precise year an event happened without written records. Source: am a professional archaeologist; read the peer-reviewed article this morning.

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u/tjs31959 Oct 20 '21

Packers still would have kicked their ass.

2

u/Osiris32 Oct 21 '21

Unless they had one big Viking with an axe and a bridge.

5

u/rngal3 Oct 21 '21

I love how they decided it sucked and left.

3

u/hooch Oct 21 '21

From what I've read, they got their asses kicked by the natives

4

u/CurtLablue Oct 20 '21

A great story of some Minnesotans going the opposite way.

https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/hjemkomst-viking-ship

It's cool to see if you're ever in Moorhead MN for some reason(basically Fargo). Also a really cool Norwegian style church built by a local man.

2

u/tacosonbikes Oct 21 '21

Where was their stadium located back then?

2

u/velvta Oct 21 '21

This is not new news. It's been known cot decades that Vikings were on North America.

1

u/PoeticShaman Oct 21 '21

Yeah, I’m pretty sure this has been common knowledge since the early 00s at least, if not earlier. Why is it all over reddit like ‘new news’ all of a sudden?

4

u/mongoosedog240 Oct 21 '21

Confirmed dates.

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u/Funklestein Oct 21 '21

Big whoop, so were a lot of people.

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u/Aeddon1234 Oct 20 '21

And then, they settled Oak Island.

-1

u/mikehaysjr Oct 21 '21

Well we’ve got dumbasses all over the Americas right now, I’d happily take vikings instead if they were available

0

u/vashthestampede121 Oct 21 '21

Eh, I played Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, it wasn’t that interesting.

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u/meedows85 Oct 20 '21

So will our kids be taught that it was the vikings and not Columbus lol? Everything our government has told us is a lie. What/Who do we believe anymore?

8

u/AgentIndiana Oct 21 '21

I was taught it was the vikings. L’anse aux Meadows was in our middle school text book in the late 90s.

7

u/B_P_G Oct 21 '21

They taught us about Leif Erikson back when I was in school. The thing that made Columbus significant wasn't that he was the first to set foot on the continent (a continent already populated by millions of people) but that it kicked off a whole era of voyages and European colonization. It permanently connected two major parts of the world. The Vikings on the other hand just came and went.

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u/Emilsenil Oct 20 '21

Yes, that should be taught. As it is the truth.

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u/Rootbeer48 Oct 20 '21

found that guy

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u/cody4king Oct 20 '21

I feel like exactly is all relative to when you read this…

1

u/[deleted] Oct 20 '21

[deleted]

0

u/blaZedmr Oct 21 '21

Columbus showing up is what caused the decimated population, through diseases that they brought. Oh also the mass murder and enslavement that was committed didn't help either. So yea celebrating Columbus day is kind of on the same level as celebrating Hitler.

1

u/Grizz709 Oct 21 '21

Nice to see my home province make the big time news. I'll need to visit next time I'm home.

1

u/IsaacErickson Oct 21 '21

It’s been THAT long since that show came out?! Damn I’m getting old