Hitting snooze, rolling out of bed and enduring that usual groggy-eyed-wishing-the-weekend-was-longer feeling was optimistically a little easier to bear for the child in each of us this morning after muttering the words, “Hinga Dinga Durgen.”
The United States nationally recognizes Oct. 9 as Columbus Day and the beginning of European migration to America. But thanks to the nostalgic Nickelodeon cartoon character, Spongebob Squarepants, today we also remember an otherwise forgotten Viking explorer, Leif Erikson.
Happy Leif Erikson Day! Leif taught us that if you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far … be a Viking!
— SpongeBob (@SpongeBob) October 9, 2017
It's Leif Erikson day and not a single class is cancelled 😤 pic.twitter.com/jbk3QtgJUC
— Chase Gay (@chase00700) October 9, 2017
Even though Erikson has shared today as a national holiday with Columbus since 1954, many people assume Leif Erikson was nothing more than a clever joke from our absorbent, yellow, porous friend, Spongebob.
— Gold Pumpkin (@Pumpkin4898) October 9, 2017
Because of many archeological discoveries over the past century, many consider Erikson to be the first European explorer to reach North America. Although an exact date was never recorded by the Viking sailors, archeologists have predicted that Erikson may have landed nearly 500 years before Columbus.
Oct 9, 1003
Norse explorer Leif Erikson landed in L'Anse aux Meadows, Canada, becoming the first known European to reach North America. pic.twitter.com/5jRxiZGcHy
— TodayInWhiteHistory (@White_History) October 9, 2017
As it turns out, groups of Scandinavian immigrants have pushed to celebrate Erikson instead of Columbus, according to National Geographic.
But despite the efforts of those northern Europeans immigrants and the mainstream popularity of Spongebob Squarepants, Oct. 9 continues to be largely recognized as Columbus Day because of his largely significant role in the settlement of America.