Land of the Brave

Leif Ericson Facts

Leif Ericson Explorer

Leif Ericson Explorer

Facts about Leif Ericson (c.970 - 1020)

The following Fact File contains fast information about the life of Leif Ericson.

Interesting facts and an overview and description of the life and times and his involvement in the Exploration and the discovery of the New World leading to the colonization of America.

Fact 1: Why was Leif Ericson famous and what part of America did he explore? He was a Northman and Viking, the son of Eric the Red who had founded a colony in Greenland. Leif Ericson is regarded as the first European to visit the New World.

Fact 2: He found many grape-vines and called it Vinland or Wineland

Fact 3: When was Leif Ericson born? He was born on c970

Fact 4: What was his country of origin and where was Leif Ericson born? He was born in Iceland but his ancestors came from Norway. His father had been banished from Norway

Fact 5: Leif Ericson made the journey to North America 500 years before Christopher Columbus was born

Fact 6: He established a colony in the land he called Vinland on the northern tip of Newfoundland

Fact 7: His father, Erik the Red, was a great explorer and founded the first Norse colonies in Greenland where Leif Ericson was raised

Fact 8: Leif Ericson had two sons called Thorgilsand Thorkell by a noble woman called Thorgunna.

Fact 9: The story and legend of Leif Ericson and his family has been passed down generations via the Viking sagas.

Fact 10: The Saga of Erik the Red and the Saga of the Greenlanders contain different accounts of the voyages to Vinland

Fact 11: Leif Ericson travelled to Norway in 999 and converted to Christianity

Fact 12: He was given the task of converting the people of Greenland to Christianity

Fact 13: Leif Ericson hard about new lands to the west and gathered a crew of 35 men to undertake a voyage of discovery.

Fact 14: His father, Erik the Red, planned to accompany Leif but Erik fell from his horse as it slipped on the wet rocks near the shore and was badly injured

Fact 15: The first place that he landed was believed to be Baffin Island.

Fact 16: His voyage of discovery continued and he landed in a densely forested land he called Markland - probably Labrador.

Fact 17: He then made a short journey to the place he called Vinland where he established a small settlement

Fact 18: Archaeological evidence suggests that Vinland may have been the areas around the Gulf of St. Lawrence

Fact 19: He returned to Greenland and fulfilled he promise to convert the inhabitants to Christianity

Fact 20: Leif Ericson died in Greenland in 1020

Fact 21: The story of the voyages and discoveries of Leif Ericson reached Europe and inspired later explorers to face the challenge of crossing the Atlantic in search of a 'New World'

Fact 22: President Calvin Coolidge made a speech to thousands of Americans that Leif Ericson had indeed been the first European to discover America

Fact 23: A Viking settlement was excavated at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland by archaeologist Anne Stine Ingstad in the early 1960's

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