Leif Erikson has the last laugh as Columbus Day fades
In the early 1960s, Minnesota Rep. John Blatnik lobbied for a new national holiday, Leif Erikson Day. The farthest he got was an annual presidential proclamation to commemorate the Norwegian explorer's accomplishments on Oct. 9, but Erikson's supporters might be getting the last laugh.
Columbus Day -- originally Oct. 12 but now the second Monday in October -- has become largely ignored....
But while Scandinavians take credit for undermining Columbus' celebrity status with their insistence that Erikson was the first European to reach North America, there's more to the holiday's falling profile.
Increasing numbers of people consider paying homage to Columbus an insult to the nation's indigenous populations....
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