As much as I disagree with almost everything George W. Bush has done during his presidency, I can wholeheartedly support this proclamation from our Commander in Chief:
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 9, 2007, as Leif Erikson Day. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs to honor our rich Nordic-American heritage.
Read that carefully now. He said he wants all Americans to observe this day. So, don your Viking hats and cook up some lutefisk. Visit a nearby IKEA. Dance around the Maypole. Watch an old episode of “The Muppets,” featuring the Swedish Chef. Send your favorite Swedish American a thank-you note, along with a small monetary gift. There are plenty of ways to observe this day!
The Congress deserves some credit, too. They approved a resolution authorizing Bush to “commemorate the enduring legacy of a brave explorer and honor the significant contributions of Nordic Americans who continue to enrich our culture and our way of life.”
You might be asking yourself, “Sure, these Norsemen interrupted their busy schedule of pillaging other European countries in order to sail to the North American continent over 1,000 years ago, but what have they done for us lately?” The White House press release provides a heartwarming answer: “Today, Nordic Americans help strengthen our country, and their determination and optimism make America a more hopeful land. Our Nation continues to benefit from strong ties with Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, and we are grateful for their continued friendship.” Ah, a more hopeful land. Isn’t that sweet?
Read the press release.
Well, it is about time Scandinavians get recognized. Of course it had to come from a good Pres. of the United States. So I guess all Scandinavians get a day off with pay in honor of Leif Erikson. After all, he discovered North America many years before Columbus.
Now that my people have a holiday, I feel empowered to go forth and conquer the day, VIking style. Thanks for the heads up on this.
Tim (1/4 Norwegian, 3/4 Swedish)
As a direct descendant of Leif I’ll be sure to celebrate the day in syle the next time it comes around, with some tuborg and pickled herring. I’m sorry I missed it, but thankfully SpongeBob Squarepants has made me aware that it exists! Hinga Dinga Durgin!