Leif Erikson is believed to have been the first European to arrive in North America-- nearly 500 years before Columbus. It has been a holiday since 1964. The date was chosen because the ship Restauration from Stavanger, Norway, arrived in New York Harbor on October 9, 1825, at the start of the first organized immigration from Norway to the United States
Leif Erikson Day (October 9) honors a viking explorer known as Leif Erikson. He is believed to be the first recorded Nordic person to have visited the area that is now the United States. It is believed that he visited Baffin Island and Labrador around 1000 CE.