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The first Scandinavian immigrants to North America came in Viking ships, captained by Leif Ericson, 1,000 years ago. But that early settlement of “Vinland” at L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, failed to take. The seafaring Scandinavians abandoned the New World and didn't return for more than 600 years, giving an Italian latecomer named Columbus the chance to hog the credit for their discovery.
Today's Viking descendants will mark the Leif Ericson Millennium Celebration on Oct. 9, 2000. Though no one knows the exact date the Vikings landed, Oct. 9 is annually proclaimed “Leif Ericson Day” in the United States — ironically, in 2000 it's also Columbus Day. (For information on the millennial events, see <viking.hgo.se/Millennium/millennium.html> and <viking.no/cgi-bin/viking/publisering/arrangementer/index.cgi>.)