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Archival description
SIE 1.6 · Record group · 1924-1999

These records include correspondence, financial reports, programs, newsletters, and scrapbooks related to the activities and operations of the Leif Erikson Foundation. Leif Erikson was a man who came to North America in the year 1000. Due to him North America was tried to be colonized for over 300 years. Efforts were made by the Leif Erikson League to make a statue, a Leif Erikson Day (October 9th) and a postage stamp in his honor, all of which were successfully completed.

Leif Erickson is celebrated as a man who came to North America before Christopher Columbus. His statue was erected in the city of Seattle. This statue would be a symbol of cultural pride to the Scandinavian people. It was several feet tall overlooking towards the sea and cost approximately 40,000 dollars. The statue was unveiled in front of 3000 people on June 17 1962 at Shillshole Bay Marina. There was a request put in by the Leif Erikson Foundation to make the statue a landmark. The foundation also sought to make the 9th of October which went to the Senate and House Judiciary Committees. This request garnered much support from several of the congress members, the mayor and the governor. September 2nd of 1964, Congress declared October 9th to be Leif Erikson Day. In 1968 Marie Sherwin wrote a short paper titled “A Short History of the ‘Leif Erikson League, Incorporated, of the Seattle Area’”. It gives a short insight of the building of the statue, the success in having October 9th be Leif Erikson Day and she also mentions that 8 of Seattle’s citizens were awarded with the St. Olav’s Medal. His Majesty Olav V, King of Norway also came to visit and see the statue and enjoy a program set up by the surrounding schools and sponsored by Leif Erikson League. In a letter written in 1968, Ted Nakkerud talks about the effort of making Colombus day a national holiday and the problems that causes for the Scandinavian community. The proposed solution of the leagues president was to have a day named “Founders Day” that encompasses the different nationalities that came to North America. In 1972, much of the history of the Leif Erikson league was given over to Pacific Lutheran University to be kept in the archives. The agreement was overseen by Milton Nesvig. Among the financial papers, there were also papers that reported the scholarship that the Leif Erikson Memorial Committee sponsored. This scholarship was of 600.00 dollars and was given to students of Scandinavian decent.