Saturday, October 17, 2009

Leif Erikson day SpongeBob Style!

Rain or Shine: Another Great Leif Erikson Day!

Many great thanks are in order to all of the folks that played a part in helping to organize this years 3nd annual Leif Erikson Day celebration. We would especially like to take the time and thank all of the people that made it out and took part in Saturday’s celebration.

As an event that started over two years ago as nothing more than an idea, it has been the continued support from all of our friends, family and supporters that has enabled us to build upon such an honorable celebration. And even with the rain scaring off a number of people we were still able do this great holiday justice and brave the weather in true viking spirit!

Thanks again everyone, we’ll be seeing all of you again next October.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Leif Erikson Day 2009: Directions & Hotel Info

This year's event will begin promptly at 12 noon. We recommend that everyone do their best to get here early, especially with the amount of traffic generated by the Navy Day Regatta boat race taking place in the immediate area that day. We will begin our walk to the Thorfinn Karlsefni statue from the meeting point at exactly 12pm so don't be late otherwise you will run the risk of being left behind. If you are late however, we will have a number of designated volunteers monitoring the parking area that will be able to assist you in getting to the statue. We will also be enforcing a strict dress code and those of you that are unable to follow it will be turned away with no exceptions (i.e. if you wouldn't wear it to your grandparents house you probably shouldn't wear it here, just use your head).

For those of you that plan on attending our acoustic concert, we ask that you bring your own chairs as we will only be able to provide a limited amount to those in attendance. Directions to the concert will only be given out in person to those present at the speaking engagement.

And remember, this is a family friendly event and there will be a large number of children in attendance. Absolutely no type of alcohol will be permitted during this event. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at:


From I-95
I-95 to exit #22 (for 676 west)
676 to Ben Franklin Parkway/Museum Area exit (22nd St)
Make right off the exit & go 2 blocks
Make left onto Ben Franklin Pkwy, bear right (past international fkags overhead) to Kelly Drive
Continue to bear right, follow Kelly Drive past Sedgley Drive
Make a right at Lemon Hill Drive (Pilgrim type statue)
Go uphill, make a right at 3 way
Left onto dirt driveway to Lemon Hill
Mansion parking lot or adjoining roads

From 76 West
Take exit #342 towards the Phila Zoo
Turn left @ Girard Ave (across bridge)
Make a right onto Poplar Drive
Make straight right onto Lemon Hill Rd (park entrance)
Follow Lemon Hill Rd until the intersection with Sedgley Drive
Cross intersection & make a right at the Mansion.

Park in the lot or adjoining roads.

Hotel Information:

Roosevelt Inn
7600 Roosevelt Bld.
215-338-7600 or toll free 888-338-7604
Room prices starting at $78.94

The Hub
7605 Roosevelt Blvd.
Room prices $65.00
Cheap but not recommended

11580 Roosevelt Blvd.
Room prices starting at $89.00

Lincoln Highway Near The Turnpike:

Red Roof Inn
3100 Lincoln Highway
Room prices starting at $74.00

Knights Inn
2707 Lincoln Highway
Room prices starting at $52.20

Neshaminy Motor Inn
2345 Old Lincoln Highway
Room prices $57.27

Leif Erikson Day 2009: Making Your Efforts Count

In less than one week from today many of us will be gathering in downtown Philadelphia to pay tribute to Leif Erikson and Thorfinn Karlsefni, two great men whose actions transformed their own thoughts and dreams into a reality, one that has impacted generations and even shaped the very lives that we live today. And much like the rest of us, with the numerous thoughts and ideas that pass through our heads on a daily basis, the Philadelphia Leif Erikson Day celebration started out as little more than just that; an idea.

With the help of no more than 30 people, the Leif Erikson Day celebration here in Philadelphia has since grown into an event that all of us can be proud of. We are now coming up on our 3rd year and we ask that all of you do your part to see that this event gets the proper attention it deserves. We ask that you take the time out of your day to repost our flier on any of the social networking sites that you use and to spread this information by word of mouth to your friends and family. But most importantly, we ask that you pay tribute to these great men by making the trip to Philadelphia, PA on Sat October 10th to stand side by side with all of us in honor of such a worthy celebration.

The Story of the Kensington Runestone

By Wm. P. Holmen, Viking Research

It all started in l898 when the ten year old son of Olof Ohman, who was farming two and half miles northeast of Kensington, found strange markings on a slab of rock that had just been pried out of the ground. The son, Edward, called his father's attention to the stone.

The father, who had been clearing trees and rocks from a level space on top of a hill 40 feet above the surrounding low land, saved the stone, and later showed it to prominent citizens in Kensington. No one was able to completely decipher the stone, until nine years later when Hjalmer R. Holand, a University of Wisconsin graduate student with a major in history, heard of the stone on a trip to Kensington.

Mr. Holand translated the stone and found it to read,"8 Goths and 22 Norweigans on exploration journey from Vinland over the west. We camp by 2 skerries one day-journey from this stone. We were and fished one day. After we came home, 10 men red with blood and tourtured. Hail Virgin Mary, save from evil. Have 10 men by the sea to look after our ship, 14 day -journeys from this island year 1362."

The translation of this stone sparked an international search to find out if it could possibly be genuine. The Minnesota Historical society appointed five scholars to investigate, and after a year and half of work reported the stone genuine.

The Kensington Runestone is 31 inches high, 16 inches wide, six inches thick and weighs 202 pounds.

This is how the expedition, 130 years before Columbus started:

Navigator for the crews was Nicolas of Lynn, an English astronomer who was known throughout Europe. He brought the small ships safely to Iceland, Greenland, Rhode Island and Hudson Bay. While the main party went south looking for a safer way back to New England than the bitter cold northern route, he mapped the whole of Hudson Bay and discovered, for the first time in history, the magnetic North Pole.

The sons of Columbus said the discovery of islands in the west by Lynn, was one of the factors which encouraged his father to try the southern route to America. A map by John Ruysch, dated 1508, refers to the discovery of the magnetic North Pole as an accomplished fact. In 1537 a map was published of Hudson Bay showing the discoveries of Lynn, which included such details as spring thaws which flooded to the north.

The American evidence is equally extensive.

A series of 15 campsites have been found, running from Hudson Bay to Sauk Centre, Minnesota. The Vikings, as is still the case in Norway, cut triangular holes in convenient rock ledges to which to fasten anchor pins for their boats.

Because the Indians or early settlers to Minnesota did not use such type of holes, these mooring holes are distinctive and have not been molested. They are so old, the rain and sand have worn the tiny chisel marks on their inner surfaces smooth. Several have been found at projected intermediate places along the route.

There are a number of actual 1362 period Norse instruments, which have been taken to Europe and found to be identical with similar instruments in the Nordic museum near Stockholm and other museums.

These instruments have been found in no other place in the North American continent showing they could not have been brought to this country by settlers.

These instruments include a firesteel for making fires; a ceremonial halbred signifying a royal expedition; a heavy battle axe with a 16 inch cutting edge; a light battle axe, used for fighting men in armoured suits; a spear head; a Nordic sword, and other relics which include mooring stone pins.

The Verendrye Runestone was found in 1783 near Minot, North Dakota. It was fitted into a pillar, had runic markings on both sides and was about 5 inches wide and 13 inches long. Indians who were asked about the stone said it had been part of the pillar since time immemorial.

Verendrye, a French explorer, took the stone to eastern Canada, where it was studied by Jesuit priests, and then he took it to France where it became lost. The Minnesota Historical Society has offered a $1,000.00 reward for its rediscovery.

Mr Holand says it may well have been found in Mandan territory and that it may carry an additional message from the Vikings who lived out their lives with those Indians.

There are blue-eyed Mandan Indians who knew about Christianity before the first settlers arrived, and who lived in square medieval-Norwegian design buildings. It is believed that the main party which went south from Hudson Bay had a special religious service at Sauk Centre at a huge stone alter there and then turned back north to rejoin their comrades.

However, due to accident, fire, error in judgment, or unexpected severe fall headwinds, they were unable to return in time to go with Lynn on his return back to Europe. So, they cast their lot with the Mandan Indians, widely known for their noble mode of life.

Other related articles:

Einar Jónsson: Iceland´s First Sculptor

EINAR Jónsson (1874-1954)

Einar Jónsson was Iceland´s first sculptor. He attended the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen from 1896 to 1899, studying under Wilhelm Bissen and Theobald Stein.Jónsson laid the foundation for Icelandic sculpture with his first publicly exhibited work, "Outlaws," which was shown at the Spring Salon in Copenhagen in 1901.

Jónsson drew inspiration from the Icelandic folklore heritage for "Outlaws" and other works from the first decade of the century, but also used mythological and religious motifs. After residing in Rome from 1902 to 1903, Jónsson completely rejected naturalistic depiction and publicly criticized the classical art tradition, which he felt had weighed artists down. He emphasized the need for artists to forge their own path and cultivate their originality and imagination instead of following in the footsteps of others. His ideas were related to German symbolism, and he developed a figurative language composed of interpretable symbols, personification and allegory. Jónsson’s exposure to the ideas of the Swedish theosopher Emanuel Swedenborg in 1910 had a significant influence on his life and art. From that point on until the end of his life, he created figurative art works whose complex symbolism was based on theosophy.

Even though Jónsson dealt with abstract themes, he always used concrete imagery that made it easier for people to approach his works on their own terms. Many casts of Jónsson’s sculptures adorn the city of Reykjavik. Examples include "Outlaws," located by the old cemetery on Suðurgata, "Ingolfur Arnarson," who gazes out upon the land he settled from atop Arnarholl Hill, and a statue of the Icelandic national independence hero Jon Sigurðsson located at Austurvöllur Square, across from the Parliament House.

Einar Jónsson was a groundbreaking figure in Icelandic sculpture and his influence on the visual arts in Iceland has been considerable, though indirect. He moved permanently back to Iceland in 1920 at the age of 46 and resided there until his death in 1954.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Leif Erikson Day 2008

The following video was taken during last years Leif Erikson day celebration and includes one of three excellent speeches given during the days event. Due to it's growing popularity we have decided to reproduce this specific speech in its entirety for you to enjoy. We hope to see many old and new faces at this years event and look forward to another remarkable celebration.

Friends, you have just listened to my colleagues speak about the history of Leif Erikson and Thorfinn Karlsefni and their journey across the sea that resulted in the discovery of the lands where you and your families now make your homes.

This episode of European history and achievement is so vitally important to our heritage and culture that it must be celebrated by us and taught to our children.

We owe a debt of gratitude and respect to Leif Erikson and his crew for their sacrifice and ultimate discovery of this continent for Europeans.

Many of you have just learned today about this important part of our shared European history.

But why even worry about this stuff in the first place some may ask. Because it is our duty.
We learn the history of the great men of our past and retell their tales because we owe it to these heroes that their names and deeds shall not fade into the darkness of the time.

We know that there is an attempt by those in power to diminish and denigrate the European achievements in all fields of endeavor: science, philosophy, the arts and most of all, history.

We know that in many European societies, even here in the North America, our children are being taught that their history and culture are not only no longer relevant and something to be ashamed of.

This is clearly a great threat to our people, because, as some great historical philosophers have pointed out, “A people robbed of their history cannot survive as a people.”

This brings us to the second important reason for studying history. Our duty to the Future.

The history of our people provides us with examples and lessons that we must re-learn ourselves and teach to our children so that we and they may meet the challenges that our own age and future ages may throw before us.

Today, even the most complacent among us are beginning to realize that things are beginning to fall apart.

That the dust clouds and hoof-beats of history are about to descend into our valley and reek havoc, just like the Mongols did in the 1200‘s.

Great challenges will face all peoples in the coming years.

What can we do? What can we do? That will be the great question asked with more and more urgency and panic in the coming years. What can we do?

We can resist! But how? There is a path to follow just as Leif Erikson followed a path pointed by the stars to the New World. The European peoples from everywhere can turn to the past, the ancient past, to relearn from their ancestors, like Leif Erikson, how to face challenges and win.

We have done well in the last 3000 years. Too well some would say.

We have explored and conquered a world and gotten soft and fat and lazy in the process.

We have allowed some among us to turn against their own culture.

We have allowed them to gain power and pilot our ship toward the whirlpool of self-destruction.

Our own elected leaders have other interests in mind when they make their decisions on the economy, war and peace and social issues.

We must relearn how to fight, how to face and overcome these challenges.

Those lessons are in our past, in our blood.

That is where the tales of our heroes, and their adventures, of our Gods and their myths will come and play their part.

They will teach us again how to live, how to fight, how to face fear and uncertainty, how to triumph.

Let me take you back to an afternoon, such as this, over one thousand years ago. To a dock in Iceland.

The long ship was being provisioned and loaded.

The crew were saying farewell to their wives and children, maybe for the last time.

And over in the corner of the dock, a man sat pouring over his primitive, incomplete maps, staring at his lodestone, that strange gift from that fell from the sky that always points back to the North Star from where it came.

That natural compass that will allow him to sail a true course through the fog and uncharted waters.

This man was Leif Erikson and he and his crew were about to set off into the unknown, into history and into legend.

The dangers that he and his men feared, whether they were fanciful, such as falling off the edge of the Earth or sea monsters, or whether they were real dangers such as storms, running out of food and water or just getting lost and never finding land again, were fears that they had to face and overcome.

When that long ship cast off from the dock and unfurled its sail that day, it began its fateful journey into the unknown.

They were successful as now know.

But to them, sailing into uncharted waters, disaster and death were as close as one wrong decision, one miscalculation, one moment of hesitation or weakness.

They are like you now, sailing into the unknown.

The challenges we will face in the near future, the fear and uncertainty you will face in your own lives will equal what Leif Erikson and his men faced a thousand years ago.

How do we win? How do you make sure that tales are told of you and your people in the future.

The answer is simple, be as Leif Erikson.

Just as the sea and nature was a foe to Leif Erikson you too have enemies.

There are those who have different plans for the world than you do. Different plans for your children.

The truth is, the greatest fear in their hearts is that Europeans will begin to re-connect with their true nature.

The nature that is represented by Leif Erikson and other great European heroes.

That would upset all of their plans.

Once you begin to read the tales of your ancestors you will learn what type of person you need to be to rise above the danger that surrounds you.

You will begin to think differently, you will begin to express the spirit of true Europeans.

Once that strength, which has not been seen for over sixty years, is unleashed and allowed to do what it does best, the result will be the rebuilding of what was and the beginning of a new golden age.

Now with the very foundations of this unnatural society the merchant class has created, beginning to crumble, our moment is coming soon. We must be ready. We must prepare.

Will we succeed? Who knows, remember it is a journey into uncharted waters.

It will be a great struggle.

Real Vikings, would not want to be the ones who are born and live after the battle is won.

They want to be the ones present at the start, when things look bleak and dark.

They want to be the ones who help turn the tide, who risk their lives and forge the final victory.

Those are the ones the great sagas are written about.

Remember, no one who dies at home, warm in their beds goes to Valhalla.

Get to it, prepare, the clock is ticking.

The future history of your people, the history yet to be written, will be your judge and your gift to your children.

Gentlemen and Ladies, it was a great privilege to come and speak before you here today. Thank you very much.