one day at a time…
Friday, 10 October 2003

Pix Of The Day: Columbus Erikson Date Collision
CREDITS: © J. Siebold/Cartographic Images
Thumbnail pops-up enlarged image on the source web site.

Vinland Map © J. SieboldLeif Erikson Day was designated by Act of Congress in a joint resolution approved on 02 September 1964 (Public Law 88-566). This resolution established 09 October each year as Leif Erikson Day. According to Ivar Christensen, President of the Leif Ericson [sic] Society International, 09 October was selected because on that day in 1825 the first Norwegian immigrant ship, the 'Restauration' berthed in New York carrying the first of three major waves of immigration.

We were unable to find President Bush's proclamation for 2003 until the following day (perhaps our Internet service provider's abominable cache server), but of those we did find for various years, this one from Bill Clinton was the prettiest (text here). In 2006 Columbus Day and Leif Erikson Day will fall on the same date when the second Monday in October falls on the ninth day of that month. We hope this collision does not end in fisticuffs between the Icelanders and the Italians, with the Spaniards and the Norwegians joining in on the side. In 2007, of course, Columbus Day will arrive the day before Leif Erikson Day, which is an ironic twist.

The explorer's name has many spellings: Leif, Leifur, Leifr, Leiv are all common spellings. Erikson, Eirikson, Eirckson, Eirickson, Eircksson, Eiricksson are some of the spellings we have seen for his family name. There is a Norwegian saying, 'Kjaert barn har mange navn' (A beloved child has many names).

In 1965, on the day after Leif Erikson Day, Yale University Press published a book 'The Vinland Map and the Tartar Relation' asserting the authenticity of the Vinland Map. Clicking the thumbnail will take you to J. Siebold's picture of the map, located in the excellent cartographic section of the Henry-Davis.com web site. For a very close examination there is a 2.4Mb file on the BNL (Brookhaven National Laboratory) web site, which will surely satisfy all but the most demanding mapaholics, even in persnickety Columbia, MO!

This is not the place to go into the debate over the authenticity of this $25million (insurance valuation) artifact. However, enquiring minds may like to check out the articles on the aforementioned BNL site; J. Huston McCulloch at OSU (Ohio State University - Department of Economics); and NPR (National Public Radio). We also discovered the Hurstwic web site for a now disbanded living history society in New England, founded to study and to accurately re-create the life of the people living in northern Europe during the Viking Age. There is a Hurstwic page about L'Anse aux Meadows, located on the northern tip of Newfoundland, Canada, which is the only authenticated Norse site in North America.

On This Day In 2002: Languorous Oscar Memorial - Thu, 10 Oct 2002

Languorous Oscar © Pictures of IrelandCREDITS: © Pictures of Ireland
MAPS: [1:Region] [2:District] [3:Location]

'Pictures of Ireland' is still under construction (suspended when last we checked), so you may experience some clunkiness if you visit. However, on our visit, this picture of the monument to Oscar Fingal O'Flarhertie Wills Wilde appealed to us. It stands in St. Stephen's Green, Dublin.

The languorous sprawl, albeit less tall and slim, was an Oscar stock in trade, judging by some of the pictures of him that were taken, though I think given the choice, he would have opted for silk knee breeches. This is a much better tribute to the dear boy than the ugly and irrelevant Jacob Epstein carving on the tomb in Paris.

No piece on Wilde would be complete without an outrageous quotation or three, so we offer these to our new countrymen, "America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up." Columbus Day is on the second Monday in October, and Leif Erikson Day, by Presidential Proclamation, is on 09 October.

Oscar seems to have been disappointed when he visited the USA, because somewhat uncharacteristically he declared, "I would rather have discovered Mrs. Lily Langtry than have discovered America". His final verdict probably rests in the more apposite quotation, "American women are charming, but American men - alas!"

Pictures of Ireland, when completed, will be a commercial site offering online sales from their photo galleries, and will also offer a service to take requested pictures. There are some pictures in galleries now, and an interesting feature that offers themed photo tours such as James Joyce's Dublin. Two Dublin webcams show the activity in Grafton Street and on the O'Connell Bridge. You may send a free e-card; pictures include the featured picture of Wilde's memorial.

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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)