Leif Garrett and Leif Eriksson are not the same person

On our recent trip to Iceland we stopped by a cathedral in Reykjavik to climb the bell tower and look out over the city.  In front of the church was a statue of Lief Eriksson and the plaque said, “Iceland’s Son.”

“Look, it’s Lief Eriksson,” my sixteen-year-old daughter pointed out.

With surprise I asked,” Lief Eriksson, the pop singer?”

“Ah, Honey,” my husband said, “I think you are thinking of Leif Garrett,”

Meg chimed in, “Lief Eriksson was the first European to discover North America.”

“Umm, that would be Christopher Columbus,” I said, with perhaps way too much conviction, because a second later my entire family, including my three-year-old, were looking at me with a mixture of pity and shame.  Apparently, Lief Eriksson beat Christopher Columbus to North America by about 500 years.  I am not sure where I was during history class, but I can say with confidence that Lief Eriksson never had a center fold in Teen Beat Magazine.

Leif Garrett, 1970s pop star

Leif Erikkson

Leif Eriksson, first European to discover North America

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