Who First Discovered America?


Quick Answer

Leif Eriksson was the first person from another country to actually discover America. It is commonly but mistakenly believed that Christopher Columbus was the first to discover North America, but Eriksson sailed toward the New World about 500 years before Columbus.

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Full Answer

Eriksson, son of legendary Erik the Red, sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in a high-prowed Viking ship with his Norseman crew, landing in what would become Canada. Upon landing, Eriksson gave the area the name Helluland, meaning "stone slab land" in Norwegian. Eriksson and his crew spent the winter in Helluland, an area abundant with meadows, grapes and wild salmon, before heading home.

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