Donald Trump's Shout Out To Leif Erikson Day Gets Snippy Twitter Response
President Donald Trump recognized October 9 as Leif Erikson Day - a celebration of the Nordic explorer who set foot on the North American continent some 500 years before Christopher Columbus - and it wasn't long before critics hit social media on Friday to discuss the Spread recognition.
In a White House press release, Eirkson was described as "the first European to discover the new world" and praised as an example of Nordic immigration to America.
"Leif Erikson's story, carried out in the face of immense danger and in the service of Judeo-Christian values, reflects the fundamental truths of American character," said the press release signed by Trump.
“Leif Erikson and his crew got off course on a mission to evangelize Greenland. They had to brave the cold waters of the North Atlantic to find a safe haven on the North American coast. To survive this ordeal, these die-hard Vikings tested the limits of human exploration in ways that continue to inspire us to this day. "
Leif Erikson Day is not a new holiday. States with prominent North American populations have celebrated the day, and presidents have taken note of it since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964.
Canada and Iceland, Erikson's birthplace, also commemorate his travels and the establishment of a Nordic settlement in Vinland - which is believed to be somewhere near Newfoundland and the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
A statue of Leif Erikson in the center of Reykjavik, Iceland. (Photo: RPBMedia via Getty Images)
But Twitter critics picked up on the language of Trump's press release, particularly the emphasis on "Judeo-Christian values" and "North Americans whose faith and determination are woven into the fabric of our nation."
Some Nordic commentators came out in favor of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. Others suggested Trump should look to the Nordic countries' universal health systems as an example for the US.
Still others argued that the Trump administration's language was aimed at white supremacists whom the president did not directly condemn during his first presidential debate last week.
Many white supremacist organizations have co-opted Nordic imagery for their own purposes, and neo-Nazi groups such as the Vinlanders Social Club promote "a racist, pagan religion known as Odinism, once practiced by Vikings," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Twitter critics also wanted to point out that Erikson may have been the first European to venture on North American shores, but praised him for any "discovery" overlooked by the indigenous peoples who had lived there for centuries.
Vinland, or the guy who ran into Columbus on the Post: Canadian Odyssey on the Looney Front - Part 7
The White House refuses to respond directly to whether Trump condemns white supremacy
Man in militia plan to kidnap Michigan governor. Shared stage with extremist sheriff
Do you love HuffPost? Become a founding member of HuffPost Plus today.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
You should check here to buy the best price guaranteed products.
Off Their Game Week 3 - Antonio Gibson
Ben Affleck Adorably Assisted Jennifer Lopez and Her Sky-High Stilettos Down a Flight of Stairs
Hurricane Sam intensifies to Category 4 with 145-mph winds. Could it take Superstorm Sandy's path?
NFL's Ndamukong Suh Shares First Photos of Twin Sons' Faces, Says Fatherhood Is 'Such a Fun Time'
A pioneer ghost town that was submerged underwater for more than 60 years has resurfaced because of a drought
The Young and the Restless - Ashland's Deception