How Did The Vikings Discover America?

The Vikings discover America
   Among the Viking explorers was a man who was nicknamed Eric the Red because of his red hair and beard. Eric grew up in Iceland, where his father had been sent as punishment for having killed another Viking. Eric had a terrible temper, and one day he killed one of his neighbors in a fight. The Vikings declared him an outlaw and ordered him to leave Iceland for 3 years.
Eric, his family, and friends loaded their possessions on board 25 ships and sailed away. Other Vikings told them about a large island to the west, so they headed in that direction. Eventually they landed on the rugged coast of this island. Although it was mostly icy wasteland, Eric called it Greenland. He hoped the name would attract settlers, which it did.
   A Viking settlement was started around A.D. 985. It lasted for about 400 years.
Eric had a son who was named Leif Ericson—also known as Leif the Lucky. Leif, too, was an explorer. Around the year 1 000, Leif and his crew were caught in a storm while sailing from Norway to Greenland. For many days they were lost at sea. At last they sighted land—the coast of North America.
No one is sure where Leif and his men first came ashore. It may have been as far north as Labrador in present-day Canada or as far south as Virginia. The Vikings described the place as being covered by vast forests, wheat fields, and grapevines. They called it Vinland, or Wineland. Other expeditions followed and settlements were built. However, the Indians later drove out the Vikings. But the fact remains that the Vikings discovered America 500 years before Columbus.