Leif Erikson Day is a United States observance occurring on October 9. It honors Leif Erikson, who led the first Europeans known to have set foot on North American soil. In 1964, Congress authorized and requested the President to create the observance through an annual proclamation. Lyndon B. Johnson and each President since have done so. Presidents have used the proclamation to praise the contributions of Americans of Nordic descent generally and the spirit of discovery.