DO YOU KNOW WHY THE U.S. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS CALLED “UNCLE SAM”?

On September 7 1813, the United States officially gets its nickname, “UNCLE SAM”….. Do you know were the name comes from?

Samuel Wilson was a meat packer from Troy, New York and he supplied barrels of beef to the United States Army during the War of 1812.  Wilson would stamped the barrels with “U.S.” for United States.  The soldiers began to refer to the grub as “Uncle Sam’s.”  The local newspaper picked up on the story and Uncle Sam eventually gained widespread acceptance as the nickname for the U.S. federal government.

In the late 1860s, political cartoonist Thomas Nast began popularizing the image of Uncle Sam. Nast continued to evolve the image, eventually giving Sam the white beard and stars-and-stripes suit that are associated with the character today. The German-born Nast was also credited with creating the modern image of Santa Claus as well as coming up with the donkey as a symbol for the Democratic Party and the elephant as a symbol for the Republicans.

Today’s, more famous image of Uncle Sam was created by artist James Montgomery Flagg.  In Flagg’s version, Uncle Sam wears a tall top hat and blue jacket and is pointing straight ahead at the viewer. During World War I, this portrait of Sam with the words “I Want You For The U.S. Army” was used as a recruiting poster.

In September 1961, the U.S. Congress recognized Samuel Wilson as “the progenitor of America’s national symbol of Uncle Sam.” Wilson died at age 88 in 1854, and was buried next to his wife Betsey Mann in the Oakwood Cemetery in Troy, New York, the town that calls itself “The Home of Uncle Sam.”

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