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  • Writer's pictureJace Shoemaker-Galloway

Uncle Sam Day: Celebrating an iconic American symbol

Today celebrates one of Americas most iconic symbols - the tall and lanky white-haired gentleman with the flowing beard and great big top hat. September 13 is Uncle Sam Day!

The History of Uncle Sam

The real Uncle Sam is believed to be Samuel Wilson, a meat man from New York. This hard working man helped supply meat to American servicemen during the War of 1812. "U.S." was stamped on the meat and the troops eventually referred to Wilson as "Uncle Sam.". Eventually, Uncle Sam would also be associated with the United States government as well. Wilson was born on September 13, 1776, and died in 1854. Samuel Wilson was 88 years old.

In 1961, the United States 87th Congress adopted a resolution saluting Sam Wilson of Troy, New York, as the "progenitor of America's national symbol of Uncle Sam." And in 1989, President George Bush proclaimed September 13 as Uncle Sam Day:

"Now, therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim September 13, 1989, as Uncle Sam Day and call upon the people of these United States to observe this day with the appropriate ceremonies and activities."

Popular artist Thomas Nast was largely responsible for creating the iconic stars-and-stripes Uncle Sam image. The patriotic american character, once used as a recruiting tool for the military, adorns all sorts of products from shirts and caps to coffee mugs, posters and advertising slogans. Happy Uncle Sam Day!

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