Friday, September 7, 2018

September 7th...This Day in History (United States nicknamed Uncle Sam + others)

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United States nicknamed Uncle Sam 1813

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On this day in 1813, the United States gets its nickname, Uncle Sam. The name is linked to Samuel Wilson, a meat packer from Troy, New York, who supplied barrels of beef to the United States Army during the War of 1812.Wilson (1766-1854) stamped the barrels with “U.S.” for United States, but soldiers began referring 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 and 1870s, political cartoonist Thomas Nast (1840-1902) 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. Nast also famously lampooned the corruption of New York City’s Tammany Hall in his editorial cartoons and was, in part, responsible for the downfall of Tammany leader William Tweed.

Perhaps the most famous image of Uncle Sam was created by artist James Montgomery Flagg (1877-1960). 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. The image, which became immensely popular, was first used on the cover of Leslie’s Weekly in July 1916 with the title “What Are You Doing for Preparedness?” The poster was widely distributed and has subsequently been re-used numerous times with different captions.

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.”

 (More Events on This Day in History)

American Revolution
1776 World’s first submarine attack

1896 Electric car wins the first auto race in the United States

Civil War
1864 Atlanta is evacuated

Cold War
1950 United Nations defeats Soviet motion

1996 Tupac Shakur is shot

1921 Flash flood hits San Antonio

General Interest
1968 Protests at the Miss America Pageant
1977 Panama to control canal
1986 Tutu becomes archbishop

1950 Julie Kavner, voice of Marge Simpson, is born

1911 Guillaume Apollinaire is arrested for stealing the Mona Lisa

1936 Buddy Holly is born

Old West
1876 Minnesotans nearly wipeout the James-Younger Gang

1977 Carter agrees to transfer Panama Canal to Panama

1953 Maureen Connolly wins U.S. Open

Vietnam War
1965 Marines launch Operation Piranha
1967 McNamara Line announced

World War I
1914 British commander Sir John French issues first dispatch

World War II
1940 The Blitz begins

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