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Learn about Uncle Sam

I Want You
To Wear My Hat!

History of Uncle Sam

The story goes that Uncle Sam was a character named after Samuel Wilson.  Samuel Wilson was a meat supplier in New York during the 1800s that supplied meat for the US army.  His meat was packed in barrels with the initials "U.S.".  A joke started circulating that the initials stood for Uncle Sam Wilson.  Somehow the idea that Uncle Sam supplied the meat became a symbol for the federal government. 

The picture of Uncle Sam we see in all the pictures and posters was a made up picture created by political cartoonists and artists.  The most famous one is the "I WANT YOU..." poster of Uncle Sam used to recruit soldiers for World War I.  This image of Uncle Sam was created by James Montgomery Flagg in 1916 to 1917.

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