MUNDANE MYSTERIES: Who Was “Uncle Sam” Really?

Happy “Uncle Sam Day”! September 13th actually is “Uncle Sam Day”. And, while it may seem like just another one of those made-up holidays, there really was a very real Uncle Sam. But who was he?

The real “Uncle Sam” was actually a guy named Sam Wilson. Born on September 13, 1766, Sam Wilson became a meat packer in Troy, New York, before eventually getting in good with the military & supplying meat to soldiers during the War of 1812. And, to identify the meat for shipment, Wilson would stamp “U.S.” on the barrels, so that American troops would know their meat rations were coming from a fellow colonist. As the “U.S.” was considered his signature, it wasn’t long before soldiers started calling the meat packages “deliveries from Uncle Sam”. And, needless to say, the nickname stuck before ultimately taking on a life of its own when the white-haired, red-white-and-blue top-hatted, pointing dude began being featured on recruitment & war bond posters (and almost anything/everything else encouraging Americans to do their patriotic duty for the country).

Don’t believe me? Well, even the 87th Congress of the United States will back me up on this one. Because, in 1961, they adopted a resolution “saluting Uncle Sam Wilson of Troy, NY, as the progenitor of America’s National symbol of Uncle Sam.”

Now, I want YOU to tell me about a Mundane Mystery that you’d like solved. Send me a message via social media (@AndyWebbRadioVoice), or shoot me an email at [email protected].

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