September 13th is Uncle Sam Day! Uncle Sam Day celebrates a symbol of America. Uncle Sam is certainly one of America's most recognized symbols – he appears on everything from military posters to cartoon images to advertising media. There are two theories as to how Uncle Sam emerged. Both date back to the early 1800's.
- The officially recognized theory dates back to soldiers stationed near Troy, New York during the war of 1812. Barrels of meat they received were stamped "U.S." The supplier was Samuel Wilson of Troy, New York. Solders jokingly referred to him as "Uncle Sam." In 1813, the first image of "Uncle Sam" appeared. In 1961, the U.S. Congress issued a resolution recognizing "Uncle Sam" Wilson, and authorizing a monument in his hometown in Troy, New York.
- There is a second, less popular theory of the creation of Uncle Sam. During the early 1800's, Irish immigrants were coming to America. Some believed that Uncle Sam emerged from these immigrants. In their Gaelic language, the United Stares of America was "Stáit Aontaithe Mheiriceá", abbreviated "SAM."
Either way, Uncle Sam Day became official in 1989, when a joint resolution of Congress designated September 13th "Uncle Sam Day". This date was selected, as "Uncle Sam" Wilson was born on September 13th, 1776.