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The Story Behind Uncle Sam in Troy, NY

Today is the 198th anniversary of our great country getting the nickname ‘Uncle Sam’, and it’s a tradition that started right in Troy, NY. 

via flickr user jamierytlewski

It is a well known fact that the ‘Uncle Sam’ name came right from here in the Albany area, specifically Troy, NY.  It goes all the way back to the war of 1812 when troops were receiving barrels of meat with a big US stamp on them.  Those barrels were coming from Troy meat packer Sam Wilson.

The troops quickly began using the nickname ‘Uncle Sam’ when they talked about who they were getting the food from, because of the US stamp.  At that point in time there was no image to go along with the name, not until around the 1860′s when cartoonist Thomas Nast drew up an image for the nickname given to the federal government.  During the first and second World Wars was when the image that we closely associate with Uncle Sam came to be.

Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Uncle Sam will forever be a symbol of patriotism is the USA and it’s pretty cool that his legend begins right here amongst the people of Troy, NY.   You can visit the History Channel website for more information on Uncle Sam.

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