uncle sam cartoon

Uncle Sam has been a part of American history since 1813. 

How did Uncle Sam get his name? Read on! 

Sept. 5, 1774, the first session of the Continental Congress convenes at Carpenter’s Hall in Philadelphia. Fifty-six delegates from all the colonies except Georgia drafted a declaration of rights and grievances. Patrick Henry, George Washington and John Adams were among the delegates. This date in 1847, the outlaw Jesse Woodson James was born in Clay County, Missouri, and Sam Houston is elected President of the Republic of Texas on Sept. 5, 1836. Did you know Texas was an independent republic until it became the 28th state in the United States in 1945?

Baltimore Oriels shortstop Cal Ripkin, Jr. plays in his 2,131st consecutive baseball game on Sept. 6, 1995. This broke “Iron Horse” Lou Gehrig’s record for most consecutive games played. He retired from baseball in 1939.

The United States gets its nickname, “Uncle Sam,” on Sept. 7, 1813. 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 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—and personification of—the U.S. federal government.

In a controversial executive action on Sept. 8, 1974, President Gerald Ford pardons his predecessor, Richard M. Nixon, for any crimes he may have committed or participated in while in office. Ford later defended this action before the House Judiciary Committee, explaining that he wanted to end the national divisions created by the Watergate scandal. Many say it cost him his re-election.

On Sept. 9, 1776, the Continental Congress formally declares the name of the new nation to be the “United States” of America. This replaced the term “United Colonies,” which had been in general use. In the Congressional declaration dated Sept. 9, 1776, the delegates wrote, “That in all continental commissions, and other instruments, where, heretofore, the words ‘United Colonies’ have been used, the stile be altered for the future to the “United States.”

President Grover Cleveland made White House history not once, but twice! The only wedding of a president to take place at the White House was on June 2, 1886, when he married Frances Folsom, in an intimate ceremony in the Blue Room. His daughter, Esther Cleveland, was the first and only child of a president born in the White House, on Sept. 9, 1893. 

The Ocklawaha Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution will celebrate Constitution Week by participating in a Bells Across America event on Sept. 17 at the Eustis Historical Society, located at 536 North Bay Street. The public is welcome to attend. Please feel free to join us at 3:30 p.m. and bring a bell to ring. If you have questions, contact me at spooker15@aol.com

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