TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Where Did the U.S. Get the Nickname “Uncle Sam”?

September 11, 2012 – You may know that political cartoonist Thomas Nast popularized the image of Uncle Sam, but from where did the nickname originate?

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 (1766-1854) 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 the U.S. federal government.
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