Welcome to this blog which is dedicated to providing a forum for a civil discourse on a variety of issues to try and make our society a truly better place for all. While the views expressed are strictly my personal opinions, please feel free to join in on these conversations accepting the premises that every attempt will be made to ensure that nothing but the truth be spoken and the truth be heard.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Uncle Sam, We Hardly Know Ye

In celebration of our country's Independence Day, I thought I would answer a question posed by my son-in-law this week which is certainly relevant to the occasion.  In so doing, this will be light in tone and short in content.  

The question was "How did Uncle Sam originate?".  The only answer I could muster up was he was an imaginary figure conceived during World War I to help recruit enlistees.  While that was, in fact, one of Uncle Sam's purposes, it was way off the mark for a complete and truthful answer.  Thanks to Google, I learned that it actually can be traced back to a Samuel Wilson, the person responsible for inspecting all meat purchased by the government following the declaration of the War of 1812 against England, who was commonly called "Uncle Sam".  A contractor named Elbert Anderson would label his containers of such provisions "E.A.", for his initials, and "U.S." for the United States, the latter of which were not familiar to his employees.  When one suggested that "U.S." stood for Uncle Sam, Samuel Wilson's nickname, the tag stuck and by 1820 became a common reference for the United States.  However, it did not become personalized into character form until the Civil War when another character named Brother Jonathan, who had been the popular icon of the United States and was depicted in cartoons with striped pants, tails and a top hat, morphed into the first version of Uncle Sam.   Images were subsequently refined by Thomas Nast, a popular artist of that time who also was responsible for our popular image of Santa Clause, until the one resognize today was developed in 1876.  Read the complete history at http://www.sonofthesouth.net/uncle-sam/.

With that short story, please remember the wonderful freedoms we all enjoy, and very best wishes to all for a very happy and safe 4th of July!

ARTISTS - Visual and Musical
Laura Raborn at http://paintingsofhome.com and http://claygifts.com 
Jim Johnson at http://yessy.com/jimjohnson/gallery.html 
Russ Powell at http://powellphotos.com 
Linda Flake at http://lindaflake.com 
Tom Herrin at http://tommysart.blogspot.com 
Matt McLeod at http://matt@mattmcleod.com 
Artists Registry at http://www.arkansasarts.org/programs/registry/default.aspx
Sandy Hubler Fine Art at http://sandyhublerfineart.com
George Wittenberg at http://postcard-art-gallery.com  
Will Barnet at http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&expIds=17259,17315,23628,23670,24472,25834,26095,26328,26562,26637,26761,26790,26849,26992,27095,27126,27139,27147,27178&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=will+barnet&cp=9&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=xpfETMT1O4L6lwf66ugE&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=2&sqi=2&ved=0CEkQsAQwAQ&biw=1350&bih=501
Barry Thomas at http://barrythomasart.com  
Sherry Williamson at http://meowbarkart.com
Julie McNair at http://juliemcnair.com  
Phoebe Lichty at http://phoebelichty.com

Local Colour Gallery at http://localcolourgallery.com
Chroma Gallery at http://chromagallery.com
Cantrell Gallery at http://cantrellgallery.com
Greg Thompson Fine Art at http://gregthompsonfineart.com
Red Door Gallery at http://reddoorgalleryonline.com 
M2 Gallery at http://m2lr.com
UALR Gallery Program at http://ualr.edu/art
Gallery 26 at http://gallery26.com 
Boswell Mourot Fine Art at http://boswellmourot.com

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