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Ask the Times

Published February 19, 2007


When did our country start using the name "Uncle Sam" and why?

The original Uncle Sam is believed to have been Samuel Wilson, an Army supply inspector during the War of 1812. Employees wrote "U.S." on supply cartons and joked that it stood for Uncle Sam Wilson. "Uncle Sam" quickly became a symbol of the U.S. government. A World War I military recruitment poster added to the legend by giving Uncle Sam an unforgettable face.

Compiled from Times staff and wires. To submit a question, e-mail or call 727 893-8179, toll-free 1-800-333-7505, ext. 8179.

[Last modified February 18, 2007, 23:44:17]

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