These Historic Military Parades Turned Heads
Whether a victory march, a commemoration of past conflict or a showy flexing of military muscle, the tradition of soldiers publicly parading with their weapons goes back for millennia. Long designed to stir flag-waving fervor and impress enemies, such lockstep ...read more
Puerto Rico is a large Caribbean island of roughly 3,500 square miles located in the West Indies. It’s the easternmost island of the Greater Antilles chain, which also includes Cuba, Jamaica and Hispaniola (divided into Haiti and the Dominican Republic). After centuries of ...read more
Did Benjamin Franklin propose the turkey as the national symbol?
After the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, it next tasked Benjamin Franklin—along with John Adams and Thomas Jefferson—with designing a seal to represent the new country. Given the opportunity to choose a national symbol, the Founding ...read more
Who Was the Inspiration for 'Uncle Sam'?
Uncle Sam is a common nickname for the United States or the country's federal government. According to legend, 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. The Sam Wilson ...read more
Remembering Hands Across America
Along with perms, mix tapes and denim jackets, the mid-1980s saw a rash of celebrity activism against hunger. From Band Aid to Live Aid, musicians around the globe lent their voices to raise money for famine-stricken Africa. After USA for Africa garnered $53 million with its 1985 ...read more
10 Things You May Not Know About the US Census
1. The census’ racial definitions have fluctuated wildly over time. During the first few censuses, the government essentially lumped the country into two racial categories: white and black. But from 1850 to 1920 (with the exception of 1900), it enumerated mixed-race “mulattos” as ...read more
8 Forgotten Capitals of the United States
1. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania After the Continental Congress met inside Philadelphia’s Carpenter’s Hall in 1774, it reassembled the following spring inside the Pennsylvania State House (now known as Independence Hall), where it adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, ...read more
How Did the Bald Eagle Become America’s National Bird?
The bald eagle’s role as a national symbol is linked to its 1782 landing on the Great Seal of the United States. Shortly after the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress gave Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams the job of ...read more
United States nicknamed Uncle Sam
On September 7, 1813, the United States gets its nickname, Uncle Sam. 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 ...read more