Interpreting the Evidence
Uncle Sam Poster, "I'm Counting on You!" 1943
Suggested Teaching Instructions
Uncle Sam Poster, "I'm Counting On You!" 1943
Uncle Sam is a character that symbolizes the United States government. Historians are not sure if Sam really existed, but some believe that Uncle Sam was based on a real person named Sam Wilson, a butcher in Troy, New York who shipped meat to the soldiers during the War of 1812. These shipments were packaged in large barrels with “U.S. beef” stamped on the side. It was said that the soldiers joked that "U.S." stood for Uncle Sam (Wilson), meaning that the meat came from Uncle Sam, which was really the United States government.
The real Sam Wilson did not look anything like the poster of Uncle Sam. Over time, artists and political cartoonists created the image of Uncle Sam that we know today.
This particular war poster was used in 1943 during World War II. The purpose of the poster is to tell citizens not to discuss any information concerning the war, so as not to jeopardize national security.
How does war impact a society?
Check for Understanding
Identify the main idea of this poster and evaluate the impact on American society.
Find five Uncle Sam posters with different images of Uncle Sam and place them in chronological order according to the date of publication.
English Language Arts: Research the life story of Sam Wilson. Write a persuasive paragraph arguing whether or not he is a good representative of the United States.