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 Uncle Sam

44. Uncle Sam

    Uncle Sam is a tall, thin man. He's an older man with white hair and a white beard. He often wears a tall hat, a bow tie, and the stars and stripes of the American flag.

    Who is this strange-looking man? Would you believe that Uncle Sam is the U.S. government? But why do we call the U.S. government Uncle Sam?

  During the War of 1812, the U.S. government hired meat packers to provide meat to the army. One of these meat packers was a man named Samuel Wilson. Samuel was a friendly and fair man. Everyone liked him and called him Uncle Sam.

    Sam Wilson stamped the boxes of meat for the army with a large U.S.--for United States. Some government inspectors came to look over Sam's company. They asked a worker what the U.S. on the boxes stood for. As a joke, the worker answered that these letters stood for the name of his boss, Uncle Sam.

    The joke spread, and soldiers began saying that their food came from Uncle Sam. Before long, people called all things that came from the government "Uncle Sams." "Uncle Sam" became a nickname for the U.S. government.

    Soon there were drawings and cartoons of Uncle Sam in newspapers. In these early pictures, Uncle Sam was a young man. He wore stars and stripes, but his hair was dark and he had no beard. The beard was added when Abraham Lincoln was President. President Lincoln had a beard.

    The most famous picture of Uncle Sam is on a poster from World War I. The government needed men to fight in the war. In the poster, a very serious Uncle Sam points his finger and says, "I want YOU for the U.S. Army."



1. What does Uncle Sam wear?
a. White clothes
b. Clothes with the colors of American flag
c. Old clothes

2. What does Uncle Sam mean?
a. A kind of meat
b. A packing company
c. American government

3. What did American government hire the packers during the war of 1812 for?
a. To pack clothes
b. To pack meat
c. To pack fruit and vegetables

4. Who was Samuel Wilson?
a. A farmer
b. A meat packer
c. A politician

5. When was the beard added to the picture of Uncle Sam?
a. When the president of the USA was Abraham Lincoln.
b. When the war of 1812 was over.
c. When Samuel Wilson died.

6. What words can we see on the most popular poster with Uncle Sam?
a. “I want you for the U.S. Army.”
b. “ You will be the best soldier.”
c. “You must protect your country.”

7. What is the synonym for the word ‘hire’ (paragraph 3)?
a. Take
b. Employ
c. Bring
d. Give

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