Today in History: United States nicknamed Uncle Sam

Today in History: United States nicknamed Uncle Sam

On this day in 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 United States, but soldiers began referring to the grub as “Uncle Sam’s.” The local newspaper picked up on the story and Uncle Sam eventually gained widespread acceptance as the nickname for the U.S. federal government.

Source: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/united-states-nicknamed-uncle-sam

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Today in History: First World War erupts in Europe in 1914

First World War erupts in Europe in 1914

On August 1, 1914, four days after Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, two more great European powers—Russia and Germany—declare war on each other; the same day, France orders a general mobilization. The so-called “Great War” that ensued would be one of unprecedented destruction and loss of life, resulting in the deaths of some 20 million soldiers and civilians and the physical devastation of much of the European continent.

The event that was widely acknowledged to have sparked the outbreak of World War I occurred on July 28, 1914, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was shot to death with his wife by the Bosnian Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo. Over the weeks that followed, Austria-Hungary blamed the Serbian government for the attack, hoping to use the incident as justification for settling the problem of Slavic nationalism in the tumultuous Balkans region once and for all. However, as Russia supported Serbia, an Austria-Hungary declaration of war was delayed until its leaders received assurances from German leader Kaiser Wilhelm II that Germany would support their cause in the event of a Russian intervention. This assurance came on July 5; Austria-Hungary subsequently sent an ultimatum to the Serbian government on July 23 and demanded its acceptance within two days at the risk of war. Though Serbia accepted all but two of the ultimatum’s terms, and Russia declared its intention to back Serbia in the case of such a conflict, Austria-Hungary went ahead with its war declaration against Serbia on July 28, one month after the assassinations.

With that declaration, the tenuous peace between Europe’s great powers was shattered: Germany warned Russia, still only partially mobilized, that to continue to full mobilization against Austria-Hungary would mean war with Germany. While insisting that Russia immediately halt mobilization, Germany began its own mobilization; when the Russians refused the German demands, Germany declared war on the czarist empire on August 1. That same day, Russia’s ally, France, long suspicious of German aggression, began its own mobilization, urging Great Britain—the third member, along with France and Russia, of the Triple Entente alliance—to declare its support. A divided British government declined to do so initially, but events soon precipitated Britain’s move towards war as well. On August 2, the first German army units crossed into Luxembourg as part of a long-planned German strategy to invade France through neutral Belgium. France and Germany declared war against each other on August 3; that night, Germany invaded Belgium, prompting Great Britain to declare war on Germany.

For the most part, the people of Europe greeted the outbreak of war with jubilation. The great majority of people—within government and without—assumed that their country would be victorious within months, and could not envision the possibility of a longer conflict. By the end of 1914, however, well over a million soldiers of various nationalities had been killed on the battlefields of Europe, and there was no final victory in sight for either the Allies or the Central Powers. On the Western Front—the battle line that stretched across northern France and Belgium—the combatants settled down in the trenches for a terrible war of attrition, which would continue, in Europe and other corners of the world, for the next four years.

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-world-war-erupts-in-europe

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Today in History: American Red Cross founded in 1881

Today in History: American Red Cross founded in 1881

137 years ago today, humanitarians Clara Barton and Adolphus Solomons found the American National Red Cross in Washington, DC. an organization established to provide humanitarian aid to victims of wars and natural disasters in congruence with the International Red Cross. Barton had been known as the “Angel of the Battlefield” for tireless dedication to helping the sick and wounded during the American Civil War. She was in Europe when the Franco-Prussian War broke out in 1870 where she joined the International Red Cross to work behind the German lines. After her return to the United States, she organized an American branch of the International Red Cross. The American Red Cross received its first U.S. federal charter in 1900. Barton headed the organization into her 80s and died in 1912.

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Today in History: Howard Chandler Christy born in 1873

Today in History: Howard Chandler Christy born in 1873

145 years ago today, the American artist and illustrator Howard Chandler Christy was born in Morgan County, Ohio. Christy studied art in New York at the Art Students League and later at the National Academy of Design under William Chase. Christy went to Cuba in 1898 to cover the Spanish-American War where he quickly gained a reputation as a wartime artist. His breakthrough came with the publication of “The Soldier’s Dream” in Scribners magazine. The girl he portrayed became known as “The Christy Girl” and was later featured in many other magazines as well as his famous World War I recruitment posters. After the war, Christy continued to paint, focusing on portraits and later on landscapes. The artist is perhaps best known for his 1940 historic paining “Signing the Constitution” that is displayed in the U.S. Capital. Christy died in New York in 1952.

Poster from our April 2018 auction. Inquiries at posters@posterconnection.com

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Today in History: U.S. Marine Corps created in 1775

Today in History: U.S. Marine Corps created in 1775

242 years ago today, during the American Revolution, the Continental Congress passed a resolution forming two battalions of Continental Marines capable of fighting for independence both at sea and on shore. The resolution was drafted by future U.S. president John Adams and adopted in Philadelphia on November 10, 1775. The original U.S. Marines distinguished themselves in important operations during the Revolutionary War. In July 1798. the U.S. Marine Corps became a permanent military force under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Navy (formed in May 1798). Marines have participated in all the wars of the United States and in most cases were the first soldiers to fight. Today, the USMC  has approx. 200,000 active-duty members and 40,000 reserve Marines.

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Today is National Eating Healthy Day!

Today is National Eating Healthy Day!

Observed since 2009.

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Today in History: Howard Chandler Christy born in 1873

Today in History: Howard Chandler Christy born in 1873

144 years ago today, the American artist and illustrator Howard Chandler Christy was born in Morgan County, Ohio. Christy studied art in New York at the Art Students League and later at the National Academy of Design under William Chase. Christy went to Cuba in 1898 to cover the Spanish-American War where he quickly gained a reputation as a wartime artist.  His breakthrough came with the publication of “The Soldier’s Dream” in Scribners magazine. The girl he portrayed became known as “The Christy Girl” and was later featured in many other magazines as well as his famous World War I recruitment posters. After the war, Christy continued to paint, focusing on portraits and later on landscapes. The artist is perhaps best known for his 1940 historic paining “Signing the Constitution” that is displayed in the U.S. Capital.  Christy died in New York in 1952.

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