Image description: Today, at 8:46 AM EST we observe a moment of silence to remember the victims of September 11.
This photo from the American History Museum shows a memorial outside the Time Square Fire Station in New York.
By: Ashley Gordon, CFPB
Watch William’s story
Being on the hook for a debt you don’t owe is not only stressful, but can be scary. If you don’t know where to turn, you might feel hopeless. We heard from William, who was receiving calls for a debt he didn’t owe. William tried to resolve the issue for over four years, seeing his credit get ruined in the process. He said “None of them could do anything… except tell me I had to pay them the $8,500.”
Stories like William’s are important because it’s often hard to know where to turn and who to trust for help. Because William submitted a complaint, he was able to end a four year long credit dispute in one week.
“Just to have the situation resolved…that just felt good.” William said. “In a situation for me that was seemingly endless and hopeless, the CFPB helped me to find resolution. It’s a new day.”
We’re glad William got the help he needed, and we want to make sure that you know that we’re here for you too. To share your experience or learn more from others, visit us at www.consumerfinance.gov/yourstory.
The federal government is often referred to as, “Uncle Sam.” However, not many people know why, or from where this nickname stems.
During the War of 1812, a meat-packer from Troy, NY named Samuel Wilson supplied the U.S. Army with barrels of beef. Wilson was known around town as “Uncle Sam” and when he labeled the barrels with “U.S.” the soldiers assumed that’s what the initials stood for. It actually meant “United States,” and the ideas combined where Uncle Sam stood for the United States of America. A newspaper picked up on the story, and as word traveled, the term “Uncle Sam” eventually became synonymous with the federal government.
Decades later, a political cartoonist popularized the image of Uncle Sam— with the white beard, stars and stripes suit, and top hat. The same cartoonist, Thomas Nast (who was German) also created the modern image of Santa Claus, as well as the Democratic donkey and Republican elephant.
During WWI, the Uncle Sam image was greatly popularized when it was used with the slogan “I want you for the U.S. Army” for recruitment purposes. With over four million copies printed, this effort has been called the “most famous poster in the world.” Uncle Sam was officially adopted as a national symbol of the U.S. in 1950.
Troy, NY now calls itself, “The Home of Uncle Sam.”