Uncle Sam and how technology changed the war

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Kori Siebert, Staff Writer

Professor Don Hickey made his way to Gardner Auditorium on April 11, to discuss topics on “Uncle Sam,” the origins and evolution of an American Icon.

Hickey’s address served as the kick-off of this summer’s humanities Nebraska Chautauqua celebration in Wayne on June 4 through the 10.

For Hickey’s preview he talked about the history and origin of our beloved Uncle Sam.

“The inspiration for this image comes from a British war hero, Field Marshal Herbert Hitchner,” said Hickey.

Hickey explained that the image of Uncle Sam was originally used to sell items in the U.S., but he soon transformed into an American icon people looked up to.

“My favorite part was probably learning the origins of Uncle Sam and how he was just a normal man and how he was in a small town, but he was really popular,” said freshman Carrigan Okerlund.

Uncle Sam is still used today but has evolved with the time. “Uncle Sam is a large part of the United States and has grown and evolved just like the U.S. has,” said Okerlund.

Many students attended Hickey’s talk for other classes, but there were some dedicated students who came to listen to Hickey.

“I think Don Hickey did really really well, it’s kind of crazy that we have him as a teacher here, just because he’s written the books and he’s done everything and to have him at our school that’s really cool,” said Okerlund.

To learn more about Uncle Sam or about World War I make sure to attend the Chautauqua celebration June 4 through 10 in Wayne.

The Chautauqua is a week-long celebration entitled World War One: Legacies of a Forgotten War. It is a three-year series which started in 2016 and will end this June.

Five scholars (including Hickey) will present about how technology shaped the war, how war impacted race, gender and ethnicity, and how it led to changes in America’s role in international relations. The legacy of the Great War will be discussed in daily workshops where participants will have a chance to discuss with the scholars.