June 20, 1782 — Congress approved the “Great Seal of the US,” with the American eagle as it’s symbol today.
Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams had been appointed to decide what the national symbol would be. Unfortunately, they never could find anything that Congress approved of — until they suggested the eagle.
Secretary of Congress, Charles Thomson, convinced his fellow congressmen that the eagle was ideal, due to its symbolic implication of authority and statehood that dates back to the Roman age.
Words of Wisdom for June 20, 2016
“The founding fathers made an appropriate choice when they selected the bald eagle as the emblem of the nation. The fierce beauty and proud independence of this great bird aptly symbolizes the strength and freedom of America.”
— Nearly 80 years after the bird was officially recognized as the emblem of the United States, President Kennedy spoke about the bald eagle's symbolism.