Happy Fourth of July!
I always look forward to The Fourth of July; I feel as though I have an intimate relationship to the holiday and it’s meaning. I was born in the Nation’s Capitol on July 3rd, one day before the 4th. When I was younger I watched the fireworks in DC, or, nearby. Everyone should visit Washington D.C. on the 4th of July at least once in their lives. Presidents come and go, same for congress, everyone, but, the buildings stay. Our nation is not perfect but I feel pride, even though the flaws with the government sometimes seem glaringly apparent these days. I hope congress and the president can work out this budget situation, who knows what 2011 will hold for us?
In addition to being a national icon, Uncle Sam is a comic book superhero, beginning in the 1940’s with Quality Comics, which was later purchased by DC Comics. After Pearl Harbor, there was a great national fervor for patriotism; even the comic book industry wanted to make a contribution. So on Fourth of July, 1942, Uncle Sam Quarterly published a special War Bond Issue, “E pluribus Unum”, which featured the most patriotic heroes of the various companies together in one giant crossover event. The notorious Red Skull leads an army of Nazi Monsters like The Living Ghost, Baron VonBolt, Steel Commander, and of course, Nazi Frankenstein. At first he tried to hold them off with an army of trained polar bears, but that failed so Uncle Sam called forth to the symbols of America from every universe! Can you name the various heroes? They banded together and became known as Freedom Fighters. The companies donated the use of their characters and split the cost of the production of this issue, all to raise money for US War Bonds. They donated the bulk of the special issues directly to the War Department, in turn; they were distributed to recruiting centers and the USO. The rest were sold at newsstands and canteens. These are valuable today; a fair condition issue will bring over $600 or more at auctions.