Farmers' Consumer Awareness Day
Quincy's Farmer-Consumer Awareness Day (FCAD) started in 1981 when Dennis Higashiyama was listening to the radio. He heard a story on the Paul Harvey show that illustrated how farmers and consumers had drifted apart - leaving many people with little or no understanding about how food actually arrives on their grocery store shelves.
For farmers, FCAD is an opportunity to show off the fruits of their labor and demonstrate the tools and techniques that they use in their work. For the public, it's a great way to learn about where your groceries come from and to talk to the people who grow them for a living. Over the past 31 years, the event has grown successfully with tours of area processing plants and farms, displays of farm equipment, informational and commodity booths, and a farmer's market.
The celebration has been expanded to include the Grand Parade, the Farm to Market Fun Run, live entertainment, cook-offs, arts and crafts, a car show and booths that showcase locally grown delicacies.
The celebration is held annually on the second Saturday in September.
Fortune Cookie Day
This day celebrates the creation of the Fortune Cookie. What a great cookie. A little slip of paper inside of it brings you good luck, a whimsical saying, or a philosophical thought. (we favor good luck...we can use all we can get).
Like chop suey, fortune cookies are an American invention. They originated in California, but who the actual inventor was, and which city in California is the true home of the fortune cookie, has continued to be a matter of debate. Unequivocally not Chinese, the fortune cookie may in fact not even be Chinese American.
One history of the fortune cookie claims that David Jung, a Chinese immigrant living in Los Angeles and founder of the Hong Kong Noodle Company, invented the cookie in 1918. Concerned about the poor he saw wandering near his shop, he created the cookie and passed them out free on the streets. Each cookie contained a strip of paper with an inspirational Bible scripture on it, written for Jung by a Presbyterian minister.
Another history claims that the fortune cookie was invented in San Francisco by a Japanese immigrant named Makoto Hagiwara. Hagiwara was a gardener who designed the famous Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. An anti-Japanese mayor fired him from his job around the turn of the century, but later a new mayor reinstated him. Grateful to those who had stood by him during his period of hardship, Hagiwara created a cookie in 1914 that included a thank you note inside. He passed them out at the Japanese Tea Garden, and began serving them there regularly. In 1915, they were displayed at the Panama-Pacific Exhibition, San Francisco's world fair.
In 1983, San Francisco's pseudo-legal Court of Historical Review held a mock trial to determine the origins of the fortune cookie. (In the past, the Court had ruled on such pressing topics as the veracity of Mark Twain's quote, "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco" and the origins of the Martini.) To no one's surprise, the judge (a real-life federal judge from San Francisco) ruled in favor of San Francisco. Included among the evidence was a fortune cookie whose message read: "S.F. Judge who rules for L.A. Not Very Smart Cookie." Equally unsurprising, Los Angeles has denounced the ruling.
Fortune cookies became common in Chinese restaurants after World War II. Desserts were not traditionally part of Chinese cuisine, and the cookies thus offered Americans something familiar with an exotic flair.
Although there have been a few cases reported of individuals actually liking the texture and flavor of fortune cookies, most consider the fortune to be the essence of the cookie. Early fortunes featured Biblical sayings, or aphorisms from Confucius, Aesop, or Ben Franklin. Later, fortunes included recommended lottery numbers, smiley faces, jokes, and sage, if hackneyed, advice. Politicians have used them in campaigns, and fortunes have been customized for weddings and birthday parties. Today messages are variously cryptic, nonsensical, feel-good, hectoring, bland, or mystifying.
Fortune cookies were originally made by hand using chopsticks. In 1964, Edward Louie of San Francisco's Lotus Fortune Cookie Company, automated the process by creating a machine that folds the dough and slips in the fortune. Today, the world's largest fortune cookie manufacturer, Wonton Food Inc. of Long Island CIty, Queens ships out 60 million cookies a month.
We are not certain of the origin of this day. From our research, it most likely was created by someone who wanted to recognize the good feeling this cookie brings to people. Our extensive research research did uncover lots of information about the origin of the fortune cookies (as described above).
Documentation for the date of this day is all over the map. A large majority of sources declare Fortune Cookie Day as September 13th. We did find one reference to this day in April, June, July, and August.
To celebrate this day, go grab a handful of fortune cookies. Or, get your fill online. Online cookies are no calorie, no carbs.
International Chocolate Day
Chocolate is one of the world’s favorite flavors, possibly THE most loved taste across 7 continents. This magic bean has been consumed by humans from as far back as 1900 BC, and was an integral part of the Aztec and Mayan civilizations and culture. Europeans combined it with milk and sugar, and with the Industrial Revolution and mass production, the modern era of chocolate began. Though it originated in the Americas, today the small African country of Cote D’Ivoire produces 30% of the world’s cocoa. Everyone loves it, the recipes are endless and September 13th is celebrated as international chocolate day.
While most of us don’t need a special day to indulge in the rich creamy glory that is chocolate, International Chocolate Day gives us just one more reason to consume this delectable confection in copious quantities. It is celebrated mostly by individuals, local candy stores and bakeries, independent chocolatiers and large candy corporations. It is marked by a profusion of delicious recipes all over the internet, from a 15-minute chocolate milk pudding to extravagant meringues, pies, layer cakes, soufflés and mousses. Everyone shares everything chocolate, and food bloggers in particular usually have a field day around this time, reviewing the best desserts in town and fondly reminiscing on their classic home-cooked favorites. Candy stores and bakeries hold chocolate festivals, inviting customers loyal and new to sample the delights of their kitchen. Mass producers like Hershey, Nestle, Cadbury, and organizations like the National Confectioners Association also take the opportunity to celebrate what is a huge industry all over the world. Exclusive manufacturers like Ghirardelli, Godiva and Neuhaus capitalize as well, with large-scale festivals and events for producers and consumers of this scrumptious pleasure food.
Dark chocolate also has many proven health benefits. It is a powerhouse of antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals produced by metabolism of fat. This has an array of positive effects on your body, ranging from improving cardio-vascular health to preventing chronic diseases. It has been shown to reduce blood pressure, as well as, interestingly enough, help regulate blood sugar. Finally, it has also been linked to the release of endorphins – the feel-good hormone – which might explain why it is so widely known and loved as a mood-lifter. It is often mixed with other foods and flavors which enhance the taste and may improve your health as well, such as mint, orange, peanuts, almonds, coconuts etc.
So International Chocolate helps us celebrate chocolate in all its multi-faceted glory, throwing bake sales, creating desserts, understanding chocolate or simply enjoying it.
International Drive Your Studebaker Day
Today is International Drive Your Studebaker Day, a great day to get out in your Studebaker and tour the countryside. Celebrated on the 2nd Saturday of September, every year.
Studebaker actually started in 1852, making wagons for farmers, miners and the military. From its inception, though, Studebaker cast itself as an innovator.
In 1902 Studebaker manufactured an electric car which Thomas Edison bought. Studebaker was an innovator in a lot of other areas, too, such as the overdrive, under-the-dash hood releases and high-performance models such as the Super Hawk, Golden Hawk and Silver Hawk. In fact, Studebaker was a stiff competitor with the Corvette that made its debut in 1953.
For a long time, a lot of people considered Studebakers maybe a little 'homely'. But just like everything else, homely has its time to be considered handsome.
And that time is now. Studebakers are probably at their highest point now in collectability. Whether it's their round-nosed pickups that bear a striking resemblance to the Dodge pickup or the Canadian-made Avanti, Studebakers have come into their own.
In fact, they're ready for a comeback.
In 2008, Ric Reed bought Studebaker from Tom Raines and moved the company to Arvada, Colo.
"As the entrepreneur at the helm of Studebaker Motor Company, it is my earnest goal to create vehicles that are in some way reminiscent of classic Studebakers, or in other words, definitively Studebaker, yet brought into the 21st century, and again to see Studebaker Motor Company the American Icon it once was," Reed said on his website. "It is also my dream to develop or reopen factories, employ Americans in those manufacturing and assembly plants, which shall be on American soil. I desire to make vehicles that not only compete, but have a significant cutting edge in a highly competitive world market."
Reed's mission is indeed noble. Despite the fact that the South Bend, Ind. plant ceased production on Dec. 20, 1963, and the last Studebaker automobile rolled off the Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, assembly line on March 16, 1966, Studebakers to this day have a solid reputation of value, quality and excellent fuel mileage - things that appeal every American consumer.
Kids Take Over The Kitchen Day
Despite sounding like most parents’ worst nightmare, Kids Take Over The Kitchen Day is a day which can be both fun and fulfilling – for young and old alike!
Originally pioneered by the Young Chefs Academy, this is a fun movement with its roots in a serious cause. Children and teens are encouraged to ‘take over the kitchen’ by involving them in the preparation and planning of the day’s meals (under the supervision of parents/guardians where required!). From this, the budding Masterchefs will learn about nutrition and healthy eating habits – the start of a battle against the very serious health issues facing many youngsters today.
Not only will this be a healthy learning experience for your child, the day will help foster a tremendous family spirit; and afterwards you might even have acquired a new, regular helper in the kitchen!
Why You Should Take Advantage of "National Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day"? Here are five great reasons why:
- Mental health – You need a day off! Even God rested on the seventh day! No one can do it all. Let the littles take over and they just may surprise you with their skill! And if you end up having cereal and ice cream for dinner, that’s OK too.
- Intellectual health (right brain) – It will give your kids a chance to be creative. Tell the kids they’re in charge of the kitchen for the day and you just may end up being served dinner by a “waiter.” Or maybe they’ll pack a picnic for the family. Or take the art of taco creation to a whole new level. Let this be fun for them and, who knows? Maybe you’ll get a few more days off down the road or end up with a fine dining chef in the family! It’s true that they may make a mess in there. Try not to interfere! Great genius is rarely born in very tidy spaces.
- Physical health – Kids who have a hand in making food tend to eat better food. True story. Kids love to eat what they’ve cooked themselves. Letting them experience the sights, sounds, smells, textures and tastes of food as it’s prepared allows them to appreciate food in a different way than they do if they only ever see their dinner already dished up and served on a plate. When I let my daughter into the kitchen a few years ago I learned that she really didn't dislike vegetables as much as I thought she did. She disliked SOFT vegetables. I was cooking things to my preference, not hers. Now she gets big servings of lovely fresh, often raw, vegetables with her dinner and gobbles them right up!
- Emotional health – It will build their confidence. The kitchen is often a world of, “No!” for children. We are forever telling them, “Don’t touch that! Be careful! That’s dangerous! That’s fragile! That’s sharp! Put that down! Close that lid!” Don’t get me wrong – I’m not suggesting you set your toddler loose with a chef’s knife and one of those tiny blow torches they make for kitchen use. However, allowing an older child to use knives or the oven or other basic kitchen tools shows that you trust them. And, really, do you want that kid to be at home, mooching 3 meals a day from you every day for the next 40 years? Let them start building the confidence they need now to become successful, independent adults later. Yes, it is possible that they will cut their finger or burn their hand. They’ll recover. They may spill or even break something. Let them know that taking over means cleaning up the messes as well as making them. If your child doesn’t have a lot of experience in the kitchen stay close by. Don’t hover! And don’t stifle them if they are not truly in danger, but be aware of what they’re doing and nearby if help is needed.
- Intellectual health (left brain) – It’s great science and math practice. Since we started home-schooling I've come to realize that the kitchen is an extraordinarily great place for learning. With cooking comes reading, math, science and, often, even a bit of geography and world culture. And, when there are chocolate chips or peanut butter involved, even the most reluctant math student may find fractions less daunting. .So kick your shoes off, put your feet up and enjoy sipping that glass of wine while those you work so hard for do a little work for you. It may turn out to be a truly amazing experience for the whole family and, if not, well… there’s always pizza delivery.
National Celiac Disease Awareness Day
Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. What does this mean? Essentially the body is attacking itself every time a person with celiac consumes gluten.
Celiac disease is triggered by consumption of the protein called gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye. When people with celiac disease eat foods containing gluten, their immune system responds by damaging the finger-like villi of the small intestine. When the villi become damaged, the body is unable to absorb nutrients into the bloodstream, which can lead to malnourished.
Left untreated, people with celiac disease can develop further complications such as other autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, thyroid disease, and cancer.
National Defy Superstition Day
Walking under a ladder, Friday the 13th, seeing a black cat cross your path and not picking up a coin unless it's heads up are just some of the many superstitions that haunt millions of people across the world. It's said that if you believe in a superstition it will always haunt you, so what happens if you test it and stop believing it? September 13 is National Defy Superstition Day, so if you're one of the many who have superstitions you can't seem to shake, this is the day you can let go of some or all of them by doing the exact opposite of what you're told you should do regarding them.
- Volunteer around black cats - Superstition states that a black cat crossing ones path is a sign of bad luck despite the many people who have good luck and own them or work around them. Defy superstition by volunteering at an animal shelter on September 13. Many shelters usually have at least a few black cats that are ready for adoption, which means there's a good chance at least one will cross your path at some point while you're volunteering.
- Go out the same door you came in - It's said that it's bad luck to go out the same door you came in, so if you're someone who believes this superstition, think of all the people who go in and out of the same door every day. On September 13, rather than go in one door and go out another, use the same one in order to defy superstition.
- Pass someone on the stairs - Some believe it's bad luck to pass another person on a staircase. People all across the world pass each other on a daily basis whether it's at home, work, while traveling, or even at church. Instead of ducking into a door or stopping and letting the person go past you, just keep walking right past them.
- Change your sheets on a Friday - Many think changing the bed sheets on a Friday is going to result in having bad dreams. Although September 13 is on a Tuesday in 2011, defy superstition by changing them on the 9th and 16th, both of which are Fridays. Note whether or not you have bad dreams both nights.
If you believe in a few different superstitions, then check out the site superstitions.biz to read more about their origins. I wouldn't recommend reading the site if you already have a slew of superstitions you believe in considering you may end up just adding more to your list.
National Peanut Day
September 13 is National Peanut Day! Today is a celebration of the peanut, which isn't really a nut at all. Technically, peanuts are legumes—simple dry fruits in the same family as peas and beans. But don't let this fun fact get in the way of your celebrating!
The peanut plant probably originated in Peru or Brazil in South America. No fossil records prove this, but people in South America made pottery in the shape of peanuts or decorated jars with peanuts as far back as 3,500 years ago.
European explorers first discovered peanuts in Brazil. As early as 1500 B.C., the Incans of Peru used peanuts as sacrificial offerings and entombed them with their mummies to aid in the spirit life. Tribes in central Brazil also ground peanuts with maize to make a drink.
Peanuts were grown as far north as Mexico when the Spanish began their exploration of the new world. The explorers took peanuts back to Spain, and from there traders and explorers spread them to Asia and Africa. Africans were the first people to introduce peanuts to North America beginning in the 1700s.
Records show that it wasn’t until the early 1800s that peanuts were grown as a commercial crop in the United States. They were first grown in Virginia and used mainly for oil, food and as a cocoa substitute. At this time, peanuts were regarded as a food for livestock and the poor and were considered difficult to grow and harvest.
Peanut production steadily grew the first half of the nineteenth century. Peanuts became prominent after the Civil War when Union soldiers found they liked them and took them home. Both armies subsisted on this food source high in protein.
Their popularity grew in the late 1800s when PT Barnum’s circus wagons traveled across the country and vendors called “hot roasted peanuts!” to the crowds. Soon street vendors began selling roasted peanuts from carts and peanuts also became popular at baseball games. While peanut production rose during this time, peanuts were still harvested by hand, leaving stems and trash in the peanuts. Thus, poor quality and lack of uniformity kept down the demand for peanuts.
Around 1900, labor-saving equipment was invented for planting, cultivating, harvesting and picking peanuts from the plants, as well as for shelling and cleaning the kernels. With these significant mechanical aids, demand for peanuts grew rapidly, especially for oil, roasted and salted nuts, peanut butter and candy.
In the early 1900s peanuts became a significant agricultural crop when the boll weevil threatened the South’s cotton crop. Following the suggestions of noted scientist Dr. George Washington Carver, peanuts served as an effective commercial crop and, for a time, rivaled the position of cotton in the South.
To celebrate National Peanut Day, bake peanut butter cookies, watch a ballgame with a bag of whole peanuts, enjoy a nice chunk of peanut butter fudge, or make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch.
Here are 10 fun facts to help change your mind about peanuts:
- Despite their name, peanuts are not a nut, they’re legumes related to the bean family.
- Peanuts originated in South America, most likely Paraguay.
- China produces 41.5% of the world’s peanuts, followed by India and the U.S. Georgia is the leading peanut producer in the U.S.
- There are four types of peanuts grown in the U.S.: Runner, Virginia, Spanish and Valencia.
- Peanuts are a good source of fiber, and are naturally free of trans fats and sodium. They contain the most protein of any nut.
- About 1-2% of the US population is allergic to peanuts.
- It takes approximately 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter.
- Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter were both peanut farmers.
- Astronaut Allen B. Sheppard took a peanut with him to the moon.
- The average child will eat 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before they graduate from high school.
Positive Thinking Day
On September 13, you shouldn't lose any energy into negative thoughts, because on that date is the Positive Thinking Day. It was introduced in 2003 by an American entrepreneur to celebrate the benefits of positive thinking. It's best to start with a good thought ("Today is a good day!") into Positive Thinking Day.
Positive thinking is a concept that is known from personality or motivational seminars and advice literature. The goal of positive thinking is to ensure, that through constant positive influence a long-term constructive and optimistic attitude will be reached and consequently a higher satisfaction and quality of life will be achieved.
Optimists have been shown to live healthier lifestyles which may influence disease. For example, optimists smoke less, are more physically active, consume more fruit, vegetables and whole-grain bread, and consume more moderate amounts of alcohol. A meta-analysis has confirmed the assumption that optimism is related to psychological well-being.
International Programmers' Day
International Programmers’ Day celebrates the positive changes that programmers make to improve our everyday lives. It is usually held on January 7, but is also popularly celebrated on September 13, or on September 12 in leap years.
Programmers are greeted with positive comments like “Happy Programmer’s Day” in some work environments on International Programmers' Day. The observance is also mentioned among programming communities in online forums and social media, including on facebook or Twitter.
International Programmers’ Day was launched in 2007 to honor programmers. The day is celebrated in many countries and is officially observed in Russia. In 2009 Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree for the “Day of the Programmer” to be celebrated on the 256th day of the year, which is usually September 13, or on September 12 in leap years.
Many people observe International Programmers’ Day on the 256th day of the year because “256” (28) is the number of distinct values that can be represented with an 8-bit byte, and 256 is the highest power of 2 that is less than 365, the number of days in a year.
An indepth look at most of the comforts of modern living will, at some point, reveal a programmer as being instrumental in its realization.
Let’s take a look at some of the things we do every day that were made possible by the ingenuity and creativity of a programmer.
We wake up, get cleaned and dressed, have breakfast and leave the house – What noise did you wake up to? It’s very likely you woke up to the sound of a programmable digital alarm clock. When you stumbled into the bathroom, did you use an electric toothbrush? An electric razor? An electric curling iron or straightener? When you wandered into the kitchen, did you throw something into the microwave? Did your programmable coffeemaker have some java waiting for you? When you left the house, did you turn on an alarm system? Did you start your car before you left with a remote control starter? Did you need to reset the thermostat in your house, or did your programmable thermostat do that for you?
- We drive to work – On your way to work, did you listen to your satellite radio for a morning news program? Or did you just turn on your MP3 or iPod to hear some tunes? While driving, did your “Service Required” light come on to warn you of potential problems with the car? Or did your radar detector alert you to the existence of another potential problem? :)
- We work – I don’t know about most people, but the first thing I do when I get to work is turn on my computer and log into the network. I suspect you did too? Then did you check your voicemail? Next, it depends what type of job you have. However, most office jobs would next require you to use your computer to do a number of things developed by thousands of programmers, such as: Did you send/receive email? Surf the web? Log into a specific corporate system? Perhaps you manipulated data in a spreadsheet or database? Or viewed an online report? Or printed some documents of envelope labels? Another great enhancement made possible by the genius of programmers: Direct Deposit!
- We leave work – On your way out of work, did your cell phone ring or did you receive a text message? Maybe you’re heading out on the town, but you don’t know where you’re going, good thing there’s a GPS in the car to help you out! Or perhaps you’re just headed home to kick back and relax, and watch your favorite show that you TiVo’ed last night?
- We clean – Since everyone hates cleaning, especially programmers, we’ve done a great job automating, and continue to work towards automating more. The invention and sophistication of Artificial Intelligence (AI) really has greatly improved everyone’s life. For example, do you use a RoomBa, or some other type of robotic vaccuum cleaner? For your pool, do you use an automatic pool cleaner, such as a Dolphin? Other than the programmers who make our PC’s and laptops better, the programmers who have advanced AI have made the most significant improvements to life.
- We dream – Whether discussing the future of space exploration, the modern marvels of energy efficiency, or the advances made in the health care industry, programmers are always there as the backbone of these projects. Programmers enable us to dream about the next advancement, since they are continuously making the last one a reality.
The product of programmers are found everywhere we look. We have them to thank for much that we have.
Snack a Pickle Time
Friday, September 13 is your lucky day if you love pickles! It’s the holiday that is a real mouthful: National Snack A Pickle Time.
Not “day,” mind you. “Time.” I don’t know who came up with the name of this holiday, but it’s a real doozie. It’s also National Peanut Day which, despite being more straightforward and easier to say, didn’t appeal to us as much. We’ve already gone nuts with the legumes in other celebrated dishes this year, so we might as well get our pickle on!
People have been getting pickled for as long as alcohol existed. And people have been pickling foods since the Mesopotamians pick(l)ed up the habit in 2400 BC. While cucumbers are most commonly associated with pickles, virtually any vegetable or fruit can be pickled: it’s just got to be submerged in a brine that consists of salt and vinegar. Pickles have long been revered as being nutritional, having healing powers, and serving as beauty aids. Cleopatra attributed her good looks to a diet rich in pickles, and Julius Caesar fed pickles to his troops to provide them with physical and spiritual strength as they set out to conquer the world. Even Shakespeare made reference to pickles in Anthony and Cleopatra when he wrote, “What say you? Hence, Horrible villain! or I’ll spurn thine eyes like balls before me; I’ll unhair thy head: Thou shalt be whipp’d with wire and stew’d in brine, Smarting in lingering pickle.” Death by pickle juice? How horrible! (“Unhairing thy head” doesn’t sound very pleasant, either). ‘Twas Christopher Columbus who introduced pickles to the New World, planting cucumbers in Haiti for the sole purpose of pickling. In fact, pickles were a mainstay on long ocean voyages, providing sailors with a snack that didn’t spoil and prevented scurvy. What’s not to love about a pickle?
Uncle Sam Day
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.
In the late 1860s and 1870s, political cartoonist Thomas Nast (1840-1902) began popularizing the image of Uncle Sam. Nast continued to evolve the image, eventually giving Sam the white beard and stars-and-stripes suit that are associated with the character today. The German-born Nast was also credited with creating the modern image of Santa Claus as well as coming up with the donkey as a symbol for the Democratic Party and the elephant as a symbol for the Republicans. Nast also famously lampooned the corruption of New York City's Tammany Hall in his editorial cartoons and was, in part, responsible for the downfall of Tammany leader William Tweed.
Perhaps the most famous image of Uncle Sam was created by artist James Montgomery Flagg (1877-1960). In Flagg's version, Uncle Sam wears a tall top hat and blue jacket and is pointing straight ahead at the viewer. During World War I, this portrait of Sam with the words "I Want You For The U.S. Army" was used as a recruiting poster. The image, which became immensely popular, was first used on the cover of Leslie's Weekly in July 1916 with the title "What Are You Doing for Preparedness?" The poster was widely distributed and has subsequently been re-used numerous times with different captions.
In September 1961, the U.S. Congress recognized Samuel Wilson as "the progenitor of America's national symbol of Uncle Sam." Wilson died at age 88 in 1854, and was buried next to his wife Betsey Mann in the Oakwood Cemetery in Troy, New York, the town that calls itself "The Home of Uncle Sam."