thumbnail In celebration of America’s national bird
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In celebration of America’s national bird © Ron Niebrugge/Alamy
June 20 is American Eagle Day, a celebration that commemorates the date in 1782 when the bird was added to the Great Seal of the United States, effectively becoming a national symbol. With an olive branch in its right talons and a bundle of 13 arrows in its left (representing the 13 original states in the Union), the eagle is said to represent a strong desire for peace, but readiness for conflict. You’ll likely recognize the Great Seal of the United States from its appearance on passports, flags, official documents, and American currency. The bald eagle, now federally protected, continues to inspire national pride.