The Essence of the Holiday: American Eagle Day
Americans honor their national symbol, bald eagle, on June 20 each year. The holiday has been existing since 1782 when the bird became the part of the official Seal of the USA.
The Symbol of the USA
The Great Seal of the USA portrays a bald eagle holding an olive branch that symbolizes the country’s preparedness for war and its commitment to maintain peace. In addition, the bald eagle holds 13 arrows that refer to the number of the original 13 states. This seal is used on the most of official documents issued by the American government.
In addition to being valued as a significant national emblem, bald eagle is a sacred bird in different Native American religions and cultures. The animal signifies strength, freedom, wisdom, honesty and power.
Success of Conservation
With the help of a nationwide protection and conservation efforts in the mid of 1990s, bald eagles were saved from total extinction. In the 1960s, the population of the animals decreased to 400 due to devastating human activities such as the destruction of the birds’ natural habitat, illegal hunting practices and the extensive use of pesticides, namely DDT. After DDT had been prohibited in Canada and the USA, the population of birds stated to increase. Finally, in 1995, the bald eagle was removed from the American list of endangered species. In 2000, scientists counted around 10,000 nesting pairs of bald eagles across the USA.
American Eagle Day as a National Holiday
In 1995, President Bill Clinton was the first to proclaim American Eagle Day. Staring from that day, 41 American states have recognized it as an official holiday. In 2007, the US Senate established the official observance of the holiday on June 20. The events on American Eagle Day are organized and sponsored by the American Eagle Foundation.
Businesses, government offices and stores are open during the holiday. Educational and conservation organizations arrange public outreach programs such as workshops, lectures and other informational sessions to increase people’s awareness about the significance of protection of bald eagles and other wildlife’s from extinction.
American Eagle Day is an official observance that makes us proud of the country we live in. Happy American Eagle Day!