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The Story Behind tells the extraordinary history of the ordinary. Everyday objects are more closely examined, from their ancient beginnings through the present—all within 5-10 minutes.

Thank you to everyone who voted for The Story Behind for the 2019 Webby Awards! ♥

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Jul 6, 2017

When you sign up for a social media account, once you’ve established your username and profile, what’s one of the first things you do? Choose a profile picture. Well, in 1776, after the Declaration of Independence was signed, what was one of the first things the founding fathers wanted to do? Establish a national seal -- basically the profile picture of the United States.

But it’s not like they could just grab ye olde selfie stick and pose for one, they wanted something strong, a symbol of America’s fortitude and pride.

I’m your host, Emily Prokop, and this is The Story Behind America’s Bald Eagle.

The role of Benjamin Franklin was played by Paul Csomo, co-host of the Varmints podcast at

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Music for Makers

VIDEO - Sesame Street: The National Bird


Ben Franklin And The Great Seal Of America - The New York Times

Benjamin Franklin on the Rattlesnake as a Symbol of America -

Charles Thomson - NNDB

Did Benjamin Franklin Really Say the National Symbol Should Be the Turkey? - Slate

Eagle vs. Turkey: America's First Bird Controversy - National Wildlife Federation

How Did The Bald Eagle Become America’s National Bird? -

Eagle on the U.S. Presidential Seal -

Samuel Adams -

The Debunker: Does the Presidential Eagle Ever Turn Its Head? -

American Myths: Benjamin Franklin’s Turkey and the Presidential Seal -