The Bald Eagle -- The bald eagle was chosen June 20, 1782 as the emblem of the United States of America because of its long life, great strength, and majestic look. However, this designation of the eagle's becoming the patriotic emblem of the United States was not easy.
In 1784, Benjamin Franklin stated his disapproval of the eagle as our national bird: "The bald eagle...is a bird of bad moral character; like those among men who live by sharping and robbing, he is generally poor, and often very lousy. The turkey is a much more respectable bird and withal a true original native of America."
The eagle won, however; in 1789, George Washington became our nation's first President, and the American Bald Eagle became our country's official bird. Much later, President John F. Kennedy wrote: "The Founding Fathers made an appropriate choice when they selected the bald eagle as the emblem of the nation. The fierce beauty and proud independence of this great bird aptly symbolizes the strength and freedom of America."