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Happy birthday US Census!

Happy birthday [w:United State Census]! It was on this day in 1790(!) that the counting of the first US census was begun. Title 13 of the US Code defines the census and the collection and publication of the census and other statistics required to make the federal govt run. So happy birthday census! You don’t look a day over 200 🙂

The first enumeration began on Monday, August 2,1790, little more than a year after the inauguration of President Washington and shortly before the second session of the first Congress ended. The Congress assigned responsibility for the 1790 census to the marshals of the U.S. judicial districts under an act that, with minor modifications and extensions, governed census-taking through 1840. The law required that every household be visited and that completed census schedules be posted in ‘‘two of the most public places within [each jurisdiction], there to remain for the inspection of all concerned…’’ and that‘ ‘the aggregate amount of each description of persons’’ for every district be transmitted to the President. The six inquiries in 1790 called for the name of the head of the family and the number of persons in each household of the following descriptions: Free White males of 16 years and upward (to assess the country’s industrial and military potential), free White males under 16 years, free White females, all other free persons (by sex and color), and slaves.

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