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December 15, 2014, marks the 75th anniversary of the premier showing of Gone With the Wind at the Loew's Grand Theatre in Atlanta, GA. During this "Golden Age" of filmthe period from the 1920s to 1960ssome of Hollywood's greatest personalities, including Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable, Cary Grant, and Judy Garland [PDF 425KB], starred in the most beloved movies ever produced. In 1939 alone, classics such as The Wizard of Oz, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Gunga Din, and one of the highest grossing films of all timeGone With the Wind drew thousands of movie-goers to theaters throughout the United States.
Based on Maragett Mitchell's Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning novel,Gone With the Wind follows Scarlett O'Hara, the daughter of a wealthy plantation owner who copes with the devastation to Clayton County and Atlanta, GA, in the wake of the Union Army's 1864 "March to the Sea" campaign, the Confederacy's surrender ending the Civil War, and the start of the period known as Reconstruction. During this time, the plantation system of agriculture that relied upon slavery came to an end, and millions of slaves were freed. At the time of the 1860 Census, Scarlett O'Hara's state of Georgia had a slave population [PDF 5.5 MB] of 462,198, second only to Virginia. Despite widespread devastation from the war and disruption to the South's economy, Atlanta's population grew from 9,554 in 1860 to 21,789 in 1870. Today, the city of Atlanta is home to approximately 448,000 people. Clayton County's population today is approximately 224,000 compared with 4,466 in 1860 and 5,477 in 1870.
The entertainment industry's impact on the demographics of Los Angeles, CA, was evident when the U.S. Census Bureau announced on December 8, 1953, that the special census [PDF 88.2KB] of the city taken earlier that year made Los Angeles the third largest city [PDF 88.2KB] in the United States, surpassing Philadelphia, PA.
On December 28, 1828, during his fourth address to the U.S. Congress, President John Quincy Adams suggested the census be taken earlier in the year than August 1. In response, the census was taken in June from 1830 to 1900. Census Day moved to April 15 for the 1910 Census and January 1 in 1920. Since 1930, the census has been taken as of April 1.