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Monthly Features

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Greg Biffle

On October 3, 2010, NASCAR driver Greg Biffle won the Price Chopper 400 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, KS. Earlier in the year, the U.S. Census Bureau was the primary sponsor [PDF 41.9KB] of Biffle's Ford Fusion Sprint Cup car as part of the national advertising campaign for the 2010 Census.

Charles Duryea

General Andrew Jackson

After successfully demonstrating their first automobile in Springfield, MA, on September 21, 1893, J. Frank Duryea and his brother Charles [pictured] founded the Duryea Motor Wagon Company in 1895. Although there are competing claims over who produced the first American automobile, the Duryea's were the first to move beyond building a single car, having completed 13 of the one-cylinder gasoline-powered automobiles in 1896.

Following a dispute over financing, the brothers parted company. Charles continued manufacturing Duryeas in Reading, PA, until 1917, while Frank partnered with gunmaker Stevens Arms to produce Stevens-Duryea automobiles in Chicopee Falls, MA, until 1927.

Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Muddy Roads

Car stuck in the mud

When the Ford Model T was introduced in October 1908, 93 percent of the nation's 2.2 million miles [PDF 96.2KB] of public roads were dirt. Even though 7 percent of the nation's public roads were paved, driving in the rain generally carried 100 percent chance of getting stuck!

Twenty years later, 25 percent of the nation's 3.3 million [PDF 442KB] miles of roads were paved. Today, nearly 4.1 million miles of road criss-cross the United States, of which approximately 65 percent are paved.

Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

Vanderbilt Cup Trophy

Vanderbilt Cup Trophy On October 13, 1904, approximately 50,000 spectators watched George Heath Link to a non-federal Web site win the innaugural Vanderbilt Cup Race after achieving an average speed of 52.6 mph on the 284.4 mile course in Nassau County, NY. Auto racing grew considerably in the 110 years since Heath's victory, with approximately 4.4 million [PDF 61.9KB] people attending NASCAR or other automobile races in 2009.

Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Census History Staff | Last Revised: February 25, 2013