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2021

Ronald Reagan
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Visit February 2021's history webpage to learn more about Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States.

Photo courtesy of the Ronald Reagan Library.

The content of the U.S. Census Bureau's History Web site changes every month. If you missed a month or have been directed to the home page by an older link, visit the archived home pages below.

Archived pages contain the content, links, and photos featured in past home pages.

January 2021: 1890 Census Fire, January 10, 1921

One hundred years ago this month, a fire at the U.S. Department of Commerce building in Washington, DC, destroyed the majority of the population schedules from the 1890 Census. The fire left an enormous gap in many families' genealogical record. Although alternative records may provide some information, the loss of the 1890 Census schedules remains an insurmountable obstacle for many researchers attempting to trace families between the 1880 and 1900 censuses.

February 2021: Ronald W. Reagan

Ronald W. Reagan was born 110 years ago this month on February 6, 1911. Following college and more than 3 decades in the entertainment industry, Reagan was elected as the 33rd governor of California in 1966. Twenty-four years later, he defeated President Jimmy Carter to become President of the United States. Learn more about our 40th president using census data and records.

March 2021: Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell changed the way the world communicates when he placed the first telephone call to his assistant Thomas Watson on March 10, 1876. Initially envisioned as a tool to assist people with disabilities to communicate more easily, American households and businesses quickly adopted the technology. In the decades that followed, Bell used his fame and fortune to teach Americans who were deaf, blind, and unable able to speak. He was also an inventor, advocate, and even a special agent of the U.S. Census Bureau. Learn more about Bell, his inventions, and his work for the Census Bureau using census data and records.

April 2021: Fort Sumter

On the morning of April 12, 1861, South Carolina's militia opened fire on U.S. Army troops stationed at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, SC. Thirty-four hours later, federal troops surrendered the fort and South Carolina won the battle, but the violent and bloody American Civil War had only just begun. Learn more about the Fort Sumter, Charleston, SC, and the American Civil War using census data and records.

May 2021: Clara Barton and the American Red Cross

Clara Barton established the American Red Cross on May 21, 1881, and served as the organization's first president until her retirement at age 83 in 1904. In the 140 years since its founding, this life-saving, humanitarian organization has assisted millions of Americans in need of food, clothing, shelter, and financial assistance following disasters, aided soldiers and war refugees, and has become a leader in the provision of blood and blood products to our nation's health care system. Learn more about the Barton and the organization she founded using census data and records.

June 2021: Mother's Day and Father's Day

Americans have celebrated their moms on Mother's Day every year since 1914. Dads had to wait a little longer for their special day, but they were finally rewarded with a national celebration beginning in 1972. Use census data and records to learn how the American family has changed in the decades since the first Mother's Day and Father's Day, and how the U.S. Census Bureau adapted its censuses and surveys to collect data that better represents the role of mothers and fathers in married, same-sex, and unmarried partner households, as well as single-parent households and households where grandparents are the primary caregiver for grandchildren.

July 2021: Summer Barbecues

Americans love barbecuing and grilling outdoors during the summer. For many, the aromas of burning wood or charcoal and roasting meats evoke fond memories of summer cookouts with family, camping trips, Fourth of July parades, and church, service club, and fundraising events. As the popularity of this cooking style grew, professional pitmasters and backyard aficionados developed distinctive spice blends and sauces that have made barbecue restaurants and festivals, as well as entire barbecue-loving cities popular tourist destinations. Learn more about summer barbecues using census data and records.

August 2021: The Oil Industry

On August 27, 1859, Edwin Drake and the Seneca Oil Company completed drilling the first commercial oil well in the United States. Drilled to a depth of nearly 70 feet in Titusville, PA, the "Drake Well" produced 12 to 20 barrels (504 to 840 gallons) of crude oil every day that was destined to fuel the nation's oil lamps. The Drake Well stopped producing in 1861, but it triggered an interest in exploration and investment that helped the United States become the world-leading oil producer, supplying 20 percent of the world's petroleum in 2020. Learn more the American oil industry using census data and records.

September 2021: Theodore Roosevelt

On September 14, 1901, Theodore D. Roosevelt became the 26th president of the United States following the unexpected death of President William McKinley who had been shot 8 days earlier at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, NY. Use census data and records to learn how Roosevelt's achievements over the next 8 years of his presidential administration continue to earn him accolades as one of the most respected presidents of the United States.

October 2021: The Great Chicago Fire of 1871

On the evening of October 8, 1871, a fire that began in a Chicago, IL, barn quickly developed into an out-of-control inferno fueled by the city's abundance of wooden-frame buildings, dry weather, and strong winds. When firefighters, federal troops, and citizen volunteers finally controlled the fire on October 10, more than 17,500 buildings had been destroyed, 100,000 were homeless, and as many as 300 people lost their lives. Use census records and data to learn more about the fire and Chicago's rise from the ashes.

November 2021: American Indians and Alaska Natives

President George H.W. Bush first signed a joint resolution designating November as National American Indian Heritage Month in 1990. Now known as American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) Heritage Month, the commemoration offers Americans an opportunity to better understand the culture and history of the people who made North America home long before the arrival of European settlers. Learn more about the American Indian and Alaska Native populations in the United States using census data and records.

December 2021: The United Nations Children's Fund

For 75 years, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has assisted children in more than 190 countries, including the United States. Since 1946, the vital education, medical, and infrastructure programs UNICEF provides have positively impacted hundreds of millions of children every year. Learn more about UNICEF using census data and records.



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