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First License Plates

April 25, 2014

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Profile America — Friday, April 25th. Many automobile license plates proclaim glories of the issuing states; others spell out something dear to the drivers but indecipherable to anyone else. Those plates and the basic ones handed out by motor vehicle departments are requirements to drive on public roads. New York was the first state to require license plates on motor vehicles on this date in 1901. At the time, there were just under 15,000 sputtering automobiles in the entire country, traveling over muddy, rudimentary roads without a license for the driver or the automobile. Now, there are nearly a quarter-billion cars, trucks, and buses in the nation, and all sporting license plates. Decorative frames for license plates are a niche product in America's 38,000 auto parts and accessories stores. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau,online at <www.census.gov>.

Sources:
Kane's Famous First Facts, 4220
Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970, p. 716
http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s1098.pdf
http://www.licenseplates.tv/history.html
http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2007_US_44SLLS1&prodType=table


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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | Last Revised: March 24, 2014