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Decennial Census Historical Facts

1870
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1870

John D. Rockefeller

Great Chicago Fire

Phonograph

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Population

38,558,371
U.S. Resident Population
11.2
Population per square mile of land area
26.6
Percent increase of population from 1860 to 1870
37
Number of States

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The 1870 Census

Cost $3,421,000
Cost per Capita (cents) 8.8
Total Pages in Published Reports 3,473
Number of Enumerators 6,530 (438 office staff)
Census Bureau Director Francis Amasa Walker
Number of Questions on the Questionnaire 20
Number of Questions on the Long Form N/A

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10 Largest Urban Places

Rank
Place
Population
1
New York City, NY 942,292
2
Philadelphia, PA 674,022
3
Brooklyn, NY 396,099
4
St. Louis, MO 310,864
5
Chicago, IL 298,977
6
Baltimore, MD 267,354
7
Boston, MA 250,526
8
Cincinnati, OH 216,239
9
New Orleans, LA 191,148
10
San Francisco, CA 149,473

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Pop Culture

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  • John D. Rockefeller incorporates the Standard Oil Company. It would eventually become the largest oil company in the world before the U.S. Supreme Court declared it an "unreasonable monopoly" under the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1911.
  • The National Weather Service issues its first weather forecast on November 1, 1870. The forecast warns of a windy day in Chicago, IL.
  • "The Great Chicago Fire" begins October 8, 1871.
  • President Ulysses S. Grant signs legislation designating Yellowstone the first national park on March 1, 1872.
  • The Jesse James Gang conduct the first successful train robbery in the American West on July 21, 1873.
  • On August 2, 1873, Andrew Hallidie tests the first cable car system in San Francisco, CA.
  • The first Kentucky Derby is run at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY, on May 17, 1875.
  • Mark Twain publishes The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in 1876.
  • Lt. Colonel George Custer and the 7th U.S. Cavalry battle the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians on the bluffs above the Little Big Horn River, on June 26, 1876.
  • Colorado becomes the 38th state on August 1, 1876.
  • Although Democrat Samuel J. Tilden wins the popular vote over Republican Rutherford B. Hayes (4,284,020 vs. 4,036,572) during the 1876 presidential election, Hayes wins the electoral vote by promising to loosen Reconstruction's restrictions on the southern states.
  • Brigham Young, leader of the Mormon Church, founder of Salt Lake City, UT, and first governor of the Utah Territory, dies August 29, 1877.
  • Thomas Edison demostrates the phonograph at the offices of the "Scientific American" on December 7, 1877.
  • The Yale News becomes the first daily college newspaper in the United States on January 28, 1878.
  • Gilbert and Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance," premieres at the Fifth Avenue Theatre on December 31, 1879.

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