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Decennial Census Historical Facts

1880
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1880

Booker T. Washington

Thomas Edison

Mark Twain

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Population

50,189,209 U.S. Resident Population
14.2
Population per square mile of land area
26.0
Percent increase of population from 1870 to 1880
38
Number of States

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The 1880 Census

Cost $5,791,000
Cost per Capita (cents) 11.5
Total Pages in Published Reports 21,458
Number of Enumerators 31,382
Census Bureau Director Francis Amasa Walker
Number of Questions on the Questionnaire 26
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 1,206,299
2
Philadelphia, PA 847,170
3
Brooklyn, NY 566,663
4
Chicago, IL 503,185
5
Boston, MA 362,839
6
St. Louis, MO 350,518
7
Baltimore, MD 332,313
8
Cincinnati, OH 255,139
9
San Francisco, CA 233,959
10
New Orleans, LA 216,090

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Pop Culture

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  • President James Garfield is shot on July 2, 1881, by Charles Guiteau, a disappointed office-seeker. Following Garfield's death on September 19, Chester A. Arthur is sworn in as president on September 20.
  • Booker T. Washington opens the Tuskegee Institute [today's Tuskegee University] on July 4, 1881, in Tuskegee, AL.
  • A gunfight breaks out near the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, AZ, on October 26, 1881, when the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday attempt to disarm Billy Clanton and Frank McLaury. When the dust settled, Billy Clanton and Frank and Tom McLaury were dead.
  • Thomas Edison's Pearl Street Station in New York City begins generating electricy to supply 400 street lamps and 85 customers with electrical power on September 4, 1882.
  • Mark Twain publishes The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in 1884.
  • The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York Harbor from France, in July 1885.
  • Poet Emily Dickinson dies in Amherst, MA, on May 15, 1886.
  • On March 11-14, 1888, the "Great Blizzard of 1888" blankets parts of New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut with up to 50 inches of snow.
  • At noon on April 22, 1889, a starting gun announced the start of the "Oklahoma Land Rush." Approximately 50,000 would-be settlers rush to stake their claim to the 1.92 million acres of land previously given to American Indian tribes.
  • The May 31, 1889, "Johnstown Flood" kills more than 2,200 people after heavy rain destroys the South Fork Dam.
  • In November 1889, North and South Dakota (November 2), Montana (November 8), and Washington (November 11) are admitted to statehood.

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