THE CENSUS: The Big Count

Ever since the first census was taken in 1790 (there were 3,929,214 people in the country not counting Indians), the U.S. had reacted to the process as enthusiastically as a growing boy getting his height chalked up on the kitchen wall. Over the years a few census takers had been pinked by squirrel guns or heaved down long flights of stairs, but the percentage of objectors was unbelievably small—in 1940 the Government did not find it necessary to prosecute one census evader. As the 1950 census taking began last week, the country smirked as happily and self-consciously as ever.

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