Aug 29, 2011

Borough council supports preservation of Stewartstown Railroad

(YDR) The Stewartstown borough council is adding its support to the Stewartstown Railroad.
The council submitted a letter to the federal Surface Transportation Board asking it to rule against an application seeking abandonment of the 126-year-old line.
The estate of George Hart, former president of the railroad company, wants to abandon the line so it could foreclose on the property and sell off the assets in order to collect a more than $350,000 debt the railroad owed Hart.
Council president Marsha England said the railroad is a significant part of the borough's history. Continued

The Long Island Express

On September 21, 1938, a Category 3 hurricane nicknamed “the Long Island Express” hit New England. Some 600 people died, and property damage was extensive. One witness described the scene in his Massachusetts community:

By Chrismus! Wasn't that hurricane a lulu? I was settin here readin when I noticed it was gettin so damn dark. I couldn't see… I looked out the winder and saw our big tree going over as easy as you please — not all at once, but little by little. I watched it down and said that I bet the one in front wouldn't go for that was stronger. Then I saw one of our garage doors spinning by the winder and right across the street on to Doctor Brown's lawn. Somehow it got going on its edge like one of them straw hats we used to wear, and it was certainly making time. - Library of Congress

Aug 27, 2011

'Goodnight Irene' LEADBELLY (1943)

" Goodnight Irene " (1943)

Cal Rodgers

(Wikipedia) Calbraith Perry Rodgers (January 12, 1879 – April 3, 1912) was a pioneer American aviator who made the first transcontinental airplane flight across the U.S. from September 17 to November 5, 1911, a journey punctuated by dozens of stops, both intentional and accidental. The feat made him a national celebrity, but he was killed in a crash a few months later while exhibition flying in California. Rodgers was born on January 12, 1879 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and later lived in Havre de Grace, Maryland. Continued

Aug 26, 2011

Hurricane Agnes

Hurricane Agnes was the first tropical storm and first hurricane of the 1972 Atlantic hurricane season. A rare June hurricane, it made landfall on the Florida Panhandle before moving northeastward and ravaging the Mid-Atlantic region as a tropical storm. The worst damage occurred along a swath from central Virginia through central Pennsylvania to the southern Finger Lakes region of New York, as illustrated by the rainfall map below [above].
Agnes brought heavy rainfall along its path, killing 129 and causing $1.7 billion in damage, with railroad damage so extensive it contributed to the creation of Conrail. At the time, it was the most damaging hurricane ever recorded, surpassing Hurricane Betsy, and it would not be surpassed until Hurricane Frederic in 1979. Agnes was also the only Category 1 hurricane to have its name retired at the time. Continued

Aug 25, 2011

1933 Chesapeake Potomac hurricane

(Wikipedia) - The 1933 Chesapeake-Potomac Hurricane was the 8th storm and third hurricane of the very active 1933 Atlantic hurricane season. The August storm formed in the central Atlantic, where it moved west-northwest. Aided by the warm ocean waters, the hurricane briefly reached Category 3 status on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale before making landfall along the Virginia/North Carolina coast as a Category 1 storm.
The hurricane caused severe damage along the East Coast of the United States. The state hardest hit by the storm was Virginia, where the center of circulation passed directly over Norfolk.... In Washington, D.C., the storm produced a storm surge of 11.3 feet (3.4 m), rainfall of 6.18 inches (152 mm) and winds of 50 mph (80 km/h). In Maryland, the hurricane caused $17 million dollars (1933 USD, $230 million 2005 USD) in damage to crops and buildings. The storm also destroyed a railroad bridge heading into Ocean City and created the Ocean City Inlet between the town and Assateague Island. The storm killed 13 people and 1,000+ animals.
On the coast, the storm damaged or destroyed several wharves and fishing piers. In Delaware, the storm caused $150,000 dollars (1933 USD, $2.03 million 2005 USD) in damage but no deaths. Continued


(LoC) "Group at Cumberland [Maryland], May, 1862. Forms part of the Records of Pinkerton's National Detective Agency."
Allen Pinkerton and his men may have been good at slipping between enemy lines, but they were terrible at estimating the size of enemy forces, oftener than not inflating Confederate troop strength to impossible numbers. General McClellan was a big fan, Abe Lincoln was a big skeptic. After the war, the agency became infamous for its anti-union mischief. - not to mention the firebombing of Jesse James' mother's house.
"In 1917, Frank Little, head of the General Executive Board of the IWW, was lynched in Butte, Montana. Author [and Marylander] Dashiell Hammett, who worked for the Pinkerton National Detective Agency at the time, was offered $5,000 to murder Little. Hammett refused, but Little was subsequently lynched by masked vigilantes, widely thought to be Pinkerton agents. The Pinkerton Agency's role in union strike-breaking eventually disillusioned Hammett and he resigned, but used his knowledge of the agency's history and exploits as material for his novels." - Wikipedia

Aug 24, 2011

Durham County, Maryland

(Wikipedia) Between 1669-72, Delaware was an incorporated county under the Province of Maryland. When the Duke of York made use of his charter on behalf of courtier William Penn, through conveyances made by the governor of New York, there was a brief conflict of interest between the Catholic, Tory and whose son was likewise a sometime Jacobite sympathizer Lord Baltimore with their friend the aforesaid Duke, but this was a hard fought court battle subsequently relegated to a proprietary dispute between the Calvert and Penn families, since both were held in favor by both the King and Prince James.
The Mason-Dixon line is said to have legally resolved vague outlines in the overlap between Maryland and Pennsylvania, which pretty much awarded Delaware to Pennsylvania, although Delaware would eventually prove too independent for legislation north of New Castle (as well as that from the southerly Chesapeake Bay), leading to the separation from Pennsylvania and unique pioneer status as America's first state, tied to neither province's destiny. Continued

Photo: Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore (Cecil Calvert) by Florence MacKubin (1861-1918)

Aug 22, 2011

Let's Go to the Fair!

(LoC) August 22 falls in the midst of the state and county fair season. State and county fairs are an American pastime in the late summer and early fall—a remnant of a cross-cultural tradition rooted in ancient times.
The earliest fairs, such as the great Aztec fair that Spanish conquistadors found on the present-day site of Mexico City, were created to solve problems of distribution. Located along major trade or pilgrimage routes, fairs and festivals provided opportunities for people to demonstrate their skills and crafts, exchange ideas, and barter for goods.
Today, fairs provide opportunities for travel, entertainment, commerce, and socializing, and also play an important role in the social and economic lives of rural Americans. For urban folk, they provide a means of learning about and appreciating rural and agricultural lifestyles. Continued

York time, 200 years old

Aug 20, 2011

Identity of Arlington Cemetery remains might rest on Army search for girl in photo

(Washington Post) The girl in the photo is young and lithe, a figure skater in a short blue dress, striking a pose on the ice. She keeps her head high as she arches her back, and her right arm reaches up, like a ballet dancer’s in a Degas painting.
But who is she?
If Army special agents can determine her identity, they believe they’ll be able to solve a mystery that has hung over Arlington National Cemetery ever since a mass grave was discovered there almost a year ago. Continued

Aug 19, 2011

Traveling Civil War museum opens at Penn Park

York, PA (YDR) A giant traveling museum dedicated to the Civil War is open this weekend at Penn Park -- a place with a heritage as divided as the country was during the 1860s.
On the one side of history is Penn Common -- home to a hospital during the Civil War, a mustering site for soldiers and once the flowering garden spot of the city. Continued

Also: Civil War experience exhibit continues today (Saturday), Sunday in York

And: Period newspaper shows glimpse of life in York's Civil War hospital

The Burning of Washington

(LoC) On August 19, 1814, during the War of 1812, British troops under the command of Major General Robert Ross and Rear Admiral George Cockburn landed at Benedict, Maryland, on the shores of the Patuxent River.
The British fleet, under the command of Vice Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane, had chased U.S. Commodore Joshua Barney's flotilla into the Patuxent River, but the true goal was the capture of the nation's capital, Washington, D.C. — only a few days march away.
At the same time, Vice Admiral Cochrane ordered Captain James Gordon to sail other British warships up the Potomac River towards Washington which was defended only by Fort Warburton (later renamed Fort Washington) on the east bank of the river, twelve miles south of the nation's capital. News of this British onslaught caused panic in Washington and many of its residents fled. Continued

Aug 18, 2011

Descendants of Cockey family say house is old, but not historic

(Towson Times) A Cockeysville family is fighting to keep its 160-year-old house off the county's Historic Landmark List after a local community association nominated the property over the family's objections.
Last fall, the Baltimore County Landmark Preservation Committee placed Melrose Farm, at 29 Ashland Road, on its Preliminary Landmarks List on the grounds that the property is connected to the Cockey family, for whom the area is named, and also played a role in the area's Civil War history.
But Lawrence Schmidt, attorney for homeowner and Cockey descendant Christopher Cromwell, disagrees with the inclusion, and at an Aug. 1 County Council meeting said the property doesn't meet the five criteria for county historic landmarks. Continued

Aug 17, 2011

'Summer kitchen' ruins found at Dill's Tavern

(YDR) After eight weeks of excavations and countless days spent cleaning artifacts surrounding the historic Dill's Tavern in Dillsburg [PA], ruins of a summer kitchen dating to the 1790s have been exposed.
Steve Warfel, a project leader for the archaeological dig and retired archaeologist from the State Museum of Pennsylvania, said the ruins were discovered last fall by a group of elementary school children.
Since then, a team of professionals and volunteers have continued exploring the site. Continued

Leslie Groves

(Wikipedia) Lieutenant General Leslie Richard Groves, Jr. (17 August 1896 – 13 July 1970) was a United States Army Corps of Engineers officer who oversaw the construction of the Pentagon and directed the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb during World War II. As the son of a United States Army chaplain, Groves lived at a number of Army posts during his childhood. He graduated fourth in his class at the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1918 and was commissioned into the US Army Corps of Engineers. In 1929, he went to Nicaragua as part of an expedition whose purpose was to conduct a survey for the Inter-Oceanic Nicaragua Canal. Following the 1931 Nicaragua earthquake, Groves took over responsibility for Managua's water supply system, for which he was awarded the Nicaraguan Presidential Medal of Merit. Continued

Aug 16, 2011

Klondike Gold Rush

(Wikipedia) The Klondike Gold Rush, sometimes referred to as the Yukon gold rush, was a frenzied gold rush that drew thousands of would-be prospectors from all over the world to the Klondike River near Dawson City, Yukon, Canada after gold was discovered there in 1896. The gold rush lasted only a few years, essentially ending in 1899. Of the many, who set out for Klondike, only a fraction got rich. As a paradox, it is estimated that the money spent getting there exceeded the value of gold found during the rush.
... News reached the United States in July 1897 at the height of a significant series of financial recessions and bank failures in the 1890s. The American economy had been hard hit by the Panics of 1893 and 1896, which caused widespread unemployment. The first successful prospectors sailed from the Klondike, arriving in San Francisco, California on July 15 and Seattle, Washington on July 17, bringing with them large amounts of gold and setting off the Klondike stampede. Many who were hurt by the financial crises were motivated to try their luck. Continued

Aug 15, 2011

Oldest Survivor of Bataan Death March Dies at 105

ST. LOUIS (AP) A doctor once told Albert Brown he shouldn't expect to make it to 50, given the toll taken by his years in a Japanese labor camp during World War II and the infamous, often-deadly march that got him there. But the former dentist made it to 105, embodying the power of a positive spirit in the face of inordinate odds.
"Doc" Brown was nearly 40 in 1942 when he endured the Bataan Death March, a harrowing 65-mile trek in which 78,000 prisoners of war were forced to walk from Bataan province near Manila to a Japanese POW camp. As many as 11,000 died along the way. Many were denied food, water and medical care, and those who stumbled or fell during the scorching journey through Philippine jungles were stabbed, shot or beheaded. Continued

John Carroll Becomes First Bishop of Baltimore

(LoC) On August 15, 1790, John Carroll became the first bishop of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. The son of a wealthy Catholic merchant, Carroll was born in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, in 1736 and had significant Revolutionary connections. His cousin, Charles Carroll, was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence; his brother, Daniel Carroll, signed the Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution.
After receiving a Jesuit education at the Bohemia academy in Cecil County, Maryland, Carroll studied abroad at the English-language Jesuit College of St. Omer in Flanders. Continued

Photo: Sacred Heart Church at Whitemarsh, Bowie, Maryland, Jack Boucher, photographer (Library of Congress).

Aug 13, 2011

History of the Great Dismal Swamp

(Wikipedia) Scientists believe the Great Dismal Swamp was created when the continental shelf made its last big shift. The swamp consists mainly of peat and water. The origin of Lake Drummond, one of only two natural lakes in Virginia, is not entirely clear. Native American legends tell of a giant "firebird" that made a nest of fire in the swamp; the nest later filled with rain.
There is archaeological evidence that 13,000 years ago, people lived in the swamp. In 1650, there were Native Americans in the Great Dismal Swamp, but white immigrants showed little interest. In 1665, William Drummond, the first governor of North Carolina, discovered the lake, which was subsequently named for him. In 1728, William Byrd II, while leading a land survey to establish a boundary between the Virginia and North Carolina colonies, made many observations of the swamp, none of them favorable. He is credited with naming it the Dismal Swamp.
In 1763, George Washington visited the area, and he and others founded the Dismal Swamp Company, a venture to drain the swamp and clear it for settlement. Later the company turned to the more profitable goal of timber harvesting. Continued

Aug 11, 2011

QSL cards on exhibit at Harford Community College

(Aegis) Before cell phones and Facebook, there was amateur — or ham — radio. These radio operators would connect with other people around the world and share what daily life was like on their side of the country — or sometimes globe — all from the comfort of their own homes.
One or several radios would take up space on kitchen tables or office desks where plates and papers would normally be and act as the base of these experimental radio stations, called "shacks," just waiting for another person's voice to come in through the airwaves.
Indeed, it's a hobby that persists in some circles, despite the emergence of other instant communication venues like the Internet. Continued

Photo: Radio Age Magazine, Sept 1926, via Library of Congress.

Groups speak out about possible abandonment of Stewartstown Railroad

(YDR) Preservation Pennsylvania wants a federal board to halt abandonment proceedings for 180 days so it can examine the historical significance of the right-of-way of the Stewartstown Railroad.
The York County Planning Commission says the abandonment of the railroad would be short-sighted and run counter to the state Department of Transportation's rail plan.
Hopewell Township supervisors want to join in the York County Rail Trail Authority's earlier request to use the corridor as a trail. Continued

Photo: Stewartstown Railroad Bridge, Stewartstown Railroad, spanning Valley Road, Stewartstown, York, PA (Library of Congress).

Dara O'Briain - York Model Railway Centre

Aug 10, 2011

Princess Rajah Dance

According to vaudeville historians Joe Laurie, Jr. and Douglas Gilbert, Princess Rajah started as a "cooch" (an early form of belly dance) dancer at Coney Island in the 1890s. She was booked for a time at Huber's Museum in New York City before Willie Hammerstein presented her in her vaudeville debut at Hammerstein's Victoria theatre on 42nd Street. In addition to her dance with a chair, she also performed an Oriental dance with snakes. Princess Rajah was a featured act in the "Mysterious Asia" concession on the Pike at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis. She later married agent Clifford C. Fischer. - Library of Congress

Aug 8, 2011

York GAR post was named for slain U.S. general, and apparent pachyderm, John Sedgwick

(Cannonball) Major General John Sedgwick was one of the highest ranking officers in the Union Army to lose his life during the Civil War. He commanded the Sixth Corps of the Army of the Potomac for much of the war until perishing at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House on May 9, 1864, when a Confederate sharpshooter shot him in the head from across the lines.
Sedgwick, when warned of the danger only moments before and observing his men ducking when they heard rifle fire, reportedly sneered, "What? Men dodging this way for single bullets? What will you do when they open fire along the whole line? I am ashamed of you. They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance." Continued

Aug 7, 2011

Maybe it's time for the Baltimore Ravens to cough up a little dough?

Fiscal Woe Haunting Baltimore Poe House

BALTIMORE (NYTimes) Even now, 162 years after his death here, Edgar Allan Poe still seems to be suffering from the kind of bad luck that haunted his life. For a second year city leaders have chosen not to subsidize a museum in the tiny house where the impoverished Poe lived from around 1833 to 1835, a decision that means it may have to close soon.
Since the city cut off its $85,000 in annual support last year, the house has been operating on reserve funds, which are expected to run out as early as next summer. Continued

The Purple Heart

( - U.S. General George Washington wanted to honor several courageous soldiers of the revolutionary war with a Badge of Military Merit. So, on this day in 1782, he ordered the creation of a purple, cloth heart with a silver, braided edge.
... On the bicentennial of the first U.S. President's birthday, February 22, 1932, the badge was reinstated. This time it was called the Order of the Purple Heart, a purple-enameled, gold-bordered heart with a profile of Washington in the center. Continued

Aug 6, 2011

Governor Richard Bennett

(Wikipedia) Richard Bennett (6 August 1609 – 12 April 1675) was an English Governor of the Colony of Virginia.
Born in Wiveliscombe, Somerset, Bennett served as governor from 30 April 1652, until 2 March 1655. His uncle, Edward Bennett, was a wealthy merchant from London and one of the few Puritan members of the Virginia Company, who had travelled to Virginia Colony in 1621 and settled in Warrascoyack.
Richard Bennett followed his uncle there as a representative of his business interests, and quickly rose to prominence, serving in the House of Burgesses in 1629 and 1631 and becoming a leader of the small Puritan community south of the James River, taking them from Warrasquyoake to Nansemond beginning in 1635. He was a member of the Governor Francis Wyatt's Council in 1639-42. In 1648, he fled to Anne Arundel, Maryland. Continued

Aug 5, 2011

Alleged document thief pleads not guilty

(Baltimore Sun) Barry H. Landau, whom authorities call the mastermind behind a scheme to swipe American treasures from museums throughout the Mid-Atlantic, pleaded not guilty Thursday to federal theft and conspiracy charges that prosecutors now characterize as the country's "single largest" theft of its kind.
The suspected victims and the number of items taken have tripled since the investigation began July 9 with an arrest by Baltimore police at the Maryland Historical Society, Assistant U.S. Attorney James Warwick said during the lengthy, multi-part hearing in the city's U.S. District Court.
Investigators have now identified hundreds of stolen documents, instead of dozens, from at least 11 locations in five states and Washington, Warwick said. Continued

The Stewartstown Railroad needs your help

The Stewartstown Railroad needs your help

UDC to mark Civil War-era graves in Abingdon

(Aegis) The local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy will hold a grave-marking ceremony in Emmorton Saturday to recognize two Civil War-era soldiers, Edward Hill Dorsey Pue and Walter Preston.
As many as 80 relatives of the men, as well as friends of relatives, are expected to attend the event at the cemetery of St. Mary's Episcopal Church, at 11 a.m. Saturday at 1 Saint Mary's Church Road in Abingdon. Continued

Aug 4, 2011

The proof is in the pickle

(NYTimes) ... No immigrant food was more reviled than the garlicky, vinegary pickle. Pungent beyond all civilized standards, toxic to both the stomach and the psyche, the pickle was seen as morally suspect. As Dr. Susanna Way Dodds wrote in the late 19th century, “the spices in it are bad, the vinegar is a seething mass of rottenness ... and the poor little innocent cucumber ... if it had very little ‘character’ in the beginning, must now fall into the ranks of the ‘totally depraved.’ ”
... Their cheap price tag made pickles enormously popular with the working class. Immigrant mothers gave them to babies to gnaw on, a kind of edible teething ring. Every weekday, when the neighborhood schools let out for lunch, Lower East Side children raced to the nearest pushcart or deli for a meal of penny pickles and a handful of candy. Continued

Written in stone

This is one of my favorite local tombstones. The deceased has had as much of his war record as possible inscribed on the front of his marker. I wish he'd used the back to explain why.
If he had died shortly after the end of the war, I could understand it; he may have been afraid, as a Confederate veteran, that the history may have been lost or covered up. But by 1901, the history (and myth), of the Lost Cause was well established, even flourishing. The United Confederate Veterans was a large and robust organization, The Southern Historical Society Papers had been published, and the "OR" (the Official Records of the American Civil War) was just wrapping up its first publishing run. Even the mayor of Baltimore, Thomas Gordon Hayes, was a Confederate veteran.
However, there are two things that may have prompted Brooke Pleasants to set his record in stone. First, the 7th Regiment, Mississippi Cavalry (under the command of writer William Faulkner's great-grandfather), was a unit of "Partisan Rangers," which automatically made them suspect in the eyes of some. Secondly, the unit was under the command of Nathan Bedford Forrest at the time of the Fort Pillow Massacre, though it looks to me like the 7th* wasn't at the actual battle, judging by this account: "When Chalmers and Forrest made their famous raid through Tennessee, in April following, the First Partisans, under Major Park, and McGuirk's Regiment, made a demonstration toward Memphis, reporting that General Lee was advancing that way, thus securing more freedom of movement for the capture of Fort Pillow."

It may have been Pleasants' intention to distance himself from the massacre by placing the facts on his tombstone. He wasn't the only former partisan ranger living in Baltimore County back then, but more on that later. The tombstone reads as follows:

In memory of
Son of Thomas Snowden
Pleasants and his wife
Eliza Brooke. Born in
Goochland Co. Va. Feb. 17. 1829.
Died in Baltimore Md. Aug. 4
1901. Enlisted June 15. 1861
at Memphis Tenn. as Private
in Co, E. 6th Battalion 7th Tenn
Cavalry C.S.A. Capt. J.S. White.
Afterwards transferred to Co.
K. 7th Miss. Cavalry C.S.A.
Was surrendered with others
at Citronelle Ala. by Lieut.
Genl. Richard Taylor C.S.A. to
Major Genl. Canby U.S.A.
May 4. 1865. Paroled at
Grenada Miss. May 19. 1865.
May he rest in Peace.

*Nor was the 7th Regiment, Tennessee Cavalry (Duckworth's) at Fort Pillow according to this source and this.

Photo of tombstone taken at St. Johns Church, Hydes, Maryland with a Canon EOS 40D & EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS lens

Aug 3, 2011

Historic Stemmer House in Green Spring Valley up for auction

(Baltimore Sun) Stemmer House, built in 1751, will be auctioned Wednesday ... The Stemmer House is rich in history, and Holdridge has meticulously researched it, collecting photos and letters.
Built by a sea captain named Ulrich Stemmer who was engaged in West Indies trade, it was about to be torn down in 1930 when the wife of Baltimore banker Austin McLanahan bought it and had it moved, brick by carefully numbered brick, from Philadelphia Road to its current location atop a hill in Green Spring Valley. Continued

The Wheatland Hop Riot

(Wikipedia) The Wheatland Hop Riot, an important and highly-publicized event in California labor history, was the second major labor dispute in the United States supposedly initiated by the Industrial Workers of the World. A bloody clash occurred at the Durst Ranch in Wheatland, California on August 3, 1913, climaxing growing tensions brought about by the difficult conditions farm laborers at the ranch endured.
... Durst advertised for 3000 hop pickers and other seasonal agricultural workers, though he only needed half that number -- in order to drive wages down. Of a $1.50/ day wage, $0.78 - $1.00 was withheld from the workers' pay. If a worker didn't stay till the end of the season, Durst kept that withheld money. Durst then had the workers harassed, cheated, and abused to try to make them leave before the end of the season. Continued

Photo: Child farm worker, Maryland 1909 (more info here).

Aug 2, 2011

Up in the Air: The turbulent history of Civil War ballooning

(NYTimes) The first manned balloon flight took place in France during the early 1780s and, not surprisingly, people began thinking of how to turn the balloon into an implement of war. Within a few years, the French army was using observation balloons in battle, and Benjamin Franklin even suggested that balloons might actually be used to convey soldiers into the fray. In 1849 the Austrian high command sent some 200 unmanned balloons, laden with timed explosives, over Venice. Unfortunately, the wind shifted, carrying them back over the hapless Austrians.
Ballooning caught on in the United States as well, and by the beginning of the Civil War there were several budding “aeronauts,” as the balloonists styled themselves, anxious to place their crafts and skill at the disposal of the Federal forces, including an ambitious and highly capable young New Englander named Thaddeus Sobieski Constantine Lowe. Continued

Check out our article on World War One balloons: My Dutiful Balloon: Precarious reconnaissance in The Great War

Harley-Davidson opens new tour center

(York Daily Record) As a shiny orange automated guided cart rolled past a tour group on the Harley-Davidson Motor Co. factory floor, Amy Warner flashed a big smile.
"I told you that you get really close," the manager of factory tours said.
The up-close experience impressed Robert Seneker of West York. "It's amazing that it's open to the public," he said.
Seneker was among the 400 guests who experienced the factory tour and browsed the Vaughn L. Beals Tour Center at the plant in Springettsbury Township on its opening day. For the first time, visitors get to see the Harley production process from frame to "final dress." Continued

1790: The first US Census

(Wikipedia) ... Censuses had been taken prior to the Constitution's ratification; in the early 17th century, a census was taken in Virginia, and people were counted in nearly all of the British colonies that became the United States.
Throughout the years, the country's needs and interests became more complex. This meant that statistics were needed to help people understand what was happening and have a basis for planning. The content of the decennial census changed accordingly. In 1810, the first inquiry on manufactures, quantity and value of products occurred; in 1840, inquiries on fisheries were added; and in 1850, the census included inquiries on social issues, such as taxation, churches, pauperism, and crime.
The censuses also spread geographically, to new states and territories added to the Union, as well as to other areas under U.S. sovereignty or jurisdiction. There were so many more inquiries of all kinds in the census of 1880 that almost a full decade was needed to publish all the results. Continued