This is Who We Were: A Companion to the 1940 Census

Editor: Grey House Publishing
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Grey House Publishing

Single-User Purchase Price: $155.00
Unlimited-User Purchase Price: $232.50
ISBN: 978-1-61925-007-9
Category: History - United States -- History
Image Count: 274
Book Status: Available
Table of Contents

A companion resource to the 1940 Census just released by the US National Archives, This is Who We Were, provides the reader with a deeper understanding of what life was like in America in 1940 and how it compares statistically to life today.

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Preface
  • White Population
  • Black Population
  • American Indian/Alaska Native Population
  • Asian Population
  • Hispanic or Latino Population
  • Foreign-Born Population
  • Males per 100 Females
  • Median Age
  • High School Graduation Rate
  • College Graduation Rate
  • One-Person Households
  • Homeownership Rate
  • Median Home Value
  • Median Gross Rent
  • Households Lacking Complete Plumbing
  • Section One: Profiles
  • This section contains 26 profiles of individuals and families living and working in the years prior to the break out of World War II. It examines lives at home, at work, and in their neighborhoods. Based upon historic materials, personal interviews, and diaries, the profiles give a sense of what it was like to live in the years leading up to 1940. In addition, profiles with a star (*) include actual 1940 census pages, specific to the city profiled.
  • Auto Factory Worker, Detroit, Michigan*: Family of Four Depend on Ford Motor Company Job
  • New York City Engineer, Radburn, New Jersey: Family Life in a Planned Community
  • Founder of State Farm Insurance, Bloomington, Illinois: Farmer Finds Second Career Creating Insurance Just for Farmers
  • Airline Industry Investor, Oberlin, Ohio: Family Wiped Out by Stock Market Crash
  • Mexican Widow and Mother of Two, Los Angeles, California*: America Repatriates its Own Citizens to Mexico
  • Pullman Porter and Domestic, Harlem, New York*: African American Couple Emigrate from Rural South to Urban North
  • Welder for Government Dam Project, Norris, Tennessee: Tennessee Farmer Finds Success as Welder for TVA
  • Benefactor of Scottsboro Boys Trial, Scottsboro, Alabama: The Fight for Equality and Civil Rights is Vibrant
  • Army Sargent During Peacetime, Washington, DC*: Civil Unrest Sweeps Across America
  • Innovative Boat Mechanic, Detroit, Michigan*: Speedboat Champion Strives to Create the Ultimate Machine
  • Canadian Boxer, Bangor, Maine: Boxer Claims the Role of Villain to Achieve Success
  • Farming Family, York, South Carolina: Family Endures Death, Debts and Selling the Farm
  • Popular Singer, Camden, New Jersey*: Microphone Innovations Usher in Popular Crooners
  • Female Judge, New York, New York*: Judge Takes the Road Less Travelled
  • Miner Turned Musician, Winston-Salem, North Carolina: Government Work Program Strengthens American Music Scene
  • Church Supervisor, Huntington, West Virginia: Methodist Minister Tames Troubled Churches
  • Fundamentalist Preacher, Stamford, Texas: The Fight to Make America Liquor-Free Continues
  • Glass Maker, Corning, New York: The Man Who Made the Electric Light Bulb Affordable
  • Sportswriter, New York, New York*: Newspaper Sportswriter is Best Job in the World
  • Technical Engineer, Hollywood, California*: Discovering the Power of Technicolor
  • Bond Trader, New York, New York*: New York Bond Trader Sees a Rebounding Economy
  • Jazz Pianist/Arranger, Kansas City, Missouri*: Keeping up With the “Swingingest Female Alive”
  • Television Engineer, Camden, New Jersey*: RCA-Victor Researcher Works in Secret on Inventing Television
  • Radio Advertising Executive, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota*: How Wheaties Became “Breakfast of Champions”
  • Tobacco Heiress, Honolulu, Hawaii: Tobacco Heiress Continues to Live the Good Life
  • Inventor, Bangor, Maine: Frozen Food Innovator Focuses on Portable Food for Soldiers
  • Section Two: Historical Snapshots
  • This section includes lists of important “firsts” for America, from technical advances and political events to new products and top selling books. Combining serious American history with fun facts, these snapshots present, in chronological categories, an easy-to-read overview of what happened in the decade leading up to 1940.
  • Early 1930s
  • Mid 1930s
  • Late 1930s
  • 1940
  • Section Three: Economy of the Times
  • This section looks at a wide range of economic data, including food, clothing, transportation, housing and other selected prices, with reprints of actual advertisements for products and services of the time. It is arranged chronologically, year by year, and brings to life the economic engine that drove our country into the 1940s.
  • 1930
  • 1931
  • 1932
  • 1933
  • 1934
  • 1935
  • 1936
  • 1937
  • 1938
  • 1939
  • 1940
  • Value of a Dollar Index 1860-2010
  • Section Four: All Around Us—What We Saw, Wrote, Read & Listened To
  • This section includes reprints of newspaper and magazine articles, letters, posters, and others items designed to help the reader focus on what was on the minds of Americans in the decade prior to the 1940 Census. As they move from 1930 to 1940, these printed pieces show how popular opinion may have formed, and changed, by the time Americans responded to the 1940 Census.
  • “How Safe Is Flying?” by John Draper, Popular Mechanics, January 1930
  • Editorial, “What Do You Think of This Plan for Discussing the Eighteenth Amendment?” Oberlin News Tribune, January 1, 1931
  • “Studio Test for Details of Opening,” The Raleigh Times (North Carolina), April 11, 1931
  • “Thousands in One Music Class: Piano Instruction Is Latest Form of Radio Activities,” The Raleigh Times, April 11, 1931
  • “Feeding Methods,” by H.C. Knandel, Comfort Magazine, April 1932
  • “Orders Widen Fight for Negro's Rights, Conference Adopts Margold Plan to Begin 100 Cases in South Against Discrimination,” The New York Times, May 21, 1932
  • “Talks with Girls,” by Cousin Marion, Comfort Magazine, January 1932
  • “Crisis Threatens Alabama Schools, Shortage of Funds Has Closed 85 Percent, with Remainder on Part Time,” The New York Times, April 21, 1933:
  • Today, Sherwood Anderson, “I Want to Work,” April, 1934
  • “Safe Relief from Nervous Tension,” Dr. Miles New Weather Almanac and Handbook of Valuable information, 1934
  • “From Inner Tubes to Rubber Dollies,” by Mabel Dunlap, Junior Home for Parent and Child, March 1934:
  • “Gleams From Film Capital, Burlington,” Daily Times News (North Carolina), December 27, 1934
  • “4,000 in CWA Put on Short Week; Supply Purchases Hauled by Low Funds,” January 19, 1935
  • “Pay-As-You-Listen Is a Riddle of the Age,” by Orin E. Dunlap Jr., The New York Times, January 14, 1935
  • “Children in Gainful Occupations,” Needlecraft Magazine, March 1935
  • “Ask Birth Control at House Hearing,” The New York Times, January 19, 1935
  • Augusta Swanson, Telling Memories among Southern Women
  • “Social Security Betrayed,” by Abraham Epstein, The Nation, October 10, 1936
  • “What Sort of People Are Getting Divorces?” by Farnsworth Crowder, McCall's, February 1936
  • “Woman Runs Signal Tower; Handles It ‘Like a Man,’“ Grit, April 18, 1937
  • “Twenty Years When Nothing Stood Still,” Forbes Magazine, December 15, 1937
  • “First Woman Inventor in U.S. Is Attractive Beulah Henry,” GRIT, April 18, 1937
  • “Home Under the Seats,” Pathfinder, August 27, 1938
  • “Gomez and Ruffing Get Demands, Opening Way to Final Agreements with Gehrig, DiMaggio, Crosetti, Rolfe, and Others,” Lowell Sun (Massachusetts), March 1, 1938
  • “Rate Budge Number 1 in Tennis Event,” Piqua Daily Call (Ohio), September 1, 1938
  • Ready for New Clothes for School,” by Marilyn Madison, Home Arts-Needlecraft, September 1938
  • “Town of Tomorrow,” by Dorothy Ducas and Elizabeth Gordon, The New York Herald Tribune World's Fair Section, April 30, 1939
  • The Risks and Rewards of 1939—A Financial Review of the Year, Federal Reserve Bank of New York
  • “The New York World's Fair Music Festival,” Olin Downes, Etude Music Magazine, May 1939