March 13, 2000
Documents and Teaching Activities Related to the Census and Laura Ingalls Wilder Now Available Online from the National Archives
Washington, DC. . . The National Archives and Records Administration announces a new digital project for the classroom at its web site. "Little House in the Census" presents pages from the 1880 and 1900 census schedules that list the family of Laura Ingalls Wilder. It suggests teaching activities correlated to the National Standards for History and the National Standards for Civics and Government, and provides links to the Hoover Presidential Library's "Just For Kids" page for more information on the family and to the web site of the Bureau of the Census for information on Census 2000. Its URL is http://www.archives.gov/digital_classroom/lessons/laura_ingalls_wilder/laura_ingalls_wilder.html.
Every 10 years since 1790, the U.S. Government has taken a census to enumerate the population so as to apportion seats in the House of Representatives. In the past, census enumerators canvassed their districts house-to-house, collecting information about individuals and households on large forms called population schedules.
In each decennial census, Americans from the famous to the unsung and the infamous appear on the schedules, including favorite figures of literature. Laura Ingalls, Almanzo Wilder, and their families of the popular Little House on the Prairie series were not merely characters of book and television. They were real people who appeared in the census many times, including those of 1880 in the Dakota Territory and 1900 in Missouri.
"Little House in the Census" is the latest in a series of Digital Classroom exercises developed by the National Archives and Records Administration for teachers and students through its web site. Other subjects covered at the education web site include exercises on woman suffrage and the Civil War. For a full listing, visit http://www.archives.gov/digital_classroom/teaching_with_documents.html.
For additional information, please e-mail the National Archives Education Staff at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700.