A Sign of the Times

If you perform the following search in the 1940 federal population census, you get 138 results:


Half the Park is After Dark event poster (NPS.gov)

Now do this search:


You get 111 results. Well, you may be thinking, that’s vaguely encouraging: this country supported more full-time astronomers than astrologists in the 1940 census (by a very slim margin). But wait—now do this search:

SEARCH—OCCUPATION: fortune teller

You get 142 results. Which means that this country in 1940 had:

138 full-time astronomers
253 full-time astrologers/fortune tellers

Feel free to draw your own conclusions…

How can researchers access the federal population census? You may use Heritage Quest Online from home with a valid SLPL library card and PIN, or at Central Library or any of our branches.

You may use Ancestry Library Edition at Central Library or any of our branches.

Here’s a list of SLPL reference databases.

We welcome your respectful and on-topic comments and questions in this limited public forum. To find out more, please see Appropriate Use When Posting Content. Community-contributed content represents the views of the user, not those of St. Louis Public Library