When dark days in U.S. history are remembered, they usually include Pearl Harbor and the September 11 terrorist attacks, which killed about 2,400 and 3,000 people, respectively. But the single bloodiest day in American history occurred 150 years ago today, in the Civil War battle of Antietam, near Sharpsburg, Maryland. Forces of Union General George McClellan and the Confederate troops of General Robert E. Lee met in a daylong pitched battle. By its end, more than 23,000 soldiers had been killed or wounded. During the Civil War, 140,000 Union soldiers alone were killed in battle. This is almost half the U.S. battle deaths during World War II, when the armed forces were eight times larger. Profile America is in its 16th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.
Sunday, September 16th. One of the most influential organizations in U.S. sports history was born this week in 1920 in an automobile showroom in Canton, Ohio. Originally called the American Professional Football Association, today it’s known as the National Football League or simply, the NFL. Only three current teams can trace their beginnings to that day in 1920 — the Chicago Bears, the Green Bay Packers, and the Arizona Cardinals, also originally from Chicago. The league’s first game, between the Dayton Triangles and the Columbus Panhandles was seen by only a few hundred people. Today, NFL games draw an average of 65,000 fans, with millions more watching on television. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at <www.census.gov>.
Saturday, September 15th. Today marks the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month — a time to recognize the contributions and vibrant culture of the nation’s fastest-growing population group. The idea started as a special week in 1968 and was expanded to a full month 20 years later. There are 52 million Hispanics in the U.S., close to 17 percent of the total population, forming the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority. Just under half live in California or Texas, and more than six-out-of-10 are of Mexican background. Underlining the rate of growth of the Hispanic community, 26 percent of all children under the age of 5 in the U.S. are Hispanic. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at <www.census.gov>.