On this date in 1882, the world’s first hydroelectric power plant began operating on the Fox River in Appleton, Wisconsin. Inspired by Thomas Edison, a man named H.F. Rogers built the facility using a water wheel to power the lights in the Appleton Paper and Pulp Company, a nearby building and his home. Soon, hydroelectric power plants were spurring industrial growth in many parts of the country. Today, 407 hydroelectric power establishments across the U.S. produce about 7 percent of our electric power. Nationally, between 36 and 39 percent of the more than 4 trillion kilowatt hours of electricity generated is from coal-fired plants, followed by those using natural gas, and nuclear power. You can find more facts about America’s people, places and economy, from the American Community Survey, at <www.census.gov>.