Today is August 2, 2013. It is the anniversary of the first U. S. Census conducted in 1790. It recorded the population of the new nation as of August 2, 1790. According to the census, believed by both President George Washington and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson to understate the nation’s true population, there were 3,893,635 people living in the thirteen states. Of that number, 694,280 were slaves. The most recent total as of 2012 is 393.9 million souls.
Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland was first published on this day in 1865. All copies of the first printing sold out quickly. Queen Victoria enjoyed the book very much. Some critics believe that the Queen of Hearts in Carroll’s tale is a caricature of Queen Victoria. One of the most popular children’s books, it has never been out of print.
In 1876, a young gunslinger named Jack McCall walked into a saloon in Deadwood, South Dakota, where Wild Bill Hickok was playing poker with his back to the door. McCall shot Wild Bill in the back of the head without warning. Hickok, the most famous gunfighter in the West, died with his gun in the holster and a pair of black aces and black eights in his hand. McCall became the first man legally hanged in the Dakota Territory for having murdered an American legend.
And finally a bit of wisdom from Alice in Wonderland:
“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn’t have come here.”
Until next time, be good, do good, and always live under the mercy.
- 1878-Wild Bill pulls into Deadwood for the Last Time-Almanac of Absurdities July 12, 2013 (timemarcheson.wordpress.com)
- Wild Bill’s Brawl with Two of Custer’s Troopers (historynet.com)
- ‘Calamity Jane,’ ‘Great Performances’ on tap tonight (timesreporter.com)
- Wild Bill Days in Deadwood (rapidcityjournal.com)
- The first western showdown between Wild Bill Hickoc and Davis Tutt took place at the market square of Springfield, Missouri today in 1865. Now WE know em (nowweknowem.com)