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KC History: The Upcoming 1940 Census Release

The 1940 census tells a story of the economic dislocation that took place in America during the Great Depression. On April 2, those records will be made publicly available online for researchers everywhere.

On this Friday's Walt Bodine Show, join co-host Monroe Dodd and Lori Cox-Paul, Director of Archival Operations for the National Archives, for a look at what makes this release extraordinarily unique. Once available on the 1940 census website, visitors will have free access to the approximate 3.8 million schedules, maps and enumeration district descriptions.

You can start by finding the enumeration district where your family lived. You can do that by visiting the Online Public Access Search (OPA), and entering "1940 Census maps" + the county + the state into the search box. For example, if your family lived in Sussex, Delaware, you would do a search: 1940 Census maps Sussex Delaware. You can also narrow the search by including a town name in the search: 1940 Census maps Sussex Milford Delaware. When the records go live on April 2nd at 8 a.m. CT, you'll now know where to being looking for your family records.

The National Archives will host 1940 Census Workshops April 2 at 10 – 11:30 a.m. and 1 – 2:30 p.m., and on April 5 at 1 – 2:30 p.m. To make a reservation for these free events, please call 816-268-8000 or email kansascity.archives@nara.gov.

Check out the U.S. Census Bureau's comparison of the 1940 census with the 2010 censushere.

Even the Three Stooges helped get the word out about the census in their their short films, "No Census No Feeling" --

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