17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Friday, January 3, 1913: I’m so sleepy for I’m keeping later hours with my books Perhaps the thing will work all right after all. Hope it does.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Grandma was still trying to keep her New Year’s resolution to study harder—though she complained both on January 2 and 3 about being sleepy.
A hundred years ago students memorized more things than they do now. Might Grandma have been required to memorize geography facts such the names of the five states with the most people ? . . . and the five states with the fewest people.
Rank of States by Population, 1913 and 2013
I was surprised to discover how much the state ranks have changed over the last 100 years. In 1913, Pennsylvania—where Grandma lived— was the second most populous state in the US; now it is the sixth largest.
And, a hundred years ago, California was the 13th most populous state—today it is the state with the most people.
For those who are interested in the details about where I got the data for the table–I assumed that the population did not change between 1910 and 1913 and used data from the 1910 census for the 1913 estimates. I assumed that the population in 2013 is the same as it was in 2012. The 2013 estimates are based on April 1, 2012 estimates of the US population which were adjusted estimates based on the 2010 US Census.