We’ve come a long way since 1900


Posted on December 23, 1999 at 08:06:39:

Okay, admit it. By now I’m sure you may be so sick and tired of hearing about the new Millennium you just want it to get here already. But, despite all this new millennium talk -- and I doubt it was this overused in December of 1899 -- I’m sure you’ll be excited about being alive on January 1, 2000 anyway. Go ahead and say it: “Wow, a brand new century!”

Today, Bill Clinton is president. William McKinley occupied the Oval Office in 1900. Who will be there in 2100? I am proud to be the State Senator for most of Calvert and St. Mary’s counties as we enter into the new millennium. You win the Maryland Senate Trivia Quiz if you know who represented Calvert and St. Mary’s in 1900. That would be: Washington Willkinson in St. Mary’s and Charles L. Marsh in Calvert. Unlike me, both were Republicans.

In 1900, motor cars were the big new technological rage. By mid-century, it was the television (good) and the nuclear bomb (bad). At the end of the century, it’s the World Wide Web (good and bad).

What will our ancestors marvel about in 2100? Thanks to technological advances in science in particular and medicine in general, many more babies born in 2000 than in 1900 will have a greater chance to have a life expectancy of 100 or more so they can live an entire century and more.

As I’ve pondered the past century, I wondered about how far we’ve come. So, I decided to do a little research comparing 1900 with 2000. I think you’ll be interested in some of the facts I found out.

10,223 -- the population of Calvert County in 1900.
76,580 -- the estimated population of Calvert County in 2000.

17,182 -- the population of St. Mary’s County in 1900.
91,950 -- the estimated population of St. Mary’s County in 2000.

1,722 -- the number of homes in Calvert County in 1900.
27,505 -- the number of homes in Calvert County in 2000.

1,077 -- the number of farms in Calvert County in 1900.
340 -- the estimated number of farms in Calvert in 2000.

1,292 -- the number of farms in St. Mary’s County in 1900.
620 -- the number of estimated farms in St. Mary’s County in 2000.

49.9 -- The estimated life expectancy for Marylanders in 1902. For those who lived to be five years old after being born in 1902, the life expectancy rose to 56.9 years because of heavy infant mortality at that time.

76.1 years -- The estimated average life expectancy in the State of Maryland in 1998.

N/A -- Speed limit in Calvert and St. Mary’s counties. There were no speed limits in 1900 in the two counties.

25-40 -- Average speed limit in Calvert and St. Mary’s counties (on rural roads).
50-55 -- Average speed limit in Calvert and St. Mary’s counties (on highways).

76 -- public schools in St. Mary’s County in 1900 (48 white, 28 African-American).
25 -- public schools in St. Mary’s County in 2000 (16 elementary, four middle, three high schools, one career center).

45 -- public schools in Calvert County in 1990 -- (28 white, 17 African-American)
21 -- public schools in Calvert County in 2000 (three high schools, five middle, 11 elementary, one career center, one developmental).

1918 -- the first year drivers in Calvert County had to, by law, acquire a license.

65,956 -- Registered automobiles in Calvert County in 1998, the last available year those statistics were compiled.

72,593 -- Registered automobiles in St. Mary’s County in 1998, the last available year those statistics were compiled.

13 -- Fatalities in Calvert County in 1999
17 -- Fatalities in St. Mary’s County in 1999
300 -- Fatalities in Baltimore in 1999

Let’s hope for a more peace among our citizens towards each other, better, wiser driving on our roadways and more attention to details in the workplace.

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