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The first ever Census Bureau color director was James F. Holmes: NPR – News


James F. Holmes, the first person to oversee the number of people in the United States, stood in his office in 1998 at the former headquarters of the Census Bureau in Suitland, Maryland. Holmes was acting director for about nine months.

The Washington Post via Juana Arias / Getty Images

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The Washington Post via Juana Arias / Getty Images

James F. Holmes, the first person to oversee the number of people in the United States, stood in his office in 1998 at the former headquarters of the Census Bureau in Suitland, Maryland. Holmes was acting director for about nine months.

The Washington Post via Juana Arias / Getty Images

More than 20 years before the Biden administration announced Its historic choice to lead the US Census Bureau, James F. Holmes quietly paved the way for the federal government’s largest statistical agency.

Biden’s candidate, Robert Santos, is a statistician, Latino-American, and will be the Senate-approved first permanent color director of the agency. However, African-American and acting director in 1998, Holmes was the first colored race to oversee the number of people who formed the basis of democracy in the United States.

Holmes’ nearly nine-month stint during an important period of preparation for the 2000 census A long history of whites overseeing the once-in-a-decade tally Used to determine political representatives and guide federal funding.

For over 230 years, more than 30 white leaders, including Thomas Jefferson, have led the census. The country’s first State Minister was indicted in 1790 for proving the number of US residents from the first population. Original instructions of the Constitution — Slave people are counted as “three-fifths” of free people, Some Native Americans weren’t counted at all..

The director, who became a permanent institution in 1902, was elected by the president and approved by the Senate. And for almost a quarter of a century (which didn’t require parliamentary approval) after Holmes temporarily ended his term as acting head of a government agency, none of the colored people took the top spot in the bureau.

The first ever Census Bureau color director was James F. Holmes: NPR

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