Millions of people flocked to their computers yesterday, to try to get a glimpse of their family histories. For the first time ever, The U.S. Census Bureau released the , which had been kept confidential for the past 72 years.
In the first four hours of its launch, the website had an unprecedented visits to its historical archives. All that viewer traffic overloaded the system and nearly paralyzed the server. But things seem to be back up and running today, according to the site's homepage.
It's no wonder people are so interested. The archives house nearly 4.5 million pieces of information, including details about 132 million people from the time. By entering the site, you can get free access to all 1940 census images, maps and descriptions never before seen by the public.
You can't search details by name just yet, but if you've ever wondered if Grandma's post-depression tales were true, you can have a look for yourself! Check out this from the Washington Post for directions on navigating the archives. Happy history hunting!