Interest in 1940 US census paralyzes website

April 2, 2012

(AP) -- Interest in the newly released 1940 U.S. census is so great that the government website with the information is nearly paralyzed.

Miriam Kleiman (KLEYE'-man), a spokeswoman for the U.S. National Archives, told The Associated Press that the site registered more than 22 million hits in just four hours on Monday, from almost 2 million users.

The government released the records for the first time after 72 years of confidentiality expired.

It's the largest collection of ever released by the National Archives. The records allow individuals and families to learn details about their past.

are working on the site to bring it up to speed as soon as possible.

More than 21 million people still alive in the U.S. and Puerto Rico were counted in the 1940 census.

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