Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Many people associate the city with the Salem witch trials of 1692, which the city utilizes as a tourist attraction. However, Salem's real importance in American history lies at its status as an oft-used port for East Indies trade . The city is also commonly confused with the Salem on the soap opera Days of Our Lives, of which there is no relation.
At the time of the Salem witch trials, the present day city of Salem was named "Salem Town". Most of the accused in the trials lived in the nearby "Salem Village", which is now named Danvers, Massachusetts.
Salem includes the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, the only remaining intact waterfront from the US age of sail. In 1790, Salem was the sixth largest city in the country. Salem played a leading role in the American China trade.
One of Salem's most notable sons was Nathaniel Bowditch, who published The New American Practical Navigator. This work began as Bowditch's corrections of John Hamilton Moore's navigation tables. He found over 8000 innacuracies while sailing from Salem to the East Indies. The book, still in use, is in its 78th printing.
The city is also home to a large collection of Federal Style mansions. Many of these were the work of architect and woodcarver Samuel McIntire, for whom the city's largest Historic District is named.
Salem is located at 42°31'1" North, 70°53'55" West (42.516845, -70.898503)1.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 40,407 people, 17,492 households, and 9,708 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,926.1/km² (4,986.0/mi²). There are 18,175 housing units at an average density of 866.3/km² (2,242.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 85.37% White, 3.15% African American, 0.22% Native American, 2.00% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 6.74% from other races, and 2.47% from two or more races. 11.24% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 17,492 households out of which 24.2% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.8% are married couples living together, 13.3% have a female householder with no husband present, and 44.5% are non-families. 34.9% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.24 and the average family size is 2.95.
In the city the population is spread out with 20.2% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 33.4% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 86.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 83.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $44,033, and the median income for a family is $55,635. Males have a median income of $38,563 versus $31,374 for females. The per capita income for the city is $23,857. 9.7% of the population and 6.3% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 12.2% of those under the age of 18 and 7.9% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
- In the Devil's Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692, Mary Beth Norton, Knopf, 2002, hardcover, 432 pages, ISBN 037540709x
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