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Heinleins Vanish from United States: The 1940 Census 
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Centennial Attendee
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Post Heinleins Vanish from United States: The 1940 Census
I looked at the 1940 Census for the neighborhood where Robert and Leslyn Heinlein lived. They are missing.

Someone else is there in their place.

I was not the first person to notice this. Mike Glyer, for one, did some real digging.

Here is the census form that covers 8777 Lookout Mountain Avenue. See for yourself.

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Bill Higgins
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Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:24 pm
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Post Re: Heinleins Vanish from United States: The 1940 Census
The question that intrigues me is whether it was Leslyn having fun, a desire to throw off the "busies" or Other (a mistake?). Also, did she subconsciously or consciously want children?

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Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:47 pm
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Heinlein Nexus
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Post Re: Heinleins Vanish from United States: The 1940 Census
Good catch. Wonder whether this is them rebelling against government intrusion. Isn't it illegal to lie to a census taker?


Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:29 pm
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Post Re: Heinleins Vanish from United States: The 1940 Census
Could have been either of them. But somebody was definitely making fun of the feds. :-)

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Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:10 pm
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Post Re: Heinleins Vanish from United States: The 1940 Census
I see that Beamjockey has commented there that Bill Patterson convinced him it was likely an error rather than prankish. It is rather hard to imagine Robert or Leslyn riffing off this whole scenario on the spur of the moment for some kind of "fun," is it not?

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"There comes a time in the life of every human when he or she must decide to risk 'his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor' on an outcome dubious. Those who fail the challenge are merely overgrown children, can never be anything else."


Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:41 pm
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Post Re: Heinleins Vanish from United States: The 1940 Census
RobertPearson wrote:
I see that Beamjockey has commented there that Bill Patterson convinced him it was likely an error rather than prankish. It is rather hard to imagine Robert or Leslyn riffing off this whole scenario on the spur of the moment for some kind of "fun," is it not?

For me, it is easier to imagine Leslyn than Robert committing a census prank.

Furthermore, the census enumerator recorded that he had obtained this information from the woman identifying herself as "Sigred" at this address, so under the prank theory, the finger points to Leslyn.

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Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:11 pm
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Post Re: Heinleins Vanish from United States: The 1940 Census
Throughout my life, there has been a vocal band of opposition to each Census - it's oppression, it's control, it's Big Brudda, etc. (Frankly, I think that's a massive case of Missing The Point, but I gave up trying to understand fringe agitators a decade back.)

I don't know how common that attitude might have been in 1940, especially for someone of Heinlein's peculiar makeup - I can see it going both ways (patriotic duty / unnecessary gumminting). It may have been intentional dissimulation rather than prankishness.

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Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:04 am
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Post Re: Heinleins Vanish from United States: The 1940 Census
I recall that Heinlein once urged taxpayers to pay a penny more in tax than they owed, to cause more paperwork for the IRS. Libertarian statement or prank?


Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:22 pm
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Post Re: Heinleins Vanish from United States: The 1940 Census
JamesGifford wrote:
Throughout my life, there has been a vocal band of opposition to each Census - it's oppression, it's control, it's Big Brudda, etc. (Frankly, I think that's a massive case of Missing The Point, but I gave up trying to understand fringe agitators a decade back.)

I don't know how common that attitude might have been in 1940, especially for someone of Heinlein's peculiar makeup - I can see it going both ways (patriotic duty / unnecessary gumminting). It may have been intentional dissimulation rather than prankishness.


If it were 1960 I could see more of a justification: don't create records that the Reds could use to enumerate the populace after an invasion. Like gun registries. I mention it only because Heinlein was highly concerned at that time about WWIII. But any invasion of the USA homeland is and always has been so fantastical that I doubt that even he would have placed any credence in that scenario, only the (fairly likely) mutual destruction.


Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:08 pm
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