Today is Oct. 10, 2010. Numerically, that's 10-10-10. Recent news stories note that around the country there's a rush of couples getting married today; it'll certainly make their anniversaries easier to remember.
The numbers 10-10-10 also represents the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium levels in garden-variety fertilizer. That provides a fertile idea: In recognition of the unusual date, here are 10 things you might not know about Columbia County:
1. Columbia County was carved from Richmond County by an act of the Georgia Legislature on Dec. 10, 1790, to settle a dispute over where the courthouse should be located.
2. Columbia County is Georgia's 12th county, and was named for Christopher Columbus. (Happy Columbus Day.)
3. The county seat - in essence, the county capital - is Appling, named for William Appling, who donated the land in 1792. Appling County, in south Georgia, is named for his nephew, Col. Daniel Appling, a hero in the War of 1812.
4. Since losing its incorporation in 1995, Appling is one of only three unincorporated county seats among Georgia's 159 counties (Knoxville, in Crawford County, and Statenville, in Echols County, are the others).
5. Columbia County covers more than 290 square miles, with a population density of more than 308 people per square mile.
6. Just more than 12,000 people lived in the county 100 years ago - roughly 100,000 fewer than today. That number barely changed for 50 years. Then the boom hit: The census shows the population nearly doubling from 1960-1970; almost doubling again by 1980, and increasing a mere 40 percent in the next 10 years. The county's lowest population in the past 100 years was in 1930, when it dipped to 8,700.
7. Long before the population boom began in the 1960s, there were as many as 45 public schools in Columbia County. Today, with nearly 10 times as many pupils, there are only 31 schools. (Of course, some of those earlier schools had as few as 12 pupils.)
8. According to the Census Bureau, Columbia County's current population of nearly 115,000 is 79 percent white, 15.5 percent black, 3.6 percent Hispanic and 3.5 percent Asian. Just more than 51 percent of the county's population is female.
9. You're more likely to be hit by a tornado here than an earthquake: Columbia County has 1.1 percent more tornado activity than the national average, but 76 percent less earthquake activity.
10. Finally, if you're worshipping today, it's probably in a Baptist church. Of those Columbia County residents who declare a religious affiliation, an estimated 61 percent are Baptist, while 20 percent are Methodist. That leaves other denominations carving up the remaining fifth of those who declare an affiliation.
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