The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Chicago Gives Birth to 300 Millionth American (Maybe)

By Scott Smith in News on Oct 18, 2006 4:31PM


If the CTA seemed a little more crowded at 6:46 yesterday morning then perhaps it’s because the U.S. just passed the 300 million mark in total population. Or maybe it was last week.

The Sun-Times reports (or guesses) that Alyzandra Marcella Ruiz became the 300 millionth person in the United States when she was born at University of Chicago's Bernard Mitchell Hospital yesterday at 5:58 a.m. Except she was born 48 minutes shy of when the census determined that the U.S. would hit the 300 million mark. So she probably isn’t. But then again, maybe she is.

But don’t go blaming the Sun-Times for losing count. Apparently census-taking is a lot like those contests where you count the number of jellybeans in a jar, except someone lost the little slip of paper where they wrote down the answer, and someone else keeps taking the jellybeans out and eating them, while a third person refills it every once in a while with gumdrops.

Also disappointing: little Aly doesn’t appear to have won anything for being number 300 million in the “Who Wants To Be Born In America” sweepstakes. If this were a grocery store and she were the 300 millionth customer, she’d at least get a shopping spree. (Does that still happen in the real world? Or is it only in our minds where it’s still the 1950s and Reese Witherspoon is a comely minx in a tight sweater?)

The Sun-Times seems to put a lot of pressure on Aly’s cutesy-wootsey, teeny-tiny baby shoulders though. The article’s tenth graf suggests that Aly ought to get busy with figuring out how to pay for universal health care, which is asking a bit much for someone’s first day on the job.

So congrats to Aly Ruiz. Or maybe not.