Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth of July!

Did You Know?

On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. As always, this most American of holidays will be marked by parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues across the country.
– In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation was 2.5 million.
– On July 4, 2008, the nation's population will be 304 million.

Fourth of July Cookouts
– The chance that the hot dogs and pork sausages consumed on the Fourth of July originated in Iowa are more than 1 in 4. The Hawkeye State was home to 17.6 million market hogs and pigs on March 1, 2008. This represents more than one-fourth of the nation's total. North Carolina (9 million) and Minnesota (6.7 million) were the runners-up.
– The total production of cattle and calves in Texas in 2007 is 6.8 billion pounds. Chances are good that the beef hot dogs, steaks and burgers on your backyard grill came from the Lone Star State, which accounted for about one-sixth of the nation's total production. And if the beef did not come from Texas, it very well may have come from Nebraska (4.7 billion pounds) or Kansas (4.1 billion pounds).
– There are six states in which the revenue from broiler chickens was $1 billion or greater between December 2006 and November 2007. There is a good chance that one of these states – Georgia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi or Texas – is the source of your barbecued chicken.
– About 4 in 10 are the odds that your side dish of baked beans originated from North Dakota, which produced 42 percent of the nation's dry, edible beans in 2007. Another popular Fourth of July side dish is corn on the cob. Florida, California, Georgia and New York together accounted for 60 percent of the sweet corn produced nationally in 2007.
– Potato salad and potato chips are popular food items at Fourth of July barbecues. More than half (52 percent) of the nation's spuds were produced in Idaho or Washington state in 2007.
– More than three-fourths amount of the nation's head lettuce production in 2007 that came from California. This lettuce may end up in your salad or on your burger.
– Nearly 3 in 4 chances that the fresh tomatoes in your salad came from Florida or California, which combined accounted for 73 percent of U.S. tomato production last year. The ketchup on your burger or hot dog probably came from California, which accounted for 96 percent of processed tomato production in 2007.
– Georgia is the state that led the nation in watermelon production last year (1 billion pounds). Other leading producers of this popular Fourth of July dessert included California, Florida and Texas, each with more than 400 million pounds.
– More than 74 million Americans said they have taken part in a barbecue during the previous year. It's probably safe to assume a lot of these events took place on Independence Day.

The value of fireworks imported from China in 2007 amounts to $207 million, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($217 million). U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to just $14.9 million in 2007, with Japan purchasing more than any other country ($3.8 million).
– The U.S. manufacturers' shipments of fireworks in 2002 values up to $17.3 million.
– In 2007, $4.7 million was the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags. The vast majority of this amount ($4.3 million) was for U.S. flags made in China.
– $2.4 million was the dollar value of U.S. flags exported in 2007. Mexico was the leading customer, purchasing $1.2 million worth.
– The annual dollar value of shipments of fabricated flags, banners and similar emblems by the nation's manufacturers was $349.2 million, according to the latest published economic census data.

Patriotic-Sounding Names
– The number of places nationwide with "liberty" in their name is 31. The most populous one as of July 1, 2006, is Liberty, Mo. (29,581). Iowa, with four, has more of these places than any other state: Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty and West Liberty.
*Thirty-one places are named "eagle" – after the majestic bird that serves as our national symbol. (Places include cities, towns, villages and census-designated places.) The most populous such place is Eagle Pass, Texas, with 26,401 residents.
*Twelve places have "independence" in their name. The most populous of these is Independence, Mo., with 109,400 residents.
*Nine places adopted the name "freedom." Freedom, Calif., with 6,000 residents, has the largest population among these.
*There is one place named "patriot" – Patriot, Ind., with a population of 192.
And what could be more fitting than spending the Fourth of July in a place called "America"? There are five such places in the country, with the most populous being American Fork, Utah, population 25,596.

The British are Coming!
– The dollar value of trade last year between the United States and the United Kingdom was $107.2 billion, making the British, our adversary in 1776, our sixth-leading trading partner today.

(Thank you to the Census Beaureu for this interesting trivia information with which we can now impress others at the Independence Day picnics, parades, fireworks, and family get togethers. )

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