this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was
approved by the Continental Congress, starting 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
number of U.S. residents on this July 4th. Back in July
1776, there were about 2.5 million people living in the
The Fourth of July Cookout
Number of hot dogs expected to be
consumed by Americans on the Fourth. (That’s one
frankfurter for every two people.) There’s about a
1-in-4 chance the hot dogs originated in Iowa, as the
Hawkeye State had a total inventory of 15.5 million hogs
and pigs on March 1, 2004. This represents about
one-fourth of the nation’s total. Data on hot dog
consumption courtesy of the National Hot Dog and Sausage
Council. Data on hogs and pigs at
Total production of cattle and calves
in Texas in 2003. Chances are that the beef on your
backyard grill came from the Lone Star State, which
accounted for roughly one-fifth of the nation’s total
6 Number of states in
which the value of chicken broilers was $1 billion or
greater in 2003. One of these states — Georgia,
Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina, Mississippi or Texas
— is probably the source of your barbecued chicken.
The odds that
the beans in your side dish of baked beans or pork and
beans came from North Dakota, which produced about
one-third of the nation’s dry, edible beans in 2003.
Amount of the nation’s spuds
produced in Idaho or Washington in 2003. Potato salad,
potato chips and fries are all popular side dishes at
July 4th barbecues.
Nearly 67 million
Number of Americans who 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 the Fourth. See Table 1244:
The value of fireworks imported from China
in 2003 representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks
imports ($163.1 million). U.S. exports of fireworks, by
comparison, came to just $14.4 million in 2003, with
Japan purchasing more than any other country ($5.3
The dollar value of U.S. imports of
American flags in 2003; well over half of this amount
($4.5 million) was for U.S. flags made in China. This
was down from the 2001 dollar value of U.S. flag imports
($51.7 million), but still considerably higher than the
total for 2000 ($747,800). That was the last full year
before Sept. 11.
of U.S. flag exports in 2003. Mexico was the leading
customer, purchasing $131,000 worth.
Number of U.S.
flags flown over the U.S. Capitol last year at the
request of House and Senate members. On July 4 alone,
more than 900 were flown at our nation’s capitol.
(Source: U.S. Capitol Flag
dollar value of shipments of fabricated flags, banners
and similar emblems by the nation’s manufacturers,
according to the latest published economic census (1997)
Number of places nationwide with “liberty” in
their name. The most populous one is Liberty, Mo.
(27,532). Iowa, with four, has more of these places than
any other state: Libertyville, New Liberty, North
Liberty and West Liberty.