Press Editorial

July 3, 2012

By Staff

Fun facts for the Fourth

The Fourth of July can be much more than just a day of celebrating your patriotism, flipping burgers and watching fireworks. It can also be a day of impressing your friends and family with Independence Day trivia knowledge.

So, here are some fun factoids from the U.S. Census Bureau.

  • When the Declaration of Independence was signed in July 1776, it was estimated that 2.5 million people were living in the newly independent nation. Today, that number is believed to be 313.9 million.
  • The U.S. imported $3.6 million worth of American flags last year, with $3.3 million worth of those flags coming from China.
  • The U.S. actually exported its own American flags last year, which amounted to a whopping $663,071 value. Mexico was our biggest customer, purchasing $80,349 worth of American flags.
  • The U.S. purchased $223.4 million in fireworks from China last year, and sold $4.5 million of fireworks to our biggest customer, Australia.
  • Sure there are a lot of places in the U.S. with patriotic-sounding place names like Liberty, Independence and Freedom, but our fine state is the only one named after a U.S. president.
  • Chances are pretty good — one in three — that the hot dog or pork sausage you’re grilling came from Iowa, our nation’s No. 1 pork producing state. The Hawkeye State was home to 19.7 million hogs and pigs on March 1, 2012. North Carolina (8.6 million) and Minnesota (7.6 million) were also homes to large numbers of pigs.
  • Got beef? The Lone Star State of Texas was responsible for producing 7.2 billion pounds of cattle and calves in 2011. But the spuds used for potato salad, french fries, hash browns or other starchy favorites have a 50/50 chance of coming from either Washington or Idaho.
  • And it’s estimated that 313 million people will drink at least one ice-cold brew on the Fourth. Kidding. We just made that last one up. But you can conduct a straw poll with your buddies while waiting for the fireworks from China to begin.
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