Delaware’s delegation to the Continental Congress put a unanimous endorsement of the Declaration at risk. Dlaware delegate George Read was adamantly opposed to the Declaration (many still harbored an affinity for Great Britain and others feared for their careers and the fate of their families), while fellow Delawarians Thomas McKean and Caesar Rodney favored its adoption. Yet it appeared that Rodney, who was suffering from terminal cancer, might arrive in Philadelphia a day too late to break the Delaware delegation’s deadlock. However, the insistent Rodney rode all night through darkness, lightning, and thunder to arrive just in time to cast his affirmative vote, without which the Declaration would not have been unanimous.
In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation.
The nation’s estimated population on this July Fourth.
In 2009, the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags. The vast majority of this amount ($2.5 million) was for U.S. flags made in China.
Dollar value of U.S. flags exported in 2009. Mexico was the leading customer, purchasing $333,882 worth.
Annual dollar value of shipments of fabricated flags, banners and similar emblems by the nation’s manufacturers, according to the latest published economic census data.
The value of fireworks imported from China in 2009, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($217 million). U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to just $42.9 million in 2009, with the United Arab Emirates purchasing more than any other country ($14.5 million).
The value of U.S. manufacturers’ shipments of fireworks and pyrotechnics (including flares, igniters, etc.) in 2007.
Number of places nationwide with “liberty” in their name. The most populous one as of July 1, 2008, is Liberty, Mo. (30,568). Iowa, with four, has more of these places than any other state: Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty and West Liberty.
•Thirty places have “eagle” in their name — 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 26,668 residents.
•Eleven places have “independence” in their name. The most populous of these is Independence, Mo., with 110,440 residents.
•Five places adopted the name “freedom.” Freedom, Calif., with 6,000 residents, has the largest population among these. (This population total is as of the 2000 Census; no population estimate is available for Freedom because it is a census designated place.)
•There is one place named “patriot” — Patriot, Ind., with a population of 189.
•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 27,064.
Ranking of the frequency of the surname of our first president, George Washington, among all last names tabulated in the 2000 Census. Other early presidential names that appear on the list, along with their ranking, were Adams (39), Jefferson (594), Madison (1,209) and Monroe (567).
Dollar value of trade last year between the United States and the United Kingdom, making the British, our adversary in 1776, our sixth-leading trading partner today.
More than 1 in 4
The chance that the hot dogs and pork sausages consumed on the Fourth of July originated in Iowa. The Hawkeye State was home to 18.9 million hogs and pigs on March 1, 2010. This represents more than one-fourth of the nation’s total. North Carolina (9.1 million) and Minnesota (7.2 million) were the runners-up.
6.5 billion pounds
Total production of cattle and calves in Texas in 2008. 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 (4.6 billion pounds) or Kansas (3.9 billion pounds).
Number of states in which the value of broiler chicken production was $1 billion or greater between December 2007 and November 2008. 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 1 in 3
The odds that your side dish of baked beans originated from North Dakota, which produced 34 percent of the nation’s dry, edible beans in 2009. Another popular Fourth of July side dish is corn on the cob. Florida, California, Georgia, Washington and New York together accounted for 66 percent of the fresh market sweet corn produced nationally in 2009.
Please Pass the Potato Salad
Potato salad and potato chips are popular food items at Fourth of July barbecues. Half of the nation’s spuds were produced in Idaho or Washington state in 2009.
More than three-fourths
Amount of the nation’s head lettuce production in 2009 that came from California. This lettuce may end up in your salad or on your burger.
7 in 10
The chances that the fresh tomatoes in your salad came from Florida or California, which combined accounted for 70 percent of U.S. fresh market tomato production last year. The ketchup on your burger or hot dog probably came from California, which accounted for 95 percent of processed tomato production in 2009.
The state that led the nation in watermelon production last year (818 million pounds). Other leading producers of this popular fruit included California, Georgia and Texas, each with more than 500 million pounds.
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 Independence Day.