NORMAN — As you ponder your independence while standing over the barbecue grill today, here are a few Fourth of July facts provided by the U.S. Census Bureau that you may or may not know.
· The U.S. population in July 1776 was estimated at 2.5 million compared to today’s estimate of 316.2 million.
· There were 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, with John Hancock, president of the Second Continental Congress, being the first to sign. Ben Franklin at age 70 was the oldest signer.
· Two signers, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, went on to become the second and third president respectively. They also both died on the 50th anniversary of the signing the Declaration on July 4, 1826.
· The bulk of the $227 million worth of fireworks that were imported to the U.S. in 2012 came from China with exports of $218 million.
· In 2012, the U.S. imported $3.8 million worth of American flags, again most of these, $3.6 million, were made in China.
· Dollar value of trade last year between the U.S. and the United Kingdom was $109.8 billion, making the British, our adversary in 1776, our sixth-leading trading partner today.
· Fifty-nine places in the U.S. contain the word “liberty” in the name, and Pennsylvania, with 11, has more of these places than any other state.
· The most common patriotic-sounding word used within place names is “union,” with 136. Pennsylvania, with 33, has more of these places than other state.
· On March 1 of this year, there were 65.9 million hogs and pigs in the U.S., and chances are that the pork hot dogs and sausages that will be consumed today originated in Iowa. The Hawkeye State was home to 20.3 million hogs and pigs, followed by North Carolina and Minnesota.
· If you are enjoying beef hot dogs, steaks or burgers on your grill, there is a good chance they were produced in Texas, which accounted for nearly one-sixth of the nation’s total beef production or 6.3 billion pounds in 2012.
· And, if you are enjoying potato chips or potato salad, look toward Idaho where 345 million of acres were dedicated to the potato crop in 2012, the most in the nation.
Again, happy July 4th.