In the 230 years since the initial signing of the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. population has grown from 2.5 million in 13 colonies to nearly 300 million today. Dividing the 150 million hot dogs expected to be consumed at holiday cook outs shouldn’t be an issue given that Texas produces over 3.5 million tons of beef (2005 figures). If Texas runs out of beef, not to worry, when Kansas and Nebraska kick in, the total reaches nearly 8 million tons.
Getting your protein from other sources? If it’s beans you want, North Dakota, Michigan and Nebraska account for 60% of the nation’s dry, edible beans. If legumes aren’t your dish, your corn-on-the-cob likely came from Florida, California or Georgia, which produce just over 50% of the country’s corn.
Two states account for half the nation’s potatoes, so Aunt Edna’s famous potato salad likely used spuds trucked in from Idaho or Washington.
There will be plenty of flags waving over the weekend. Like many other textiles, the country imports many of its flags. Of the $5.5 million U.S. flags imported in 2005, $5 million came from China. The U.S. is exporting more than democracy, it also exported $993,000 worth of U.S. flags in 2005 (Mexico was the leading customer).
Looking for a good place to celebrate, you might head for one of the 32 places with “eagle” in their name (such as Eagle Pass, Texas – where you might be able to look across the border and see some of those exported American flags waving).
Liberty, Missouri may be the best-known city with that name, but Iowa has more “liberty’s” than any other state (four). If you’re feeling independent, you could be in one of the 11 places in the U.S. with “independence” in their name. Five places have the name “freedom” but only one is called “patriot” (Patriot, Indiana).
As you celebrate with your neighbors, there’s a more than one in 10 chance you’ll share your holiday with a foreign-born American. In 2004, there were 34 million foreign-born residents of the U.S. Add second generation Americans (those with at least one foreign-born parent) and you nearly double the number (another 30 million).
However you celebrate and with whom, have a safe holiday.