1. The 229th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence will be celebrated by 118.6 times as many people as were present in the American colonies when it was signed. Bringing together the menu and other familiar items associated with the holiday is a logistics challenge both domestic and international.
2. Those celebrants will consume an estimated 150 million hot dogs. Of those hot dogs, there’s a one in four chance those made of pork originated in Iowa (that state had a population of 16.2 million hogs and pigs as of March 1, 2005).
3. If you prefer beef, one sixth of the nation’s beef or 7.3 billion pounds of cattle and calves in 2004 came from Texas.
4. If there’s chicken on your grill for the holiday, it likely came from one of six states with over $1 billion of revenue from chicken broilers in 2004 (Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina, Mississippi or Texas).
5. Side dishes like baked beans likely came from North Dakota, Michigan or Nebraska, which together accounted for 58% of the nation’s dry, edible beans in 2004. The potatoes in the form of potato salad, chips, fried, baked or boiled have a 50% chance of coming from Idaho or Washington, which accounted for half the potato production in the U.S. in 2004.
6. China is the principal supplier of the “rocket’s red glare,” accounting for $164.2 million of the $172.5 million the U.S. imported in 2004. The U.S. produces just 10% of that amount ($17.3 million in 2002) and exports most of its production ($14.3 million in 2004).
7. For patriotic flag waving, China is also a major supplier, accounting for $5.2 million of U.S. American flag imports in 2004. The U.S. exported $851,000 worth of flags in 2004, most going to Mexico. But at $349 million, U.S. manufacturers accounted for a lot of fabricated flags, banners and similar emblems in 2002).
8. Celebrating with native-born Americans were 34 million foreign-born residents in 2004 and another 30 million second generation Americans (at least one parent born abroad).