Happy Independence Day!

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On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation.


As always, this most American of holidays will be marked by parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues across the country.
In July 1776, about 2.5 million people were living in the newly independent nation.
The nation’s estimated population is now 313.9 million people.
In 2011, the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags was $3.6 million. The vast majority of this amount ($3.3 million) was for U.S. flags made in China.
The dollar value of U.S. flags exported in 2011 is $663,071. Mexico was the leading customer, purchasing $80,349 worth.
Dollar value of shipments of fabricated flags, banners and similar emblems by the nation’s manufacturers in 2007 was $302.7 million, according to the latest published economic census statistics.
The value of fireworks imported from China in 2011 was $232.3 million, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($223.4 million). U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to just $15.8 million in 2011, with Australia purchasing more than any other country ($4.5 million).
The value of U.S. manufacturers’ shipments of fireworks and pyrotechnics (including flares, igniters, etc.) in 2007 was $231.8 million.
Thirty-one places have “liberty” in their names. The most populous one as of April 1, 2010, was Liberty, Mo. (29,149). Iowa, with four, has more of these places than any other state, Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty and West Liberty.
Thirty-five places have “eagle” in their names. The most populous one is Eagle Pass, Texas, with a population of 26,248.
Eleven places have “independence” in their names. The most populous one is Independence, Mo., with a population of 116,830.
Nine places have “freedom” in their names. The most populous one is New Freedom, Pa., with a population of 4,464.
One place has “patriot” in its name. Patriot, Ind., has a population of 209.
Five places have “America” in their names. The most populous is American Fork, Utah, with a population of 26,263.
The surname of our first president, George Washington, is ranked at 138 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).
There is almost a one and three chance that the hot dogs and pork sausages consumed on the Fourth of July originated in Iowa. The Hawkeye State was home to 19.7 million hogs and pigs on March 1, 2012. This estimate represents almost one-third of the nation’s estimated total. North Carolina (8.6 million) and Minnesota (7.6 million) were also homes to large numbers of pigs.
Total production of cattle and calves in Texas in 2011 is 7.2 billion pounds. 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 (4.0 billion pounds).
Potato salad and potato chips are popular food items at Fourth of July barbecues. About half of the nation’s spuds were produced in Idaho or Washington state in 2011.
We, here at the Valencia County News-Bulletin, wish everyone a happy and safe Fourth of July!