Sunday, July 4, 2010

July 4th, 2010


Like many people across our wonderful land, we are relaxing this weekend, and spending time with family for a cookout. We are thinking of those that can not be with us, thanking those that protect our nation, praying for those that struggle to lead us, and asking a beneficent God to bless us all and give us open hearts filled with kindness.

On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, starting our tiny 13 colonies on the road to freedom. I did a little research and found some fun facts that I thought I might share that give an interesting perspective on our country, our history, our growth, how we share, and our sheer size.

2.5 million - In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation. Source: Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970

309.6 million - The nation's estimated population on this July Fourth.
Source: Population clock

31 - 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.
Sources: Population estimates and American FactFinder.

138- 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).
Source: Census 2000 Genealogy

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.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

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).
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

6 - 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.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

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.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (and here).

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.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

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.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

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.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (and here).

Florida - 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.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service


I thank God for this incredible country with all our diversity and options, with all our challenges and blessings. I pray that we will find clearer paths into the future with more civil behavior and respect for each other, with more discourse and more learning. I know with the hand of heaven upon us we will be successful. Happy Fourth of July to all of you!

1 comment:

Maggie said...

Wonderful stuff. Thanks so much for posting all that for us. I'll have to come back later and reread it all. You too have a great day.

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