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On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, starting 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, the number of people living in the colonies was about 2½ million.
• In July 2006, the population of the U.S. was almost 300 million.
150 million hot dogs (all varieties) are expected to be consumed by Americans on this holiday in 2006. (That’s one frankfurter for every two people.) There’s more than a 1-in-4 chance that the hot dogs made of pork originated in Iowa, as the Hawkeye State had a total inventory of 15.2 million market hogs and pigs on March 1, 2006. This represents more than one-fourth of the nation’s total. North Carolina (8.5 million) and Minnesota (5.8 million) were the runners-up.
BAKED BEANS AND CORN ON THE COB
The odds are better than 50-50 that the beans in your side dish of baked beans came from North Dakota, Michigan or Nebraska, which produced 60 percent of the nation’s dry, edible beans in 2005. Another popular July 4th side dish is corn on the cob. Florida, California and Georgia together accounted for 51 percent of the sweet corn produced nationally in 2005.
POTATO SALAD & POTATO CHIPS
Potato salad and potato chips are popular food items at July 4th barbecues. One-half of the nation’s spuds are produced in Idaho or Washington.
Total production of cattle and calves in Texas in 2005 WAS 7.3 million 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 over one-sixth of the nation’s total production. And if they did not come from Texas, they very well may have come from Nebraska (4.5 billion pounds) or Kansas (4 billion pounds).
U.S. Census Bureau www.census.gov
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