A record-breaking 43 million Americans will hop in their cars or board planes, trains and ferries this weekend as they head out to celebrate Independence Day. The American Automobile Association estimates that 36.3 million of those travelers, encouraged by low gas prices, will drive to their destinations.
All those drivers and celebrations create some extra risks on the roads: The National Safety Council estimates that more than 450 people will be killed and another 53,600 may be seriously injured in motor vehicle crashes over the three-day holiday weekend. July 4 has historically been the deadlist day of the year to drive, and the safety council says that since 2010, more than 37 percent of all fatal crashes over the Independence Day holiday have involved alcohol.
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So be careful as you drive off to your holiday celebrations. And to help entertain your passengers, here are some Fourth of July figures, courtesy of the Census Bureau and HISTORY.com.
2.5 million: The estimated population of the newly independent United States of America in July 1776.
321.4 million: The population of the U.S. in July 2015 — 32 times what it was at our nation’s founding.
56: Signers of the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin was the oldest at 70 years. Edward Rutledge of South Carolina was the youngest at 26.
1: Signer who later recanted the Declaration. Richard Stockton of New Jersey recanted while held prisoner by the British.
3: Presidents who have died on July 4. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on the same day in 1826. James Monroe died in 1831.
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July 2, 1776: The actual day that the Continental Congress voted for independence. John Adams wrote, "The Second Day of July 1776 will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America." But the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4 (though it was signed later), and that became the date we commemorate.
1941: The year Congress declared Independence Day a legal and paid federal holiday.
$114.1 billion: The dollar value of trade in 2015 between the U.S. and the U.K. The British are our eighth-leading trading partner.
1960: The year the current American flag design, the 27th in our nation's history, was agreed upon.
$4.4 million: Dollar value of American flags imported in 2015, the majority of which were produced by China ($4.3 million). The U.S. exported only $3.1 million worth of flags, of which Mexico is the biggest customer ($2.4 million).
$311.7 million: The value of fireworks imported from China last year, accounting for the bulk of all imported fireworks ($324.8 million). In comparison, the U.S. exported $12.7 million worth of fireworks in 2015, with more than a third purchased by Singapore.
180.1 million: The weight of those imported fireworks, in pounds.
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14,000: Fireworks displays that take place across the country each year for July 4.
40,000: Shells launched by Macy's for its 4th of July fireworks, the largest show in the country.
4: States (Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts) that ban all consumer fireworks, including sparklers.
1,800 Degrees: The temperature, in Fahrenheit, that your innocent-looking sparklers can reach. This makes them the leading cause of firework-related injuries.
10,500: Firework-related injuries over the July 4 holiday in 2014.
40: Percentage of Americans who know the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
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150 million: Number of hot dogs that Americans eat on the Fourth of July. That's enough to stretch from D.C. to L.A. more than five times!
73: Newly set record for the most hot dogs (including buns) eaten in 10 minutes. Competitive eater Joey Chestnut just broke his own record of 69 hot dogs in preparation for the Nathan's Famous 4th of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest.