238 years later on the Fourth of July: China sells us most of our fireworks and American flags

Staff writerJuly 3, 2014 

Oil the grill, sunblock the children, make sure the potato salad is refrigerated and give the dog a tranquilizer, because it’s time for the Fourth of July..

Thanks to the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Retail Federation, here’s how it looks, by the numbers.

238: Happy Birthday, America. It was that many years ago when the Continental Congress (a Congress that actually got something done) approved the Declaration of Independence.

2.5 million: That many people lived in our newly independent nation in July 1776.

318.4 million: That many people live here today.

56: Persons signed the Declaration of Independence.

70: The age of (the oldest) signer, Benjamin Franklin.

26: The age of (the youngest) signer, Edward Rutledge.

Exactly 50: Years passed until the death – on July 4, 1826 – of the two signers who went on to become presidents, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

$203.6 million: The value of fireworks imported from China in 2013.

$10.2 million: The value of U.S. exports of fireworks in 2013, with Israel the greatest national consumer at $2.7 million.

$4.0 million: In 2013, the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags, the majority coming from China.

$781,222: Dollar value of U.S. flags exported in 2013, with the Dominican Republic as the leading customer at $160,000.

$100 billion: Value of trade in 2013 between the U.S. and (our colonial overseers) the U.K.

$6.285 billion: Estimated amount Americans will spend on barbecues, picnics and other food events during the holiday.

$68.16: Average the average U.S. adult will spend.

64 percent: Of Americans will attend a picnic, barbecue or other event to gather and eat on the holiday.

11.5 percent: Will not observe the holiday.

60.2 percent: Of Americans own a U.S. flag.

70.1 percent: Of Americans say high gas prices will not affect their celebrations.

C.R. Roberts: 253-597-8535 c.r.roberts@thenewstribune.com

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