fun facts

• Three U.S. presidents died on July 4 — John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe. In a bizarre twist of fate, Adams and Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the country they helped found.

• On July 4, 1778, George Washington ordered a double ration of rum for his soldiers to celebrate the holiday.

• July 4 wasn’t deemed a federal holiday until 1870, nearly 100 years after the nation was founded.

• Fireworks have been a major part of Fourth of July since the earliest celebrations. In 1884, miners blew up the post office in Swan, Colorado, because it wasn’t supplied with fireworks.

• Other countries — including Denmark, England, Norway, Portugal and Sweden — celebrate the Fourth of July because many of their citizens moved to the U.S. or simply to attract American tourists.

• Americans use nearly 30,000 short tons (or 60 million pounds) of fireworks per year — much of that in celebration of Independence Day on the Fourth of July. Individuals purchase and use about two-thirds of the total. The remainder is used in public fireworks displays.

• Benjamin Franklin proposed the turkey as the national bird but was overruled by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who recommended the bald eagle.

• Americans consume approximately 155 million hot dogs on the Fourth of July each year. They also spend $92 million on chips, $167.5 million on watermelon, and $341.4 million on beer.

Patriotic places

 The Fourth of July is being celebrated Thursday across the United States, including 31 municipalities with liberty in their names and 35 with eagle.

 The U.S. Census Bureau said the largest is Liberty, Missouri with a population of 31,507 as of March of this year, and a total of four Iowa cities with the word, Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty and West Liberty.

 The bureau said 35 U.S. municipalities have the word eagle in the name, with Eagle Pass, Texas, being the largest with a population of 28,945 as of 2017.

 Independence, Missouri, with a population of 117,306 (2017), was listed as the largest of 11 locations with independence in the name and New Freedom, Pennsylvania is the largest of nine to include the word freedom at a population of 4,685 (2017).

 The bureau said five U.S. cities have America in the name, with American Fork, Utah, being the most populous with 29,527 (2017) residents.

 Only one location was listed with the word patriot in its name, Patriot, Indiana, with a population of 205 (2017).

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