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Five Things for Independence Day

Fireworks, barbecue staples and a town named Patriot: all part of America's birthday.

Happy Birthday, America!

Our great country turns 235 years old today.

All across the nation, communities will celebrate the United States' big 2-3-5 with fireworks, parades and backyard barbecues.

Here are five things we at Patch thought you should ponder as you celebrate American independence:

1. As the Founding Fathers approved the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, there were roughly 2.5 million living in America. Today, there are an estimated 311.7 million American citizens.

2. Look up in the sky! It's a bird. It's a plane. It's ... Chinese gunpowder. The U.S. imported $190.7 million in fireworks from China in 2010. At the same time, U.S. companies exported just $37 million worth of fireworks last year. Meanwhile, the U.S. imported $3.2 million worth of American flags in 2010, with $2.8 million of that figure going to China.

3.  Texas produced 6.8 billion pounds of beef in 2010, followed by Nebraska (4.6 billion) and Kansas (4.1 billion). Chances are that the beef hot dogs, burgers and steaks you're grilling today came from the Lone Star State or one of its neighbors to the north.

4. The U.S. and United Kingdom, our adversary in 1776, did $98.3 billion in trade in 2010, making the Brits our sixth biggest trade partner.

5. There are more than 90 towns in the U.S. that include the words most commonly associated with our freedom in their names. Leading the way, with 35 total, is "eagle." For example, there is Eagle Pass, TX. The remainder are "liberty" (31), "independence" (11), "freedom" (9), "America" (5). Surprisingly, there is but one town with the word "patriot" in it it: Patriot, IN. 

Source: The Census Bureau

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