Backstory: On Independence Day, from grill to gridlock to...Vegas?

As another Fourth of July approaches, millions of Americans will be hitting the road, the grill, and the high notes of the national anthem in honor of the nation's 230th birthday.

Here's a statistical snapshot of the holiday.

THE HIBACHI INDEX

75 percent of America's 110 million households will barbecue on the July 4 holiday.

$1.5 billion worth of gas grills were sold in the US in 2005.

$4.5 million worth of charcoal grills were sold in the US in 2005.

$750 million: the amount Americans spent on charcoal briquets in 2005.

1.4 million years: the amount of time anthropologists estimate mankind has been cooking with fire – about 1.2 million years longer than man has communicated by spoken language.

LET'S BE FRANK

150 million hot dogs are expected to be eaten on the July 4 holiday (that's one dog for every two Americans).

38 million pounds of baked beans are served during a typical Independence Day.

55.1 million pounds of avocados will be eaten during the holiday.

42 million watermelons were purchased the week prior to July 4, 2005.

ROCKET'S RED GLARE

253 million pounds of fireworks were purchased in the US in 2004.

98 percent of all backyard or consumer fireworks are imported from China.

75 percent of all professional fireworks displays come from China.

$202 million worth of fireworks was imported from China in 2005.

5 states ban consumer fireworks, all part of the original 13 colonies: Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.

75 percent of all fireworks-related injuries in the US occur in the month around July 4.

70 percent is the drop fireworks-related injuries have taken in the past decade – to 9,600 injuries nationally in 2004.

75 cents: the average cost of a pack of sparklers 30 years ago.

$3.50: the average price of a carton of sparklers today.

STARS AND STRIPES

$5.5 million: the value of American flag imports in 2005; 90 percent of them were from China.

$993,000 worth of US flags were exported in 2005 – more than half to Mexico.

$349 million worth of flags, banners, and emblems were sold by US manufacturers in 2002.

ALL IN A NAME

30 towns nationwide have the word "liberty" in their name, the most populous being Liberty, Mo. (28,528).

32 places bear the name "eagle." The biggest: Eagle County, Colo. (47,530) and Eagle Pass, Texas (24,847).

11 places include "independence" in their name, led by Independence, Mo. (111,023).

5 communities adopted the name "freedom," including Freedom, Calif. (6,000).

1 town is named Patriot – in Indiana (pop: 195).

LADY LIBERTY

364,958 people visited the Statue of Liberty in July 2005, the month of highest attendance that year.

'OH SAY CAN YOU SEE...'

61 percent of Americans don't know the words to "The Star-Spangled Banner."

COMING TO AMERICA:

15,000 immigrants were naturalized in the week around Independence Day, 2005.

2.5 million: the American population in 1776.

300 million: the population of the nation today.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

40.7 million people are expected to travel this Fourth of July.

34.3 million travelers expect to go by car.

4.6 million will travel by plane.

$2.13: the average price of a gallon of gas in 2005.

$2.86: the average price of a gallon of gas this year.

SIN CITY?

Top 5 destinations of July 4 travelers booking through Orbitz.com: Las Vegas, Chicago, Indianapolis, New York, and Orlando.

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