Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Stuff I Learned While Trying To Research a Blog Post About Independence Day

I started out intending to write an insightful, thought-provoking post about the July 4th holiday. After doing a bit of internet research, I ended up with this strange mix of semi-information instead.

Flag Stuff!
In 2011, we spent $3.6 million importing U.S. flags. Of that, $3.3 million was spent on flags made in China. (Which is nothing compared to what we spent importing fireworks from China in 2011 – over $232 million!)

Which country imports the largest number of U.S. Flags from us? Mexico.

The stars were added to the flag by Francis Hopkinson of New Jersey, a signer of the Declaration of Independence who also helped to design the Great Seal of the United States. Hopkinson submitted to the Continental Admiralty Board an invoice for "a Quarter Cask of the public Wine” as “a proper & reasonable Reward for these Labours of Fancy and a suitable Encouragement to future Exertions of a like Nature," but was denied. 

Comfort Food!
From the National Park Service Website: Bess Truman's Mac & Cheese

From the Senate Website: Bean Soup

The hot dog* eating contest allegedly began as a way to settle a dispute among a group of immigrants over who was more patriotic – because nothing says “I'm an American” like excessive consumption and heartburn?

George Washington was said to have marked the occasion in 1778 by giving his troops a double ration of rum. There was a reason this man was elected our first president.

Martha Stewart recommends celebrating by making “Festive Window Swag” and “Tissue Fan Fireworks.” I recommend that we all ignore Martha Stewart.

The post office will not deliver mail on this holiday, so plan ahead, Netflix-wise.

Banks will also be closed for the day, probably for our own good, since we as a Nation seem to have no sense of fiscal self-control when flags and fireworks are involved. 


The result of typing the words “Independence Day” into Google could lead one to believe that the 1996 Will Smith movie was a far more seminal event in our nation's history than anything that happened in 1776.

Today's lesson: Tomorrow is July 4.

Next: July 5. 


*In 1870, German immigrant Charles Feltman first introduced the hot dog to the United States. 105 years later, descendant of German immigrants Theresa Feltman (no relation) first introduced the hot dog to my tummy.

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