Celebrate a Safe Fourth of July by Brandy McNeilin Border States NewsJune 26, 2015 In observance of the Fourth of July, Border States Electric offices and branches will be closed Friday, July 3, 2015. On July 4th, the nation will pause to reflect on the struggles and sacrifices made for our freedom and independence. While fireworks shower the sky with light, we look around us and feel thankful for the good fortune surrounding us, our friends, family, freedom and even the little things, like hot dogs and sparklers — prosperity many in this world don’t possess. As we count our blessings and marshal in another Fourth of July celebration, we thought we would share with you some fun facts about our nation’s holiday. The following tidbits come from the Census Bureau and National Council on Fireworks Safety: 2.5 million In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation. 318.4 million The nation’s estimated population on this July Fourth. The Signers 56 Number of signers to the Declaration of Independence. Two future presidents signed; John Adams (second President) and Thomas Jefferson (third President). Both died on the 50th anniversary of signing the Declaration (July 4, 1826). There are 12 counties nationwide named Adams and 26 named Jefferson. And the Rocket’s Red Glare $203.6 million The value of fireworks imported from China in 2013, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($213.8 million). U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to just $10.2 million in 2013, with Israel purchasing more than any other country ($2.7 million). U.S. Flags $4.0 million In 2013, the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags. The vast majority of this amount ($3.9 million) was for U.S. flags made in China. $781,222 Dollar value of U.S. flags exported in 2013. The Dominican Republic was the leading customer, purchasing $160,000 worth. This Land Is Your Land Fifty-nine places contain the word “liberty” in the name. Pennsylvania, with 11, has more of these places than any other state. Of the 59 places, four are counties: Liberty County, Ga. (64,135), Liberty County, Fla. (8,349), Liberty County, Mont. (2,369) and Liberty County, Texas (76,907). One place has “patriot” in its name: Patriot, Ind., has an estimated population of 205. Fireworks Safety A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show. Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks. Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away. Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles. Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water. Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby. Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into metal or glass containers. Do not experiment with homemade fireworks. Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day. For more fun facts about Independence Day, check out this amazing graphic from the History Channel: In observance of the Fourth of July, Border States Electric offices and branches will be closed Friday, July 3, 2015.