July 4: Taking a Break for BBQ and Towns Called Liberty

Last Updated Jun 30, 2011 12:31 PM EDT

With the July 4th holiday upon us, it seems a fitting time to pause from our everyday thoughts -- in this blog that means taking a break from kids, money and personal finance -- and reflect on what this country stands for. My friend Bob Dilenschneider, an author, thinker and corporate adviser, recently circulated an email with some poignant thoughts and interesting data. Some excerpts:
  • People still come to the U.S. because they see it as a land that gives them their best shot at success. Few other countries can say that.
  • In the U.S., men and women speak out freely and worship as they like with no fear of retribution. That is not the case in most nations.
  • There are 31 places nationwide with "liberty" in their name. Iowa has four. The most populous is Liberty, Missouri (29,149 residents).
  • 35 cities, towns, and villages have "eagle" in their name, in homage to the majestic bird that serves as our national symbol. The most populous is Eagle Pass, Texas with 26,248 residents.
  • 11 places have "independence" in their name. The most populous is Independence, Missouri with 116,830 residents.
  • Nine U.S. localities adopted the name "freedom." New Freedom, Pennsylvania, with 4,464 residents, has the largest population.
  • There is but one place with "patriot" in the name -- Patriot, Indiana, with a population of 209.
  • There are five towns with some derivation of "America" in their name. The most populous is American Fork, Utah with a population of 26,263.
  • The value of U.S. manufacturers' shipments of fireworks and pyrotechnics this year will be $232 million.
  • More than 81 million Americans will take part in a barbecue this July 4; 36% of the baked beans served will come from North Dakota while half the potatoes in potato salad will come from Idaho or Washington State.
Happy Fourth of July.

Photo courtesy Flickr user amani1306
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  • Dan Kadlec

    Daniel J. Kadlec is an author and journalist whose work appears regularly in Time and Money magazines. He is the former editor of Time’s Generations section, which was written and edited for boomers. Kadlec came to Time from USA Today, where he was the creator and author of the daily column Street Talk, which anchored the newspaper's business coverage. He has co-written three books, including, most recently, With Purpose: Going from Success to Significance in Work and Life. He has won a New York Press Club award and a National Headliner Award for columns on the economy and investing.