1. Just  2.5 million people lived in the United States when it became independent on July 4th, 1776. By 2014 its population had risen to 318.4 million.  

2. Despite a rocky start to relations between the UK and the US following independence (including another war in 1812), the two nations now transact $107.9 billion in annual trade, making Britain the U.S.’s 7th largest trading partner. 

3. The U.S. imports 3.9 million dollars worth of American flags each year from China.

4. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on July 4th, 1826 — the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

5. Following the approval of the Declaration, an estimated 200 copies of the document were ordered. Today, 26 ‘Dunlap Broadsides’ are known to exist and have fetched as much as $2.42 million in auction. In 1989, one copy was found behind a painting bought at a flea market for 4 dollars.  

6. It is estimated that Americans eat 150 million hot dogs on the 4th of July.

7. Many will wash that hot dog down with a can of beer from the 68.3 million cases sold around the 4th of July.

8. Independence was actually declared on July 2nd, 1776. The final draft of the declaration was agreed upon on July 4th. Singing of the document didn’t even begin until August. In fact, John Adams, second President of the United States and signer of the Declaration of Independence said ‘The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.’

9. One signer of the Declaration of Independence recanted. After being captured by the British in November 1776, Richard Stockton swore his allegiance to King George III. He would later swear allegiance to the state of New Jersey following his release.

10. While the dollar remains the leading world currency it wasn’t around at the time of Independence. Then, each colony had its own money and the dollar didn’t start circulating until 1792.  

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Author: Donald Armbrecht writes for the World Economic Forum’s Agenda.

Image: Guests arrive at the old Beverly Hills Post Office with a copy of the United States Declaration of Independence projected on its walls. REUTERS/Fred Prouser