July Fourth by the numbers
296.5 MILLION: Projected number of U.S. residents this July Fourth. In July 1776, there were about 2.5 million people living in the colonies.
30: Places nationwide with "liberty" in their name. The most populous one is Liberty, Mo., with 27,982 people. The state with the most is Iowa, with four: Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty and West Liberty.
11: Places with "independence" in their name. The most populous is Independence, Mo., with 112,079 residents.
5: Places that adopted the name Freedom. Freedom, Calif., with 6,000 residents, has the largest population.
1: Places named Patriot; it's in Indiana and has a population of 196.
5: Places named America, with the most populous being American Fork, Utah, population 22,876.
$164.2 MILLION: Value of fireworks imported from China in 2004, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imports ($172.5 million). U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to only $14.3 million in 2004, with Japan buying more than any other country ($4.7 million).
$17.3 MILLION: Value of U.S. manufacturers' shipments of fireworks in 2002.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Today in regional history:
JULY 3, 1998
Two Augusta children are going to Philadelphia this Independence Day to let freedom ring - for real.
Blake and Andrew Middleton will tap the Liberty Bell 13 times, once for each of the original colonies. At the same time, the bells of all ships of the Navy, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine will ring. The National Cathedral and Arlington National Cemetery in Washington and the state capitols in Atlanta and Columbia also will ring bells for the occasion.
Blake and Andrew are descendants of a Charleston, S.C., man, Arthur Middleton, who signed the Declaration of Independence eight generations ago. Blake, 14, and Andrew, 11, will join two children descended from Benjamin Franklin at the Liberty Bell ringing.
Their parents, Leonard and Analee Hill, recommended Blake and Andrew for the ceremony through the Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Events for this week include:
CANDLELIGHT JAZZ: Candlelight Jazz will be held from 8 to 9:30 p.m. at the Eighth Street Bulkhead, Riverwalk Augusta. Sophisticated Ladies will perform. Admission costs $5. For more information, call 821-1754.
CRUISE-IN: Aiken Horsepower Association will hold its monthly cruise-in from 1:30 to 5 p.m. on Laurens Street in downtown Aiken. Milk jugs will be placed in front of each vehicle for patrons to vote for their favorite car in the show. Raffle tickets will be sold. Proceeds benefit the Cumbee Center to Assist Abused Persons in Aiken. The event is free. For more information, call (803) 648-4761.
AUGUSTA GREENJACKETS: The Augusta GreenJackets will play the Kannapolis Intimidators at 2:15 p.m. at Lake Olmstead Stadium, on Milledge Road. Tickets cost $10 for box seats; $7 for reserved seats; $6 for general admission; $5 for seniors, military and children age 4 to 12; and $1 for children 3 and younger. For tickets, call 278-4TIX.
MOVIES AT THE APPLEBY BRANCH: The Appleby Branch Library will show Gordy at 10:30 a.m. at 2260 Walton Way. The movie is free. For more information, call 736-6244.