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The real cost of July 4, from NYC to Nashville (Bloomberg)

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On the Fourth of July, more is spent on fireworks and beer than the government’s entire $101 million war chest during the American Revolution. Only 25 of the original 200 copies of the Declaration of Independence John Hancock had ordered are known to exist today. In 2000, one sold for $8.1 million. In 2011, consumers spent $649 million on fireworks, 90% of which were made in China. In 2009, $3 million in U.S. flags were imported from China, down from $51.7 million in 2001. The decline is attributed to outcry by U.S. citizens after Sept. 11. Americans consume 150 million hot dogs on the Fourth, according to the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council. Americans purchase 52.7 million cases of beer in the two weeks leading up to July 4. More than half of all deadly traffic crashes on July 4 are related to alcohol—especially underage drinking.