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Fourth of July 2016 by the Numbers

July 4 has been a federal holiday since 1941, but Americans have celebrated Independence Day since the 18th century

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    A long weekend and low gas prices have analysts predicting record travel for this year's Independence Day celebrations. Travel is more affordable this year with gas prices at about $2.30 a gallon, the lowest in over a decade.

    "We are projecting that 43 million Americans are going to be traveling this holiday season," Tamra Johnson of AAA said. (Published Friday, July 1, 2016)

    Every year, Americans honor the country's independence on the Fourth of July by celebrating freedom with fireworks, barbecues and beach getaways. 

    July Fourth has only been a federal holiday since 1941, but Americans have celebrated Independence Day since the 18th century. During the summer of 1776 some colonists held parades and fired canons to accompany reading of the newly signed Declaration of Independence.

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    The following year Philadelphia hosted the first annual independence celebration on July 4. 

    Here's what to know about the national holiday on the 240th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

    $6.8 billion: The amount of money predicted to be spent celebrating the July 4 holiday this year, according to the National Retail Federation.

    $71.34: The average amount of money Americans are expected to spend on food per household, according to the National Retail Federation.

    15,000: The numbers of fireworks displays held to celebrate July 4 each year, according to Wallethub.

    40: The number of years Macy's has been putting on their fireworks display in New York City. It's the biggest display in the country. This year, the viewers will see fireworks from nine countries and they will change colors 17 times.

    $311.7 million: The value of fireworks imported from China in 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

    150 million: The approximate number of hot dogs consumed each July 4, according to Wallethub.

    69: The record number of hot dogs eaten in 10 minutes at the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island. Joey Chestnut set that world record in 2013. 

    64: The percentage of Americans who will attend a July 4 barbecue or picnic, according to Wallethub.

    $3.1 million: The value of U.S. flags exported in 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

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    43 million: The estimated number of Americans who will be traveling this holiday weekend, according to AAA. Most will be driving. 

    $2.29: The average price for a gallon of regular gas this weekend, according to AAA.