Failures: What We Discover About Ourselves


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July 23, 2014

By: E. Rucker



Wow! Powerful quote, huh?

Just ponder this thought for a second: It is during our FAILURES that we discover our true desire for SUCCESS.

What usually happens when you fail? Sometimes you give up, right? So, did you want it bad enough? You did? Then why did you give up at the first failure? Or even the second failure? Did you even make it to a third failure? Remember how many times Thomas Edison worked on the light bulb before finally getting it right? It is rumored that he “failed” 10,000 times. He wanted it bad enough and the same applies to you, too!

Diamond Hospitality’s owner, Erica R., had a goal of 50 full *no rest* push ups by August 3. She kept failing at 44 push ups and then finally hit 45. However, she kept pushing on until, one day, she went from 45 to 50 in one shot. She wanted success and pushed through all the failed attempts and made it work!

How bad do you want it? How bad do you want success? If you give up at the first sign of failure, you obviously did not want success bad enough. If you want success, then stop giving up when you fail!

Let’s continue to shine, Everyone!


If you would like to unearth more secrets that you need to know about your career or your next interview, is THE place to be. We also share hospitality & travel information, as well as uplifting & inspiring posts. Subscribe to our blog and share it with your network. Visit to see what we are about. We are here to help and inspire!

The Top Five Career-Destroying Blunders New Grads Make


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July 21, 2014

new-grads-body-061113You live at the most exciting of times. You were born at the dawn of a new era, and are part of the first generation to grow up with the technology that is now shaping every aspect of life throughout the globe. The opportunities in your future are limited only by your willingness to pursue them.

You are also at the start of what will be a 50-year work life and will likely change jobs about every four years. In addition, you may well have three or more distinct careers during your lifetime. However, by the time you hit 50, age and wage discrimination will kick in, and upwards of 8-of-10 of you will be forced out of the corporate world before you reach 60.

The years between today and your 50th birthday will flash by before most of your peers have recognized that an intelligent career strategy is needed – and it’s needed today, right now; not thirty years from now. By then, it’s too late.

The only certainty about your future in this age is that change will be constant in your work. To get what you want out of life—to live a life that is both financially stable and fulfilling—demands that you take control of your destiny and invest yourself intelligently in bringing your dreams to life. Here are the five biggest career-destroying blunders that new grads make:

Blunder #1. Trusting that someone will be there to kiss your boo-boos.

You have crossed the final bridge into adulthood and now you have what you always wanted: independence. Whether you fail or succeed in life, it is now entirely up to you to chart a course for your career, set your goals, and pursue and achieve them.


You are the master of your fate and the future, at last, is in your own hands. You will begin to see who the winners and losers of your generation will be over the next eighteen months by how seriously they work at launching a professional career.

Blunder #2. Believing that your degree entitles you to a job.

No one really cares about what you want. Instead, you have to decide on a target job, learn about that job, and go get it. No one in corporate America has the time or inclination to find you a great job based on your degree and your personal objectives.

Five years from now, the most successful members of your generation will be those who learned about how resumes are built, how to integrate social networking into job search strategies to land interviews, and how to turn those job interviews into offers. These are the skills that pay the bills.

Blunder #3. Failing to understand that successful careers don’t happen by accident.

Ten years from now, some of your current peers will already be failing because they believed that a successful career was something that just happened to nice, hard-working people.


On the other hand, the most successful members of your generation will be the ones who learned how to guide the trajectory of a professional career by learning how to make a job secure, and to identify, pursue and earn promotions. These are the people who took the time to learn when and how to make a strategic career move at the right time and on their own agenda.

Successful careers don’t happen by accident; the most important skills for survival and success in the professional world are learning to anticipate and navigate the twists and turns of a long career.

Blunder #4. Trying to become an entrepreneur, failing, and never trying again.

Everyone dreams of living life on their own terms, and many young grads take a shot. All too often their efforts are met with failure that usually stems from lack of practical business skills.Then, having failed, they never try again. Yet, almost all entrepreneurs fail before they succeed.

Twenty years from now the most successful members of your generation will be the ones who pursued a successful core professional career and simultaneously used every day as on-the-job-training (OJT) to make their entrepreneurial efforts successful.

Blunder #5. Thinking that you’re young and have plenty of time.

PresentTimeYou get this one shot at life. There are no do-overs and there is no time to waste. It is always later than you think, and as you inevitably age, time compacts.

You can guarantee yourself a place, right now, as one of the most successful members of your generation by changing the way you look at adult life. Success doesn’t just happen because you want it. You have to treat professional life as the serious business it is and start dealing with the management of your career as a business.

Start to think of yourself as Me, Inc.: a financial entity that must survive over the long haul, using your corporate jobs to teach you business and how to make Me, Inc. operate objectively in your best long-term interests, so that ultimately you learn to get what you want out of life—and get it on your own terms.

Let’s continue to shine, Everyone!


If you would like to unearth more secrets that you need to know about your career or your next interview, is THE place to be. We also share hospitality & travel information, as well as uplifting & inspiring posts. Subscribe to our blog and share it with your network. Visit to see what we are about. We are here to help and inspire!

About the Author

Martin Yate, CPC, author of Knock ‘em Dead: Secrets & Strategies for Success in an Uncertain World, is a New York Times and international bestseller of job search and career management books. He is the author of 11 job search and career management books published throughout the English speaking world and in over 50 foreign language editions. Over thirty years in career management, including stints as an international technology headhunter, head of HR for a publicly traded company and Director of Training and Development for an international employment services organization.

Awesome Places to Visit for a Weekend Getaway


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July 18, 2014

Weekend Getaway

The key to a successful weekend getaway is choosing a spot that’s close enough to reach with a minimum of travel time but far enough away so that you feel as if you’re getting away from the everyday grind. Whether your idea of a perfect weekend getaway involves many possibilities for family fun, romantic interludes or natural beauty, chances are you can find a just-right destination near your corner of the country.

In the South

Wander winding trails through ancient forests in the Smoky Mountains, where you can rustle up action-packed fun in little tourist towns such as Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg or Sevierville in Tennessee or just chill in a riverside mountain cabin. If a cosmopolitan escape is your ideal, head for New Orleans, where you can explore quirky shops and galleries, tour historic museums and dine on down-home and upscale Louisiana favorites like jambalaya and muffaletta. For a beach escape, head to one of the little towns on the Gulf Coast, such as Orange Beach, Alabama, where you can play a round of golf, hit the amusement park and chow down on fresh seafood when you aren’t lounging on the white sand beaches.

In the Northeast

The re-created 19th century seafaring village in the little port town of Mystic, Connecticut, offers numerous activities to keep families busy for a long weekend, including the chance to explore an authentic whaling ship. Stroll through marshes, dunes and tidal flats along the protected seashore of Plum Island — a barrier island just off Massachusetts’ northern coast. The Hellcat Interpretive Trail has signs to help you identify some of the rare birds and plants you may spot on the island. If you crave the city life, head for Washington, D.C. — shuttles and trains make getting there easy, and D.C.’s public transportation system lets you go car-free if you’re staying in the city proper. With museums and restaurants a-plenty, D.C. offers a smorgasbord of entertainment options for visitors.

In the Midwest

If you’re looking for a city getaway, consider Kansas City. With a stylish and recently revamped downtown, lovely urban outdoor spaces and museums and plenty of live jazz and blues music options, Kansas City offers options for vacation fun. If you’re longing for the beach, visit Saugatuck, Michigan, on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. In addition to the beach, Saugatuck is home to a thriving arts community. The little towns along the western bank of the Mississippi River in Missouri — known as the Great River Road — are sandwiched between conservation areas and prime spots for bird-watching. Don’t miss the chance to visit author Mark Twain’s boyhood home in Hannibal.

In the WestJoshua Tree National Park is just a couple of hours from Los Angeles by car.Joshua Tree National Park is just a couple of hours from Los Angeles by car.

Joshua Tree, Calif., is just a little more than two hours drive from downtown Los Angeles, but this rugged desert landscape feels a world away from city streets. Whether you take a tour, explore on foot or just soak in a mineral tub and take in the view, you’ll find the scenery transporting. Explore a cleaned-up, kid-friendly version of the Old West in Prescott, Ariz., where your children can try a swig of sarsaparilla in a saloon or saddle up on horseback to ride in Prescott National Park. For an urban escape, consider San Jose, Calif., where the charming Spanish-style architecture, historical museums and many restaurants will keep you busy all weekend.

Let’s continue to shine, Everyone!


If you would like to unearth more secrets that you need to know about your career or your next interview, is THE place to be. We also share travel information and uplifting & inspiring posts, as well. Subscribe to our blog and share it with your network. Visit to see what we are about. We are here to help and inspire!

About the AuthorHolly Roberts is an award-winning health and fitness writer whose work has appeared in health, lifestyle and fitness magazines. Roberts has also worked as an editor for health association publications and medical journals. She has been a professional writer for more than 10 years and holds a B.A. in English and an M.A. in literature.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images


Thought for the Day: Hanging on


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Thought4theDay2If you want to be successful in all that you do, you must not EVER let go! Even when it looks as if you might fail, learn through the process you are going through but never ever let go. Sometimes you might have to readjust things but that is a part of reaching success: it is never a straight and narrow path. Your breakthrough is just around the corner so hang on! Give it just one….more….try!

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. ~Thomas Edison

Let’s continue to shine, Everyone!


If you would like to unearth more secrets that you need to know about your career or your next interview, is THE place to be. We also share travel information and uplifting & inspiring posts, as well. Subscribe to our blog and share it with your network. Visit to see what we are about. We are here to help and inspire!








35 Ways to Add More Inspiration to Your Life!


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July 16, 2014


Would you like to Add More Inspiration to Your Life?

Living an inspired and joyful life is an everyday decision. It’s the little things you do consistently that make the biggest impact on your life. Decide to do just one positive thing everyday and see how good you feel by the end of the month. Time is passing so enjoy it by adding some fun and joy to your day.

Here is a basic list of 35 Ways to Add More Inspiration to Your Life. Give them a try to come up with more on your own.

Dream bigger than you think is possible
Exercise everyday
Laugh and play
Have goals
Share your love
Share your talents
Share your strengths
Give value to others
Try something new
List 5 things that you are grateful for
Smile at a stranger

Spend time in nature
Play with a puppy or kitten
Hold a baby
Do something that scares you
Pamper yourself – get a massage
See your chiropractor
Shut off the TV
Breath deeply
Start a journal
Host a party for people you enjoy spending time with


Learn something new
Spend time with your grandparents
Spend time with your parents
Read inspirational quotes, books, biographies
Give someone a hug
Spend an afternoon daydreaming
Fly a Kite
Catch a butterfly – then let it go
Sit quietly and listen to yourself breath and your heart beat
Build a snowman, knock it down
Shovel a neighbors driveway
Call an old friend to catch up
Tell someone you love them

We hope you enjoyed reading this list and that you have even more fun doing some of the inspiring activities above. If you know of other ways to add inspiration to your life, share it with our readers in the comment section below! You might just INSPIRE someone else today.

Let’s continue to shine, Everyone!


If you would like to unearth more secrets that you need to know about your career or your next interview, is THE place to be. We also share travel & hospitality information, feel-good stories, and uplifting & inspiring posts, as well. Subscribe to our blog and share it with your network. Visit to see what we are about. We are here to help and inspire!

About the author:

Dr. Joe Tichio
creator of

7 Top Reasons Why Many People Fail at a Job Interview


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July 14, 2014

By: E. Rucker

Job Interview Sticky NotesSo, you think you have the perfect resume and cover letter and you know for sure that you should be a front-runner for the position you are applying for, right? What could they possibly NOT like about what is written on paper? All the “Ts” are crossed and “Is” dotted. You go through the interview and all is well. They tell you they will be in contact once they have met with all the applicants. However, you never hear back.  Why?

Here are critical facts you should be conscious of:

  • Wrong Resume: There are people who apply for jobs that are not consistent with their qualifications and experience. For instance, if you write a resume that includes previous work experiences that do not suit the nature of the job you want to apply for, you might not be shortlisted for the job offer. Be consistent – write a resume that matches the job’s requirements (as long as it is the truth).
  • Arrogant Attitude: Have you ever come across someone who thinks they know everything and there’s nothing you say that could refute their “knowledge” and opinion? Now, imagine yourself walking into a job interview with this attitude. How do you think that will go over with a potential employer?Attitude No potential employer likes to deal with candidates who think they know everything and likes to brag. Be humble!
  • Personality Problem: Pessimism, lack of confidence and low self-esteem would do great damage in your life whenever you are involved in the pursuit of a career opportunity. Worse still, many talented and brilliant people sometimes lose control of their composure and senses before a potential employer. Similarly, there are people that get fired in their workplace because of attitude problems. In order to avoid that, strive to be positive about life in general and let that positivity shine!
  • Outdated Knowledge Base: Today, many people don’t make the effort to update their personal knowledge base through scholastic and non-scholastic learning. You must be well-informed to succeed in any interview or in your career. It’s good to present yourself as an experienced person with up-to-date know-how in the industry where you desire to have a successful career.
  • Appearance: Mini-skirts. Low-cut blouses. Wrinkled shirts/pants/jackets. Skewed ties. Messy hair. Scuffed up shoes. The moment you walk into Interview attirethe office, and before you even meet with the interviewer, YOU ARE BEING JUDGED!!! If you do not know what appropriate business attire is, do your research well in advance of your interview. There is a protocol for what to wear to an interview and it is your job to figure out what it is. Otherwise, prepare to always be turned down for that prized job. When in doubt, keep it neutral: suit, knee-length skirt or pants, pumps/dress shoes, white shirt/blouse.
  • Unawareness: Have you ever gone into an interview and the employer asks you do you know anything about the company? What do you say? No? Do you want to know WHY they are asking this question (which usually is asked in the first two minutes of the interview)? They want to see how interested you are about the company you hope to hire you. Do you really think they want someone who has absolutely no idea what kind of products/services they offer or how long they have been in business? If you are REALLY interested in working for that company, DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!
  • Asking About Salary: Just know that now is not the time. You are doing yourself a grave disservice by broaching the subject of salary during the AskSalaryinterview phase. It gives the potential employer the impression that you only care about how much you will make. That signals to them that you can easily be “bought” for the right price later on. Let the employer bring it up.

These tips are meant to guide and help you on your journey to the “perfect” job. If you follow these tips, you should be able to ace your interviews!

Let’s continue to shine, Everyone!


Your success on your career path depends solely on YOU. If you would like to unearth more secrets that you need to know about your career or your next interview, is THE place to be. Subscribe to our blog and share it with your network. Visit to see what we are about. We are here to help!












A Trip You’ll Never Forget

Diamond Hospitality:

An oldie but goody! As we head into the weekend and get ready to travel, keep these tips in mind to help make your trip a great one! Let’s continue to shine, Everyone! ~DHSI

Originally posted on Diamond Hospitality's Blog:

April 26, 2012


Capture special moments and experiences. I can’t tell you how many trips I’ve taken whose memories are slowly fading. And when they’re gone, so is the trip. I’ve since learned my lesson–O.K., I’m working on learning my lesson. When I set off to wherever it is I’m going, I tell myself to capture the trip. I try not to leave all the heavy lifting to my mind, and instead use some of the tips and tools below.

1. Take pictures, video, and notes.

The first two are obvious, but not so the last one. Jotting down a few thoughts in a journal or notebook as you take in the scene is a simple way to get at things from your trip that visuals can’t always transmit. Not only can you describe how something looks; you can describe how something makes you feel at that moment.


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Keep Getting Up!


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July 9, 2014

By: E. Rucker

Inspirational quote by Confucius on earthy backgroundRemember when you first learned how to ride a bike? Remember all the times you fell down? Remember all the times you got back up? Can you ride a bike today? Yes you can!

Have you ever seen a child learn to walk? It is an experience one will never forget! They continually fall down time and time again. I remember when my kids went through that learning-how-to-walk phase. The sheer determination and grit to keep getting back up and doing it all over again until…THEY TOOK THEIR FIRST STEPS! They gained the confidence they needed to keep going and once they got their confidence in full force, there was no stopping them at all. They just took off. Did they hurt themselves along the way? Sure they did. They had all sorts of scrapes, bruises and bumps. Sometimes, you will experience a little pain when falling down but it’s what you do with that pain that matters the most. Use that pain to push yourself back up!

Most importantly, falling down can offer us:

  • The opportunity to become courageous
  • Give us feedback in where we are and who we are
  • The opportunity for learning, growth and improvement
  • The opportunity to show appreciation for ourselves, even when things aren’t going quite like we wanted them to
  • The challenge to think bigger, to re-think our approach and make adjustments

StrugglesNow, apply this to your daily tasks and goals, especially those that keep kicking you in the rear. It is okay to fall down and it is definitely okay to keep falling down. Life is not perfect. You will go through those trial-and-error phases. BUT….the key is this: what are you going to do when you’re down? Are you going to stay down and sulk or are you going to get up with renewed determination to keep trying? Your biggest victory comes from getting back up. That’s when the MAGIC happens and you start to build your strength and grow!

Fall down 7 times, stand up 8 times.

So, the next time you fall down and feel like staying down, ask yourself this one question: How will I be able to handle life’s many challenges if I don’t learn to get back up?

Do you have a challenge that is constantly pushing you down to the point where you don’t want to get back up? Re-read the above over and over again!

Likes, comments and shares are always welcomed, as always!

Until next time…


Great Employee Qualities: Do You Have Them?


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Employee Qualities2

A note from Diamond Hospitality: As a staffing company, we deal with all types of personalities during the interviewing phase as well as when they become a team member. It is VERY important to always re-evaluate yourself to make sure you are giving 100% to your job and company. Note what your strongest qualities are and make them shine! Note what your weakest qualities are and work on them.

Are great employee qualities fast disappearing in the workforce? If it is then you should quickly see if you can adapt some of these and make yourself competitive. Some great employee qualities that bosses appreciate include:

1. Managing Yourself
Manage yourself by knowing your roles and responsibilities in your company. In addition, learn to know what it takes to go a step beyond what your current role entails. Know what makes you a competitive advantage to your boss. How do you improve yourself? Do you know your key strengths you can play up? Weaknesses you should seek to lessen via training or even self learning?

2. Managing Your Boss
Perhaps one of the more important great employee qualities is being able to manage your boss. That does not mean to suck up to him. It means knowing his likes and dislikes, and how he works. For example, does he like to be updated via email which means he is perhaps a very visual-based person versus being updated verbally which means he is perhaps more auditory? Learn how to break bad news to him, prepare him for meetings and the unexpected. You will soon become a key competitive advantage in his team.

3. Managerial Attitude
Even if you are in the lower rung, make sure you have a managerial attitude. This is one of the important great employee qualities. Behave like a manager and see to it that things are done the way they are supposed to be done. Manage expectations of everyone in the team from the boss to colleagues and peers within the department. Stick to time lines; follow up with next steps after every meeting, have progress reports ready even if they are informal ones like an email.

4. Managing Your Time72ac91d70e8a4addf1fe0adf6000cea0
Prioritize your work and manage your time well. Know when to do what. Do not procrastinate on work especially when they involve cross department participation. Your delay will affect other people’s work. Great employees know how to manage their time well and even manage their boss’s time well.

5. Work To Get Results
Work with objectives in mind. What is the overall objective of the project? Work towards the aim that everyone who is involved in a project big or small has a role. Everyone must contribute towards that goal. You must learn to get results and expect high performance of yourself. Do not just do enough to get by. This is one of the most important “great employee qualities”.

6. Outdo Yourself
Great employees have the stamina to do outstanding work. They set the pace for others to follow. If you want to be great at what you do and be appreciated by the boss, look for ways to outdo yourself. Be the best that you can be. Even if perfection is elusive, go out and get it. Even if you fall short of perfection, your near perfect would have pushed you further than you would have thought possible.

7. Can Do
Have a “Can Do” attitude. Ever worked with someone who is always so negative, that everything is impossible, nothing is easy, things are too troublesome and a million other excuses and reasons why things won’t work?can do Do you catch yourself making the same mistake? Have a “Can Do” attitude. Have the courage and patience to work things out and figure things out even if it sounds very challenging. Bosses trust people who have a “Can Do” attitude in approaching work.

8. Strive For Excellence
In everything you do, strive to be the best you can be. Take the initiative to ensure that things are going right and make sure that the details are tied down. Spend time doing what everyone else takes for granted.

9. Enjoys Work
Peter Drucker, the management guru said, “Those who perform love what they are doing.” Even if it means a routine work, as they know each step and each detail builds on another and helps achieve the company objective. A boss can feel whether employees enjoy their work or otherwise. Someone who enjoys their work will naturally bring their best to work.

10. Contribute Positively
A great employee takes personal responsibility for everything they do. To be a great employee you must contribute positively to the organization. Take initiatives, give suggestions, or even be the silent hero who solves challenges quietly, that is how a great employee works. They work to help achieve greater goals for the organization.

relationshipas puzzle11. Work Relationships
Being nice to people and have great working relationships across departments and ranks is one of the important great employee qualities. It means you can get a lot more cooperation and strong network to help you get your work done. Hence, making your boss look good in the eyes of management. Your boss will have less people problems too.

Do you have these great employee qualities? Perhaps you already have them and what you need is a plan to bring them to be noticed. If you don’t, start to see which of these qualities you can adopt and start on first. It will help you move up the corporate ladder a little easier.

What are your thoughts? Do you have any qualities that stand out with your employer? Share with us in the comments section.

Until next time…


About the Author
by Long Yun Siang © copyright 2006-2013
all rights reserved disclaimer

Happy Independence Day!


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illustration of Statue of Liberty on American flag background fo

From all of us at Diamond Hospitality Services, we want to wish each and every one of you a very safe and happy 4th of July/Independence Day!

Here are some Fun Facts about July 4th:

The Fourth of July 2014

*On this day in 1776, the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. As always, this most American of holidays will be marked with red, white and blue flags, fireworks, parades and backyard barbecues across the country.

2.5 million
In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation.
Source: Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970

318.4 million
The nation’s estimated population on this July Fourth.

Source: U.S. and World Population Clock

The Signers

Numbers of signers to the Declaration of Independence.
Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston comprised the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration. Jefferson, regarded as the strongest and most eloquent writer, wrote most of the document. It’s also worth noting that:

*John Hancock, President of the Second Continental Congress, was the first signer. This merchant by trade did so in an entirely blank space making it the largest and most famous signature — hence the term John Hancock, which is still used today as a synonym for signature. There are 7.4 million businesses with paid employees in the U.S., of those establishments 1 million are in the retail trade industry.

*Benjamin Franklin (age 70), who represented Pennsylvania, was the oldest of the signers. Franklin County, Pa., had an estimated population of 152,085 as of July 1, 2013. Edward Rutledge (age 26), of South Carolina, was the youngest.

*Two future presidents signed, John Adams (second President) and Thomas Jefferson (third President). Both died on the 50th anniversary of signing the Declaration (July 4, 1826). There are 12 counties nationwide named Adams and 26 named Jefferson.

*Robert Livingston, who represented New York, was on the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence but was recalled by his state before he could sign it. Livingston County, N.Y., was home to an estimated 64,705 people as of July 1, 2013.

*Representing Georgia in 1776 were Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall and George Walton. Gwinnett County, Ga. (859,304), Hall County, Ga. (187,745) and Walton County, Ga. (85,754) were named for these signers.

*Charles Carroll, who represented Maryland, was the last surviving signer of the Declaration. He died in 1832 at the age of 95. Carroll County, Md., named for him, had an estimated population of 167,564 as of July 1, 2013.

*Roger Sherman, who worked as a land surveyor and lawyer, represented Connecticut. Nationally in 2012, there were an estimated 29,976 surveyors, cartographers and photogrammetrists employed full time, year-round, and 841,077 lawyers employed full time, year-round nationwide.

*Nelson County, Va. (14,789) and Wythe County, Va. (29,344) were named for two of the six signers who represented the state of Virginia — Thomas Nelson Jr. and George Wythe.

Sources: TIGER Shapefiles, the Census Bureau’s geographic database (Place/MCD/County combined “used within name” count), unpublished, 2012 County Business Patterns and Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013

And the Rocket’s Red Glare

$203.6 million
The value of fireworks imported from China in 2013, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($213.8 million). U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to just $10.2 million in 2013, with Israel purchasing more than any other country ($2.7 million).

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Statistics, Code 360410
U.S. Flags

$4.0 million
In 2013, the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags. The vast majority of this amount ($3.9 million) was for U.S. flags made in China.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Statistics, Code 6307909825

Dollar value of U.S. flags exported in 2013. The Dominican Republic was the leading customer, purchasing $160,000 worth.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Statistics, Code 6307909825

This Land Is Your Land

Fifty-nine places contain the word “liberty” in the name. Pennsylvania, with 11, has more of these places than any other state. Of the 59 places, four are counties: Liberty County, Ga. (64,135), Liberty County, Fla. (8,349), Liberty County, Mont. (2,369) and Liberty County, Texas (76,907).

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, TIGER Shapefiles, the Census Bureau’s geographic database (Place/MCD/County combined “used within name” count), unpublished and Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013

One place has “patriot” in its name: Patriot, Ind., has an estimated population of 205.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013

The most common patriotic-sounding word used within place names is “union” with 136. Pennsylvania, with 33, has more of these places than any other state. Other such words most commonly used in place names are Washington (127), Franklin (118) and Lincoln (95).

Sources: TIGER Shapefiles, the Census Bureau’s geographic database (Place/MCD/County combined “used within name” count), unpublished and Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013.

The British are Coming!

$100 billion
Dollar value of trade in 2013 between the United States and the United Kingdom, making the British, our adversary in 1776, our seventh-leading trading partner today.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Statistics

Fourth of July Cookouts

62.9 million
Total estimated number of hogs and pigs as of March 1, 2014. Chances are that the pork hot dogs and sausages consumed on the Fourth of July originated in Iowa. The Hawkeye State was home to an estimated 19.8 million hogs and pigs. North Carolina (estimated at 8.0 million) and Minnesota (estimated at 7.8 million) were also homes to large numbers of pigs.

Source: USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service

The number of paid employees (for the pay period including March 12) who worked in a poultry-processing establishment in the U.S. in 2012. There were 517 such establishments — California (45) had the most. Georgia has the most establishments with greater than 1,000 employees (13), followed by Arkansas (11) and North Carolina (8).

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 County Business Pattern, NAICS 311615

6.1 billion pounds
Total estimated production of cattle and calves in Texas in 2013. There is a good chance that the beef hot dogs, steaks and burgers on your backyard grill came from the Lone Star State, which accounted for nearly one-sixth of the nation’s total production. And if the beef did not come from Texas, it very well may have come from Nebraska (estimated at 5.1 billion pounds) or Kansas (estimated at 3.7 billion pounds).
Source: USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service

Measuring America

As we celebrate this Independence Day, we reflect on how America’s Founders enshrined the importance of statistics in our Constitution as a vital tool for measuring our people, places and economy. Since 1790, the U.S. Census has been much more than a simple head count; it has charted the growth and composition of our nation. The questions have evolved over time to address our changing needs. Today, the 10-year census, the economic census and the American Community Survey give Congress and community leaders the information they need to make informed decisions that shape our democracy. These statistics are how we know how our country is doing.


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