(CBS Local) — We’re gearing up for a big Memorial Day weekend. Here are some facts and figures about the unofficial start to summer!

Twenty-five cities around the country claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. But the first state that officially recognized it as a holiday was New York in 1873. New Yorkers have welcomed U.S. sailors to town during Fleet Week since 1984.

Seventy-five percent of us will go to a barbecue this weekend. It’s the second most-popular holiday for grilling. The Fourth of July is first.

Between now and Labor Day, Americans will eat about 7 billion hot dogs. That’s 818 hot dogs every second.

This weekend, 39.3 million Americans are expected to travel. Of them, 88 percent are driving to their destination.

About 42 million veterans have served in war time. A total of 1.3 million Americans have lost their lives defending the United States. That’s the most important fact, since remembering them is what Memorial Day is really about.


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