(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.

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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.

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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.

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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.