The Fourth of July

July 6, 2020

When most of us think of the Fourth of July, we think of fireworks!  Over the years, fireworks have become more and more elaborate.  However, this is also the time of year when safety agencies are concerned about the improper use of fireworks and the possible injuries that can occur.  Fireworks are safer now than they used to be but can still cause very serious injuries. In 1990, there were 17.8 injuries per 100,000 pounds of fireworks. In 1999, that number had fallen approximately 30.5%. What was the number of injuries per 100,000 pounds of fireworks in 1999?


Fifty-six men signed the Declaration of Independence, though the signing was not actually on the Fourth of July. Being the President of the Congress, John Hancock, one of the five signers from Massachusetts, was the first to sign the Declaration.  If the other men were to sign the document in random order, what is the probability that the next two signers would also be from Massachusetts? Express your answer as a common fraction.


Though most people are familiar with John Hancock’s “slightly large” signature on the Declaration of Independence, it is not so well-known that Thomas Jefferson was the primary author of the document. Jefferson is one of the four men whose faces were permanently carved in stone at Mount Rushmore. In the carving, each of Jefferson’s eyes is 11 feet across.  How many square yards, to the nearest whole number, are covered by his two eyes?