PLUG IN Pest Free July newsletter

Independence Day, also commonly referred to as the 4th of July, is arguably the most patriotic day on the calendar. Most people know (or should know) Independence Day (the 4th of July) dates all the way back to 1776. So, what brought this day to come about?

Prior to 1776, America was part of Great Britain, now known as the United Kingdom. In the 1600’s people would travel from Great Britain to settle in what we know today as North America. From 1607 to 1732, the British founded 13 colonies: Virginia, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Georgia.

As these colonies grew, the people who lived there thought the British government treated them unfairly. For instance, they had to allow British soldiers to stay in their homes and had to pay taxes on items such as tea. The colonists were not happy having to follow these laws and rebelled. As a result, the Revolutionary War between the colonists and Great Britain began in 1775.

The colonists decided they needed to declare their independence in writing to explain their reasons and gain support from other countries like France. On July 4, 1776, a small group of representatives from the colonies – called the Continental Congress, adopted the Declaration of Independence.

Written by a committee led by Thomas Jefferson and signed by people from all 13 colonies, it was initially rejected by the British government. This led the colonists to continue their fight for independence until they defeated Great Britain in 1783.

Today, the Declaration of Independence is housed under heavy security at the National Archives in Washington D.C. This document is recognized around the world as an important message of self-governance and human rights. The second sentence of the declaration reads: that all people are created equally and have rights that include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.


It would be hard to celebrate the 4th of July without fireworks. But for the inexperienced, fireworks can be very dangerous. If you are unsure about fireworks safety, leave them to the experts. Each year fireworks cause injuries and even death. Most common injuries are to the hands, face and legs. But if you are going to light your own fireworks show, here’s a few safety tips to know.


  • Keep a bucket of water or water hose on and ready to put out duds
  • Soak fireworks before throwing them away.
  • Keep lighters, matches, and fireworks away from young children to avoid unintentional burns.
  • Do not drink alcohol. It slows reaction time and affects judgement.
Fireworks Ignition:
  • Wear closed-toed shoes.
  • Designate ONE person to ignite. Everyone else should watch as far away as possible or inside watching through a window.
  • Extend arms far away from the body and keep your head out of the firework’s path.
  • Quickly move away after it is lit.
  • Only use tubing provided with the fireworks AND on level ground.
  • Avoid using home-made launching pads. These can fail causing it to tip over and launch in unintentional directions.
  • Stay on concrete or pavement. Dry grass can burn easily.
  • Like above, DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL!
Q: Who was the 22nd President of the United States of America?
Check for the answer and interesting facts below.

Chipotle Chili Dogs

Photo by: Taste of Home

What’s the 4th of July without a great hotdog? Here’s a recipe by Barb Templin that keeps the spice levels to a medium so people of all ages can enjoy.

Total prep time is approximately 25 minutes and serves 6.

First, the Ingredients:
  • 6 hotdogs
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 hotdog buns, split
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 green onions, chopped

Cooking Instructions:
  1. Cook hot dogs according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet, cook the beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomato sauce, chipotle peppers, chili powder, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until flavors are blended, 4-5 minutes.
  2. Place hot dogs in buns. Spoon chili over hot dogs. Sprinkle with cheese and green onions.

Nutrition Facts:

1 serving: 420 calories, 25g fat (12g saturated fat), 69mg cholesterol, 1096mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 2g fiber), 20g protein.


Be sure to check out other delicious recipes on the Taste of Home website here:

A: (Stephen) Grover Cleveland was the 22nd President of the United States. Grover Cleveland was also the 24th President of the United States and to date, the only President in history to serve two non-consecutive terms in office. Is this history about to change?