Rhode Island History

By | October 15, 2021

Rhode Island (officially State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations) is a US state. The state capital and largest city is Providence. According to ebizdir, Rhode Island is the smallest of the 50 states in the United States and has an area of ​​approx. 4,002 km², and borders Massachusetts to the north and east, Connecticut to the west, and Rhode Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. The state has a sea border with New York between Block Island and Long Island.

The state, despite its name, is mainly mainland. Rhode Island took the motto The Ocean State as there is so much coastline in the state that no citizen needs to drive more than thirty minutes to get to a beach.

Rhode Island is one of the 15 states that have abolished the death penalty. Rhode Island abolished it early, and carried out its last execution in the 1840s.


1524 – The Italian seafarer Giovanni da Verrazzano travels through Narragansett Bay as he searches for a sea route through North America to China. From New York he reached the coast of Rhode Island, where he named an island “Claudia” (Later Block Island ) after the Duchess of Brittany in France, and took from there to resume the search for the Northwest Passage.

1636 – English theologian Roger Williams founds the Providence Colony, a gathering place for religious minorities. He established the first Baptist church in the colony two years later, and was the first to resist slavery in any of the 13 original colonies. Today (2014) the church has about 47 million. followers.

1637 – Anne Hutchinson founded Portsmouth after being expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for heresy during a political and religious conflict in which she was one of the important protagonists.

1652 – On May 18, Rhode Island introduces the first law in North America that prohibits slavery.

1675-76 – King Philips’ war is an armed conflict between Native Americans living in present-day southern New England and English colonists and their allies among other Native Americans. The war was one of the bloodiest in American history, when approx. 800-1000 out of 52,000 colonists perished, while approx. 3,000 out of 20,000 of the natives lost their lives. The war ended when King Philip was captured and killed, but a few battles were fought after this war for some years.

1776 – Rhode Island becomes the first American colony to declare independence from England. Governor Stephen Hopkins signed the independence contract.

1778 – Battle of Rhode Island is fought on August 29 between the Continental Army and British forces. England won a strategic victory over the Americans who withdrew. The following year, British forces evacuated Rhode Island.

1790 – Rhode Island is admitted as the 13th state of the United States on May 29, after being threatened with having its exports taxed as a foreign nation.

1812 – Rhode Island refuses to participate in the British-American War.

1861-65 – During the American Civil War, Rhode Island was the first state in the Union to send troops in response to President Lincoln’s request for assistance. The state sent 25,236 men, of whom 1,685 died.

1866 – Racial segregation is abolished.

1867 – President Rutherford Hayes tests the new telephone, a call from Rocky Point to Providence, ca. 13 km distance.

1938 – A hurricane kills about 100 people in Rhode Island.

1954 – Hurricane Carol is one of the worst tropical cyclones to hit New England in August, killing 19, destroying 3,800 homes and damaging $ 90 million.

1966-69 – Newport Bridge was built and completed in 1969 with its full length of 3428 meters and 120 meters high, creating the connection between Jamestown and Newport.

1978 – The worst snowstorm in New England and New York started on February 5 and ended 2 days later. Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts were hardest hit, 21 dead.

1989 – The tanker World Prodigy leaks millions of gallons of gasoline into the water near Newport on June 26. See pictures here.

1996 – A tugboat catches fire on January 19, leaking millions of gallons of gasoline near South Kingstown. See pictures here.

2003 – On February 20, the nightclub The Station caught fire, killing 100 guests in West Warwick. The accident happened during Great White’s show, where the pyrotechnics set fire to the insulation foam in the ceiling and the walls around the stage. In 5½ minutes the club was surrounded by fire. In addition to the 100 victims, 230 were injured and 132 reached safety unscathed.

2009 – Prostitution in Rhode Island has been legal since 1980, but was made illegal in November. Read more here.

2010 – From 12-16. March, Rhode Island was flooded by the Pawtuxet River, which swept across many cities in the state. Wind gusts came in periods above 80 km / h and roads were closed. The damages amounted to $ 200 million.

2011 – Hurricane Irene sweeps across Rhode Island and with 114 km / h gusts, it tore up trees and the power grid, causing about 256,000 out of 480,281 customers to lose power in their homes. Two days later, 138,000 still lacked electricity in their homes.