1. Rhode Island is the smallest state in the United States
Rhode Island is the smallest state in the United States, with a total land area of just 1,214 square miles. This makes it the smallest state in the country by land size, with a population density of 1,006 people per square mile, the highest in the nation. Despite its small size, Rhode Island is home to a variety of attractions, including the historic Newport Mansions, the beaches of Narragansett Bay, and the vibrant city of Providence.
2. The Land of Polo
In 1876, the sport of polo was first introduced to the United States in the coastal city of Newport, Rhode Island. This marked the beginning of a long-standing tradition of polo in the state, with Newport becoming a hub for the sport and hosting some of the most prestigious tournaments in the country. The popularity of polo in Rhode Island has only grown since then, with the state now boasting a number of polo clubs and teams, as well as a thriving equestrian community.
3. Judge Baker Sentences Speeder to Jail Time in RI
On August 28, 1904, Judge Darius Baker of Rhode Island made history by becoming the first judge in the United States to sentence a person to jail time for speeding. This groundbreaking decision set a precedent for the enforcement of traffic laws across the country, and Judge Baker's legacy continues to be remembered in Rhode Island today.
4. Rhode Island Hosts First Open Golf Tournament
In 1895, Rhode Island made history by hosting the first ever "open" golf tournament in the United States. This tournament was open to all golfers, regardless of their social class or gender, and was a major milestone in the sport's history. The tournament was held at the Newport Country Club, which is still a popular destination for golfers today. This event marked the beginning of a new era in golf, and Rhode Island's role in it will never be forgotten.
5. Roger Williams Kicked Out of Plymouth
Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island, was famously kicked out of Plymouth, Massachusetts for his radical views on freedom of speech and religion. After his exile, he established the first form of Democracy in Rhode Island, a state that has since become renowned for its commitment to religious and political liberty. Williams' legacy lives on in the state's motto, "Hope," which serves as a reminder of the importance of freedom of expression and religious tolerance.
6. "Flying Horse Carousel: RI's Oldest"
Watch Hill, Rhode Island is home to the oldest “Flying Horse Carousel” in the United States. This historic carousel was built in 1876 and is still in operation today. The carousel features a unique design with hand-carved horses that appear to be flying. It is a popular attraction for visitors to the area, and is a reminder of the area's rich history.
7. Oldest School House in US: Portsmouth, RI
The quaint town of Portsmouth, Rhode Island is home to the oldest school house in the United States, built in 1716. This historic building has stood the test of time, and is a reminder of the importance of education in the early days of the United States. The school house is a two-story, wood-frame structure, and is a popular tourist attraction in the area. Visitors can explore the building and learn about the history of education in the United States.
8. George M. Cohan: Born in RI
George M. Cohan, the renowned American composer, lyricist, actor, singer, dancer, and producer, was born in 1878 in Providence, Rhode Island. He is best known for his two iconic songs, "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy" and "You're a Grand Old Flag", which have become anthems of patriotism in the United States. Cohan's birth in Rhode Island was a significant event in the state's history, as it marked the beginning of a career that would bring fame and recognition to the small New England state.
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9. White Horse Tavern: RI's Rich History
The White Horse Tavern in Rhode Island is a true testament to the state's rich history. Built in 1673, it is the oldest standing and operating bar in the United States, and has been serving customers for over three centuries. The tavern is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, offering a unique glimpse into the past with its colonial-style architecture and traditional New England fare. Whether you're looking for a place to grab a drink or a bite to eat, the White Horse Tavern is sure to provide a memorable experience.
10. Newport's Redwood Library is the oldest library in the United States
The Redwood Library in Newport, Rhode Island is the oldest library in the United States, having been established in 1747. It is a private subscription library, meaning that members pay an annual fee to access its collection of books, manuscripts, and other materials. The library is home to over 50,000 volumes, including rare books, maps, and prints. It also houses a variety of artifacts, including a 17th-century silver tankard and a portrait of George Washington. The library is a popular destination for visitors to Rhode Island, offering a glimpse into the state's rich history and culture.