Sunday, October 14, 2007

Rhode Island
The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, usually called simply Rhode Island (IPA: /ɹoʊd ˈaɪ.lənd/), is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is the smallest state by area, but the state with the longest official name. Rhode Island was the first of the thirteen original American colonies to declare independence from British rule, signaling the start of the American Revolution. Rhode Island was also the last of the original thirteen states to ratify the United States Constitution.
Despite its name, most of the state of Rhode Island lies on the North American mainland. Providence Plantations refers to the mainland, while Rhode Island was the 17th and 18th century name for Aquidneck Island (now composed of the city of Newport, and the towns of Middletown and Portsmouth).

Further information: List of Rhode Island counties
Rhode Island covers an area of approximately 1,214 square miles (3,144 km²) and is bordered on the north and east by Massachusetts, on the west by Connecticut, and on the south by Rhode Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. It shares a water border with New York between Block Island and Long Island. The mean elevation of the state is 200 feet (60 m). Located within the New England province of the Appalachian Region, Rhode Island has two distinct natural regions. Eastern Rhode Island contains the lowlands of the Narragansett Bay, while Western Rhode Island forms part of the New England Upland. Narragansett Bay is a major feature of the state's topography. Block Island lies approximately 12 miles (19 km) off the southern coast of the mainland. Within the Bay, there are over 30 islands. The largest is Aquidneck Island, shared by the municipalities of Newport, Middletown, and Portsmouth. The second-largest island is Conanicut; the third-largest is Prudence.
Nicknamed the Ocean State, Rhode Island is home to a number of oceanfront beaches.
Rhode Island is mostly flat with no real mountains. Rhode Island's highest natural point is Jerimoth Hill, only 812 feet (247 m) above sea level.

Rhode Island is an example of a warm, summer humid continental climate with hot, rainy summers and cold, snowy winters. The highest temperature recorded in Rhode Island was 105 °F (40 °C), recorded on August 2, 1975 in Providence, RI. The lowest temperature in Rhode Island, -13 °F (-25 °C), was recorded on February 6, 1996 in Coventry, RI. Monthly average temperatures range from a high of 82 °F (28 °C) to a low of 20 °F (-7 °C).

Rhode Island Climate

Main article: History of Rhode Island History
In 1524, Italian navigator Giovanni de Verrazzano traversed the mid-Atlantic coast of North America, searching for an all-water route through North America to China. In March of that year, he left what is now New York harbor and headed east until he discovered what was later called Block Island. Natives guided him into what is now Newport, Rhode Island harbor. He remained for two weeks while his crew surveyed the bay and the surrounding mainland. In early May, 1524, Verrazzano departed to renew his search for a Northwest Passage.
In 1614, the Dutch explorer Adriaen Block visited the island that is now called Block Island. Native American inhabitants included the Narragansett tribe, occupying most of the area, and the closely related Niantic tribe. Most of the Native Americans were decimated by introduced diseases, intertribal warfare, and the disastrous King Philip's War, but remnants of the Niantic merged into the Narragansett tribe, where they remain on a federally recognized reservation.
In 1636, Roger Williams, after being banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his religious views, settled at the tip of Narragansett Bay. He called the site Providence and declared it a place of religious freedom.
The following year, Anne Hutchinson was banished from Massachusetts for criticizing the clergy there. She and some others, including William Coddington and John Clark, founded the town of Portsmouth on Aquidneck Island. In 1639, Coddington left Portsmouth and founded Newport on Aquidneck Island.
In that same year a formal government was established for the island. William Coddington was the first governor and Philip Sherman was the first Secretary. In 1643, Samuel Gorton founded Shawomet, which is now called Warwick. In 1644, the name of Aquidneck Island was changed to Rhode Island.
John Clarke was granted a Charter in 1663 for Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, which effectively united the two colonies into one. Under the terms of the charter, only landowners could vote. Before the Industrial Revolution, when most people were employed as farmers, this was considered democratic. The original charter was used as the state constitution until 1842.
The relationship between the New Englanders and the Native Americans was strained, and caused some bloodshed. On December 19, 1675 colonist militia from Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, and Rhode Island massacred about 350 Narragansetts in the Battle of the Great Swamp. The largest tribes that lived near Rhode Island were the Wampanoag, Pequots, Narragansett, and Nipmuck. One native named Squanto, from the Wampanoag tribe, stayed with the Pilgrims and taught them many valuable skills needed to survive in the area. He also helped greatly with the eventual peace between the colonists and the natives.
Roger Williams had kept the powerful Narragansetts on friendly terms with local white settlers. Having kept the on friendly terms with settlers, the Narragansetts were even persuaded to form an alliance with the English in 1637, carrying out an attack that nearly extinguished the warlike Pequots. This peace did not last long, however, and by 1670 even the friendly tribes who had greeted Williams and the Pilgrims became estranged from the colonists and conflicts erupted.
The most important and traumatic event in 17th century Rhode Island was King Philip's War, which occurred during 1675–1676. King Philip (his British nickname. His real name was Metacomet) was the chief of the Wampanoag Indians. The settlers of Portsmouth had purchased their land from his father, Massasoit. King Philip rebelled against the English. The first attacks were around Narrangansett Bay, but spread throughout New England.

Colonial Era
Rhode Island's tradition of independence and dissent gave it a prominent role in the American Revolution. In 1772, the first bloodshed of the American Revolution took place in Rhode Island when a band of Providence residents attacked a grounded British ship for enforcing unpopular British trade regulations in the incident which would be come to known as the Gaspee Affair. Keeping with its culture of defiance, Rhode Island was the first of the original thirteen colonies to declare its independence from England (May 4, 1776,

Revolution and industrialization: 1770-1860
During the Civil War, Rhode Island was one of the Union states. Rhode Island furnished 25,236 fighting men, of which 1,685 died. On the home front, Rhode Island, along with the other northern states, used its industrial capacity to supply the Union Army with the materials it needed to win the war. In addition, Newport was the temporary home of the United States Naval Academy during the war. Rhode Island's continued growth and modernization led to the creation of an urban mass transit system, and improved health and sanitation programs. After the war, in 1866, Rhode Island abolished racial segregation throughout the state.

Civil War to Progressive Era: 1860-1929
In the 20th century, the state continued to grow, though the decline in industry devastated many urban areas. These areas were impacted further, as with the rest of the country's urban areas, by construction of Interstate highways through city cores and the suburbanization caused by it and by the GI Bill.
Since the Great Depression, the Rhode Island Democratic Party has dominated local politics. For years, the Speaker of the House, always a Democrat, has been one of the most powerful figures in government
The Republican Party, virtually non-existent in the state legislature, has successfully put forward occasional state-wide "good government" reform candidates who criticize the state's high taxes and the excesses of the Democratic Party. Current Governor Donald Carcieri of East Greenwich, and former Mayor Vincent A. "Buddy" Cianci of Providence (who later became an independent, political boss, and was convicted on RICO charges) ran as Republican reform candidates.
Prominent State Democrats include House Speaker William Murphy, Senate President Joseph Montalbano, Providence Mayor David Cicilline, Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis, General Treasurer Frank Caprio, Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Paiva-Weed, and Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts. In recent years, the former Speaker of the House John Harwood, State Senator John Celona, and State Senate President William Irons were forced to resign in scandals.

Great Depression to present: 1929-

Main article: Law and government of Rhode Island Law and government
The Blackstone River Valley is known as the "Birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution".

The center of population of Rhode Island is located in Providence County, in the city of Cranston. English (12%), Hispanic 11% [6] Portuguese (8.7%).
According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 8.07% of the population aged 5 and over speaks Spanish at home, while 3.80% speaks Portuguese, 1.96% French, and 1.39% Italian [7].
6.1% of Rhode Island's population were reported as under 5, 23.6% under 18, and 14.5% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 52% of the population.
Rhode Island has a higher percentage of Americans of Portuguese ancestry (who dominate Bristol County), including Portuguese Americans and Cape Verdean Americans, than any other state in the nation. French-Canadians form a large part of northern Providence County whereas Irish-Americans have a strong presence in Newport and Kent counties. Yankees of English ancestry still have a presence in the state as well, especially in Washington county, and are often referred to as "Swamp Yankees."
Many Rhode Islanders speak with a non-rhotic accent that many compare to a "Brooklyn" or a cross between a New York and Boston accent ("water" becomes "wata"). Many Rhode Islanders pronounce the 'aw' sound as one might hear in New Jersey; e.g., "coffee" is pronounced "cauwwefee."
The Fox show Family Guy takes place in a fictional town in Rhode Island named Quahog. That town may not be intended to have a particular real-world counterpart.
The state was notorious for organized crime activity from the 1950s into the 1990s when the Patriarca crime family held sway over most of New England from its Providence headquarters. Although the power of organized crime has greatly diminished in Rhode Island over the last 20 years, its residents are still stigmatized by popular perceptions of rampant graft and corruption that have haunted the state for decades.
Rhode Islanders developed a unique style of architecture in the 17th century, called the stone-ender.
Rhode Island is the only state to still celebrate Victory over Japan Day. It is now known as Victory Day.

Rhode Island is a large per capita consumer of coffee. According to a Providence Journal article, the state features the highest number of coffee/donut shops per capita in the country, with over 100 Dunkin' Donuts locations in the state alone. Clams Casino resemble the beloved stuffed quahog but are generally made with the smaller littleneck or cherrystone clam and are unique in their use of bacon as a topping.

There are 39 cities and towns in Rhode Island.
The cities are Providence, East Providence, Newport, Warwick, Cranston, Central Falls, Pawtucket and Woonsocket.
The towns are Barrington, Bristol, Burrillville, Charlestown, Coventry, Cumberland, East Greenwich, Exeter, Foster, Glocester, Hopkinton, Jamestown, Johnston, Lincoln, Little Compton, Middletown, Narragansett, New Shoreham (Block Island), North Kingstown, North Providence, North Smithfield, Portsmouth, Richmond, Scituate, Smithfield, South Kingstown, Tiverton, Warren, West Greenwich, West Warwick, and Westerly.
See also: Rhode Island locations by per capita income

Cities and towns

Further information: Rhode Island schools

Primary and secondary schools
Rhode Island has several colleges and universities

Brown University
Bryant University
Gibbs College
Johnson & Wales University
Naval War College
New England Institute of Technology
Community College of Rhode Island
Providence College
Rhode Island College
Rhode Island School of Design
Roger Williams University
Salve Regina University
University of Rhode Island
Zion Bible College Colleges and universities
The Providence Grays won the first World Championship in baseball history in 1884. The team played their home games at the old Messer Street Field in Providence. The Grays played in the National League from 1878 to 1885. They defeated the New York Metropolitans of the American Association in a best of five game series at the Polo Grounds in New York. Providence won three straight games to become the first champions in major league baseball history.
Babe Ruth played for the minor league Providence Grays of 1914 and hit his only official minor league home run for that team before being recalled by the Grays parent club, the Boston Red Stockings.
A now defunct professional football team, the Providence Steam Roller won the 1928 NFL title. They used to play in a 10,000 person stadium called the Cycledrome.
A team by a similar name, the Providence Steamrollers, played in the Basketball Association of America, which would become the National Basketball Association.

Pawtucket Red Sox, AAA (minor league baseball) affiliate of the Boston Red Sox
Providence Bruins, AHL (minor league hockey) affiliate of the Boston Bruins
Newport Gulls, NECBL (New England Collegiate Baseball League)
Providence Friars, Division 1 NCAA Basketball Team of Providence College
Rhode Island Rams*, Division 1 NCAA Basketball Team of the University of Rhode Island Sports

State motto: Hope
State bird: Rhode Island Red (A breed of chicken)
State flower: Violet
State tree: Red Maple
State fish: Striped Bass
State fruit: Rhode Island greening (Apple)
State nicknames: The Ocean State, Little Rhody, The Littlest State, The Thirteenth State
State rock: Cumberlandite
State mineral: Bowenite (a variety of serpentine)
State shellfish: Quahog
State drink: Coffee milk
State song: "Rhode Island, It's For Me" Miscellaneous topics

Main article: Media in Rhode Island Local media
The state capitol building is made of white Georgian marble. On top is the world's fourth largest self-supported marble dome. It houses the Rhode Island Charter of 1663 and other state treasures.
Providence is home to the First Baptist Church in America, the oldest Baptist church in the Americas, which was founded by Roger Williams in 1638. Providence is the home of the first fully automated post office in the country. The seaside city of Newport is home to many famous mansions, including The Breakers, Marble House and Belcourt Castle. It is also home to the Touro Synagogue, dedicated on 2 December 1763, the first synagogue within the United States, and still serving. The synagogue showcases the religious freedoms that were established by Roger Williams as well as impressive architecture in a mix of the classic colonial and Sephardic style. The Newport Casino is a National Historic Landmark building complex that presently houses the International Tennis Hall of Fame and features an active grass-court tennis club.
Rhode Island is home to the famous roadside attraction Nibbles Woodaway, the Big Blue Bug, the world's largest termite.
Fort Adams, on Narragansett Bay, was the setting for the finish of Eco-Challenge 1995.
"The Towers" in Narragansett, is a large stone arch that scenic route 1A (Ocean rd.) travels through. It was once the entrance to the famous Narragansett casino that burned down in 1900. The towers now serve as a tourist information center and also a banquet hall for events like weddings and birthday parties.


Main article: Famous People from Rhode Island Famous Rhode Islanders

The Academy Award-winning film Reversal of Fortune (Jeremy Irons - Best Actor in a Lead Role). A film, written by famed attorney Alan Dershowitz, who, in real life defended the wealthy yet eccentric Claus Von Bulow for the attempted murder of his wife, Sunny, in Newport, Rhode Island.
The Academy Award-winning 1974 film The Great Gatsby based on the classic American novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and starring Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, Bruce Dern, and Edward Herrmann.
The critically-acclaimed 2007 film Evening, which featured an ensemble cast starring Claire Danes, Vanessa Redgrave, Toni Collette, Natasha Richardson, Hugh Dancy, Glenn Close, and Meryl Streep. The main story of the film was set in idyllic and affluent Newport
The Showtime series Brotherhood is set in Providence, Rhode Island.
The animated sitcom Family Guy (1999 – 2002; 2005 – present) is set in the fictional town of Quahog, Rhode Island.
Outside Providence (Movie, 1999), Directed by Michael Corrente, starring Alec Baldwin.
There's Something About Mary (Movie 1998), Directed by the Farrelly brothers, starring Cameron Diaz and Ben Stiller, romantic comedy partially set in Providence, Cumberland and Barrington
Providence (A TV Series originally seen on the NBC network)
Providence, a 1991 American/Canadian movie with Keanu Reeves
Dumb and Dumber (Movie)
Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (sequel to Dumb and Dumber)
Me, Myself and Irene (Movie, 2000), Directed by the Farrelly brothers, starring Jim Carrey who plays a Rhode Island State Trooper with multiple personalities.
Doctor Doctor (TV-Series set in Providence, 1989-1991)
The Last Shot (Movie, 2004) , starring Alec Baldwin and Mathew Broderick
Getting Out of Rhode Island (Movie, 2003)
Federal Hill (Movie, 1994)
The Witches of Eastwick (Movie, 1987) Directed by George Miller, starring Jack Nicholson, Cher, Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer. Set in the fictional town of Eastwick, Rhode Island.
On FOX's popular X-Files (1993 – 2001) TV series, character Fox Mulder's family lives in Chepachet, a small town in the Northern area of the state. His mother retires to Quonochontaug, an even smaller community in South County.
The Justice League of America's first headquarters was depicted in the comic books as being in a cave in the fictional district of Happy Harbor, in Rhode Island.
The massively multiplayer online game City of Heroes is set in the fictional city of Paragon City, Rhode Island, on the state's coast overlooking the atlantic.
The popular videogame Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem Is focused around the happenings in a mansion in Rhode Island.
Caitlín R. Kiernan's dark-fantasy novel Daughter of Hounds is set primarily in Providence, but also features such Rhode Island locales as Woonsocket and Kingston.
Guitar virtuoso Guthrie Govan has a song on his solo album named "Rhode Island Shred" Popular culture

Rhode Island enacted the first law prohibiting slavery in North America on May 18, 1652.
Slater Mill was the first commercially successful cotton-spinning mill with a fully mechanized power system in America.
The first Baptist Church in America was founded in Providence in 1638.
Ann Smith Franklin of the Newport Mercury was the first woman newspaper editor in America (August 22, 1762)
Touro Synagogue, the first Synagogue in America, was founded in Newport, Rhode Island in 1763.
The first armed act of rebellion in America against the British Crown was the boarding and burning of the Revenue Schooner Gaspee in Narragansett Bay on June 10, 1772.
The idea of a Continental Congress was first proposed at a town meeting in Providence, Rhode Island on May 17, 1774. Rhode Island elected the first delegates (Stephen Hopkins and Samuel Ward) to the Continental Congress on June 15, 1774.
The Rhode Island General Assembly created the first standing army in the colonies (1,500 men) on April 22, 1775.
On June 15, 1775, the first naval engagement of the Revolution occurred between a Colonial Sloop commanded by Capt. Abraham Whipple and an armed tender of the British Frigate Rose. The tender was chased aground and captured. Later in June, the General Assembly created the first American Navy when it commissioned the Sloops Katy and Washington, armed with 24 guns and commanded by Abraham Whipple, who was promoted to Commodore.
Rhode Island was the first Colony to declare independence from Britain on May 4, 1776.
Pelham Street in Newport was the first in America to be illuminated by gaslight in 1806.
The first strike in the United States in which women participated occurred in Pawtucket, Rhode Island in 1824.
Watch Hill, Rhode Island has the nation's oldest carousel that has been in continuous operation since 1850.
The motion picture machine (a machine showing animated pictures) was patented in Providence on April 23, 1867.
The first lunch wagon in America was introduced in Providence in 1872.
The first nine hole golf course in America was completed in Newport in 1890.
The first state health laboratory was established in Providence on September 1, 1894.
The Rhode Island State House was the first building with an all-marble dome to be built in the United States (1895-1901).
The first automobile race on a track was held in Cranston, Rhode Island on September 7, 1896.
The first automobile parade was held in Newport, Rhode Island on September 7, 1899. Famous firsts in Rhode Island

Benedict Arnold
Fort Thunder
Gamm Theatre
List of Governors of Rhode Island
List of people from Rhode Island
Newport Folk Festival
Newport Jazz Festival
Rhode Island census statistical areas
Rhode Island State Police
Scouting in Rhode Island
The size of Rhode Island
Trinity Repertory Company
WaterFire Providence See also

Primary sources

Adams, James Truslow. The Founding of New England (1921)
Adams, James Truslow. Revolutionary New England, 1691-1776 (1923)
Adams, James Truslow. New England in the Republic, 1776-1850 (1926)
Andrews, Charles M. The Fathers of New England: A Chronicle of the Puritan Commonwealths (1919). short survey by leading scholar.
Axtell, James, ed. The American People in Colonial New England (1973), new social history
Brewer, Daniel Chauncey. Conquest of New England by the Immigrant (1926).
Coleman, Peter J. The Transformation of Rhode Island, 1790-1860 (1963)
Conforti, Joseph A. Imagining New England: Explorations of Regional Identity from the Pilgrims to the Mid-Twentieth Century (2001)
Dennison, George M. The Dorr War: Republicanism on Trial, 1831-1861 (1976)
Hall, Donald, ed. Encyclopedia of New England (2005)
Karlsen, Carol F. The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England (1998)
Lovejoy, David S. Rhode Island Politics and the American Revolution, 1760- 1776 (1969)]
McLaughlin, William. Rhode Island: A Bicentennial History (1976)
Palfrey, John Gorham. History of New England (5 vol 1859-90)
Slavery in the North - Slavery in Rhode Island [8]
Sletcher, Michael. New England. (2004).
Stephenson, Nathaniel Wright. Nelson W. Aldrich, a Leader in American Politics (1930).
WPA. Guide to Rhode Island (1939).
Zimmerman, Joseph F. The New England Town Meeting: Democracy in Action. (1999)