Rhode Island in History

Rhode Island: Providence

Historical Events


Event of interestEvent of Interest

1631-02-05 Rhode Island, founder, Roger Williams arrives in Boston from England

Theologian and Colonist Roger Williams
Theologian and Colonist
Roger Williams
  • 1636-07-04 City of Providence, Rhode Island form
  • 1639-05-08 William Coddington founds Newport, Rhode Island
  • 1644-03-14 England grants patent for Providence Plantations (now Rhode Island)
  • 1652-05-18 Rhode Island enacts 1st law declaring slavery illegal
  • 1662-01-27 1st American lime kiln begins operation in Providence, Rhode Island

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1663-07-08 King Charles II of England grants a charter to Rhode Island

King of England Charles II
King of England
Charles II
  • 1664-03-24 Roger Williams is granted a charter to colonize Rhode Island
  • 1675-11-02 A combined attack by the Plymouth, Rhode Island, Massachusetts Bay and Connecticut colonies attacks the Great Swamp Fort, owned by the Narragansetts during King Philip's War.
  • 1761-06-10 Puritan version of "Othello" opens in Newport Rhode Island
  • 1762-08-22 1st female (Ann Franklin) US newspaper editor, Newport, Rhode Island, Mercury
  • 1763-12-02 Touro shul of Newport, Rhode Island dedicated (oldest existing US synagogue)
  • 1772-06-10 Burning of British revenue cutter Gaspée by Rhode Islanders
  • 1774-06-13 Rhode Island becomes first colony to prohibit importation of slaves
  • 1776-05-04 Rhode Island declares independence from Britain
  • 1776-12-31 Rhode Island establishes wage & price controls to curb inflation: Limit is 70 cents a day for carpenters, 42 cents for tailors
  • 1778-02-28 Rhode Island General Assembly authorizes enlistment of slaves

/flags/united statesConstitution of the United States

1790-05-29 Rhode Island becomes last of original 13 colonies ratifying US Constitution

  • 1790-12-20 1st successful US cotton mill to spin yarn in Pawtucket, Rhode Island
  • 1798-12-14 David Wilkinson of Rhode Island patents a nut & bolt machine
  • 1813-03-18 David Melville, Newport, Rhode Island, patents apparatus for making coal gas
  • 1835-12-03 First US mutual fire insurance company issues first policy (Rhode Island)
  • 1862-05-09 US Naval Academy relocated from Annapolis Maryland to Newport, Rhode Island
  • 1866-08-11 World's 1st roller rink opens (Newport, Rhode Island)
  • 1880-05-31 League of American Wheelmen (1st US bicycle association), forms in Newport, Rhode Island
  • 1881-08-31 1st US men's single tennis championships (Newport, Rhode Island)
  • 1884-10-06 Naval War College forms in Newport, Rhode Island
  • 1889-08-29 1st American International professional lawn tennis contest (Newport, Rhode Island)
  • 1895-10-04 Horace Rawlins shoots a 173 to win 1st US Open golf tournament at Newport, Rhode Island
  • 1906-12-27 1st annual meeting of American Sociological Society, Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1907-02-11 Passenger ship Larchmont sinks by Block Island, off Rhode Island, 322 die
  • 1916-10-07 The German submarine U-53 arrives off Newport, Rhode Island, and sinks 9 British merchant ships in international waters
  • 1932-09-16 30.8 cm rainfall at Westerly, Rhode Island (state record)
  • 1942-01-11 -23°F (-31°C), Kingston, Rhode Island (state record)
  • 1956-05-26 A fire on board the aircraft carrier USS Bennington in Narragansett Bay, off Rhode Island, kills 103 crew
  • 1969-07-03 78,000 attend Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, Rhode Island
  • 1975-08-02 104°F (40°C) at Providence, Rhode Island (state record)
  • 1978-02-06 Snowstorm hits New England, parts of Rhode Island (54" / 137cm)
  • 1987-11-05 Iceberg twice size of Rhode Island sighted in Antarctic
  • 2003-02-20 During a Great White concert in West Warwick, Rhode Island, a pyrotechnics display sets the club ablaze, killing 100 and injuring over 300 others.
  • 2013-05-02 Rhode Island becomes the tenth US state to legalize same-sex marriage

Famous Birthdays

  • 1586-08-14 William Hutchinson, Rhode Island colonist (d. 1642)
  • 1718-04-26 Esek Hopkins, American Revolutionary War admiral and Commander in Chief of the Continental Navy, born in Scituate, Rhode Island (d. 1802)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1742-08-07 Nathanael Greene, American military leader (major general during the American Revolutionary War), born in Potowomut, Rhode Island (d. 1786)

Military Leader Nathanael Greene
Military Leader
Nathanael Greene
  • 1754-03-04 Benjamin Waterhouse, physician co-founder of Harvard Medical School (smallpox vaccine pioneer), born in Newport, Rhode Island (d. 1846)
  • 1779-03-13 Oliver Shaw, early American composer, born in Newport, Rhode Island (d. 1848)
  • 1785-08-20 Oliver Hazard Perry, American Naval hero (Battle of Lake Erie), born in South Kingstown, Rhode Island (d. 1819)
  • 1786-04-15 Walter Channing, American physician who was the first to use anesthesia during childbirth, born in Newport, Rhode Island (d. 1876)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1794-04-10 Matthew C. Perry, Commodore of the United States Navy who opened Japan to Western influence and trade, born in Newport, Rhode Island (d. 1858)

Commodore of the US Navy Matthew C. Perry
Commodore of the US Navy
Matthew C. Perry
  • 1799-11-03 William Sprague III, American politician from Rhode Island (d. 1856)
  • 1801-05-06 George Sears Greene, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Apponaug, Rhode Island (d. 1899)
  • 1801-09-04 Cullen Whipple, American Inventor (pointed screw machine), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1807-07-12 Silas Casey, American Major General (Union Army), born inEast Greenwich, Rhode Island (d. 1882)
  • 1813-03-26 Thomas West Sherman, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Newport, Rhode Island (d. 1879)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1824-05-23 Ambrose Burnside, American soldier, politician and industrialist (Governor of Rhode Island, 1866-69), born in Liberty, Indiana (d. 1881)

Union General, Politician and Industrialist Ambrose Burnside
Union General, Politician and Industrialist
Ambrose Burnside
  • 1830-09-12 William Sprague IV, American politician and Governor of Rhode Island (1859-63), born in Cranston, Rhode Island (d. 1915)
  • 1841-11-06 Nelson W. Aldrich, U.S. Senator from Rhode Island, born in Foster, Rhode Island (d. 1915)
  • 1874-09-05 Nap Lajoie, American baseball player, born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island (d. 1959)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1878-07-03 George M. Cohan, American father of musical comedy (Phantom President, Give My Regards to Broadway), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1942)

Composer George M. Cohan
Composer
George M. Cohan
  • 1884-08-23 Ogden L. Mills, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (1927-1932), born in Newport, Rhode Island (d. 1937)
  • 1890-08-20 H. P. Lovecraft, American horror writer (At the Mountains of Madness, Weird Tales), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1937)
  • 1899-08-29 George Macready, American actor (Martin Peyton-Peyton Place), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1973)
  • 1901-06-29 Nelson Eddy, baritone (Duets with Jeanette MacDonald), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1903-03-25 Frankie Carle, orchestra leader (Golden Touch), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1906-05-02 Aileen Riggin, springboard diver (Olympic gold 1920, 24), born in Newport, Rhode Island
  • 1915-01-31 Bobby Hackett, trumpeteer/orchestra leader (Air Time '57), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1916-08-25 Van Johnson, American actor (Brigadoon) always wore red socks, born in Newport, Rhode Island (d. 2008)
  • 1918-08-09 Robert Aldrich, American director and producer (Dirty Dozen), born in Cranston, Rhode Island (d. 1983)
  • 1921-01-18 Robert Glaser, educational psychologist (National Assessment of Educational Progress), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 2012)
  • 1922-10-22 John H Chafee, (Sen-R-Rhode Island, 1976- )
  • 1924-01-19 Nicholas Colasanto, American actor (Coach Ernie in Cheers), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1927-02-01 Galway Kinnell, American author (Body Rags, Book of Nightmares), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 2014)
  • 1927-03-29 John McLaughlin, TV commentator (McLaughlin Group) and Nixon aide, born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 2016)
  • 1927-05-20 David Hedison, Americann actor (Colbys, Voyage to Bottom of Sea), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1928-05-21 Alice Drummond, American actress (Awakenings), born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island (d. 2016)
  • 1928-11-04 Hannah Weiner American experimental poet, born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1997)
  • 1934-10-08 J Carter Brown, art director (Washington National Gallery), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1940-05-07 Jim Connors, American Radio personality, born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island (d. 1987)
  • 1941-02-18 David Blue, [Cohen], follk musician (Cupid's Arrow), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1982)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1941-06-05 Spalding Gray, American actor (Beaches, Clara's Heart, Heavy Petting), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 2004)

  • 1942-04-13 Bill Conti, composer (For Your Eyes Only, Rocky IV), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1942-12-10 Ralph Tavares, American musician (Tavares), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1942-12-16 Donald Carcieri, American politician, governor of Rhode Island
  • 1944-04-26 Martha Rockwell, skier (Mount Washington), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1948-01-09 Bill Cowsill, rock guitarist/vocals (The Cowsills - We Can Fly), Newport, Rhode Island
  • 1948-03-09 Jeffrey Osborne, rock vocalist (On the Wings of Love), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1948-07-13 Ronald K Machtley, (Rep-R-Rhode Island)
  • 1949-08-26 Robert (Bob) Cowsill, (The Cowsills - Hair, We Can Fly), born in Newport, Rhode Island
  • 1949-11-12 Jack Reed, (Rep-D-Rhode Island)
  • 1952-10-14 Harry Anderson, actor (Judge Harry Stone-Night Court), born in Newport, Rhode Island
  • 1952-11-11 Paul Cowsill, rock keyboardist (The Cowsills-We Can Fly), Newport, Rhode Island
  • 1953-03-26 Lincoln Chafee, American Senator from Rhode Island
  • 1954-09-14 Barry Cowsill, rock bassist (The Cowsills - We Can Fly), born in Newport, Rhode Island (d. 2005)
  • 1956-03-02 John Cowsill, rock drummer (The Cowsills - We Can Fly), born in Newport, Rhode Island
  • 1960-01-28 John Caliri, American actor (Vinnie-Square Pegs, Double Trouble), born in Providence Rhode Island
  • 1960-05-20 Susan Cowsill, rock vocalist (The Cowsills - We Can Fly), born in Newport, Rhode Island
  • 1970-02-03 Keith Carney, NHL defenseman (Chicago Blackhawks, Team US), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1970-07-19 Kengy Gardiner, WPVA volleyballer (US Open-5th-1994), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1970-12-13 Elizabeth Patricia Reilly, North Miss America-RI (1996), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1971-09-23 Sean Spicer, American political strategist, White House Press Secretary (2017), born in Barrington, Rhode Island
  • 1973-04-12 Claudia Jordan, Miss USA-Rhode Island (1997, top 10)
  • 1975-02-04 Elana Eve Chomiszak, Miss America-Rhode Island (1997), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1981-06-22 Monty Oum, American Animator (RWBY), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 2015)

Famous Weddings


HeartWedding of Interest

1875-12-15 Sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi (41) weds Jeanne-Emilie Baheux Puysieux in Newport, Rhode Island

HeartWedding of Interest

1901-10-09 Philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr (27) weds Abby Aldrich in Warwick Neck, Rhode Island

Financier and Philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr
Financier and Philanthropist
John D. Rockefeller Jr

HeartWedding of Interest

1953-09-12 American Senator John F. Kennedy (36) weds Jacqueline Bouvier (24) in Newport, Rhode Island

35th US President John F. Kennedy
35th US President
John F. Kennedy
US First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
US First Lady
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
  • 2011-07-15 Former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy (44) weds Amy Petitgout in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts
  • 2013-01-19 Figure skater five-time world champion Michelle Kwan (32) weds Clay Pell at the First Unitarian Church of Providence, Rhode Island

Famous Deaths

  • 1678-11-01 William Coddington, first Governor of Rhode Island (b. 1601)
  • 1856-10-19 William Sprague III, American politician from Rhode Island (b. 1799)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1881-09-13 Ambrose Burnside, American soldier, politician and industrialist (Governor of Rhode Island, 1866-69), dies of a heart attack at 57

Union General, Politician and Industrialist Ambrose Burnside
Union General, Politician and Industrialist
Ambrose Burnside
  • 1915-09-11 William Sprague IV, American politician and Governor of Rhode Island (1859-63), dies at 84