Providence in History

Historical Events

  • 1636-07-04 City of Providence, Rhode Island form
  • 1644-03-14 England grants patent for Providence Plantations (now Rhode Island)
  • 1662-01-27 1st American lime kiln begins operation in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1772-06-09 1st naval attack of Revolutionary War takes place in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1879-06-21 Infielder William White plays one game for the Providence Grays with conjecture was the first African-American to play MLB even though he appeared Caucasian
  • 1880-06-17 Providence Grays MLB pitcher John M. Ward throws a perfect game beating the Buffalo Bisons, 5-0; second perfect game in National League in 6 days; next one takes 84 years
  • 1882-09-25 1st baseball doubleheader (Providence & Worcester)
  • 1883-05-01 First National League baseball game in Philadelphia since 1876, Providence Greys beat Philadelphia Quakers, 4-3
  • 1883-08-23 Philadelphia Quakers make 27 errors against Providence Grays in 28-0 shutout defeat at Messer Street Grounds; wild pitches, walks, passed balls count as errors in MLB prior to 1888
  • 1884-10-25 1st "World Championship" Baseball Series, Polo Grounds, NYC: Providence Grays (NL) beat NY Mets (American Association), 12-2 in 6 innings for 3 game sweep; game abandoned because of bitter cold
  • 1885-08-29 Phillies Charlie Ferguson no-hits Providence 1-0
  • 1906-12-27 1st annual meeting of American Sociological Society, Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1925-10-11 NY Giants play 1st NFL game, lose to Providence 14-0
  • 1928-12-16 National Football League Championship: Providence Steam Roller (8-1-2) win first past the post title
  • 1929-11-06 Providence Steam Roller become first NFL team to host a game at night under floodlights; lose 16-0 against the Chicago Cardinals at the Cycledrome, Providence, RI
  • 1947-01-09 Providence Steamrollers guard Dino Martin becomes the first NBA player to ever score 40 points in a game, in a 91-68 win over Cleveland Rebels at Rhode Island Auditorium
  • 1949-07-10 WJAR TV channel 10 in Providence, Rhode Island (NBC) begins broadcasting

Sports History

1952-02-13 Future world champion Rocky Marciano knocks out Italian heavyweight boxer Gino Buonvino in the 2nd round at Rhode Island Auditorium, Providence for his 40th straight win

  • 1955-03-27 WPRI TV channel 12 in Providence, Rhode Island (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • 1960-10-20 1st fully mechanized post office opened, Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1963-01-01 WTEV (now WLNE) TV channel 6 in Providence RI begins broadcasting
  • 1967-06-05 WSBE TV channel 36 in Providence, RI (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1975-08-02 104°F (40°C) at Providence, Rhode Island (state record)
  • 1987-03-14 Providence, with Billy Donovan's 25 points, beats Austin Peay 90-87
  • 1992-04-13 Crystal Pepsi begins test marketing in Sacramento, Providence, Denver, Dallas, and Grand Rapids
  • 1994-03-13 15th Big East Men's Basketball Tournament: Providence beats Georgetown, 74-64
  • 2014-03-15 35th Big East Men's Basketball Tournament: Providence beats Creighton, 65-58

Famous Birthdays

  • 1707-03-07 Stephen Hopkins, American politician who signed the US Declaration of Independence, born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1785)
  • 1725-05-25 Samuel Ward, American politician (31st and 33rd Governor of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations), born in Newport, Rhode Island (d. 1776)
  • 1755-09-09 Benjamin Bourne, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Rhode Island), born in Bristol, Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, British America (d. 1808)
  • 1801-09-04 Cullen Whipple, American inventor (pointed screw machine), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1868)
  • 1833-05-08 Frank Wheaton, Bvt Major General (Union Army), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1903)
  • 1853-11-28 Helen Magill White, American educator and 1st woman to earn a Ph.D. in the U.S., born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1944)
  • 1866-04-04 George P Baker, American educator and playwright (47 Workshop), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1935)

George M. CohanGeorge M. Cohan (1878-1942)

1878-07-03 American father of musical comedy (Phantom President; Give My Regards to Broadway), born in Providence, Rhode Island

  • 1882-11-20 Andy Coakley, American baseball pitcher (Philadelphia A's, Cincinnati Reds) and coach (Williams College 1911–13, Columbia University 1915–18), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1963)
  • 1890-08-20 H. P. Lovecraft, American horror writer (At the Mountains of Madness, Weird Tales), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1937)
  • 1894-05-28 Sammy White, American comedian and actor (711 Ocean Drive, Sound Off), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1960)
  • 1896-01-18 C. M. Eddy, Jr., American writer, born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1967)
  • 1899-08-29 George Macready, American actor (Martin Peyton-Peyton Place), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1973)
  • 1901-06-29 Nelson Eddy, American baritone (duets with Jeanette MacDonald), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1967)
  • 1903-03-25 Frankie Carle, American orchestra leader (Golden Touch), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1911-10-30 Ruth Hussey, American actress (Another Thin Man), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 2005)
  • 1915-01-31 Bobby Hackett, American jazz cornetist, trumpeter (Glenn Miller; Benny Goodman; Jackie Gleason), and orchestra leader (Air Time '57), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1976)
  • 1915-12-29 Bill Osmanski, American football player & coach, born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1996)
  • 1921-01-18 Robert Glaser, American educational psychologist (National Assessment of Educational Progress), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 2012)
  • 1922-06-03 Alain Resnais, French director (Muriel, Hiroshima mon amour), born in Brittany, France (d. 2014)
  • 1924-01-19 Nicholas Colasanto, American actor (Cheers - "Coach"; Family Plot; The Counterfeit Killer), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1985)
  • 1927-02-01 Galway Kinnell, American author (Body Rags, Book of Nightmares), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 2014)
  • 1927-03-29 John McLaughlin, American TV commentator (McLaughlin Group) and Nixon aide, born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 2016)
  • 1927-05-20 David Hedison, American actor (Colbys, Voyage to Bottom of Sea), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1928-11-04 Hannah Weiner, American experimental poet, born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1997)
  • 1933-04-24 Freddie Scott, American singer and songwriter ("Cry to Me"), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 2007)
  • 1933-05-25 Roger Bowen, American actor (M*A*S*H (film); The Main Event: What About Bob?: Petulia), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1996)
  • 1934-10-08 J. Carter Brown, American art director (Washington National Gallery), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 2002)
  • 1938-12-13 Alvin Curran, American composer (Inner Cities; I Dreamt John Cage Yodeling at the Zurich Hauptbahnhof), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1941-02-18 David Blue [Cohen], American folk musician (Cupid's Arrow), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1982)

Spalding GraySpalding Gray (1941-2004)

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

  • 1942-04-13 Bill Conti, American film score composer (Rocky; The Right Stuff), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1944-04-26 Martha Rockwell, American cross-country skier (Mount Washington), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1948-03-09 Jeffrey Osborne, American soul singer-songwriter ("On the Wings of Love"), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1948-03-23 David Olney, American folk singer-songwriter, born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 2020)
  • 1954-07-06 James Kiberd, American actor (Trevor Dillon-Loving, All My Children), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1954-10-24 Perry Lee "Tiny" Tavares, American rocker, born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1960-01-28 John Caliri, American actor (Vinnie-Square Pegs, Double Trouble), born in Providence Rhode Island
  • 1961-01-17 Brian Helgeland, American writer & film director, born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1970-02-03 Keith Carney, NHL defenseman (Chicago Blackhawks, Team US), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1970-08-13 Matt Hyson, American professional wrestler, born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1973-04-12 Claudia Jordan, American actress (The Real Housewives of Atlanta), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1976-03-16 Blu Cantrell [Tiffany Cobb], American singer-songwriter (Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!), Breathe), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1981-06-22 Monty Oum, American Animator (RWBY), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 2015)

Famous Weddings

  • 2013-01-19 Figure skater five-time world champion Michelle Kwan (32) weds American lawyer Clay Pell at the First Unitarian Church of Providence, Rhode Island; divorce in 2017

Famous Deaths

  • 1776-03-26 Samuel Ward, American politician (31st and 33rd Governor of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations), dies at 50