Interesting Facts About Rhode Island

  • Polo was played for the first time in the United States in 1876 near Newport.
  • Rhode Island was home to the first National Lawn Tennis Championship in 1899.
  • St. Mary’s, Rhode Island’s oldest Roman Catholic parish was founded in 1828. The church is best known as the site of the wedding of Jacqueline Bouvier to John Fitzgerald Kennedy in 1953.
  • The state was home to the first open golf tournament. The event occurred in 1895.
  • Rhode Island has no county government. It is divided into 39 municipalities each having its own form of local government.
  • The Flying Horse Carousel is the nation’s oldest carousel. It is located in the resort town of Watch Hill.
  • The first circus in the United States was in Newport in 1774.
  • Ann and Hope was the first discount department store in the United States the property was opened in Rhode Island.
  • Rhode Island is home to the Tennis Hall of Fame.
  • Rhode Island’s official state name is Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
  • George M. Cohan was born in Providence in 1878. He wrote, “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy,” “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” and a wide variety of other musical entertainment.
  • Rhode Island is known for making silverware and fine jewelry.
  • The world’s largest bug is on the roof of New England Pest Control in Providence. It’s a big blue termite, 58 feet long and 928 times actual termite size.
  • At the Point Judith corrosion test site material samples sit exposed for years and are analyzed to determine the toll taken by ocean air and the sun.
  • Rhode Islanders were the firsts to take military action against England by sinking one of her ships in the Narragansett Bay located between Newport and Providence. The english ship was called “The Gaspee”.
  • Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island, established the first practical working model of Democracy after he was banished from Plymouth, Massachusetts because of his “extreme views” concerning freedom of speech and religion.
  • Thomas Jefferson and John Adams publicly acknowledged Roger Williams, as the originator of the concepts and principles reflected in The First Amendment. Among those principles were freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of public assembly.