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Rhode Island Trivia
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- Built in 1763, Newport's Touro Synagogue is the oldest surviving synagogue in North America.
- The first discount department store in the United States, 'Ann and Hope,' was opened in Rhode Island.
- Rhode Island was home to the first open golf tournament (1895).
- The original Native American name for Block Island is 'Manisses,' meaning God's Little Island.
- Rhode Island's T.F. Green Airport in Warwick was the first state-owned airport in the USA.
- In 1774, Newport, Rhode Island hosted the first circus in the country.
- Newport has the country's oldest tavern building (The White Horse Tavern, 1673).
- The nation's oldest carousel still delights children in the resort town of Watch Hill, RI.
- The Narragansett Pacer was the first American bred horse of the Colonial era.
- Pelham Street in Newport was first in the country to use gas illuminated street lights.
- President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier were married at St. Mary's church in Newport, RI in 1953.
- Rhode Island was home to the first national lawn tennis championships in 1899.
- The first torpedo boat, 'Stiletto', was built in Bristol, RI in 1887.
- In addition to founding RI in 1636, Roger Williams also established the First Baptist Church in America.
- Roger Williams is known to have lived, preached and written in the still standing Smith's Castle, of Wickford, RI.
- Newport held the first auto race in 1895.
- In 1876 Polo was played for the first time in the United States in Newport, RI.
- Rosecliff Mansion's (Newport) 'Court of Love' is modeled after one designed for Marie Antoinette at Versailles.
- RI's state capitol features the fourth largest unsupported marble dome in the world.
- RI enacted the first law against slavery in North America on May 18, 1652.