Rhode Island Trivia

Did you know?

  • 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, Rhode Island.
  • 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, Rhode Island, in 1953.
  • Rhode Island was home to the first national lawn tennis championships in 1899.
  • The first torpedo boat, 'Stiletto', was built in Bristol, Rhode Island, in 1887.
  • In addition to founding Rhode Island 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, Rhode Island.
  • Newport held the first auto race in 1895.
  • In 1876 polo was played for the first time in the United States in Newport, Rhode Island.
  • Rosecliff Mansion's (Newport) Court of Love is modeled after one designed for Marie Antoinette at Versailles.
  • Rhode Island's state capitol features the fourth=largest unsupported marble dome in the world.
  • Rhode Island enacted the first law against slavery in North America on May 18, 1652.

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