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.
Photo of the Month
Photo of the Month by the Saavy Dachsunds
Free Travel Guide
FREE Travel Guide Discover all Rhode Island has to offer