Wrapping up the original 13 colonies, National Rhode Island Day on October 5 recognizes the last colony to join the Union.
Persecuted for his beliefs in Massachusetts, Roger Williams established the Rhode Island colony in 1636 at Providence seeking religious and political freedom.
While the colony was the first to renounce British rule, Rhode Island was the only state absent from the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787. Rhode Island delayed signing the Constitution, preferring the addition of a bill of rights. It wasn’t until the Constitution was ratified by nine previous states and the threat of taxation on her exports that Rhode Island finally ratified the document and became the 13th state.
Textile industry boomed in the mid-1800s after Samuel Slater founded the first textile mill in Pawtucket 1790. Rhode Island made producing cloth into a lucrative national and export business.
Lawn tennis has been a long-held pastime by Rhode Islanders and is clearly part of the fabric of their history. The National Lawn Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum was founded in 1954 by Jimmy Van Alen at the Newport Casino. The location in Newport, Rhode Island held the first U.S. national championship for tennis in 1881.
Despite being the smallest state, the Ocean State jams over 400 miles of coastline in its 1212 square miles. With numerous public and private beaches, Rhode Island ocean views and adventure abound.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalRhodeIslandDay
Join National Day Calendar as we recognize Rhode Island’s industry, beauty and history. Explore her shores and find out more about her people. There is much to see! Use #NationalRhodeIslandDay to share on social media.
Nathanael Greene – Revolutionary War General – (August 7, 1742 – June 19, 1786)
Christiana Carteaux Bannister – Abolitionist – (1820 – 1902)
Annie Smith Peck – Mountaineer – (October 19, 1850 – July 18, 1935)
Nap Lajoie – Athlete – (September 5, 1874 – February 7, 1959)
The first Major League player to be intentionally walked with the bases loaded, Napoleon Lajoie posed a threat in the batter’s box and on the field. As an all-around player, Lajoie’s career began with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1896. During his career, he would play for four teams, but would primarily be remembered for winning the first Triple Crown in American League History with the Philadelphia Athletics.
His longest stint would be with the Cleveland Indians from 1902 to 1914 during which time he would also manage. Lajoie was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937.