9 Facts That Prove The U.S. Wouldn't Be The Same Without Rhode Island
Rhode Island might be the smallest state in the country, but it has certainly made a large impact on its history. Skeptical? Remember, Rhode Island was one of the original 13 colonies, and it’s been making waves since before the Revolutionary War. Here are a few people, events, and inventions that the U.S. wouldn’t be the same without.
1. First of all, let's talk about Roger Williams.
Roger Williams, the 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. Williams was the founder of the first Baptist church in America (also here in Rhody), but he was a huge believer in the separation of Church and State.
2. The first British troops sent from England to squash the revolution landed in Newport.
And we all know the Revolutionary War didn't work out well for them.
3. Speaking of the Revolutionary War, battles were planned and discussed here, at the White Horse Tavern.
This tavern is not only the oldest restaurant in America, but one of the 10 oldest still-running restaurants in the world. It was founded in 1673.
4. The Industrial Revolution started right here in the Ocean State with the construction of Samuel Slater's water-powered cotton mill in Pawtucket. in 1790.
You can still visit the Slater Mill Historic Site to this day.
5. Polo was played for the first time in the United States in 1876 in the Newport area.
We're not saying this old-fashioned sport never would have been played in the U.S., but Rhody definitely sparked the interest.
6. And speaking of sparks... did you know the first automatic sprinkler system was developed by Rhode Islander Frederick Grinnell?
7. The diner also originated here, for which we are thankful.
Walter Scott invented a horse-drawn restaurant in 1872, sparking the idea for the mobile diner.
8. Seth MacFarlane, Debra Messing, Pauly D (of Jersey Shore fame), and James Woods were all born in Rhode Island.
No matter how you might feel about them, they certainly have left an impact on the entertainment industry.
9. Rhode Island was also home to the first open golf tournament.
The tournament was held in 1895, sparking an interest in golf for many Americans.
Did any of these facts surprise you? For a longer list of Rhode Island inventions, check out
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