Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Happy Birthday, Rhode Island!

Today is the anniversary of Rhode Island's state government ratification of the US Constitution, locking in her membership as one of our United States of America.  Rhode Island was the last of the Thirteen Original Colonies.

Date of Ratification
May 29, 1790

Parentage Founded by Roger Williams (the theologian, not the pianist). He was cast out of the Massachusetts Bay Colony for wanting more religious freedom. He got a group of like-minded outcasts and together they founded the area that eventually became Rhode Island.
The name comes from either an explorer comparing it to the Island of Rhodes, or to the Dutch name for its reddish complexion, "rode."  So it could have been "Red Island."

Place in the Family:
Lucky Thirteen
Six months after bratty North Carolina (Nov 1789)
because RI wanted to show off her independance separately.  
It would be nearly a year before the first non-Original Thirteen Colony, 
Vermont, would join (March 1791)

This is the shortest motto to go with the smallest state.
No kidding. 

Fun Rhode Island Facts
1. Rhode Island was the first colony to petition for separation
from Great Britain, but the last state to ratify the Constitution.
2. Rhode Island shares its anniversary date
with Wisconsin, which became
the 30th State on May 29, 1848 

"The Ocean State"
It being an Island and all....
Hawaii was not pleased that this nick-name was already taken

State Flag
Thirteen stars represent the original Thirteen Colonies.
The anchor represents sailing. The state motto is "Hope."
I like that it's white and gold. Too many other state flags are blue. 

First City You Probably Think of
When You Think "Rhode Island"
Actual State Capital: Providence

State Size (Area) is 50th of 50.
Population is closer to 43rd of 50.
(per 2000 Census figures)
Every US citizen knows that Rhode Island is the smallest state.

Rhode Island Sports
There are no professional sports teams in (on?) Rhode Island

Good vs Evil
Roger Williams
pioneer in religious freedoms

I hate them AND I'm allergic to them.

Anybody From Rhode Island
Ever Grow Up To Be President?


Not even close.

Celebrities From Rhode Island
Van Johnson
40s-60s Film Star, "Batman" villain

David Hedison
THE FLY, "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea"
Ruth Buzzi
"Laugh-In," "The Lost Saucer"
Ted Knight
"Mary Tyler Moore Show," CADDYSHACK
Harry Anderson
"Night Court"

Debra Messing
"Will and Grace"

Viola Davis
Award-Winning Actress
(born in South Carolina,
raised in Rhode Island)

Musical Rhode Islanders
George M. Cohan
"Over There," "Yankee Doodle Boy,"
"You're A Grand Old Flag," etc etc  

The Cowsills
"Rain, The Park, And Other Things," "Hair"
model for The Partridge Family 

Bill Conti
composer of ROCKY theme,
"Gotta Fly Now"

Rhode Island Literary Figures:
H.P. Lovecraft
weirdest writer you will ever encounter

Edwin O'Connor
Pulitzer Prize winning writer

David Macauley

Historical Rhode Islanders
General Ambrose Burnside
failed Civil War General; successful facial hair pioneer

Commodore Matthew Perry
Opened up Japan to the West in 1854;
went on to co-star on the TV show "Friends"

Most Famous Rhode Islander
Peter Griffin (The Family Guy)

A Song For You....
Here's "Born Free"
played by Roger Williams
(the pianist, not the theologian)
(following today's theme of freedom...cool, huh?)
music by John Barry

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