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5 Fun Facts About April 29 In Rhode Island History

---Learn Every Day: RI Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history ri To: 618-270-4005---

1. In 1660, Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island and the first American proponent of the separation of church and state, passed away in Providence. Williams was a Puritan minister who was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his views on religious freedom and tolerance.

2. In 1777, during the American Revolution, British forces under General Henry Clinton captured the town of Danbury, Connecticut, which was a major supply depot for the Continental Army. Rhode Island troops were among those who took part in the subsequent Battle of Ridgefield, which marked the end of the British raiding expedition.

3. In 1903, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed a law establishing a state board of education. The board was charged with overseeing the state's public schools and ensuring that all children had access to a free and appropriate education.

4. In 1937, the horrific schoolhouse tragedy in New London, Texas, led to increased scrutiny of school safety standards across the country. Rhode Island was one of several states that re-evaluated its own school infrastructure and emergency preparedness procedures in the wake of the disaster.

5. In 1992, the Rhode Island Historical Society opened a major exhibition on the history of slavery in the state. The exhibit, "Slavery in Rhode Island: Its Beginnings and Endings," explored the role of Rhode Island in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, as well as the efforts of abolitionists and enslaved people themselves to resist and eventually overthrow the system of slavery.
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