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5 Fun Facts About April 8 In Rhode Island History

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1. The Rhode Island Red chicken, the state bird of Rhode Island, was recognized by the Rhode Island General Assembly on April 8, 1954. The breed had originated in Little Compton, Rhode Island, in the late 19th century, and had become popular for its hardiness and high egg-laying prowess.

2. On April 8, 1636, Roger Williams founded Providence, Rhode Island, after being banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his religious views. Williams believed in the separation of church and state and advocated for fair treatment of Native Americans, which set him apart from the Puritan leaders of the time.

3. On April 8, 1969, twelve Rhode Island college students were arrested while protesting the Vietnam War at Brown University. The group had occupied the university's central administration building for over a week, demanding that the university halt its involvement in the war effort. Their arrest sparked further protests and civil disobedience across the state.

4. The Rhode Island School of Design Museum was dedicated on April 8, 1893. The museum was founded by the Rhode Island School of Design, which had been established in 1877 to provide art and design education to the community. Today, the museum boasts over 100,000 objects of art and design from all corners of the world.

5. On April 8, 1776, the British Royal Navy launched a naval blockade of Narragansett Bay, cutting off the port of Providence from the rest of the world. The blockade lasted for over a year, and effectively limited trade and supplies to the fledgling American forces in the area. Despite this setback, Rhode Island's independent spirit and perseverance helped them emerge victorious in the Revolutionary War.
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