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5 Fun Facts About August 8 In Rhode Island History

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

1. Coconut Grove Club Fire: On August 8, 1942, Rhode Island witnessed one of the deadliest nightclub fires in history. The Coconut Grove Club Fire killed 492 people and injured hundreds more, leaving an indelible mark on the state's history.

2. Rhode Island's First Automobile Accident: On August 8, 1899, Rhode Island had its first automobile accident. According to records, the accident occurred in Providence when J.F. Hayes, a local businessman, collided with a delivery wagon while driving his new motor carriage.

3. Musical Legends Born: Rhode Island has produced some immensely talented musicians, including a few born on August 8. John Cafferty, the frontman of The Beaver Brown Band, and Joe Perry, the legendary guitarist and co-founder of Aerosmith, are both Rhode Island natives born on this day.

4. Hurricane Carol: On August 8, 1954, Rhode Island was hit by Hurricane Carol, a devastating Category 3 storm that caused widespread damage across the state. Several communities were severely impacted, and many homes were destroyed.

5. Shark Attacks: In the summer of 1916, a series of shark attacks occurred along the coast of New Jersey and New York, with one of the attacks taking place just off the shores of Rhode Island. Charles Bruder was swimming off the coast of Beach Haven, New Jersey, when he was attacked and killed by a shark on August 8th, 1916. The incident sparked widespread fear and hysteria and inspired the novel Jaws by Peter Benchley, which would later be turned into a blockbuster movie directed by Steven Spielberg.
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