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5 Fun Facts About February 1 In Rhode Island History

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1. Rhode Island became the thirteenth state to legalize same-sex marriage on February 1, 2013. After passing legislation to recognize civil unions in 2011, the state took the additional step to grant full marriage equality to same-sex couples.

2. On February 1, 1960, a fire at the Rhode Island Hospital claimed the lives of 21 patients. The tragedy led to major improvements in fire safety regulations for healthcare facilities across the country.

3. The Rhode Island Supreme Court declared a landmark decision on February 1, 1979, in Tillinghast v. Barron, ruling that victims of medical malpractice have the right to sue for damages beyond economic losses.

4. On February 1, 1896, Rhode Island native Edward Lewis Beach became the first person to complete a solo transatlantic flight, piloting a gas-filled balloon from Philadelphia to Southampton, England.

5. The first general strike in U.S. history took place on February 1, 1829, in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Around 100 workers in the town's textile mills went on strike to demand higher wages, shorter hours, and improved working conditions. The success of the strike inspired other workers across the country to organize and demand better labor rights.
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