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5 Fun Facts About February 13 In Rhode Island History

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

1. Rhode Island was founded on February 13, 1636, when Roger Williams was forced to flee Massachusetts Bay Colony for his beliefs in religious freedom. He settled in what is now Providence and founded the colony of Rhode Island, which became a safe haven for religious dissenters and political refugees.

2. On February 13, 1764, the town of Cumberland, Rhode Island, was incorporated. Named for the Duke of Cumberland, son of King George II, the town played a significant role in the American Revolution, as it was home to many Patriots who fought for independence.

3. On February 13, 1827, the Rhode Island State Arsenal exploded, killing three people and severely damaging several buildings in Providence. The cause of the explosion was never determined, but it is believed to have been a result of improper storage or handling of gunpowder.

4. February 13, 1840, marked the founding of the Rhode Island Historical Society, which collects, preserves, and shares the history of the state. The society's headquarters, the John Brown House Museum, is one of the country's finest examples of Georgian architecture and is open to the public for tours.

5. In 1983, on February 13th, Rhode Island became the first state in the nation to observe the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation as a state holiday. The Emancipation Day holiday recognizes the role that Rhode Island played in the Civil War and honors the contributions of African Americans to the state's history and culture.
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