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5 Fun Facts About February 17 In Rhode Island History

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

1. In 1764, Rhode Island became the first colony to rebel against the British Stamp Act, by burning a shipment of stamps on February 17th. This act of rebellion helped set the stage for the American Revolution.

2. In 1839, Dorr's Rebellion began in Rhode Island, as Thomas Dorr led a movement to expand voting rights to non-landowners and immigrants. The rebellion was eventually quashed, but it helped pave the way for broader suffrage in the state.

3. In 1902, Rhode Island senator Nelson W. Aldrich helped pass the Aldrich-Vreeland Act, which established a national currency system and helped stabilize the economy after a series of bank failures.

4. In 1942, the American steamship SS President Coolidge was sunk by a mine off the coast of Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu during World War II. The ship had been carrying soldiers and supplies, and over 4,000 men were able to make it to shore thanks to the efforts of Rhode Island native Captain Henry Nelson.

5. In 1970, the Providence Civic Center (now known as the Dunkin' Donuts Center) opened its doors for the first time. The 12,000-seat arena has since hosted countless concerts, sports events, and other performances.
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