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5 Fun Facts About January 15 In Rhode Island History

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

1. The Gaspee Affair: On January 15, 1772, a British customs ship called the HMS Gaspee ran aground near what is now Gaspee Point in Warwick, Rhode Island. Local colonists, angry over the ship's harassment of smugglers, attacked and burned the vessel, marking one of the first significant acts of resistance against British authority in the American colonies.

2. Brown University Founded: On January 15, 1764, Brown University (then known as the College of Rhode Island) was founded in Warren, Rhode Island. It later moved to its current location in Providence and is now one of the most prestigious universities in the United States.

3. Benefit Street Architecture: Many of Providence's most historic and architecturally significant buildings are located on Benefit Street, which was named for the "benefits" (or taxes) that early property owners paid to support public works. On January 15, 1974, Benefit Street was added to the National Register of Historic Places, ensuring the preservation of its unique architecture for generations to come.

4. Gunfire at the Providence Police Station: On January 15, 1968, a group of civil rights activists protesting police brutality and discrimination in Providence attempted to take over the city's police station. The police responded with tear gas and gunfire, injuring several protesters and leading to a week of unrest in the city.

5. Rhode Island Ratifies the Constitution: On January 15, 1790, Rhode Island became the last of the original 13 colonies to ratify the United States Constitution. The state had initially been skeptical of the document and had refused to participate in the Constitutional Convention, but ultimately decided to join the new country on its own terms.
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