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5 Fun Facts About January 31 In Rhode Island History

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

1. On January 31, 1776, Rhode Island became the first of the original 13 colonies to declare its independence from Great Britain. The state's General Assembly passed the resolution, making it the first official act of rebellion against British rule.

2. In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln's body was transported through Rhode Island on its way to his final resting place in Illinois. A train carrying Lincoln's body stopped in Providence, where thousands of mourners paid their respects.

3. January 31, 1899 marked the official opening of the Providence Public Library. The library was designed by architectural firm Stone, Carpenter & Willson and is registered as a National Historic Landmark.

4. In 1914, Rhode Island became the first state to establish a minimum wage law. The law required employers to pay a minimum of $0.12 per hour to workers in certain industries.

5. On January 31, 2006, the Rhode Island state government approved a bill legalizing gay marriage. The bill allowed same-sex couples to marry and granted them the same legal rights as heterosexual couples. However, the bill was ultimately vetoed by the governor.
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