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5 Fun Facts About January 8 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 8, 1838, the first public demonstration of the telegraph in the United States was given in Providence by Samuel F.B. Morse. The event was held at the city's Franklin Hall and included transmissions of messages in Morse code.

2. In 1952, January 8 was proclaimed as "Rosie the Riveter Day" in Rhode Island, in honor of the women who worked in the state's factories and shipyards during World War II. The proclamation recognized the contribution of Rhode Island women to the war effort and encouraged future generations to follow their example of dedication to duty.

3. On January 8, 1959, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed a resolution establishing the Rhode Island Zoological Society as the official organization responsible for the operation and management of the Rhode Island Zoo. The zoo, now known as the Roger Williams Park Zoo, is one of the oldest in the country and attracts over half a million visitors each year.

4. In 1965, Rhode Island's first professional basketball team, the Rhode Island Reds, played their final game at the Rhode Island Auditorium on January 8. The team, which had been in existence since 1926, folded due to financial difficulties.

5. On January 8, 1997, a devastating blizzard struck Rhode Island, dumping over two feet of snow in some areas and causing widespread power outages and transportation disruptions. The storm, which was dubbed the "Blizzard of '97," resulted in the closure of many businesses and schools for several days and caused millions of dollars in damage.
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