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5 Fun Facts About July 1 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 became the 13th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution on July 1, 1780, after initially refusing to do so. Rhode Island was the last of the 13 original colonies to join the Union, as they were wary of centralized government and concerned about potential loss of states' rights.

2. The first recorded circus in America took place in Newport, Rhode Island on July 1, 1774. The performance was given by British equestrian Philip Astley and included trick riders, acrobats, and clowns. This paved the way for the establishment of circuses in America.

3. On July 1, 1928, the Narragansett Park racetrack in Pawtucket, Rhode Island opened. It became known for its high-caliber horse races and was a popular destination for gamblers and racing enthusiasts. The track closed in 1978 and the site is now home to a shopping plaza.

4. The first U.S. Coast Guard Air Station was commissioned in Salem, Massachusetts on July 1, 1925, and served the New England region, including Rhode Island. The Coast Guard played a crucial role in search and rescue missions, law enforcement, and maritime security.

5. On July 1, 2013, Rhode Island became the 10th state to legalize same-sex marriage. The bill was passed after years of lobbying and activism by LGBTQ+ advocates in the state. The legalization of same-sex marriage was a significant step towards greater equality and civil rights for all Rhode Islanders.
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