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5 Fun Facts About July 13 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, then called the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, officially renounced its allegiance to Great Britain on July 13, 1776. This made Rhode Island the first colony to declare independence and essentially made it its own country until its eventual inclusion in the United States.

2. On July 13, 1825, the first steam-powered locomotive was tested in Rhode Island. The locomotive, called the John Bull, was built by Englishman George Stephenson and was being tested on a rail line between Bristol and Warren in the state. The successful test was a major step forward in transportation technology and paved the way for the widespread use of steam engines.

3. In 1863, the Battle of Fort Wagner took place on Morris Island off the coast of South Carolina. The battle is notable for its connection to Rhode Island as the state's 54th regiment, made up of black soldiers, played a crucial role in the fight. The regiment is memorialized in the film Glory, which tells the story of the 54th's participation in the battle.

4. On July 13, 1934, famous jazz musician Louis Armstrong performed in Providence, Rhode Island. Armstrong was a major musical figure at the time and his performance in Providence was part of a national tour. The concert was held at the Arcade Theater in downtown Providence and is still remembered fondly by locals.

5. In 1985, Rhode Island became the first state in the country to introduce a mandatory recycling program for certain materials. The program, which required residents to recycle items such as glass, aluminum cans, and newspapers, was a major step forward in reducing waste and promoting sustainability. The program was eventually adopted by other states across the U.S.
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