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5 Fun Facts About July 26 In Rhode Island History

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

1. In 1776, Rhode Island became the first colony to declare independence from Great Britain. While the official Declaration of Independence wasn't signed until August 2, Rhode Island made its declaration on July 26, setting a precedent for the other colonies to follow.

2. In 1843, the first train arrived in Providence, marking the beginning of a new era in transportation for the city and state. The train station quickly became a hub for commerce and trade, connecting Rhode Island to the broader northeast region.

3. On July 26, 1928, the Newport Jazz Festival kicked off for the first time, ushering in a new era of jazz music in Rhode Island and setting the standard for music festivals around the world. Over the years, the festival has attracted some of the biggest names in jazz, including Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, and Duke Ellington.

4. In 1947, the National Guard was mobilized to quell a race riot in Providence's African-American neighborhood, which left four people dead and dozens injured. The incident served as a stark reminder of the ongoing struggle for civil rights in Rhode Island and the country as a whole.

5. On July 26, 1984, a fire broke out at the Hillsgrove Airport in Warwick, killing 13 people and injuring dozens more. The tragedy sparked a wave of safety improvements in the aviation industry and has been cited as a key event in the development of modern airport safety protocols.
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