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5 Fun Facts About July 8 In Rhode Island History

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1. The first U.S. Women's Open Golf Championship was held in Rhode Island on July 8, 1954. The tournament was played at the famed Course at Newport and won by Babe Zaharias.

2. On July 8, 1776, following the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, the Rhode Island General Assembly declared their independence from Great Britain. Rhode Island was the first of the 13 colonies to proclaim independence from Britain.

3. On July 8, 1791, the Rhode Island Supreme Court made the historic decision to abolish slavery in the state. Although Rhode Island was among the last states to abolish slavery, it was significant in that the court's decision provided a legal precedent for other states to follow.

4. One of the most famous shipwrecks in Rhode Island history occurred on July 8, 1841. The steamship Erie sank off the coast of Watch Hill, Rhode Island, killing over 300 passengers and crew members. The disaster led to improvements in maritime safety and the development of new rescue technologies.

5. On July 8, 1975, the Newport Jazz Festival kicked off its annual weekend of performances in Newport, Rhode Island. The festival has long been a mecca for jazz enthusiasts, featuring some of the biggest names in the genre over the years, including Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, and John Coltrane.
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