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5 Fun Facts About June 17 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 Adopts the United States Constitution - On June 17, 1790, Rhode Island became the last state to ratify the United States Constitution, officially joining the Union.

2. First Public School Opened - On June 17, 1800, the first public school in Rhode Island opened in Providence. The school, called the Benefit Street School, provided education to students for free.

3. Legendary Jazz Pianist Born - On June 17, 1925, Rhode Island native and legendary jazz pianist, Dave McKenna, was born in Woonsocket. He went on to become a well-known performer and recording artist.

4. New Providence Viaduct Completed - The New Providence Viaduct, a bridge that carries Route 195 over the Seekonk River between Providence and East Providence, was completed on June 17, 1968. The bridge is an important link between the two cities and provides stunning views of the surrounding area.

5. Governor Lincoln Chafee Switches Political Parties - On June 17, 2013, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee announced that he was switching his political affiliation from Independent to Democratic. Chafee had previously been a Republican during his time as a US senator.
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