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5 Fun Facts About March 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 1661, Rhode Island passed a law granting religious freedom to all its citizens, making it the first colony in the New World to do so. This law became the basis for the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

2. On March 26, 1774, the first bloodshed of the American Revolution occurred in Rhode Island when a group of British soldiers fired on a Colonial merchant ship, killing a crew member.

3. In 1832, the first nautical school in the United States, the United States Naval Academy, was founded in Newport, Rhode Island.

4. On March 26, 1917, during World War I, the first U.S. troops arrived in Europe to assist the Allies. Many of the soldiers came from Rhode Island, including the 103rd Infantry, known as the “Yankee Division.”

5. In 1973, the Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled that a woman, Carolyn E. Kutil, could be ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church, making her the first woman in the United States to be ordained as a priest in a major Christian denomination.
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