1. Rhode Island was founded on March 31, 1636, when English theologian Roger Williams and a group of followers established a settlement on the banks of the Seekonk River. The settlement, which they named Providence, became one of the original 13 colonies and the birthplace of the modern concept of religious freedom.
2. On March 31, 1971, the Rhode Island state legislature passed a law decriminalizing abortion. Rhode Island was one of the first states in the country to do so, and the law paved the way for the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade.
3. On March 31, 1923, the Providence Steam Roller became the first Rhode Island team to win a professional football championship. The Steam Roller won the NFL title by defeating the Chicago Cardinals 6-0 in a game played in Chicago.
4. On March 31, 1902, the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) opened its doors to students for the first time. RISD has become one of the premier art and design schools in the country, producing many notable alumni including artists Shepard Fairey and Jenny Holzer.
5. On March 31, 2001, Rhode Island native and pro wrestler Chris Jericho became the first wrestler to win the World Wrestling Federation's (WWF) World Championship, the Intercontinental Championship, and the European Championship in a single night. Jericho accomplished the feat at the WrestleMania X-Seven event held in Houston, Texas.
5 Fun Facts About March 31 In Rhode Island History
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