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5 Fun Facts About May 14 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 became the last of the original 13 colonies to ratify the United States Constitution on May 14, 1790. This secured Rhode Island's place in the newly-formed nation and helped to establish the federal government as we know it today.

2. On May 14, 1874, the famous writer and poet Gertrude Stein was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. Although she spent much of her life in Paris, Stein's work often drew on her American roots and experiences.

3. In 1900, Rhode Island lawmakers passed a law forbidding the use of "any person of color" in theatrical performances. This discriminatory law stayed on the books for nearly 50 years, until it was finally repealed in 1949.

4. Rhode Island's longest-serving governor, John Chafee, was born on May 16, 1922. Chafee, who served as governor from 1963 to 1969, went on to become a U.S. Senator and a prominent member of the Republican Party.

5. On May 14, 1996, the Rhode Island Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in the case of State v. Robinson, which established the principle that a person cannot be convicted of a crime based solely on the testimony of an eyewitness who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident. This ruling has had a significant impact on criminal justice in Rhode Island and beyond.
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