1. Rhode Island's Independence Day: May 17 is an important day for Rhode Island as it marks the state's Independence Day. On May 17, 1776, Rhode Island was the first of the thirteen original colonies to declare its independence from Great Britain.
2. Celebrations: Every year on May 17, Rhode Island celebrates its independence with a public holiday. The state commemorates the day with numerous parades, fireworks, and other cultural events.
3. Political significance: May 17 is also significant because Rhode Island was the only colony to vote against the adoption of the U.S. Constitution on this day in 1790. At the time, Rhode Island was concerned that the Constitution did not provide enough protection for individual liberties.
4. First African-American graduate: On May 17, 1877, Edward Mitchell Bannister became the first African-American graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. Bannister went on to become a successful artist and is today recognized as one of Rhode Island's most important art figures.
5. Historic floods: Finally, May 17 is also notable for the disastrous floods that have occurred in Rhode Island on this day in years past. In 2010, Rhode Island experienced the worst flooding in its history, with many areas of the state completely inundated by floodwaters.
5 Fun Facts About May 17 In Rhode Island History
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