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5 Fun Facts About May 6 In Rhode Island History

---Learn Every Day: RI Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history ri To: 618-270-4005---

1. In 1791, Rhode Island became the last state to ratify the United States Constitution, which had been adopted in 1787. The state had initially opposed the Constitution, fearing it would compromise state sovereignty and individual liberties. However, after several revisions and negotiations, Rhode Island finally consented to the new federal government.

2. On May 6, 1842, a group of mill workers in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, went on strike to demand a 10-hour workday. The "Ten-Hour Movement" soon spread to other parts of the country and helped pave the way for better working conditions and labor laws.

3. In 1937, the iconic Newport Bridge, also known as the Claiborne Pell Bridge, opened to the public. The 2.2-mile suspension bridge spans the Narragansett Bay and connects Newport and Jamestown. It was named after former U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell, who championed its construction.

4. The Rhode Island Red chicken, which is now the state bird of Rhode Island, was first bred in the town of Little Compton in the late 1800s. The chicken is known for its hardiness, productivity, and delicious meat and eggs.

5. On May 6, 2009, the Rhode Island Senate passed a bill legalizing same-sex civil unions, becoming the fifth state to do so. The law granted same-sex couples many of the same legal rights and protections as married couples, but stopped short of legalizing same-sex marriage. It was eventually replaced by a same-sex marriage law in 2013.
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