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5 Fun Facts About November 7 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 first colony to declare independence from British rule on November 7, 1775. The colony's General Assembly voted to renounce allegiance to King George III and all other British officials, paving the way for the state's eventual inclusion in the United States of America.

2. On November 7, 1787, Rhode Island became the last of the original 13 colonies to ratify the United States Constitution. The state had initially rejected the document over fears that it gave too much power to the federal government, but eventually relented under pressure from other states and the threat of economic isolation.

3. In 1843, the first-ever steam-powered ferryboat in the United States, the Christopher Columbus, began service between Providence and Newport. The vessel was built by a local entrepreneur named Uriah Goslin and could carry up to 400 passengers at a time.

4. The infamous Rhode Island nightclub fire occurred on November 7, 2003, during a concert by the band Great White. The blaze, which started when pyrotechnics ignited flammable foam lining the club's walls, claimed the lives of 100 people and injured hundreds more. It remains one of the deadliest nightclub disasters in American history.

5. On November 7, 2012, Democrat David Cicilline was re-elected to represent Rhode Island's 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Cicilline, who had previously served as mayor of Providence, defeated Republican challenger Brendan Doherty to win his second term in Congress.
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