Rhode Island State House


Rhode Island Fun Facts

construction slideshow
construction slideshow
construction slideshow
construction slideshow


  • Rhode Island is the smallest state in the United States -1,214 square miles. Its distances North to South are 48 miles and East to West 37 miles.
  • Last of the original 13 colonies to become a state.
  • Polo was played for the first time ever in the United States, in the year 1876 near Newport.
  • The first jail sentence for speeding in an automobile was imposed on August 28, 1904 in Newport.
  • First National Lawn Tennis Championship in 1899.
  • First open golf tournament, 1895.
  • King Charles II gave them the "Royal Charter" which is on display at the Rhode Island State House!
  • 1664: We got our first "seal" which said, "Mottoe, Rhode Island and Providence, with the word 'HOPE' over the head of the anker." Today, our seal is a little different. Around the circle it says: "The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations 1636." It still has an anchor with the word "hope" over the anchor!
  • 1708: Our first census, or count of people who live in one area, was taken.
  • We had a population of 7,181 people!
  • 1755: Another census was taken, and we grew to 40,414 people!
  • 1772: Our colonists were mad at the British because they gave us tax restrictions. So, they burned two British ships that were in our harbor: The Gaspee and The Liberty.
  • 1774: Connecticut and Rhode Island ended slavery in their colonies.
  • May 4, 1776: We declared our Independence from Britain! Make sure to celebrate "Rhode Island Independence Day" every May 4!
  • May 29, 1790: We were the last of the 13 original colonies of America to sign the US Constitution. We thought our Royal Charter gave us more rights and freedoms, so we waited until the Bill of Rights was added.
  • 1843: We got a state constitution
  • 1877: Our State Flag was adopted
  • 1910: We had a population over 540,000!