The Rhode Island Portal

Rhode Island (/ˌrd -/ (listen), like road), officially the State of Rhode Island, is a state in the New England region of the Northeastern United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area and the seventh-least populous, with slightly fewer than 1.1 million residents as of 2020, but it is the second-most densely populated after New Jersey. It takes its name from the eponymous island, though most of its land area is on the mainland. Rhode Island borders Connecticut to the west, Massachusetts to the north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south via Rhode Island Sound and Block Island Sound; it also shares a small maritime border with New York. Providence is its capital and most populous city.

Native Americans lived around Narragansett Bay for thousands of years before English settlers began arriving in the early 17th century. Rhode Island was unique among the Thirteen British Colonies for being founded by a refugee, Roger Williams, who fled religious persecution from the Massachusetts Bay Colony to establish a haven for religious liberty. He founded Providence in 1636 on land purchased from local tribes, creating the first settlement in North America with an explicitly secular government. The Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations subsequently became a destination for religious and political dissenters and social outcasts, earning it the moniker "Rogue's Island".

Reflecting its status as a hub of relative tolerance and free thought, Rhode Island was the first colony to call for a Continental Congress in 1774 and the first to renounce its allegiance to the British Crown on May 4, 1776. After the American Revolution, during which it was heavily occupied and contested, Rhode Island became the fourth state to ratify the Articles of Confederation on February 9, 1778. Favoring a weaker central government, it boycotted the 1787 convention that drafted the United States Constitution, which it initially refused to ratify; it was the last of the original 13 states to do so, on May 29, 1790.

It was officially named the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations since the colonial era, but commonly became known as simply "Rhode Island". In November 2020 the state's voters approved an amendment to the state constitution formally dropping "and Providence Plantations" from its full name. Its official nickname is the "Ocean State", a reference to its 400 miles (640 km) of coastline and the large bays and inlets that comprise about 14% of its total area. (Full article...)

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Benjamin Franklin Tilley
Benjamin Franklin Tilley

Benjamin Franklin Tilley (March 29, 1848 – March 18, 1907), often known as B. F. Tilley, was a career officer in the United States Navy who served from the end of the American Civil War through the Spanish–American War. He is best remembered as the first acting governor of American Samoa as well as the territory's first naval governor.

Tilley entered the United States Naval Academy during the height of the Civil War, graduating after the conflict. He gradually rose through the ranks and participated as a lieutenant in the United States military crackdown against strikers in the wake of the Great Railroad Strike of 1877. He and a small contingent of sailors and marines defended the American consulate in Santiago, Chile during the 1891 Chilean Civil War. He was a commander during the Spanish–American War, and his gunship USS Newport successfully captured two Spanish Navy ships. After the war, he was made the first acting-Governor of Tutuila and Manua (later called American Samoa) and set legal and administrative precedents for the new territory. After 41 years of service, he was promoted to rear admiral but died of pneumonia shortly afterwards. (Full article...)
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Lovecraft in 1934
Lovecraft in 1934

Howard Phillips Lovecraft (US: /ˈlʌvkræft/; August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937) was an American writer of weird, science, fantasy, and horror fiction. He is best known for his creation of the Cthulhu Mythos.

Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Lovecraft spent most of his life in New England. After his father's institutionalization in 1893, he lived affluently until his family's wealth dissipated after the death of his grandfather. Lovecraft then lived with his mother, in reduced financial security, until her institutionalization in 1919. He began to write essays for the United Amateur Press Association, and in 1913 wrote a critical letter to a pulp magazine that ultimately led to his involvement in pulp fiction. He became active in the speculative fiction community and was published in several pulp magazines. Lovecraft moved to New York City, marrying Sonia Greene in 1924, and later became the center of a wider group of authors known as the "Lovecraft Circle". They introduced him to Weird Tales, which would become his most prominent publisher. Lovecraft's time in New York took a toll on his mental state and financial conditions. He returned to Providence in 1926 and produced some of his most popular works, including "The Call of Cthulhu", At the Mountains of Madness, The Shadow over Innsmouth, and The Shadow Out of Time. He would remain active as a writer for 11 years until his death from intestinal cancer at the age of 46. (Full article...)
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Texas could wear Rhode Island as a watch fob. — Pat Neff

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Winnapaug Pond (also known as Brightman Pond) is a breached saltwater pond in Westerly, Rhode Island, United States, connected to Block Island Sound by the Weekapaug Breachway, which was constructed during the mid-1950s. The 2.5-mile (4.0 km) long lake is separated from the Atlantic by a large sandbar.

Winnapaug Pond (also known as Brightman Pond) is a breached saltwater pond in Westerly, Rhode Island, United States, connected to Block Island Sound by the Weekapaug Breachway, which was constructed during the mid-1950s. The 2.5-mile (4.0 km) long lake is separated from the Atlantic by a large sandbar.

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A baseball game at McCoy Stadium, Pawtucket, May 7, 2002.
Credit: User:Meegs
A baseball game at McCoy Stadium, Pawtucket, May 7, 2002.

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