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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
245 years ago today Rhode Island, the state where I was born and have lived most of my life, was the first of the thirteen colonies to declare it's independence from Great Britain. We were founded by Roger Williams who, because he was a religious dissenter, had been chased out of the Massachusetts Bay Colony by the Puritans who ruled it. We were founded on the ideal of true freedom of religion. Providence, our capitol, is home to the First Baptist Church (1638) in the country, and in Newport you'll find Truro Synagogue (1763) the oldest Jewish house of worship in the country. Rhode Island, as is Pennsylvania, was also a haven where Quakers could escape persecution and they built the Great Friends Meeting House (1699), which is the oldest house of worship in the state.

We went against the grain in a lot of other areas too. Though we were first to declare our independence, we were the last of the original thirteen to ratify the current federal constitution. And, as I think that I learned here on Glock Talk years ago, we didn't come into the union totally voluntarily and were actually threatened with embargo by the Washington administration. It all worked out for the best, and we're very proud to have "The Thirteenth State" as one of our nicknames. Our contrarian tendencies showed up again in the early days of the twentieth century, when we went against the grain in regards to two very popular amendments to that federal constitution. We were one of six states out of 48 who have never ratified the 16th Amendment that gave us the federal income tax. Five years later we along with Connecticut, our neighbor to the west, were the only two that didn't ratify the 18th Amendment which brought about the prohibition of alcoholic beverages. Fourteen years later, we joined with forty other states in ratifying the 21st Amendment which ended Prohibition.

Since I'm on a gun forum, and there are many current and former members of the military here, we have also played a part in some of that history too. Esek Hopkins of Scituate was the first Commander in Chief of the Continental Navy which later became the US Navy. That isn't surprising since we were a major hub for shipping and trade during much of our history. Village of Davisville is where the Seabees were born back in 1942, and the Johnson Rifle was manufactured in Cranston. If you have an M4, M5, or M7 bayonet that says "Imperial", it was made by Imperial Knife here in Rhode Island. During World War II and the leadup to it, many Liberty Ships were made at the Kaiser Shipyard in Providence. (My father worked in the infirmary there before he went into the army.) Some of the inflatable tanks, trucks, artillery, etc... that were used to fool the Germans as to where we would land in France on D-Day, were made by US Rubber in Woonsocket.

As you can see I am pretty proud of my home state, and I think that everyone should be just as proud of the place that they call home. Thank you for letting me bore you. :)



 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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Thanks for the history lesson.

You used to be able to say you live in the littlest state with the biggest name, but not any longer...
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the history lesson.

You used to be able to say you live in the littlest state with the biggest name, but not any longer...
You are very welcome. :) And I am very impressed with your knowledge about our recent change in name, which was due to what is being called "cancel culture". :)
 
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You are very welcome. :) And I am very impressed with your knowledge about our recent change in name, which was due to what is being called "cancel culture". :)
I try to be an informed traveler when I hit the road! Yeah, I read about the reason for the name change. Sheesh! I guess next thing to go will be the official state motto "Live Free or Die." It's so, er, aggressive.

I made a trip to Providence to provide some industry training with a well-respected industry leader who is a great guy and a New Hampshirite by birth. The people in the class were terrific which matters because there is a lot of interaction and roll-playing. It was perfect spring weather, and that evening we dined on fresh seafood at a wonderful Italian place on Federal Hill. It was a very memorable experience.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I guess I missed the briefing. What did your state change it’s name to?
I doubt it got much of a mention outside of here, but for us it was just as contentious as the Biden-Trump race. :) We had a referendum on the ballot in 2020 to change the name from "The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations" to "The State of Rhode Island". I always liked having the longest name, and if they make The District of Columbia a state we will no longer be the smallest. :( Now I know why my mother took it so personally when they changed the name of Hot Springs, New Mexico, where she and my father were married, to Truth or Consequences. Even silly things like names can carry sentimental attachments with them. :)
 
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I doubt it got much of a mention outside of here, but for us it was just as contentious as the Biden-Trump race. :) We had a referendum on the ballot in 2020 to change the name from "The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations" to "The State of Rhode Island". I always liked having the longest name, and if they make The District of Columbia a state we will no longer be the smallest. :( Now I know why my mother took it so personally when they changed the name of Hot Springs, New Mexico, where she and my father were married, to Truth or Consequences. Even silly things like names can carry sentimental attachments with them. :)
The word Plantation got them all riled up, I guess. 🙄
 
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