Rhode Island Timeline History

Governor Joseph Wanton and other prominent Rhode Islanders in John Greenwood's painting Sea Captains Carousing in Surinam (1755)

arrow Rhode Island Timeline History

arrow 1524: Giovanni de Verrazano explores Narragansett Bay and coastal areas

arrow 1614: Dutch explorer Adriaen Block discovers his namesake island

arrow 1636: Roger Williams founds Providence, on a grant of land from local Indians

arrow 1639: The nation's first Baptist church is founded

arrow 1652: Colony is plagued by local Indian wars

arrow 1663: Colony is granted a royal charter from the King of England

arrow 1676: King Philip, Wampanoag Indian chief, is executed

arrow 1772: Locals burn the British sloop, Gaspee - all in protest of unfair British tax laws

arrow 1776: The Rhode Island colony declares its independence

arrow 1778: Revolutionary War's Battle of Rhode Island is the heaviest fighting within the state

arrow 1790: Rhode Island becomes the 13th state

arrow 1790: Samuel Slater invents the water-powered spinning machine, and America's textile industry is born in Rhode Island

arrow 1824: Woman weavers of Pawtucket strike, believed to be the first strike by women in the United States

arrow 1842: Dorr's Rebellion leads to reform in the state's constitution

arrow 1876: President Rutherford B. Hayes tests the newly invented telephone. A short 8 mile call from Rocky Point to Providence

arrow 1877: Rhode Island flag established

arrow 1895: The Cornelius Vanderbilt mansion zzzthe Breakers:, is completed

arrow 1930: America's Cup yacht race is held off of Newport

arrow 1936: State celebrates its 300th anniversary

arrow 1938: Hurricane strikes the state and damage is severe

arrow 1969: Newport Bridge linking Jamestown and Newport: opens

arrow 1976: Tall ships arrive in Newport, as the state participates in the nation's 200-hundred-year celebration

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