AWESOME FACTS about Rhode Island: State Motto: Hope Capital: Providence Statehood: 1790 Interesting Facts: It is said that “the cradle of American industry began at the place of rushing water”. This happened in 1793 when Samuel Slater built a water-powered cotton spinning machine. Rhode Island is the smallest state in the nation. The state is only 37 miles wide and 48 miles long. Block Island wind farm is the first commercial offshore wind farm in the United States. The state also has the nation’s oldest one-room schoolhouse. It is in Portsmouth. The school house was built in 1716. The American straw hat industry was launched by a 12-year-old Betsey Metcalf in 1798 when she started making inexpensive straw hats. Bristol is home to the oldest continuous 4th of July parade known as “Bristol Fourth of July Parade,” or “Bristol Fourth of July Celebration.” It started in 1785. Portsmouth, RI is the first town in America to be established by a woman – Anne Hutchinson.
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