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Category Archives: History

st. john's cathedral

Cathedral To Be Slave Trade Museum

(4.16) First an update on this formerly endangered property from the Providence Preservation Society (PPS). The iconic 1810 Cathedral of St. John, designed by Providence Architect John Holden Greene, was included on the PPS Most Endangered Properties List for seven years due to increasing maintenance

wooden bridge

The Last Wooden Bridge

It’s all gone now. Having finally collapsed into the Moshassuck River, this wooden pre-Civil War bridge presented a flooding hazard and had to be removed. ProJo photographer Sandor Bodo has been documenting its slow decline and the result is this charming essay, “Documenting the fall

RW letter

Original Roger Williams Letter On Display

(3.19) Catch the third of five letters written in Roger Williams’ own hand at the Roger Williams National Memorial tomorrow night. RWMN staff collaborated with the RI Historical Society to connect visitors with history via five letters displayed over five months. In this letter, Rog

president harry s. truman

Presidents Day — Truman In Providence

We found this image showing President Harry S. Truman addressing the crowd at Providence City Hall on October 28, 1948 in the State Archives. Note that not one single person is holding a bottle of water. All were expected to survive the event without constant

christiana bannister

Christiana Carteaux Bannister

Doing business at the state house often involves standing around and waiting. Fortunately one is surrounded by interesting statuary like this arresting bust outside the senate chamber. The last name caught my attention. Abolitionist, entrepreneur, and patron of the arts, Christiana Bannister was inducted into

building wonders

NOVA Series Created By Providence Pictures

The three-part NOVA series “Building Wonders” starts tonight with “Colosseum — Roman Death Trap.” All three episodes were created by Providence Pictures on Eddy Street. ProJo arts writer Andy Smith spoke with company president Gary Glassman about the first installment. Glassman calls his shows “documersives”

what cheer

What Cheer Day

(10.25) Things to do on What Cheer Day. * Go to What Cheer Records and Vintage and buy an old Roger Williams album. (He was a rather bland pianist. Check out the $1 bins.) Or buy cool T-shirt. *Wash down some bacon wings with a

columbus statue

Columbus Day — Go Bowling

This statue* of Christopher Columbus at Elmwood and Reservoir Avenues is clearly not pointing in the direction of Federal Hill a neighborhood to be avoided today for many reasons. (Try Lang’s Bowlarama.) For more about Columbus, head to your local bookstore and purchase the wildly

slavery memorial

Slavery Memorial Dedication Saturday

The sculpture is challenging and bold; the text, cringing. A formal dedication of the recently installed Slavery Memorial at Brown University will take place Saturday, with remarks by African-American sculptor Martin Puryear. The installation consists of the memorial itself — a half-buried 4.5 ton cast-iron

Wonder Show polar bear

Arctic Theatre Royal — Burnside Park

(8.19) The Wonder Show presents an evening of spectacle, The Arctic Theatre Royal, a magic lantern show featuring images and text sourced from the Providence Athenaeum’s Special Collections. Original moving panorama and lantern slides with views of sublime, yet awful grandeur. Don’t miss this special

Electric Six

What Would Roger Do? Electric Six At Fête

You mention Roger Williams — you get a special post. If you’ve never caught the unique stylings of Dick Valentine, head over to Fête tonight for the Electric Six show. Known for “Danger! High Voltage” and “Gay Bar” these Detroit rockers have a deep catalog


RIBHS Photo Exhibit Opens Thursday

The RI Historical Society will host an opening reception for “Many Faces: Photographs of Rhode Island African Americans” a photo exhibit presented by the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society. Exhibit runs through September. Seen here is a cabinet card photographed at Goodwin’s Studio in the

mary dyer

‘Drunk History’ Returns

‘Drunk History’ returns for a new season Tuesday, July 1st, at 10pm on Comedy Central. The series is co-produced by writer, comedian, and Moses Brown grad, Seth Weitberg. Go Fighting Quakers! ‘Drunk History’ is the liquored-up narration of our nation’s history. Host Derek Waters, along

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Events At RWNM

(6.21) More good weather queued up for this weekend so head down to the Roger Williams National Memorial for some edification and music. First at 5pm — Character actress Jessa Piaia (seen here as Mary Dyer) will portray Elizabeth Brown, wife of Chad Brown, proprietor

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‘Mummy-In’ At RISD Museum

(6.19) Not About The Buildings and the Providence Athenaeum have teamed up once again, this time to commemorate the re-installation of the Egyptian galleries at the RISD Museum. Join us for a reading of Edgar Allan Poe’s witty and not terribly long 1845 story “Some

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The Hannah

(6.14) Gaspee Days continue in Warwick today with the parade. And the fireworks were postponed to Saturday, June 14th. Get up to speed on the Burning of the Gaspee here. HMS Gaspee and her hated commander, Lt. William Dudingston, were sent by King George III