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Category Archives: History


NPS Birthday Party At RW Memorial

(8.25) Help celebrate the 99th birthday of the National Park Service and the 50th Anniversary of the Roger Williams National Memorial! Enjoy light refreshments, meet the park staff, stroll the beautiful grounds at the Memorial, check out the exhibits at the Visitor Center and learn

stephen hopkins museum

Washington Slept Here

Or was it a dine and dash? We may never know for sure. Read more here or visit the home, now a museum, of merchant and ten-time Governor Stephen Hopkins. His revolutionary cred started with the Gaspee Affair when he refused to cooperate with the

lafayette at washington

Where Lafayette Meets Washington

The Marquis de Lafayette seems to be having a well-deserved moment. The 19-year-old Lafayette sailed over in 1777 offering his services to the Continental Army for free. Lafayette met with George Washington that August in Philadelphia, and the two men took to each other immediately.

the hannah

Wild Colonial Becomes Sabin Tavern

(6.13) From flash mob to freedom — the Gaspee Incident and the Birth of America! WaterFire Providence presents ‘The Gaspee Project,’ a celebration of the very first act of war against the British Crown. (Eat it Concord). There will be walking tours and open historic

independence trail

The Green Mile

Welcome to the Independence Trail of Providence. History buffs hoping to learn more about the Burning of the Gaspee on June 9th, 1772, might check out this point of interest at Planet and South Main Streets, the site of the Sabin Tavern where Rhode Island

north burial ground

Give Peace A Chance

At least while we tend to the latest cohort of returning veterans . . . let’s have a few decades to catch up. A message from Michael McPhearson, executive director of Veterans for Peace, founded in 1985. “Our message for Memorial Day is to remember

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