Find Online Colleges
Find Campus Colleges
Rhode Island Symbols
American Folk Art, Bird, Drink, Fish, Flag, Flagship & Tall Ship, Flower, Fruit, March, Mineral, Motto, Nicknames, Rock, Seal, Shell, Song, Tartan, Tree, Yacht
State Symbol Listings
Rhode Island History Timeline
Important Dates, Events, and Milestones in Rhode Island
Offers a chronological timeline of important dates, events, and milestones in Rhode Island history.
Around 6000 BCE, the first people to inhabit the geographic region that later would become Rhode Island arrive after migrating across the land bridge between Asian and North America. During the thousands of years before European arrival, the Native Americans living in the region include the Nipmuc, Pequot, Wampanoag and Narragansett tribes.
Rhode Island, measuring only about 48 miles long and 37 miles wide, is the smallest of the U.S. states.
17th Century Rhode Island History Timeline
1614 - Dutch explorer Adriaen Block visited the island now named for him.
18th Century Rhode Island History Timeline
1708 - First census taken; population 7,181.
May 4 - The colony declared its independence.
19th Century Rhode Island History Timeline
1812 - Rhode Island refused to participate in the War of 1812.
20th Century Rhode Island History Timeline
1910 - Population over 540,000.
1930 - America's Cup Yacht Race held off Newport
1935 - The "Bloodless Revolution" - Democrats replaced Republican dominance in House and Senate
1936 - Rhode Island celebrated 300 year anniversary
1938 - Hurricane killed about 600, caused signifcant damages
1954 - Hurricane Carol struck, 19 killed, 3,800 homes lost, over $90,000,000 in damages
1955 - Severe flooding caused property losses
1968 - State's first enclosed, climate-controlled mall opened
1969 - Newport Bridge opened between Jamestown and Newport
1976 - Rhode Island hosted Tall Ships Regatta
1978 - Blizzard of 78 worst snowstorm in history, 21 lives lost
1980 - Claudine Schneider first woman elected to Congress
1989 - World Prodigy, 500-foot tanker, spilled millon gallons of fuel near Newport
1996 - Tug towing barge caught fire, millions of gallons of fuel oil spilled near South Kingstown
21st Century Rhode Island History Timeline
2003 - Nightclub fire in West Warwick, 100 die
2009 - Prostitution outlawed
2010 - Rainstorms caused flooding, forced thousands from homes, property damage over $200 million