This Day in History: May 29, 1790
Rhode Island, the Ocean State, the Southern Gateway of New England
The Ocean State is the official nickname formulated to attract tourism to Rhode Island and appears on non-commercial license plates replacing “Discover” in 1972. With over 400 miles of coastline, all Rhode Islanders live within a 30-minute drive to the Atlantic Ocean or Narragansett Bay. The historical nickname, the Southern Gateway of New England, was bestowed because Rhode Island was the most southerly of the New England states with harbors suitable for ocean-going ships.
It was the last colony of the thirteen colonies to ratify the United States Constitution on May 29, 1790, once assurances were made that a Bill of Rights would become part of the Constitution, thereby making it the 13th state in the union.
What Rhode Island lacks in size it makes up for in historical significance. Take the high-flying tour of the little state with big stories.
Sunset at Newport, Rhode Island – photo © G.E. Long on Flickr
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