Facts About Rhode Island
1. It’s not called what you think it is. The state’s full, official name is actually the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. It’s the longest official state name in the nation.
2. The only nuclear explosion to ever happen in the U.S. outside of a controlled environment happened in Wood River, R.I. in 1964 when a worker at United Nuclear Corporation Recovery Systems mistakenly put too much uranium solution in a tank, resulting in an explosion as well as their death. The worker was the only causality.
3. The Slater Mill, a cotton spinning factory, in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, is a national historic landmark and is considered to be the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.
4. Several notable entertainers grew up in Rhode Island. Debra Messing, Viola Davis, and Pauly D of Jersey Shore fame spent their childhoods in the Ocean State.
5. It’s something of a tax haven for expensive boats. While serving as a Massachusetts senator, John Kerry avoided $500,000 in sales and excise taxes on his yacht by docking it at Newport Shipyard in 2010 rather than in a Massachusetts harbor.
6. It’s said a carnivorous tree digested the decomposing body of Rhode Island founder Roger Williams. The tree wasn’t charged with any crime and is still on display.
7. Rhode Island is not zombie friendly. There’s actually a statewide law against biting off another person’s leg. And you thought this was a free country, sheesh!
8. Glendale claims to be home to the world’s oldest penny arcade, with some games dating back to the 1920s, still operating at their original price.
9. With the defendant flying along at an absurd 15 miles per hour, Rhode Island Judge Darius Baker was the first person to jail a person for speeding in 1904.
10. Cumberland is the only place on earth that the Cumberland site has been found. It’s high in iron and titanium and very magnetic, often mistaken for debris from a meteor.