Rhode Island Independence Day

Rhode Island Independence Day

May 4
Rhode Island was the first and only state to declare its independence from England entirely on its own. Relations between the colony and its British rulers had deteriorated rapidly after the 1772 incident in which Rhode Island colonists boarded and burned the British revenue cutter, the Gaspee, which had been patrolling the coastal waters in search of local smugglers ( see Gaspee Days). On May 4, 1776, both houses of the General Assembly renounced the colony's allegiance to Great Britain—a full two months before the rest of the colonies followed suit on July 4 ( see Fourth of July).
Rhode Islanders celebrate this event during May, which is Rhode Island Heritage Month, with flag-raising ceremonies, cannon salutes, and parades of local patriotic, veterans', and scouting organizations.
SOURCES:
AmerBkDays-2000, p. 341
AnnivHol-2000, p. 76
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