Caputo: Six Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Rhode Island


Sometimes you’ll come across a person from out of state (usually at a bar) who is curious about the small, New England place that they’re in.

Now if you want to look cool, but have nothing to share about Rhode Island, I’ve got you covered. You’ll be surprised to know that there are many fun facts about our little Ocean State.

So, here are a few things about Rhode Island that you can share. Maybe the person will even buy you a shot.

(Results may vary)

  1. The full name of our small state is “State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,” which appears on Rhode Island’s state seal. With that said, our state is not only the smallest of the union, but has the longest official name!

  2. In 1774, Newport held the first official circus in the country. The horse riding phenomenon, Christopher H. Gardner, performed on three horses at once on May 24th, May 27th and June 16th, 1774, paving the way for the circus shows we all know today. 

  3. Since 1673, the White Horse Tavern in Newport is the oldest operating tavern in the country. Back in the colonial days, this place served as the hot spot for founding fathers, colonists, british soldiers and other people who needed booze to numb the pain of living without electricity.

  4. Bob Dylan first went electric at the Newport Folk Festival on July 25th, 1965. Known for performing acoustic folk tunes, Dylan was met with harsh criticism upon playing a heavy, Rock ‘N’ Roll set on that day.

  5. Again in Newport, the first organ designed for a church use was installed at Trinity Church in 1733. English Philosopher, Bishop George Berkeley found it was important for a church to have sound and donated the organ to Trinity.

    Need a cure for writer’s block? (Lord knows we sometimes do.) You can always sail from Newport to Bermuda, like John Lennon did, writes Jimmy Caputo.
  6. In 1980, John Lennon left Newport on a small boat headed for Hamilton Bermuda, hoping this five-day voyage would put and end to his musical writer’s block. After some stormy nights at sea, an inspired Lennon made a number of demo recordings with his guitar and a tape recorder, which later became songs for his album, Double Fantasy.

Jimmy Caputo
Jimmy Caputo is a local writer, actor, and musician. Send him email at Follow him on twitter @jamescaputo.


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