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Rhode Island

Six Christmas Firsts for New England

New England is as unlikely a place as there is to celebrate Christmas firsts. After all, Puritans in Massachusetts and Connecticut officially banned the holiday. It wasn’t until the mid-19th century that most New Englanders took the day off, let ...

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Six New England Poorhouses

New England poorhouses are mostly forgotten today, but they were once a very real and often feared part of life in the region. Poorhouses evolved from the English poor laws, passed in the 16th and 17th centuries. They required the ...

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The First Hebrew Thanksgiving in America

touro-synagogue

Isaac Touro delivered a Hebrew Thanksgiving sermon on Nov. 28, 1765, praising King George III for protecting Newport’s Jews. His sermon took place before worshippers in the new Touro Synagogue. Since 1658, Newport had been a haven for Jews who escaped ...

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