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Bristol Rhode Island

Bristol Rhode Island Fourth of July ParadeIf you haven’t been here this year for Fourth of July, you can keep it in mind for next year.  Evidently, Bristol, Rhode Island has the oldest continuous Independence Day celebration and parade events in the country, starting its affair in 1785.  It might not be the oldest, as one would think Pennsylvania areas, for example, have older, uninterrupted annual celebrations, but for sure, Bristol, Rhode Island participates in honoring the declaration of independence with rigorous efforts and effects.

Bristol Rhode IslandOther so-called trivia, interesting facts about Bristol, Rhode Island are equally worth checking out, including historical data and details.  For instance, it was in the 1880s, a hundred years later, that the first torpedo boat was launched, so to speak.  Dubbed “Lightning”, the first craft was made seaworthy in 1876 by the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company in Bristol, Rhode Island; but according to one source, the boat crew had to “hold the charge on the end of a long pole and poke it at the target.”  So it was not for another eleven years that a self-propelled torpedo would work.  That boat was Stiletto.

Bristol Rhode IslandThe Herreshoff Manufacturing Company and its township, Bristol, Rhode Island, also boast another sort of sea-going history: in a period of four decades of sailing competitions, eight of the yachts built at Herreshoff took the America's Cup in sailing.  And the township is as proud of its survivor history as it is its sailing finesse in those early years: not only was Bristol where the first battle of King Philip’s war of 1675 was waged, but it was a site that incurred the blows and subsequent hardships of attack by the British in the Revolution. 

The sites of Bristol, Rhode Island include such historical war memories—at the tourist attraction known as King Philip’s chair, for instance—and still today reveal the traditions, architecture, and lifestyles of everyone and everything from the Puritans to the old colonial beauties, built in the 1700s and early 1800s and today still standing and housing the “Bristolians”, the relatively small community of folks numbering about 22,000, the people of Bristol, Rhode Island, who are the first to call their home “America’s most patriotic town.  If you visit, especially on the fourth of July, when they all get together to enjoy their earlier fundraising efforts (to get $200,000 to put on the nation’s oldest Independence Day celebration)…you might just concede that they have earned the right to say so.


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