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Today is RI Independence Day

May 3, 2012

Taken at one of the last Rhode Island Independence Day celebrations on May 4, 1969. Here stands (L-R) Col. James Tingley of the Kentish Guard of East Greenwich, an unidentified girl, Lydia Rapp and Ronald Sullman, former member of the Varnum Continentals. Submitted Photo.

COVENTRY — On this day in 1776, members of the Rhode Island general assembly declared their independence from the British crown. Today, in light of Rhode Island Independence Day, the General Nathanael Greene Homestead gears up for a celebration that hasn’t happened in years.

According to the recollection of member Lydia Rapp, the Homestead last hosted this event in the early 1970s and David Procaccini, the current president, had a vision to bring the tradition back.

“It is Rhode Island heritage and tradition—we have to show our patriotism,” she said. “It was a custom of ours and, as far as I know, no one else is doing it in the state.”

And considering the historical relevance of the General Nathanael Greene Homestead, the location was prime for the event; Greene was appointed to command the southern division of the Continental Army and served as second in command to the-then Commander-in-Chief George Washington, according to Rapp.

“He was George Washington’s right hand man,” she said.

For more information, pick up a copy of the Times.

The event will be held at the Homestead this Saturday, May 5, starting at 1 p.m. There will be re-enactors in uniform from around the state as well as Coventry town officials to make a few remarks on the history of the day. The Homestead is located at 50 Taft St.


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