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Governor Chafee and Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis to Roll Out Educational Materials Related to RI's Historic 1663 Colonial Charter

Governor Chafee and Secretary Mollis to encourage teachers to discuss the significance of Rhode Island's Historic Charter

Who: Governor Lincoln Chafee Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis? Brown University Historian Ted Widmer

Where: Governor's State Room, State House, Providence, Rhode Island

When: Friday, November 22, 2013, at 11:30 a.m.

PROVIDENCE, RI -- In an effort to encourage educators to discuss the significance of Rhode Island's historic 1663 Colonial Charter and visit the State House where the Charter Museum is located, Governor Lincoln D. Chafee and Rhode Island Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis will roll out educational materials related to the groundbreaking document, granting the colony unprecedented religious freedom 350 years ago.

"I encourage all educators throughout Rhode Island to learn more about the classroom strategies they can use in regards to Rhode Island's beloved historic document and its significant role in the evolution of our nation's judiciary," Governor Chafee said. "Here in our state, Roger Williams was stubbornly resolved to secure the first Colonial charter in history affirming freedom of religion, separation of church and state, and a government not appointed by the King but elected by the people. This is the very foundation of our cultural heritage."

In June, the State of Rhode Island marked the 350th anniversary of the Colonial Charter with a Grand Opening and ribbon cutting for the new Charter Museum on the first floor of the State House.

The museum hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

"As Secretary of State, I am responsible for preserving the state's most historic documents, but none have a more important role in the history of our state and our nation than the Royal Charter of 1663," Secretary Mollis said. "Celebrating and preserving our heritage is of utmost importance to me professionally and personally. I consider it an honor and a privilege to be able to walk into our State House and see one of the documents that inspired America's Bill of Rights."

According to Brown University Historian Ted Widmer, "One of the most historic documents in American history is Rhode Island's original Charter, and we are fortunate that it has been preserved and is on display in the State House. To a large degree our little state flavored the whole American experiment."

Governor Chafee and Secretary Mollis will both speak at the event, as will Brown University Historian Ted Widmer.

The announcement will be made Friday, November 22nd, 2013 at 11:30 a.m. in the State Room at the State House.

This date coincides with the date of the Charter's arrival in Newport some 350 years ago on November 24.

Related links

Department or agency: Office of the Secretary of State

Online: http://www.sos.ri.gov/

Release date: 11-21-2013

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