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Secretary of State Mollis Invites Public to Free Exhibit Marking a Century of Celebrations

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis invites you to learn more about the way Rhode Islanders celebrate historic occasions by visiting a free exhibit at the State Archives in downtown Providence.

"Parades, Dedications, and Commemorations" features photographs, artifacts, original manuscripts and archival video footage associated with events such as the Rhode Island Tercentennial of 1936, the U.S. Bicentennial and arrival of the Tall Ships at Newport in 1976 and the transfer of Revolutionary War and Civil War battle flags to the State House in 1903.

See Selected Items from the Exhibit

"It is eye-opening to see how proud previous generations were to commemorate occasions that have faded from mind or we take for granted today," said Mollis.

The state's evolving bridge and highway system is documented including the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the now infamous Thurbers Avenue curve on the newly constructed Interstate 95 in 1963 and the dedication of the Mount Hope Bridge in 1929.

Other featured items include photos of England's Queen Elizabeth II visiting Newport as part of the state's Bicentennial celebration in 1976 and images of the World War I Victory Parade through downtown Providence on May 11, 1919.

"I hope exposure to history like this will inspire Rhode Islanders and remind them of the unique treasures the State Archives has to offer," said Mollis.

"Parades, Dedications, and Commemorations" is on display weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Jan. 31 at the State Archives, 337 Westminster St., in downtown Providence. Free validated parking is available at the nearby In-Town Parking lot.

In addition to presenting exhibits, the State Archives is also home to tens of thousands of historic documents such as the 1784 law that granted slaves in Rhode Island their freedom and Roger Williams' handwritten copy of the original 1638 deed buying Providence from the Wampanoag tribe.

Secretary of State Mollis is committed to making it easier to vote, making it easier to do business in Rhode Island and making government more open and accessible. For more information about the exhibit or visiting the State Archives, call (401) 222–2353 or visit

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Barnett at 222-4293


Related links

  • Department or agency: Office of the Secretary of State
  • Online:
  • Release date: 11-26-2012

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