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Public Invited to "Lively" Festivities Marking 350th of RI's Royal Charter Saturday

PROVIDENCE, RI -- The public is invited to enjoy a host of festivities in Providence Saturday to mark the 350th anniversary of Rhode Island's Royal Charter of 1663.

The festivities begin at 10 a.m. at the State House with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new home of the Charter, which was moved from its spot on the second floor outside the Senate Chamber to the new Charter Room on the first floor.

That will be followed by a presentation about Roger Williams by John Barry, author of "Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul," and casual tours of the State House until 3 p.m.

By that time, the celebration will have spilled down Smith Street to the Roger Williams National Memorial highlighted by a visit from Elsie Williams, a 104-year-old descendent of Roger Williams, who will unveil a plaque marking the spot where Williams' home once stood.

From 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. the activities include a 16th-century "trading post" where the public can see and touch items that Roger Williams and Native Americans would have traded in the mid-1600s, performances by the Eastern Medicine Singers, who play traditional songs of the seven eastern tribes; and the Big Nazo puppets.

The source of the phrase "lively experiment," the Charter from King Charles II gave our colony a degree of self-governance and religious liberty then unmatched in the English empire.

For more information about the calendar of events, visit


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  • Department or agency: Office of the Secretary of State
  • Online:
  • Release date: 06-21-2013

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