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RI celebrates its own independence day

May 4, 2012
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PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Rhode Island is marking the anniversary of a colonial law renouncing allegiance to King George III.

The law passed on May 4, 1776 made Rhode Island the first American colony to formally break with the British crown. The Declaration of Independence was adopted two months later.

Rhode Island Secretary of State Ralph Mollis says the distinction of being the first colony to cut ties with Britain gives Rhode Island a unique place in American history. The handwritten law is housed at the State Archives. Mollis has posted an image of the document on his website.

The law declared that Rhode Island had a duty to oppose the tyranny of the British government.

The state's General Assembly voted in 1908 to make May 4 Rhode Island Independence Day.

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