Timeline of Providence, Rhode Island


The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Providence, Rhode Island, United States.

Prior to 19th century


Providence Gazette, 1782
Old Providence Bank around the time of its founding, 1791

19th century


Union Railroad depot, Providence, 19th century
Arcade, Providence, 19th century
Map of Providence, 1882

20th century


  • 1900 – Population: 175,597.
  • 1901 – Providence's first sewage treatment plant begins "chemical precipitation" treatment of city waste, one of the first such plants in the US.[52]
  • 1904 – Rhode Island State House built.
  • 1905 – Handicraft Club organized.[60]
  • 1906 – Evening Tribune newspaper begins publication.[66]
  • 1907 – Annmary Brown Memorial museum dedicated.[60]
  • 1908 – Federal Building constructed.
  • 1913
  • 1914
  • 1915 — Population of "city proper:" 247,660 (census of 1915)[68]
  • 1916
    • June 3: 54,000 people march through downtown in a six and one-half hour parade in a show of support for Woodrow Wilson's war preparedness efforts.[69]
  • 1917
    • October 14: A Silent Parade is held by 1,800 African-Americans in Providence as part of a national protest against racial violence. The New York Age, a black newspaper, reported that "the marchers were accorded every courtesy by the large throngs of white people."[70]
  • 1918
    • September: the first cases of Spanish flu are reported early this month; by the end of the month, over 2,500 influenza cases filled city hospitals.[71]
    • October 6: The Board of Health issues a general closure order to combat the influenza outbreak.[71]
    • October 3-9: The influenza epidemic reaches its peak, with over 6,700 cases reported.[71]
    • October 25: The closure order is rescinded.[71]
    • December: A second influenza wave hits the city, though smaller than in October. No general closure is ordered.[71]
  • 1919
    • January: The second influenza wave sweeps through the city's school system.[71]
    • February 5: No new cases of influenza are reported, and the pandemic is declared over.[71]
  • 1926
  • 1928
  • 1930
  • 1932
    • Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council headquartered in city.[73]
  • 1935
    • Bryant College of Business Administration, now known as Bryant University, moves from downtown to the East Side[46]
  • 1937
    • March 15: Author H.P. Lovecraft dies, aged 47
  • 1938 – September: Hurricane.
  • 1945 – The Providence Journal wins its first Pulitzer Prize[25]
  • 1949 – WJAR-TV begins broadcasting.
  • 1950 – Veterans Memorial Auditorium opens.
  • 1953 – The Providence Journal wins its second Pulitzer Prize[25]
  • 1954 – Hurricane Carol strikes the area.
  • 1955 – WPRO-TV begins broadcasting.
  • 1956
  • 1957 – Dexter Asylum demolished.[27]
  • 1958
    • A one-mile section of Interstate 195 is completed in the Jewelry District; the highway is completed to the state line in 1960.[75]
    • Construction of Interstate 95 begins in Providence. Over the next few years, Interstates 95 and 195 will demolish large parts of several established neighborhoods, displace hundreds of homes and businesses, and leave the city split into several disconnected segments.[76][77]
  • 1961
    • A District Master Plan known as "Downtown 1970" is issued by the city.[76] Between 1965 and 1975, several city neighborhoods are razed by the Providence Redevelopment Authority.[76]
    • July: Construction on Fox Point Hurricane Barrier begun[78]
  • 1962 – Brown Broadcasting Service established.
  • 1964
    • Westminster Street is converted to a pedestrianized mall, intended to compete with suburban indoor shopping malls.[76]
    • Once-grand Brown & Sharpe Manufacturing Company abandons its sprawling location along the Woonasquatucket River for a modern plant in North Kingstown.[79]
  • 1966 – January: Fox Point Hurricane Barrier completed[78]
  • 1968 – Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns headquartered in Providence.[80]
  • 1969 – Current Henderson Bridge opens
  • 1971
  • 1972 – Providence Zen Center founded.[81]
  • 1974 — 'Interface: Providence' is released by a Rhode Island School of Design architecture class. This "visionary" and "radical" master plan departs from previous plans and focuses "not how to best to keep the Downtown alive, but rather how to repurpose its ruins" and influences future advocates for Downtown.[76]
  • 1975
  • 1976
    • November: Masjid Al-Karim, Islamic Center of Rhode Island, established.[72]
  • 1978
    • February: The Great Blizzard paralyzes Providence with nearly 28 inches of snow. Governor J. Joseph Garrahy comforts the city and state by wearing a flannel shirt.[84]
    • City Archives established.[85]
    • The city's jewelry industry peaks, with 32,500 workers, then begins a decline.[86]
  • 1980
  • 1984
    • First Night Providence begins
    • Mayor Buddy Cianci forced to resign after pleading "no contest" to an assault charge
  • 1986
  • 1989 — The pedestrianized Westminster Mall is torn up and Westminster Street is re-opened to vehicular traffic.[76]
  • 1990 – Governor Henry Lippitt House museum opens (approximate date).[87]
  • 1991
  • 1994
  • 1996
    • The Providence Journal goes public and subsequently was purchased by the Dallas-based A.H. Belo Company[25]
  • 1997
  • 1999

21st century


  • 2001
    • April: Sitting mayor Buddy Cianci is indicted on federal criminal charges of racketeering, conspiracy, extortion, witness tampering, and mail fraud
  • 2002
    • Soviet submarine K-77 museum opens
    • September: Mayor Buddy Cianci is sentenced to serve five years in federal prison
  • 2003 – David Cicilline becomes mayor.
  • 2005 – January: The North American blizzard of 2005 drops 17 inches of snow on downtown Providence[92]
  • 2006 – Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology opens at Brown University.
  • 2007
  • 2008
  • 2009
    • October: Final section of Iway bridge opens for westbound traffic.[96]
  • 2010
    • Population: 178,042.
    • March: A series of rainstorms causes severe flood damage. President Obama declares a state of emergency for the region.[97]
  • 2011
    • January: Angel Taveras becomes mayor.
    • August 28: Hurricane Irene downs 300-400 trees and leaves 12,700 without power.[98]
    • October: Occupy protest begins.
    • November: Open Providence Commission for Transparency and Accountability established.[99]
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
    • January 28: Former mayor Buddy Cianci dies
    • February 6–7: Former mayor Cianci lies in state at City Hall[106]
    • February 8: Cianci's funeral procession marches through the city, stopping for a funeral mass at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul and ending at St. Ann's Cemetery in Cranston for burial.[106]
    • September 11: Mayor Elorza and the president of the firefighter's union come to an agreement after a 13-month contract dispute.[107]
  • 2017
    • November: Thousands lose power after Tropical Storm Philippe[108]
  • 2018
    • May: The Cable Car Cinema, an independent art cinema on South Main Street, closes its doors. The cinema had been in operation since the 1970s.[109]
    • September: Providence's first bicycle sharing program begins.[110]
  • 2019
  • 2020
    • January: Mayor Elorza introduces a Great Streets Initiative and Urban Trail Network Master Plan, a framework of public space improvements to encourage walking, riding bicycles, and public transit.[113]
    • March: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all dine-in restaurants, bars, movie theaters, and all gatherings of 25 or more are banned in Providence and across the state by order of Governor Raimondo.[114] This brings a halt to nearly all concerts, sports, and other events in the city. Providence public schools and the Providence Place Mall are closed.[114] Providence College, Rhode Island College, Brown University, RISD, and Johnson and Wales suspend in-person classes and move to online instruction.[115]
    • May 30: Over a week of demonstrations begin as part of a nationwide series of Civil Rights protests.[116] The marches, attracting as many as 10,000, were called the "largest protest(s) in recent history," and were mostly peaceful, despite violence in other cities.[117]
    • June 2-6: A weeklong curfew is introduced by mayor Jorge Elorza in response to unrest after some early protests, then is rescinded early.[118][119][120]
    • July: Protesters calling to defund the police hold a series of protests and marches at the State House and Public Safety Complex.[121] A civilian police oversight board is established to review police tactics.[122]
  • 2021
    • May 14: Eight people are shot and wounded (ninth victim wounded from glass shards) in Washington Park. The shooting was believed by authorities to have stemmed from conflict between two rival groups. It was the largest number of victims of any shooting in Providence history. [123]

See also


References


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Bibliography


Published in the 19th century
Published in the 20th century
Published in the 21st century