Reflecting its status as a hub of relative tolerance and free thought, Rhode Island was the first colony to call for a Continental Congress in 1774 and the first to renounce its allegiance to the British Crown on May 4, 1776. After the American Revolution, during which it was heavily occupied and contested, Rhode Island became the fourth state to ratify the Articles of Confederation on February 9, 1778. Favoring a weaker central government, it boycotted the 1787 convention that drafted the United States Constitution, which it initially refused to ratify; it was the last of the original 13 states to do so, on May 29, 1790.
It was officially named the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations since the colonial era, but commonly became known as simply "Rhode Island". In November 2020 the state's voters approved an amendment to the state constitution formally dropping "and Providence Plantations" from its full name. Its official nickname is the "Ocean State", a reference to its 400 miles (640 km) of coastline and the large bays and inlets that comprise about 14% of its total area. (Full article...)
Spalding Gray (June 5, 1941 – January 11, 2004) was an American actor and writer. He is best known for the autobiographical monologues that he wrote and performed for the theater in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as for his film adaptations of these works, beginning in 1987. He wrote and starred in several, working with different directors.