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John F. Kennedy, Jr
PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND, USA: John F. Kennedy, Jr., seen here in a 1983 file picture, in cap and gown awaits commencement exercises at Brown Univsersity. (UPI Photo/Files)
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Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island ( /roʊd ˈaɪlɨnd/ (help·info)), is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area. Rhode Island borders Connecticut to the west and Massachusetts to the north and east. Rhode Island also shares a water border with New York's Long Island to the southwest.

Despite the name, most of Rhode Island is in fact on the mainland. The name Rhode Island and Providence Plantations derives from the merging of two colonies, Providence Plantations and Rhode Island. Providence Plantations was the name of the colony founded by Roger Williams in the area now known as the City of Providence. Rhode Island was the area now known as Aquidneck Island, which now comprises the city of Newport and the towns of Middletown and Portsmouth, the largest of several islands in Narragansett Bay.

Rhode Island was the first of the thirteen original colonies to declare independence from British rule and the last to ratify the United States Constitution.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Rhode Island."
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