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Rhode Island is a state in the Northeastern United States, in the New England region. The name "Rhode Island" often leads people to believe the entire state is an island, however the majority of the state is actually on the mainland.
Rhode Island is the smallest state of any in the Union, but does have the longest name (the full name of the state is "The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations"). It was the first of the original 13 colonies to declare independence from Britain, but the last to ratify the United States Constitution.
Rhode Island's unofficial nickname has long been "Little Rhody", but the state has adopted an official nickname of the "Ocean State" This is to recognize the fact that no resident of the state is more than a 45-minute drive from the coast, and that almost 10% of the state's inland area is in fact covered with salt water.
The capital and largest city in Rhode Island is Providence. There are in fact a total of 39 towns and cities in Rhode Island, the largest of which are Central Falls, Cranston, East Providence, Newport, Pawtucket, Warwick and Woonsocket.
The state is not especially known as a tourist destination, but there are some tourist attractions in Rhode Island, It is even possible to ski in Rhode Island; at Yawgoo Valley, which is in Exeter.
Leading education institutions in Rhode Island include Brown University (in Providence) and the University of Rhode Island (in Kingston).
Some of the major companies that have based their headquarters in Rhode Island include CVS (in Woonsocket), Hasbro (in Pawtucket) and Textron (in Providence).
Professional sports franchises in Rhode Island include the Pawtucket Red Sox (International League baseball) in Pawtucket, and the Providence Bruins (ice hockey in the AHL) in Providence.
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