WHEREAS, The burning of the H.M.S. Gaspee was one of the boldest and most colorful incidents in the War for American Independence. On the night of June 9, 1772, Rhode Islanders captured and destroyed the last of the hated British vessels that had harassed Rhode Island since the days of the hated Stamp Act. This act of defiance off Namquid Point was the supreme act of protest against the tyranny of the British Crown, and provided a strong impetus to the movement of the American colonies toward independence; and
WHEREAS, The burning of the Gaspee led to the formation of the Committees of Correspondence, the Continental Congress and, eventually, to the Declaration of Independence. Two hundred and twenty-four years later, the memory of this incendiary act still fires the hearts and minds of the residents of historic Pawtuxet Village; and
WHEREAS, Last year legislation was enacted by the General Assembly which designated the second Saturday and the following Sunday in the month of June each year as days of special observance to be known as Gaspee Days; and
WHEREAS, On the afternoon of Sunday, May 5, 1996, the Gaspee Days Committee will be launching this year's commemoration of the event with their annual Proclamation Ceremony in Pawtuxet Park on Narragansett Parkway in Warwick; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby declares May 5, 1996 to be the opening of the 31st annual celebration of Gaspee Days. This Senate, moreover, urges the patriotic citizens of the Ocean State to fully participate in the commemoration of this momentous event in the history of our state and the nation; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to Milton Wrath, Proclamation Chairman of the Gaspee Days Committee.