Rhode Islanders marking 247 years since 1772 Gaspee revolt

June 8, 2019

WARWICK, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Islanders are commemorating their ancestors’ role in helping spark the American Revolution.

The annual Gaspee Days celebration gets under way on Saturday with a road race and a parade marking the 247th anniversary of the burning of a British ship — a daring act of rebellion that happened more than a year before the Boston Tea Party.

On Sunday, costumed actors will recreate the June 9, 1772, torching of the HMS Gaspee by setting fire to a smaller model of the ship.

Historians say the Gaspee’s burning was an important, if relatively little-known, event that helped touch off America’s war for independence from Britain.

A local ship captain lured the schooner into shallow waters in Narragansett Bay a few miles south of Providence, where it ran aground.

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