R 306
2017 -- S 0953
Enacted 06/08/2017

S E N A T E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Senators DaPonte, Satchell, Ruggerio, Felag, and Algiere
Date Introduced: June 08, 2017

     WHEREAS, June 10th marks the anniversary of the death of the revered Portuguese poet,
Luis Vaz Camoes, in 1580 who is best known for his epic poem "Os Lusiadas," a tribute to the
golden age of Portuguese maritime exploration and discoveries. The day is now celebrated around
the world in Portuguese-speaking communities as the "Day of Portugal, Camoes and the
Portuguese Communities"; and
     WHEREAS, Rhode Island's large and significant Portuguese population has made
substantial contributions to all aspects of the state's history and rich cultural diversity; and
     WHEREAS, Between 1830 and 1860, whaling ships from Bristol, Newport, New
Bedford, and Fall River traveled to the Azores where they often took on Portuguese sailors. Many
of these sailors traveled back to New England, settling in Providence, Pawtucket, and East
Providence. They frequently took on work in the textile mills, which were abundant in the area at
the time, while others became farmers in Little Compton and Portsmouth; and
     WHEREAS, The main goal for the Portuguese people coming to Rhode Island and the
United States was economic betterment, but, like the Irish and Italians, the Portuguese people all
too often suffered discrimination and exploitation in employment. Through perseverance and an
indomitable work ethic, they carved a future for themselves, their families, and generations to
come; and
     WHEREAS, Thousands sought refuge in Rhode Island in the mid-20th century to escape
the devastation of the Capelinhos volcano on the Azorean island of Faial, opening the door for
legal immigration for all Portuguese and many other ethnicities; and
     WHEREAS, The number of Rhode Islanders who claim Portuguese ancestry is more than
10% of the state's population, the largest percentage of any state in the nation with the majority
making their homes in the Providence, Kent and Bristol Counties; and
     WHEREAS, The 1st Congressional District of Rhode Island claims the highest
Portuguese population of any Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives; and
     WHEREAS, The Portuguese American population in Rhode Island is an active and vital
part of our state. They have enriched and delighted our palates with fine restaurants that serve
traditional Portuguese dishes, and they actively contribute to and participate in all areas of the
community distinguishing themselves in leadership roles in such fields as the judiciary, law
enforcement, medicine, education, social services, entrepreneurship, civic engagement and
political participation; now, therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
hereby thanks Rhode Island's Portuguese Community for the many contributions it has
generously made to the enrichment of this state; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That this Senate hereby recognizes June 10, 2017, as the "Day of Portugal"
in the State of Rhode Island. We join in the celebration of the 40th consecutive celebration of this
auspicious occasion; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to
transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the Rhode Island "Day of Portugal" Committee,
and the Vice-Consulate of Portugal in Providence.