H O U S E R E S O L U T I O N
PROCLAIMING THE MONTH OF JUNE ANNUALLY AS "PORTUGUESE AMERICAN MONTH IN THE STATE OF RHODE ISLAND"
WHEREAS, June 10th is celebrated around the world as the National Day of Portugal; and
WHEREAS, In 1658, 15 Jewish families sailed to Newport from New York after they left Portugal in order to avoid religious persecution.
WHEREAS, Several Portuguese Jewish refugees founded Touro Synagogue in Newport, which is the oldest synagogue in America; and
WHEREAS, Between 1830 and 1860, the whaling industry lured ships from Bristol, Newport, New Bedford and Fall River, to the Azores. There they took on Portuguese sailors, many of these sailors settled in Providence, Pawtucket, and East Providence working in many of the textile mills. Others became farmers in Little Compton and Portsmouth; and
WHEREAS, Like the Irish and Italians, Portuguese people suffered discrimination and exploitation in employment. Like many ethnic groups migrating to America, the main goal for the Portuguese people was economic betterment; and
RESOLVED, The total number of Portuguese people who reside in Rhode Island is 94,650. The majority being from the Providence County area, with Bristol and Newport counties running second. With such a large percentage, it only seems right that we dedicate the month of June to this hard working, patriotic and spirited ethnic community; now, therefore be it
RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby congratulates the Portuguese Community, and hereby proclaim the month of June, annually, as "Portuguese American month".