is the capital
and the most populous city of the U.S. state
of Rhode Island
, and one of the first cities established in the United States. It is the estimated third-largest city in the New England
region. Despite having an estimated population of 175,255 as of 2006, it anchors the 35th
-largest metropolitan population
in the country, with an estimated MSA
population of 1,612,989. Situated at the mouth of the Providence River
, on Narragansett Bay
, the city's small footprint is crisscrossed by seemingly erratic streets and a rapidly changing demographic using them.
Providence was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, a religious exile from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He named the area in honor of "God's merciful Providence" which he believed was responsible for his finding such a haven to settle. After being one of the first cities in the country to industrialize, Providence became noted for its jewelry and silverware industry. Today, Providence city proper alone is home to eight hospitals and seven institutions of higher learning, which has shifted the city's economy into service industries, though it still retains significant manufacturing work. The city was once nicknamed the "Beehive of Industry", while today "The Renaissance City" is more common, though as of 2000 census, its poverty rate was still among the ten highest for cities over 100,000.
Ruth Elizabeth "Bette" Davis
(April 5, 1908 – October 6, 1989) was an American actress of film
. Noted for her willingness to play unsympathetic characters, she was highly regarded for her performances in a range of film genres
; from contemporary crime melodramas
and period films
and occasional comedies
, though her greatest successes were her roles in romantic dramas
Davis was the co-founder of the Hollywood Canteen, and was the first female president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress twice, was the first person to accrue 10 Academy Award nominations for acting, and was the first woman to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. Her career went through several periods of eclipse, and she admitted that her success had often been at the expense of her personal relationships. Married four times, she was once widowed and thrice divorced, and raised her children as a single parent. Her final years were marred by a long period of ill health, but she continued acting until shortly before her death from breast cancer, with more than 100 films, television and theater roles to her credit. In 1999, Davis was placed second, after Katharine Hepburn, on the American Film Institute's list of the greatest female stars of all time.