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.
Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon
(born March 22, 1976) better known as Reese Witherspoon
, is an American actress and film producer. Witherspoon landed her first feature role as the female lead in the film The Man in the Moon
in 1991; later that year she made her television acting debut, in the cable movie Wildflower
. In 1996, Witherspoon appeared in Freeway
and followed that appearance with roles in three major 1998 films: Overnight Delivery
, and Twilight
. The following year, Witherspoon appeared in the critically acclaimed Election
, which earned her a Golden Globe
Witherspoon married actor and Cruel Intentions co-star Ryan Phillippe in 1999; they have two children, Ava and Deacon. The couple separated at the end of 2006 and divorced in October 2007. Witherspoon owns a production company, Type A Films, and she is actively involved in children's and women's advocacy organizations. She serves on the board of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF), and was named Global Ambassador of Avon Products in 2007, serving as honorary chair of the charitable Avon Foundation.