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Students heading into their first year of studying at college this year are mostly 18 and were born in 1997. Since they are 18 or soon will be, we decided to share 18 things that happened in Newport the year the incoming class was born!

Salve Regina University will host move-in day for the Class of 2019 on September 6th and the first day of classes will be September 9th.

Scene from ‘Amistad’
Scene from ‘Amistad’

Here’s What Was Happening In 1997 In Newport, RI

  1. Newport City Council included Mayor David Gordon, Richard Sardella, Warren Gray, Laurice
    Shaw, James Baccari, Dennis McCoy, and Kathryn Leonard.
  2. Steven Spielberg was filming Amistad throughout Newport.
  3. The 1969 Newport Bridge was renamed to honor Claiborne Pell
  4. Staring at graduating from Colby and a life just working in “a job,” Brent, Derek, Mark, and Will’s idea of starting a brewery was hatched in 1997. After months of planning, Newport Storm Brewery would open in April, 1999.
  5. Newport “Cottages” were being offered at bargain-basement prices according to the Wall Street Journal
  6. Newport Hospital joined Lifespan, Rhode Island’s first health system, and immediately began
    developing a 10-year plan that would gradually introduce new IT systems into the hospital — and would forever change its delivery of care.
  7. Ben & Jerry’s Folk Festival included such names as Joan Baez, John Hiatt, Rosanne Cash, Jonatha Brooke, Violent Femmes and James Taylor.
  8. British yachtsman and oilman Peter de Savary purchased Wildacre and Vernon Court (sold for $2.65 million).
  9. Humphrey “Harp” Donnelly,  who was Newport’s Mayor from 1971-1981, died after a long fight with cancer in March. He was 66.
  10. The JVC Jazz Festival included such names as Ray Charles, John Faddis, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter.
  11. Richard Bready, chairman and chief executive of Nortek Inc., agreed to buy Sea Fair for $2.95 million.
  12. The Newport Sweet Shoppe opened, still open to this day.
  13. Sargis Sargsian defeated Brett Steven at the 1997 Hall of Fame Tennis Championships (a.k.a. Miller Lite Hall of Fame Championships) at the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
  14. Winners of the J/24 International Women’s Keelboat Championship included Betsy Alison, Newport, R.I.; Nancy Hood, Middletown, R.I.; Kris McClintock, Newport, R.I.; Karen Neri, Newport, R.I.; Dini Hall, Bristol, R.I.; Nancy Haberland, Annapolis, MD.
  15. Rockport Rhythm & Blues Festival included such names as Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Ben E. King, Ruth Brown and Chuck Jackson.
  16. After a French ownership Columbia, the 1st 12 meter to win the America’s Cup (1958), was brought back to Newport. The beauty is available to sail on almost every day through 12 Meter Charters.
  17. Mad Hatter Bakery opened, still open to this day.
  18. Salve Regina University received the Preservation Society of Newport County’s Antiquarian Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Historic Preservation and the Victorian Society in America’s Resolution of Appreciation.

Best of Newport Jazz Festival 1997 – 8/16/1997 (Official)

 


Sources: Photo of Amistad by Dreamworks – © 1997 Dreamworks SKG

Ryan M. Belmore

Ryan M. Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.

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