Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau

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The Federal Hill Riots of 1914/Frank P. Ventrone Block

  • 240-244 Atwells Avenue
  • Providence, RI 02903

As World War I was breaking out, food prices spiked. A mob attacked wholesale grocer Frank P. Ventrone’s business block here, smashing windows and hurling macaroni into the street. Commonly known as the “Macaroni Riots,” five violent clashes over two weeks manifested the desperation of Providence’s immigrant working poor. In the midst of poverty and social unrest, radicals like Luigi Nimini agitated for change. Nimini organized laborers into unions and founded the Karl Marx Club at the corner of Atwells and Dean, the same corner where radical speakers riled up the crowd in August 1914.