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Contemporary United States 1978-present

Gravestones at a cemetery

New England Society for Psychic Research: Connecticut Paranormal Investigators Leave Legacy of the Occult

A fascination with haunted houses, spirits, and demonology led Ed and Lorraine Warren to establish the New England Society for Psychic Research (NESPR) in 1952.


Newspaper clipping with a large photograph of two people getting married with the headline "More than Partners"

Connecticut Issues Same-Sex Marriage Licenses for the First Time – Today In History: November 12

On November 12, 2008, Connecticut issued its first marriage licenses for same-sex couples after Kerrigan et al. v. Commissioner of Public Health et al..


A white sign in the foreground with a yellow house in the background

Miss Porter’s School in Farmington

Miss Porter’s School, founded in 1843 in Farmington, is an elite, female, privately funded, 40-acre, educational institution in central Connecticut.


Newspaper clipping featuring text and an image of two men

Connecticut Discovered Lyme Disease – Who Knew?

The discovery of Lyme disease, and its transmission through ticks, got its start around Lyme, Connecticut in 1975.


Two picture books propped up against a shelf that has more books

Lillian Hoban: Beloved Illustrator of “I Can Read” Books

Lillian Hoban contributed her talents to nearly one hundred books, securing herself a place as one of the country’s best-loved authors and illustrators.


Man sitting at a piano, turned away from the piano, facing the photographer. He is wearing a white shirt. There is a potted plant to his left and lots of music books on the piano

James Merrill: Connecticut’s First Poet Laureate

As one of the leading American poets of the 20th century and Connecticut’s first poet laureate, James Merrill lived in Stonington for four decades.


Civic Center Collapse

Civic Center Roof Collapses – Today in History: January 18

On January 18, 1978, at about 4:20 in the morning, the Hartford Civic Center roof collapsed.


Woman in military outfit standing between two men who are pinning something to her shoulders.

Colonel Ruth A. Lucas: Literary Advocate

In 1968, Ruth A. Lucas became the first African American woman in the air force to attain the rank of colonel and advocated for literacy her whole career.


April 18, 1991 Headline after State Senate approved gay-rights bill - Hartford Courant

Eighteen Years in the Making: Connecticut’s 1991 Gay Rights Law

Connecticut’s 1991 “gay-rights law” was one of the state’s first LGBTQ+ civil rights laws and prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing, employment, and credit.


Nuclear power plant, Haddam Neck

Connecticut Yankee Brings Power to the People

For nearly 30 years the Connecticut Yankee Atomic Power Company operated a nuclear power plant in Haddam Neck, Connecticut.


FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive poster of Victor Manuel Gerena

Financing a Free Puerto Rico: The Great Wells Fargo Heist of 1983

On September 12, 1983, an employee at the Wells Fargo depot in West Hartford, Connecticut, committed what was, at the time, the largest cash robbery in American history.


Two women sitting on the steps of a building

Rewriting the Norm: How Two East Haddam Women Revolutionized Nonsexist Language

East Haddam’s Casey Miller and Kate Swift were both outspoken advocates for eradicating gender bias in the English language.


Trail in the woods. There are trees lining a gravel/dirt path and in the foreground there is a sign that points towards the trail and reads "Tree I.D. Trail"

Saving Sessions Woods

After decades as historic family property and summer camp, Sessions Woods became a park after local residents organized to save it from private developers.


A group of people standing on a pier with the mast of a ship in the background. One person in the foreground is holding a drum and another person is holding a folder

Connecticut’s First Known Juneteenth Celebration in Norwich – Who Knew?

In 1989, the Norwich Branch of the NAACP organized the first official Juneteenth celebration in Connecticut—several other towns followed suit in subsequent years and decades.


Black and white Logo for WDRC Radio station

WDRC AM/FM – Connecticut’s Oldest Commercial Radio Station

WDRC is the oldest continuously operated commercial radio station in Connecticut that uses both AM and FM transmissions.


Black and white photo of a group of people. Two people are holding a large banner that says "Kalos Society"

Kalos Society: Connecticut’s First Modern LGBTQ+ Activist Organization

The Kalos Society emerged in the late 1960s as the first gay activist organization in Connecticut


Headshot of a woman looking away from the camera. Her dark hair is tied back in a low bun.

Ann Petry: Old Saybrook’s Bestselling African American Author

Living most of her life in Old Saybrook, Ann Petry was the first African American woman to sell over one million copies of a book with her first novel, The Street.


Breaking the Mold: Tradition and Innovation in the Work of Elbert Weinberg

Elbert Weinberg was a Hartford-born sculptor who earned international fame for his works, many of which were influenced by his Jewish faith.


Portrait of an older man wearing a black suit and a white clerical collar. He is also wearing glasses and has a white handkerchief in his breast pocket

Canon Clinton Jones: A Revolutionary Figure in Connecticut’s LGBTQ+ History

Canon Clinton Jones was a central figure in Connecticut’s LGBTQ+ community and a pioneer for compassionate care, queer visibility, and gender affirmation.


photo of Dave Brubeck, jazz musician

“Take Five” with Dave Brubeck

Dave Brubeck was one of the leading jazz pianists and composers of the 1950s and 60s and made his home in Wilton.


Picture of a man sitting in front of a large illustration of a monster. The man is wearing a dark sweater and has his right arm propped up.

Where the Wild Things Are: Maurice Sendak

Authoring and illustrating dozens of books, such as ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ and ‘In the Night Kitchen,’ Maurice Sendak redefined children’s literature throughout the 20th century.


Shelves of books in the interior of a bookstore

The Reader’s Feast: A Bookstore Ahead of Its Time

For over two decades, The Reader’s Feast was the most progressive independent bookstore in the Hartford area and provided a space for literature, community, food, and affirmation.


To show the man, Richard Reihl, who was murdered in Wethersfield in a hate crime in 1988

Richard Reihl: The Hate Crime That Became a Turning Point for LGBTQ+ Civil Rights

The 1988 murder of Richard Reihl, a gay man from Wethersfield, galvanized and mobilized communities to organize and transform LGBTQ+ civil rights legislation in the state for decades to come.


Headline of An Act concerning Operations for the Prevention of Procreation

LGBTQ+ Mental Health Treatment in the 20th Century

The simultaneous development of accepted mental health practices and LGBTQ+ visibility over the decades offers a chance to examine how psychological research contributed to the discrimination of LGBTQ+ individuals and communities.


WPKN blocks on top of an on the air sign in the WPKN radio station

Bridgeport’s WPKN: Going Strong After Half a Century

Bridgeport’s community radio station, WPKN, is still going strong after half a century, offering unique and eclectic programming.


Chief G’tinemong/Ralph W. Sturges

This Mohegan Chief is remembered for successfully guiding the Tribe through the final stages of Federal Recognition, which it obtained in 1994.


Photo of Jim Henson, creator, The Muppets (1979)

Jim Henson, the Muppets, and Greenwich

Between 1964 and 1971, the famous puppeteer and creator of Sesame Street, Jim Henson, lived in Greenwich and created many of his most recognizable characters.


Sharpe Hill Vineyard in Pomfret

Raise a Glass to Winemaking in Connecticut

The Colony’s first settlers produced wine and spirits, but it would not be until the 1970s that Connecticut could grow and sell its harvest.


Herbert Abrams Self Portrait

Herbert Abrams Immortalizes the Nation’s Leaders

Herbert Abrams was an American painter whose portraits hang in some of the most prestigious institutions in the country.


Brass City/Grass Roots: Remnants and Revivals

This article is part of the digital exhibit “Brass City/Grass Roots: The Persistence of Farming in Waterbury, Connecticut”


Batman and the Outsiders #1, cover art by Jim Aparo

Drawn to Superheroes

Working as an illustrator at DC Comics for over 30 years, Aparo drew for such legendary series as Aquaman, The Brave and the Bold, Green Arrow, and The Spectre.


Capitol, Hartford, Connecticut

The State Cantata – Today in History: June 3

On June 3, 2003, the Connecticut General Assembly designated The Nutmeg, Homeland of Liberty by Dr. Stanley L. Ralph as the State Cantata.


The Collapse of the L’Ambiance Plaza

On April 23, 1987, twenty-eight workers lost their lives during a collapse at the L’Ambiance Plaza construction site in Bridgeport.


Hartford Whalers Logo

The Hartford Whalers: Connecticut’s Last Major League Sports Franchise

Major league hockey debuted in Hartford in 1975 and the Hartford Whalers remained a staple of the Connecticut landscape for twenty-three years.


Artist’s rendering of the Connecticut Yankee Power Company Plant

Connecticut Yankee and Millstone: 48 Years of Nuclear Power

In 1968 the prospect of nuclear power energized those hoping to find an alternative to coal, oil, and other fossil fuels.


The New Haven Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 1979

New Haven Coliseum Imploded – Today in History: January 20

On January 20, 2007, the 35-year-old New Haven Veterans Memorial Coliseum met its end as crews imploded the partially dismantled structure.


Starr Mill

Buckling Up For Auto Safety

Connecticut joined several other states and the District of Columbia mandating seat belt usage for children and adults in automobiles in 1985.


Westport Country Playhouse

Broadway Comes to Westport

The Westport Country Playhouse is meant to provide artists, students, and entertainers with a place to create and produce live theater experiences away from traditional big city theater districts.


The Origins and Enduring Legacy of New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre

As a smaller, quieter alternative to Broadway, New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre overcame an unconventional location to become a smash success.


The Lemon Law – Today in History: June 4

On June 4, 1982, Connecticut made legislative history by pioneering the country’s first Lemon Law.


Constitution Plaza Then and Now

Hartford’s first major redevelopment project, Constitution Plaza was built as part of the urban renewal initiatives in the 1950s and ’60s.


View of the Hartford Civic Center roof, which collapsed on January 18, 1978

Almost a Tragedy: The Collapse of the Hartford Civic Center

In the early morning of January 18, 1978, the roof of the sports coliseum collapsed onto 10,000 empty stadium seats.


Hardcore Connecticut: Documenting the State’s Punk Rock Scene

Hardcore punk rockers occupied venue spaces, spectators became performers, pools became skate parks, and Xerox machines became the printing press in this underground renaissance.


An Orderly & Decent Government: Significant Events & Developments, 1965-Now

Connecticut recast its constitution, reapportioned its House and Senate, and struggled with providing equal rights to all races and socio-economic classes in the state.


An Orderly & Decent Government: A Co-Equal Branch of Government, 1965-Now

Connecticut replaced town-based representation with legislative districts while the state struggled to supply equal opportunities across race and class lines.


An Orderly & Decent Government: Making Self-Government Work, 1965-Now

The 1965 state constitution helped redistribute populations more evenly into districts. It was also a period of new representation for women and African Americans in the state government.


An Orderly & Decent Government: Searching for the Common Good, 1965-Now

The state generated revenue for urban renewal and social programs through gaming and income tax initiatives.


Preserving an All-American Downtown in Torrington

Torrington’s unique and historically significant buildings are the foundation on which local businesses and civic leaders built a revitalized economy.


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