Search results for: governor


A return of the number of inhabitants in the State of Connecticut

Connecticut’s Black Governors

For approximately one hundred years, Connecticut’s “Black Governors” were used by white authorities to help maintain order among the black population.

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Lounsbury Elected Governor – Today in History: January 4

On January 4th 1899, George Edward Lounsbury was elected the…

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Congressional pugilists

Roger Griswold: A Governor Not Afraid To Challenge Authority

Roger Griswold was a lawyer, judge, and politician who spent…

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Connecticut’s War Governor, William A. Buckingham

Connecticut governor William Buckingham made significant contributions to the state’s war effort, sometimes even covering war expenses out of his own pocket. His bronze statue at the Connecticut State Capitol honors the selfless manner in which he guided the state through the Civil War.

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Governor Trumbull becomes first governor in the nation to qualify for a pilot's license

John H. Trumbull: Connecticut’s “Flying Governor”

In 1926, at the age of 53, Connecticut governor John H. Trumbull received his pilot’s license. Piloting flights to his own appointments, he became known as “The Flying Governor.”

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Ella Grasso at the Danbury Fair, ca. 1975-80

America’s First Woman Governor: Ella Grasso, 1919-1981

Born to Italian immigrant parents in Windsor Locks, Grasso held state and federal offices at a time when women politicians were rare.

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Thanksgiving Proclamation, Matthew Griswold, New Haven, 1785

Governor Griswold’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

This broadside (a large piece of paper printed on only…

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James Lukens McConaughy sworn in as Governor by Chief Justice William M. Maltbie

Did You Know a Connecticut Governor Was a US Spy?

In late 1943 James Lukens McConaughy became Deputy Director in Charge of Schools and Training for the precursor of the Central Intelligence agency.

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Hard Times: Governor Wilbur Cross and the Great Depression in Connecticut

In addition to having a section of the Merritt Parkway named after him, Governor Wilbur Cross helped see Connecticut through the Great Depression and several natural disasters.

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Governor Ribicoff

Abraham Ribicoff: Kennedy Confidant and Connecticut’s First Jewish Governor

Abraham Ribicoff rose from a New Britain tenement to become Connecticut’s first Jewish governor and a confidant of President John F. Kennedy.

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Samuel A. Foote

Samuel Foot: A Trader Turned Governor

Samuel Foot was a West India trader from Cheshire, Connecticut,…

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Jonathan Trumbull, Sr.

Governor Jonathan Trumbull Dies – Today in History: August 17

On August 17, 1785, Connecticut’s first governor, Jonathan Trumbull, died….

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Chester Bowles

Governor Chester Bowles Dies – Today in History: May 25

On May 25, 1986, Chester Bowles, a Connecticut governor, Congressional…

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Crisis Management during the American Civil War: The Hartford Soldiers’ Aid Society

The Hartford Soldiers’ Aid Society was one of the most important relief organizations during the Civil War and provided new opportunities for women in the public sphere.

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A receipt for two prints of John Trumbull paintings

Jeremiah Wadsworth, “foremost in every enterprise”

Had this Hartford merchant lived in another era, his wealth and influence might have made him comparable to a 19th-century financial tycoon or a 20th-century venture capitalist.

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The Burning of Danbury

In April of 1777, British forces under Major General William Tryon led a raid on patriot supplies stored in Danbury, Connecticut.

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Gifford Pinchot, ca. 1890-1910

Gifford Pinchot: Bridging Two Eras of National Conservation

“The conservation of natural resources is the basis, and the only permanent basis, of national success,” wrote this Connecticut-born forester who oversaw the rapid expansion of national forest land holdings in the early 1900s.

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Carl Sandburg, Poet from the Grassroots, Reaches Connecticut Audiences

Popular poet, singer, and activist Carl Sandburg had numerous connections to Connecticut and promoted social reform throughout the state in the early 20th century.

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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.

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Vera Buch Weisbord’s “Radical” Life

Vera Wilhelmine Buch Weisbord was a labor activist who helped organize trade unions and strikes that shaped the labor movement of the 1920s and 1930s.

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Litchfield Law School

The Litchfield Law School: Connecticut’s First Law School

The Litchfield Law School, founded in 1784 by Tapping Reeve, became the first professional law school in Connecticut.

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Anna E. Dickinson

Anna Elizabeth Dickinson at Touro Hall – Today in History: March 24

On March 24, 1863, Anna Elizabeth Dickinson, a 20-year-old Quaker…

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More than two dozen veterans of the Ninth Regiment gathered for a reunion at Savin Rock in West Haven

Fighting Sons of Erin: Connecticut’s Irish Regiment in the Civil War

Men with names like O’Brien, Kennedy, Mahoney, Murphy, Donnelly, Fitzpatrick, and Sullivan flocked to enlist in what a recruiting poster confidently described as a “destined to be gallant Regiment.”

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Cover of a patriotic song dedicated to Lincoln's secretary of the navy Gideon Welles

Gideon Welles, US Secretary of the Navy and Lincoln’s “Neptune”

“He was a man of no decorations; … but he understood his duty and he did it efficiently, continually and unwaveringly,” said a contemporary of this Glastonbury-born leader.

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Israel Putnam: A Youthful Trailblazer Turned Colonial Militiaman

Israel Putnam served with distinction in the Seven Years’ War and in the Revolutionary War, particularly at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

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South view of the Hempstead House, New London

The Joshua Hempsted Diary: A Window into Colonial Connecticut

This accomplished New London resident chronicled his daily life over a 47-year period from 1711 to 1758.

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Placard commemorating the adoption of the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut

The Fundamental Orders: Connecticut’s Role in Early Constitutional Government

Embracing the ideals supported by Hartford founder the Rev. Thomas Hooker, the Fundamental Orders represent what many consider to be the first written constitution in the Western world.

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Sam Colt

Sam Colt’s Funeral: The Day Hartford Stopped

The funeral of America’s first great munitions maker was spectacular—certainly the most spectacular ever seen in the state’s capital city.

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Airmen returning home, Bradley Field, Windsor Locks

Bradley Airport’s Military Origins

In 1941, with war raging on the European continent, the…

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Thomas Jefferson and the Embargo of 1807

Connecticut and the Embargo Act of 1807

The Embargo Act of 1807 stifled Connecticut trade with Europe, but ultimately boosted local manufacturing.

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Governor Ella Grasso

The Education of Ella Grasso

The daughter of Italian immigrants becomes Connecticut’s first woman governor.

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Hat-factory With Hose-house On The Hill, Danbury

Rivers of Outrage

Pollution of Connecticut’s waters by industrial waste and sewage in the decades after the Civil War was arguably the state’s first modern environmental crisis.

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Connecticut Turnpike Opens – Today in History: January 2

On January 2, 1958, Governor Abraham Ribicoff officially opened the Connecticut Turnpike—today the Governor John Davis Lodge Turnpike—to traffic.

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Soldiers with cannons, 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery

The Complicated Realities of Connecticut and the Civil War

Citizens’ dedication on the battlefield and home front did not always signal agreement on key issues of the day.

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State Street and Old Ferry Landing, New London

New London’s Ferries: A Transportation Tradition

For more than three centuries, ferry service has provided vital transportation to residents and businesses around New London.

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Merritt Hat Factory, Danbury

Ending the Danbury Shakes: A Story of Workers’ Rights and Corporate Responsibility

Despite the known dangers of prolonged exposure to mercury, the hat-making industry was slow to safeguard workers against its toxic effects.

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Just Pour Over Ice – Who Knew?

…that beginning in the late 1800s, the Heublein Restaurant in…

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Ralph Earl, Oliver Wolcott

Oliver Wolcott Dies – Today in History: December 1

On December 1, 1797, signer of the Declaration of Independence…

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Detail from A mapp of New England by John Seller

Lion Gardiner Helps to Fortify Early Old Saybrook

In 1635, the governor of the Saybrook colony hired engineer…

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Connecticut River and Mt. Holyoke Range from Mountain Park, Connecticut

The Connecticut Valley Authority That Never Was

In the early 20th century, supporters of the New Deal tried to recreate the Tennessee Valley Authority in the Connecticut River Valley.

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Hiram Bingham

Hiram Bingham III: Machu Picchu Explorer and Politician

Hiram Bingham III was a distinguished scholar and public servant…

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A front view of Dartmouth College, with the Chapel, & Hall

Eleazar Wheelock: Preacher, Dartmouth College Founder

Eleazar Wheelock was a notable eighteenth-century farmer, Congregational minister, revivalist, educator, and founder of Dartmouth College.

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John Warner Barber, Public square or green, in New Haven

A Separate Place: The New Haven Colony, 1638-1665

In 1638, Puritan leader John Davenport led a group of settlers out of Boston, ultimately founding what became the New Haven Colony.

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Witchcraft in Connecticut

Well before the Salem trials, Connecticut residents were executing “witches.” Connecticut is home to what was most likely the first execution of its kind in colonial America.

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Sloop-of-War Ship’s Figurehead Lands at State Capitol

A figurehead from the USS Hartford currently resides at the Connecticut State Capitol and serves as a reminder of the state’s rich maritime heritage.

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Improved Centrifugal Governor

Portland Improves the Steam Engine

Thomas R. Pickering, an engineer, ran a factory power plant…

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John F. Weir, Roger Sherman, ca. 1902

Roger Sherman, Revolutionary and Dedicated Public Servant

An author of the Connecticut Compromise, Roger Sherman is also the only person to have signed all four of the most significant documents in our nation’s early history.

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The Ulysses S. Grant Memorial Tablet

The Connecticut Division of the Sons of Veterans, USA, commissioned a memorial tablet to Ulysses S. Grant who led Union forces during the Civil War, became the eighteenth president of the United States, and whose ancestors had numerous ties to Connecticut.

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Capital Punishment in Connecticut: Changing Views

Connecticut’s struggles with the issue of capital punishment date back…

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Pierre Eugene Du Simetière, Silas Deane. Member of Congress

The Rise and Fall of Silas Deane, American Patriot

Esteemed by his fellow patriots as a savvy diplomat who helped cement a strategic alliance with France during the American Revolution, Deane spent his final years under a cloud of suspicion.

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Pulling Down the Statue of King George II, New York City

Mariann Wolcott and Ralph Earl – Opposites Come Together and Make History

The story of Mariann Wolcott and Ralph Earl captures much of the complexity the Revolutionary War brought to the lives and interactions of ordinary citizens.

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President Richard Nixon visits Hartford

The 42-Day Income Tax

In 1971, to eliminate the state’s budget deficit, Connecticut legislators approved a tax on income. Just forty-two days later, they repealed it, instead voting to increase the state’s sales tax.

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Gerald MacGuire and the Plot to Overthrow Franklin Roosevelt

Gerald MacGuire, a prominent Connecticut businessman, became deeply involved in a reported plot to overthrow the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt.

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Connecticut’s Chickamauga Tree: An Investigation

The Connecticut State Capitol displays part of a tree with a cannonball lodged in it. While it is believed to be a remnant of the battle at Chickamauga Creek during the Civil War, evidence exists suggesting the artifact may have been fabricated for the purpose of commercial sale.

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Battle Flag Parade, Hartford, Connecticut, September 17, 1879

A Day of Celebration – Today in History: September 17

September 17, 1879 was a day of celebration in the City of Hartford when more than 100,000 people came to the city to celebrate Battle Flag Day with a grand parade and celebration of Connecticut’s Civil War veterans.

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Red Cross Headquarters, Hurricane of 1944

The Great Atlantic Hurricane Hits Connecticut

Applying lessons learned from the Hurricane of 1938, Connecticut made extensive preparations before the arrival of a similar storm in 1944.

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General Nathaniel Lyon

From the State Historian: The Final Journey of Nathaniel Lyon

The first Union general to die in the Civil War, this soldier from Eastford received national attention as mourners from Missouri to Connecticut gathered to pay tribute.

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The southeast block of West Street, Litchfield as it looked in the Civil War era, 1867

The Peace Movement in Litchfield

Connecticut saw no combat on its soil during the Civil War. Yet, the conflict left its mark on the state in ways that historians are still sorting out. This account details the war’s impact on two Connecticut towns.

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Death of Captain Ferrer

The Amistad

After slaves revolted and took control of the Amistad in 1839, Americans captured the ship off Long Island and imprisoned the slaves in New Haven. A US Supreme Court trial in which Roger Sherman Baldwin and John Quincy Adams defended the slaves, ultimately won them their freedom.

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United States Army dirigible with crowd of onlookers

Airborne Pioneers: Connecticut Takes Flight

Daring flights and first-of-a-kind inventions mark the state’s 200-plus-year history of taking to the skies.

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Work on foundation of the Bulkeley Bridge

The Sand Hogs Set the Foundation for the Bulkeley Bridge

Toiling in dangerous conditions beneath the Connecticut River’s surface for only $2.50 a day, African American workers dug the foundation for the Bulkeley Bridge.

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Flood damage to railroad tracks, Derby, 1955

Hurricanes Connie & Diane Deliver Double Hit – Who Knew?

…that Hurricanes Connie and Diane, which struck within days of…

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Hope on the Wall: Connecticut’s New Deal Post Office Murals

Between 1934 and 1943, the federal government placed murals in twenty-three Connecticut post offices.

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Hammonasset Beach State Park

Hammonasset State Park Serves the State and its Residents

Hammonasset State Park is Connecticut’s largest shoreline park. Located in…

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Trolley Campaigners Storm Small Towns and Votes for Women is the Battle Cry

In the wake of a 1912 trolley campaign, the woman’s suffrage movement rapidly gained ground across Connecticut.

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Sheff v. O’Neill – Today in History: July 9

On July 9, 1996, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that…

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Detail from A Map of the Connecticut Western Reserve, from actual Survey, surveyed by Seth Pease

New Connecticut on Lake Erie: Connecticut’s Western Reserve

If you drive through the area of Ohio still called the Western Reserve today, you will find towns named Norwich, Saybrook, New London, Litchfield, Mansfield, and Plymouth.

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Map of Farmington and Avon, indicating the Farmington Canal and its feeders

Farmington Canal’s Ground-Breaking – Today in History: July 4

On July 4, 1825, the ground-breaking ceremonies for the Farmington…

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Connecticut Attorney General John H. Light and His Fight for Woman’s Suffrage

Attorney General John H. Light made his pro-suffrage stance public at a time when such advocacy could still lead to criticism

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Two Days After Marriage

Grounds for Divorce – Who Knew?

… that in 1667 the colony of Connecticut passed the…

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Jimmy Piersall’s Public Struggle with Mental Illness

Professional baseball great Jimmy Piersall battled with mental illness all of his life.

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Votes for A Woman: Sara Buek Crawford

As Connecticut’s first female statewide elected official and first female Secretary of State, Sara Crawford broke barriers for women throughout her career.

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Richard Brooks, Oliver Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell Launched – Today in History: June 13

On June 13, 1776, the ship Oliver Cromwell, built by…

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The Lemon Law – Today in History: June 4

On June 4, 1982, Connecticut made legislative history by pioneering…

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First Meetinghouse in Hartford

The Free Consent of the People: Thomas Hooker and the Fundamental Orders

Government formed with the consent of the people was a radical idea in the age of nations ruled by monarchs, emperors, and tsars.

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A 1908 reenactment of Thomas Hooker’s 1636 landing in Hartford

Colonial Revival Movement Sought Stability during Time of Change

Connecticut’s past provided refuge from pressures of modern life.

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Noah Webster the schoolmaster of the republic, ca. 1891

Noah Webster and the Dream of a Common Language

Best remembered for the dictionary that now bears his name, Noah Webster played a pivotal role in shaping the young nation’s political and social identity.

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The Black Panther Party in Connecticut: Community Survival Programs

The Black Panthers had a significance presence in Connecticut in the 1960s and ’70s, particularly through community programs aimed to serve minorities living in the state’s more urban areas.

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Elizabeth W. Coe Demands the Right of Jury Service

After passage of the 19th Amendment, Elizabeth W. Coe of Waterbury argued that women should be granted the right to serve on jury panels.

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Governor Tryon's Expedition to Danbury

The British Attack Danbury – Today in History: April 26

On April 25, 1777, British forces land at the mouth…

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Lyman Hall memorial, Center Street Cemetery

Wallingford Native Son Signed the Declaration of Independence

Lyman Hall was a doctor, minister, and statesman from Connecticut…

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The Gettysburg Address and Heroic Fathers Bronze Tablets at the State Capitol

To counter public perceptions that Union women lacked the patriotism found in their Confederate counterparts, in 1927, two different women’s organizations dedicated plaques to commemorate events and service in the Civil War.

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The Old State House, Hartford

Where It All Happened: Connecticut’s Old State House

Connecticut’s Old State House is a memorial to many of the legislative advances made in Connecticut during the most formative years of the United States.

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Andover Lake: A Lesson in Social Change

Constructed in the early 20th century, Andover Lake is a…

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Governor Ribicoff

Abraham Ribicoff dies – Today in History: February 22

On February 22, 1998, Abraham Ribicoff died. An American Democratic…

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Postcard of Charles Island, Milford, CT

A Good Spot and a Healthy Place: A Short History of Charles Island

Before becoming a part of Silver Sands State Park, Milford’s Charles Island served as everything from a luxury resort to the home of a fertilizer factory.

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A Successful Lawyer and Politician Who Never Went to College

Chauncey Fitch Cleveland was a lawyer and politician who served…

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Hannah Bunce Watson: One of America’s First Female Publishers

Hannah Bunce Watson was one of the first female publishers in America. Her leadership helped the Hartford Courant) survive one of the most challenging times in its history.

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Total eclipse of the sun, Willimantic vicinity, January 24, 1925

A Total Eclipse of the Sun – Today in History: January 24

On January 24, 1925, Connecticut residents witnessed a full solar…

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The Fundamental Orders

The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut

The Fundamental Orders, inspired by Thomas Hooker’s sermon of May…

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Senator Hiram Bingham of Connecticut

From the State Historian: Discovering the Explorer Hiram Bingham III

Of all the Connecticans who have left their mark in distant places, perhaps none made a more lasting—or more controversial—impression than this explorer.

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Freedom to the Slave

From the State Historian: Connecticut’s Slow Steps Toward Emancipation

Slavery remained in the Land of Steady Habits until 1848, and it was not quick to advance suffrage for African Americans, either.

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A Plan of the Town of New Haven with All the Buildings in 1748

Why Was New Haven Divided into Nine Squares?

The layout of New Haven’s nine-square grid, though not the plan itself, is attributed to the original settlers’ surveyor, John Brockett.

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Hopkins Street Center once known as the Pearl St. Neighborhood House

A Woman Who Developed Tolerance: Leila T. Alexander

On Saturday, November 18, 1944, at noon after the meeting…

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A Memorial to General Hawley at the State Capitol

Although not a native of Connecticut, one would be hard pressed to find a man more committed to the people of Connecticut than Joseph Roswell Hawley. He became Brigadier General of the 1st Connecticut Infantry during the Civil War and served the state as both a senator and as Connecticut’s 42nd governor. Within months of his death, the Connecticut legislature authorized construction of a memorial in his honor.

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General Joseph R. Hawley

General Joseph R. Hawley Helps Commemorate Connecticut’s Civil War Soldiers

“Let monuments be raised in every town, let songs be sung and orations delivered,” urged this state politician and skilled speechmaker.

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Unveiling of the Grant Memorial Tablet – Today in History: October 4

On October 4, 1916, the Ulysses Simpson Grant Memorial Tablet…

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World War I broadside referencing Kaiser Wilhelm's Willing Helpers, ca. early 1900s from the Connecticut War Exhibit

Winning the Great War without Some Books

President Wilson’s war speech before Congress on April 3, 1917,…

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Senator William Wallace Eaton

William Eaton, a Peace Democrat and Civil War Opponent

This 19th- century Connecticut politician took a controversial stand against a war that would divide the Union and decrease states’ rights.

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Benedict Arnold

Benedict Arnold Turns and Burns New London

September 6, 1781 was a brutal and terrifying day for Connecticut citizens living on both sides of New London harbor, along the Thames River.

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David Bushnell and his Revolutionary Submarine

How a farmer’s son became the Father of Submarine Warfare during the American Revolution.

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Elizabeth Fones Winthrop Feake Hallett Helps Found Greenwich

In the middle of the 17th century, Elizabeth Fones Winthrop Feake Hallett played an integral part in purchasing the land that became Greenwich, Connecticut.

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Postcard of Dinosaur State Park, ca. 1960s

Discovered Dinosaur Tracks Re-Route Highway and Lead to State Park

Some 200 million years ago, carnivorous dinosaurs roamed Rocky Hill leaving the three-toed tracks that would become our state fossil.

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Charles De Wolf Brownell, Charter Oak

The Legend of the Charter Oak

This Charles D. Brownell painting from the mid-1850s epitomizes the…

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Florence Griswold’s Home: A Story of Perseverance and Community

The Florence Griswold House, once a private residence, also served as a finishing school for girls in the 19th century and the center of the Lyme Art Colony.

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State Representative William A. O'Neill and State Senator David M. Barry

William O’Neill: Climbing Up the Political Ladder

Connecticut’s 84th governor, William Atchison O’Neill, was born in Hartford on…

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Herbert Abrams Self Portrait

Herbert Abrams Immortalizes the Nation’s Leaders

Herbert Abrams was an American painter whose portraits hang in…

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Detail of Warwick patent copy by John Winthrop, Jr., 1662

The Charter of 1662

The Connecticut Charter, which provided the basis for Connecticut government…

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Merritt Parkway, New York to Connecticut, 1941

Merritt Parkway Creates Scenic Gateway to New England

This Depression-era road improvement project sought to artfully balance the natural and built environments, and despite setbacks and scandal, achieved its aims.

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Bridge on the grounds of Gillette's Castle

A Public Responsibility: Conservation and Development in the 20th Century

The seemingly contradictory calls to use or preserve the state’s natural resources are, in fact, closely related efforts that increasingly work in tandem—but not without conflict.

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General Mansfield's uniform epaulets

One of the Honored Dead: General J. K. F. Mansfield

A resident of New Haven and Middletown, Joseph Mansfield rose to the rank of brigadier general in the Union army before losing his life at the Battle of Antietam.

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Amos Doolittle, The looking glass for 1787. A house divided against itself cannot stand

The War Connecticut Hated

For most Connecticans, the War of 1812 was as much a war mounted by the federal government against New England as it was a conflict with Great Britain.

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Mark Twain House & Museum, Hartford

Where Mr. Twain and Mrs. Stowe Built Their Dream Houses

This bucolic oasis on Hartford’s western edge became home to great literary talents, social reformers, politicians, and other nationally-regarded luminaries of the mid-to-late 1800s.

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Sarah Trumbull with a Spaniel by John Trumbull

American Painter John Trumbull Born – Today in History: June 6

On June 6, 1756, John Trumbull, painter, architect, and author,…

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Timeline: Settlement of the Colony of Connecticut

A timeline displaying the major events leading to Connecticut statehood, including its settlement by the Dutch, the origins of Hartford, Wethersfield, and Windsor, the founding of the Connecticut, New Haven, and Saybrook colonies, and Connecticut’s acquisition of a formal charter from England.

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University of Connecticut main campus

Homer D. Babbidge, Leader in Education

Homer Daniels Babbidge, Jr., made his mark as president of the University of Connecticut from 1962 through 1972 and transformed the once-quiet university into a national leader in higher education.

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Connecticut’s Loyal Subjects: Toryism and the American Revolution

Loyalists in Connecticut, often acting on beliefs tied to relegion, proved particularly prominent in Fairfield County. Many of them fled to Canada rather than face imprisonment at New-Gate.

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John Warner Barber, Public square or green, in New Haven

Benedict Arnold Demands the Key – Today in History: April 22

On April 22, 1775, Benedict Arnold demanded the key to…

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Detail from View of Essex, Centerbrook & Ivoryton, Conn. 1881

The British Raid on Essex

On a cold April night in 1814 a British raiding force rowed six miles up the Connecticut River to burn the privateers of Essex, then known as Pettipaug. The raiders torched 27 ships and took or destroyed thousands of dollars’ in other supplies.

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Civil Rights picket, US Courthouse, Hartford

“U.S. Troops in Viet Nam, but none in Selma” – Today in History: March 9

On March 9, 1965, protesters held an all-night vigil in…

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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.

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Chick Austin as the magician, The Great Osram, in 1944

Chick Austin Modernizes a Connecticut Institution

Arthur Everett “Chick” Austin Jr., director of the Wadsworth Atheneum from 1927 to 1944, put Hartford on the cultural map.

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Seymour was Chusetown – Who Knew?

The town of Seymour was originally named Chuseville, before taking the name Humphreysville (after David Humphreys). It incorporated as Seymour in 1850.

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Hiram Percy Maxim

A Diversified Mind: Hiram Percy Maxim

No matter his field of endeavor—from automotive design and acoustics to wireless radio and aviation—this multitalented creator had a hand in key developments of the early 1900s.

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A Baltic Mill Helps Found a New Town

The Baltic Mill was once the largest cotton mill in the United States and led to the founding of the town of Sprague.

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Benjamin Dutton Beecher had a Penchant for Invention

Benjamin Dutton Beecher was a millwright and machinist with a…

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Gun Wheel of the First Light Battery, Connecticut Volunteers

The First Light Battery Connecticut Volunteers took part in numerous battles during the Civil War. A wheel damaged in battle now resides at the Connecticut State Capitol to commemorate the service of this unit.

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An Orderly & Decent Government: Business and Government, 1905-1929

The early years of the 20th century were a time of vigorous political and social reform.

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An Orderly & Decent Government: Making Self-Government Work, 1634-1776

In 1698 the General Court reorganized itself to deal more effectively with Connecticut’s complex new problems. The outlines of the modern legislative system began to emerge.

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An Orderly & Decent Government: Searching for the Common Good, 1819-1865

During the early 19th century, the General Assembly was slow to deal with rising crime, poverty and the other social costs of a rapidly changing society.

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An Orderly & Decent Government: Searching for the Common Good, 1634-1776

In the Great Awakening, impassioned evangelical ministers attracted crowds of thousands and the General Assembly promptly banned traveling preachers.

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An Orderly & Decent Government: Making Self-Government Work, 1819-1865

In the mid-19th century, Connecticut looked toward changing its electoral processes as well as its civil rights record.

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An Orderly & Decent Government: A Clash of Cultures, 1888-1905

In the last decades of the 19th century, Connecticut was transformed by a massive flood of immigrants fleeing political and economic instability.

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An Orderly & Decent Government: Making Self-Government Work, 1929-1964

Connecticut attempted to reorganize it state government by streamlining its agencies and rejected a number of socially progressive programs.

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An Orderly & Decent Government: Searching for the Common Good, 1905-1929

J. Henry Roraback dominated Connecticut like no political leader before him.

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An Orderly & Decent Government: Significant Events & Developments, 1819-1865

Connecticut in the 1830s was characterized by a move from agriculture to industry, and the loss of residents to westward migration.

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An Orderly & Decent Government: Searching for the Common Good, 1776-1818

During the American Revolution, loyalists were common in Connecticut. Those sympathetic to the patriot cause helped provide for the Continental army.

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An Orderly & Decent Government: Making Self-Government Work, 1905-1929

With war’s end, suffrage advocates stepped up their campaign for equal rights.

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An Orderly & Decent Government: Searching for the Common Good, 1929-1964

Organized labor grew strong during wartime while discriminatory practices in housing and education persisted throughout the state.

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An Orderly & Decent Government: Significant Events & Developments, 1929-1964

The era of Wilbur Cross and the Great Depression transitioned into World War II and state control by Democrat mastermind John Bailey.

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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.

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An Orderly & Decent Government: Significant Events & Developments, 1776-1818

With its limited supply of fertile land either occupied or exhausted, one of Connecticut’s principal exports in the post-Revolutionary years was people.

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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.

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An Orderly & Decent Government: Crisis and Recovery, 1929-1964

World War II helped bring an end to the Great Depression in Connecticut. Following the war, the growth of the suburbs redefined life in the state.

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Benedict Arnold: America’s Most Famous Traitor

Benedict Arnold of Norwich was one of the great Continental army heroes of the American Revolution before committing treason and joining the British army.

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The Revolution of 1817

The Connecticut gubernatorial election of 1817 transferred power from the Federalists to the Republican Party, bringing an end to life dominated by the Congregational Church.

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Wide Awakes banner

Hartford Wide-Awakes – Today in History: July 26

On July 26, 1860, the Hartford Wide-Awakes welcomed the Newark,…

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Paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh

The Who, What, Where, When and Why of Archives: How to Use Them

You could probably guess what archives might be, but think you have never seen one, or have never used one. The truth is most of us have probably used archives and don’t even know it.

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New England Air Museum

Windsor Locks

The Hartford County town of Windsor Locks sits on the…

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The Old Stone Schoolhouse, Wolcott

Wolcott

Located at the northern tip of New Haven County, the…

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Emma Hart Willard: Leader in Women’s Education

Berlin-born Emma Hart Willard used her passion for learning to create new educational opportunities for women and foster the growth of the co-ed system.

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Detail from a map of Hayt

Ebenezer Bassett’s Historic Journey

This educator, activist, and associate of Frederick Douglass served the US as its first African American ambassador.

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Postcard of the Merritt Parway, Conn.

Great Depression and World War II 1929-1945

Great Depression and World War II (1929–1945) Governor Wilbur Cross…

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Burial of Unoin soldiers, Fredericksburg, VA, 1864

Civil War and Reconstruction 1850-1877

Civil War and Reconstruction (1850–1877) The mid-nineteenth century was a…

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John Trumbull, The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker's Hill, June 17,1775

Revolution and the New Nation 1754-1820s

Revolution and the New Nation (1754–1820s) Connecticut played a vital…

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Governor Wilbur L. Cross

Video: 1938 Thanksgiving Proclamation

Connecticut Governor Wilbur L. Cross reading his 1938 Thanksgiving Proclamation to his cabinet. This was the first sound film ever made featuring a Governor of Connecticut.

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Detail view of the 29th Regiment Connecticut Volunteers

29th Regiment Connecticut Volunteers Fought More than One War

The state’s first African American regiment of the Civil War distinguished itself by battling Confederate forces and 19th-century prejudices.

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Anna Hyatt Huntington

A Celebrated Artist and a Meaningful Space – Today in History: October 20

The Danbury Museum & Historical Society’s Huntington Hall honors the memory of a famed US sculptor.

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Map of the Freedom Trail Sites

Site Lines: Connecticut’s Freedom Trail

Sites along the Connecticut Freedom Trail mark key events in the quest to achieve freedom and social equality for African Americans in the state.

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A Soldier’s Welcome

In September of 2013, officials arranged for the statue of the Forlorn Soldier to be placed in its new permanent home at the Connecticut State Capitol.

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Camp Cross Housatonic State Forest

Hidden Nearby: Two Monuments to Sportsmen at Housatonic Meadows State Park

Two monuments mark this area’s reputation as one of the finest fly fishing locales in the Northeast.

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Henry Austin, Grove Street Cemetery Entrance, 1845, New Haven

An Overview of Connecticut’s Outdoor Sculpture

Public sculpture has punctuated the state for three centuries, reflecting the values of our communities, their times, and their funders.

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Automobiles waiting to cross

East Haddam Swing Bridge – Today in History: June 14

On June 14, 1913, the East Haddam Swing Bridge officially…

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Oliver Wolcott

Oliver Wolcott

Oliver Wolcott (1726-1797) Oliver Wolcott was a Revolutionary War hero…

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Plan of the ancient Palisado Plot in Windsor

Pre-Colonization and Settlement Up Through 1763

Pre-Colonization and Settlement (Up Through 1763) The arrival of Europeans…

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Image of Soldiers Memorial, Company B, 29th Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers

Connecticut’s Black Civil War Regiment

“If you win freedom and citizenship, we shall share your freedom and citizenship.” With these words, abolitionist Frederick Douglass reminded African American soldiers from Connecticut that they fought for the hopes of many.

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The Importance of Being Puritan: Church and State in Colonial Connecticut

In the sixteenth century, Connecticut Protestants wanted to cleanse the church of what they saw as corruption, and to return to the simplicity and purity of early Christian worship.

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Photograph of the Hartford Dark Blues

Diamonds of the Past: Hartford’s Lost Ball Parks

Erected in 1874, Hartford’s earliest baseball stadium was the Base Ball Grounds in Colt Park, on the corner of Wyllys Street and Hendricxsen Avenue.

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Soldier, Patriot, and Politician: The Life of Oliver Wolcott

Oliver Wolcott served in military in the Seven Years’ War and the American Revolution, but was also a popular member of the Continental Congress and governor of Connecticut.

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Selma, Not So Far Away

Father Leonard Tartaglia was sometimes called Hartford’s “Hoodlum Priest.” Like the 1961 film of the same name, Tartaglia ministered to the city’s poor and disenfranchised.

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The Long, Ambiguous History of Connecticut’s Blue Laws

Connecticut’s blue laws are a series of laws based on puritan values that restrict or ban certain “morally questionable” activities on days of worship or rest.

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Abraham Ribicoff

Abraham Alexander Ribicoff (1910–1998) Born in New Britain in 1910…

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Connecticut in the French and Indian War

Connecticut troops sustained demoralizing losses before a reinvigorated British military turned the tide of the French and Indian War.

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Civil War Monuments and Memorials in and Around the State Capitol

During the fall 2013 semester at Central Connecticut State University…

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Hall of Flags: Memorial to Connecticut’s Civil War Colors

Battle flags played an important strategic and ceremonial role in Civil War battles. The preservation of Connecticut’s Civil War colors has been a long, delicate, and expensive process.

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The Danbury Hatters

The origins of Danbury’s hat-making industry date back to the…

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Tomb of Lady Fenwick, Saybrook Point

An Old Saybrook Borough has a Stately History

The Borough of Fenwick, a well-known summer community in Old…

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Pomp and Circumstance: Civil War Commemoration

The completion of the Forlorn Soldier did not meet with the pomp and circumstance of many other CIvil War commemorations, despite its media coverage and an overflowing sense of nationalism among the general public.

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Goshen Congregational Church

Pan-Harmonicum Strikes a New Note for Puritan Worship in Lebanon

Musical instruments, once scorned as ungodly, found a place in Congregational services at the turn of the 19th century.

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James Trenchard, View from the Green Woods towards Canaan and Salisbury, in Connecticut

Dynamic Tensions: Conservation and Development up to the 1920s

From indigenous practices to Progressive-era projects, changing attitudes toward natural resources have shaped and reshaped the state’s landscape.

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Harriet Beecher Stowe's residence

Hartford’s Nook Farm

This small enclave in the capital city’s west end became home to many of the 19th century’s most celebrated and creative personalities.

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Jonathan Trumbull

Jonathan Trumbull

Jonathan Trumbull, Sr. (1710-1785) Jonathan Trumbull was a merchant and…

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View of the Merritt Parkway in the 1930's

Merritt Parkway 1939

As early as 1919 the Connecticut Department of Transportation recognized…

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Improvement in Cards for Hooks and Eyes

Family Ties Bring Together North Branford Industry

In 1830, a resourceful industrialist opened a button making shop…

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Creative License, or Fundamental Fact?

Investigating Connecticut’s claim to be “The Constitution State.”

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View in Batterson, Canfield & Co.'s Monumental Works

James G. Batterson, Stone Contractor

James G. Batterson, a native of Windsor, was an artist, inventor, and businessman. He supported both Governor Buckingham and President Lincoln during the Civil War, and afterward, helped commemorate the war through his proficiency with stone.

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Litchfield's Constitution Oak

The Constitution Oak

Connecticut, the “Constitution State,” has a unique history of state constitutions. The “constitution” celebrated on our license plates is the Fundamental Orders of 1638.

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Wilbur L. Cross

Wilbur Cross

Wilbur Lucius Cross (1862-1948) Wilbur Cross was an educator and…

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Colonel John Trumbull

John Trumbull

John Trumbull (1756-1843) John Trumbull was an artist whose paintings…

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The 29th Regiment Connecticut Volunteer Infantry Flag and Display

Regimental flags played important symbolic and strategic roles in battle. The State of Connecticut maintains a collection of 110 such flags from the Civil War, among them, the flag of the 29th (Colored) Volunteer Infantry.

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Mohegan Federal Recognition

“We are no longer the little old tribe that lives upon the hill. We are now the Nation that lives upon the hill.”

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A fire swept through the tent at the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus in Hartford, July 6, 1944

Hartford Circus Fire: “The Tent’s on Fire!” – Who Knew?

…that the Hartford Circus Fire may be the worst human-caused…

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First Company Governor’s Horse Guards escorting President Taft

Oldest Cavalry Unit – Who Knew?

….that the First Company Governor’s Horse Guards is the oldest,…

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Advertisement for harness racing at Charter Oak Park, West Hartford

Connecticut’s “The Legend of the Charter Oak”

Charter Oak Bridge. Charter Oak State College. Charter Oak Park. Why are so many places and things in Connecticut named after a tree?

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Robertson Field, also known as Robertson Airport, Plainville

Plainville Has Been Flying High for Over 100 Years

The town of Plainville claims a special relationship with aviation…

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Map of changing Connecticut's boundary lines

Surveying Connecticut’s Borders

After some 350 years, the matter of where exactly some of the state’s boundaries lie continues to be debated.

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Jens Risom and a selection of his furniture

The Answer Is Risom!

How the Scandinavian design movement re-fashioned local industry in the mill town of Thompson during the 1960s and ’70s.

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New Haven Green

The Connecticut Town Green

Considered a quintessential feature of the New England landscape, town greens weren’t always the peaceful, park-like spaces we treasure today.

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Deep River, 1934 aerial survey

Road Signs of the Air

In the 1920s, when aviation was still in its infancy, most pilots navigated using road maps and by following highways, rivers, and other landmarks that they could see from the air.

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Nathaniel Lyon. Lithograph by E.B. & E.C. Kellogg

Nathaniel Lyon: Colorful Commander from Connecticut

The military exploits of this passionate abolitionist include an attack on pro-secessionist forces that may have assured Missouri remained part of the Union.

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Charles De Wolf Brownell, Charter Oak

The Unsteady Meaning of “The Land of Steady Habits”

Throughout the centuries, this well known phrase has been used to stand for—or has been used as a foil against—a remarkable list of subjects, from beer drinking (for) and sushi (for) to showing movies on Sundays (against) and hair bobbing by women (against).

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Pastoral Picture by Faith Trumbull

Faith Trumbull: The Artist Was a Young Girl

Her younger brother may be the better-known artist today, but it was her accomplished needlework pictures that inspired his youthful imagination.

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Illustration of the Connecticut Charter boundary, 1662

From the State Historian: The Map That Wasn’t a Map

The Charter of 1662 described Connecticut boundaries that extended all the way to the the Pacific Ocean!

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Eleanor: The Maltese Port painting by Vincenzo D'Esposito

The Slaters Go Round the World

In 1894, a well-to-do Norwich family set sail from New London on a ship outfitted with Persian rugs, oil paintings, a library with hundreds of titles, and 75 cases of champagne.

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The Honorable John Winthrop, Esq

John Winthrop Jr.

John Winthrop Jr. (1606-1676) On November 4, 1631, English-born John…

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Hall of Flags, State Capitol, Hartford

Collections: Battle Flags

“Keep them, keep them, as long as there is a thread left,” said one soldier of the regimental flag for the 6th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry.

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Ella T. Grasso receiving an honorary Doctor of Law degree, Mount Holyoke College

Ella Grasso

Ella Tambussi Grasso (1919-1981) Born in Windsor Locks in 1919…

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Map of Connecticut showing the settlements in 1670

Connecticut’s Oldest English Settlement

In 1633, Windsor became Connecticut’s first English settlement. This was…

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Connecticut's Whig party candidates for Congress, 1834

Politics and Government

The Fundamental Orders of 1639, the first written constitution in…

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Women welders

Women

From their unsung labors to society-changing accomplishments, Connecticut’s women have…

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Christ Episcopal Church and Tashua Burial Ground, Trumbull

Trumbull

The town of Trumbull is located in Fairfield County in…

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Veterans Memorial Park, Jewett City, Griswold

Griswold

The Pachaug and Quinebaug rivers flow through the town of…

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Former Wauregan Mills, Wauregan

Plainfield

The town of Plainfield, located in Windham County, is in…

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Saybrook Breakwater Light, Old Saybrook

Old Saybrook

Old Saybrook, in Middlesex County, is located in southern Connecticut…

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