News & Updates

Platter with View of New Haven Green

Setting the Table in Historic Style: Connecticut Views on Staffordshire China

November 26, 2021 • Everyday Life, Food and Drink

Engravings of Hartford, Daniel Wadsworth’s estate, the New Haven Green, and other sites around the state adorned British chinaware made for the US market.

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Detail from a map of Connecticut and Rhode Island, with Long Island Sound, 1776

Boston Post Road Carved out Three Travel Routes through State

The forerunners of Connecticut’s three interstate highways began as rugged postal routes in the 1600s.

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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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Gold Hall circa 1900, a men's dormitory named in honor of UConn trustee T. S. Gold. The building burned down in 1914

The First University of Connecticut Trustees

When the University of Connecticut started life as the Storrs Agricultural School in 1881, Governor Hobart Bigelow appointed its first eight trustees—all with agricultural backgrounds.

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Emile Gauvreau and the Era of Tabloid Journalism

Emile Gauvreau, former managing editor of the Hartford Courant, became a pioneer in the rise of tabloid journalism.

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American Cookery, Amelia Simmons, Hartford

Give Thanks for American Cooking

November 21, 2021 • Food and Drink, Hartford, Popular Culture

Widely accepted as the first cookbook written by an American,…

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Bacon Jabez House, Woodbury

Daniel Curtiss: The Life of a 19th-Century Self-Made Man

Daniel Curtiss was the epitome of the “self-made man” during…

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Wethersfield's four-wheeled combination hook, ladder and bucket carrier

Connecticut’s Oldest Fire Department

November 19, 2021 • Everyday Life, Wethersfield, Work

The Wethersfield Volunteer Fire Department is the oldest continually operated…

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American Whaler printed by Elijah Chapman Kellogg

New London’s Indian Mariners

November 18, 2021 • Law, Native Americans, New London, Work

In an era of dispossession and diminishing autonomy on land, Native American mariners learned to use Anglo-American structures and institutions to establish a degree of power and personal freedom for themselves.

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Adam Farm in North (or East) Canaan, Connecticut

The Land of Nod Farm, East Canaan, Connecticut

The Land of Nod farm was an important agricultural and residential resource for both the people of Canaan and the workers at the Beckley furnace.

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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.

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Seymour was Chusetown – Who Knew?

November 15, 2021 • Derby, Seymour

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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Policeman, ca. 1905

Enforcing Law and Order in Greenwich

November 14, 2021 • Crime and Punishment, Greenwich, Work

A short history of police work in one Connecticut town.

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Uniform of the first rugby team at Yale

Foot Ball Match: Harvard vs. Yale – Today in History: November 13

November 13, 2021 • New Haven, Sports and Recreation

On November 13, 1875, Yale and Harvard wore the first…

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Stubby

A True Dog of War: Sergeant Stubby

In 1917, as the 102nd Infantry, 26th Yankee Division of…

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Connecticut Residents Did Not Let Veterans Day “Go Commercial.”

Despite passage of the federal Uniform Holiday Bill in 1968, Connecticut residents were largely reluctant to move Veterans Day observances from November 11.

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Alfred Howe Terry Born in Hartford – Today in History: November 10

November 10, 2021 • Civil War, Hartford, New Haven, War and Defense

On November 10, 1827 Alfred Howe Terry was born in…

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Taking on the State: Griswold v. Connecticut

In the 1960s, Hartford native Estelle Griswold challenged Connecticut’s restrictive birth control law. Her argument for the right to privacy made it all the way to the Supreme Court.

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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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The Articles of Confederation: America’s First Constitution

The Articles of Confederation loosely served as the nation’s first formal governing document, until ultimately being replaced by the US Constitution.

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The “Red Scare” in Connecticut

The Palmer Raids, launched in Connecticut in 1919, were part of the paranoia known as the “Red Scare” that resulted in numerous civil rights violations committed by law enforcement officials.

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Drawing (on) the Connecticut Landscape: Benjamin Hutchins Coe Teaches Americans the Democratic Art

November 5, 2021 • Arts, Middlefield

Benjamin Hutchins Coe, born in Hartford, helped teach Americans how to draw through the publication of numerous art manuals, many of which focused on Connecticut-inspired landscapes.

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A 1761 letter by Wheelock describing the progress of his first female students, Amie and Miriam. Source: “The Occom Circle,” n.d. Dartmouth College.

Amy Johnson: A Mohegan Woman Who Survived Colonialism

Amy Johnson was a Mohegan woman who resisted living the life European settlers wanted her to live.

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Election day, Main Street, Hartford

When Elections in Hartford Were a Piece of Cake

Unlike today, in the 18th and 19th centuries, Election Day met with great celebration.

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Map of Plan of the city of New Haven - Connecticut Historical Society Museum & Library

New Haven’s Long Wharf

From the 17th through the 19th centuries, the economic prosperity of New Haven significantly depended upon Long Wharf.

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Man wearing a hat with card stating "Bread or Revolution"

How the Wobblies Won Free Speech

Denied the right to free assembly in public spaces, Connecticut workers joined in a larger national movement of civil disobedience.

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US District Court, New Haven

Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut – Today in History: November 1

On November 1, 1961, Estelle Griswold and Dr. C. Lee…

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Results of Halloween pranks, Windsor

Past Hallowe’en Pranks Bemused Some and Frustrated Others

October 31, 2021 • Everyday Life, Popular Culture, Windsor

Jack o’ lanterns, cider, masquerades, witches, and ghosts—many of the…

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State Tuberculosis Sanitarium, Norwich, Conn.

The White Plague: Progressive-Era Tuberculosis Treatments in Connecticut

Tuberculosis was a leading cause of death in the early 20th century. Treatments for included everything from exposure to extremes in temperature to regimens involving access to the outdoors.

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Illustration of "The Connecticut Courant", Oct. 29, 1764

The Oldest Continuously Published Newspaper – Today in History: October 29

On October 29, 1764, New Haven printer Thomas Green established…

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The Caribbean American Society float in the West Indian Parade

West Indians in Hartford

October 27, 2021 • Arts, Everyday Life, Hartford

A significant wave of immigration to the United States from the West Indies began in the 1940s, spurred by labor shortages during World War II.

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The Chinese Educational Mission Building in Hartford, 1887

Yung Wing’s Dream: The Chinese Educational Mission, 1872-1881

In all, 120 Chinese students came to live and study in New England. When they returned home, they served as diplomats, engineers, naval officers, physicians, educators, administrators, and magistrates.

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Section of the map "Connecticut, from actual survey" (1813)

Caleb Brewster: A Patriot Against Freedom

Caleb Brewster—Fairfield, Connecticut’s resident member of the Culper Spy Ring during the Revolutionary War—was also an active participant in the African Slave Trade.

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Trumbull Gallery

Yale University Art Gallery – Today in History: October 25

October 25, 2021 • John Trumbull, Architecture, Arts, New Haven

On October 25, 1832, the Trumbull Gallery at Yale opened…

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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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Connecticut River, 2011

Old Saybrook Faces Down Threats to Its Water Supply

The town of Old Saybrook lies at the mouth of…

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New-Gate Prison courtyard

Notorious New-Gate Prison

A failed Simsbury copper mine is now a national historic landmark in East Granby.

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Gershom Bartlett, Winged Face

The Art of Life and Death in Colonial Bolton

October 21, 2021 • Bolton, Arts, Belief, Everyday Life

A number of prominent artists called Bolton home in the…

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Anna Hyatt Huntington

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

October 20, 2021 • Danbury, Arts

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

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A Revolutionary Book Designer: Bruce Rogers of New Fairfield

October 19, 2021 • Arts, Literature, New Fairfield, Work

Bruce Rogers was a book designer who settled in New Fairfield. Considered one of the great typographers of his time, his masterpiece was the 1936 Oxford Lectern Bible.

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Camp à Contorbery, le 7 Novembre, 10 milles de Windham

Map – Rochambeau’s Camp at Canterbury

This map, “Camp à Contorbery, le 7 Novembre, 10 milles…

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German American workers from the buff room

Late 19th-Century Immigration in Connecticut

Immigration to Connecticut in the second half of the 19th…

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Asaph Hall, August 1899

Goshen’s Asaph Hall Becomes an Astronomical Success

Asaph Hall was a world-famous astronomer and mathematician from Goshen….

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Byram River, Pemberwick, October 16, 1955

Byram River Flood – Today in History: October 15

A few minutes before 11:00 pm on October 15, 1955,…

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Dry Nutmegs

The Storied History behind Connecticut’s Nicknames

October 14, 2021 • Popular Culture, The State

Though Connecticut’s official nickname is the “Constitution State,” it has been known by many names throughout the centuries.

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Hindenburg over The Travelers Tower

Video – The Hindenburg Flies Over Hartford

This video, taken in October of 1936, shows the Hindenburg sailing over Hartford, a short seven months before its destruction.

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Bradley Smith Co., Inc., Grand Avenue, New Haven

New Haven Gives the Lollipop its Name – Today in History: October 13

On October 13, 1931, the name “Lolly Pop” was officially…

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New Netherlands and New England map

Reckoning with the Dutch: the Treaty of Hartford, 1650

Hartford place names, such as Dutch Point, Huyshope Avenue, and Adriaen’s Landing, are reminders of a time when Connecticut was part of New Netherlands.

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Timothy Dwight Provides Religious, Military, and Educational Services for a Young Country

Timothy Dwight was an influential preacher, poet, and educator who served as a chaplain during the Revolutionary War and later as the president of Yale College.

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Alexander Calder at Stegosaurus sculpture dedication

Calder’s Stegosaurus Dedicated – Today in History: October 10

October 10, 2021 • Arts, Hartford

On October 10, 1973, Alexander Calder’s sculpture, Stegosaurus, was dedicated…

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