News & Updates

The Colt's Manufacturing Company float for the parade dedicating the Bulkeley Bridge, October 7th, 1908

Hartford’s Industrial Day – Today in History: October 7

Hartford celebrated the 1908 opening of the Bulkeley Bridge with…

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Connecticut Pin Makers

For the latter half of the 19th century and for much of the 20th, Connecticut led the nation in pin production.

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Federal Correctional Institution, Danbury

Danbury Prison Protest – Today in History: August 11

On August 11, 1943, conscientious objectors and other prisoners staged…

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Birth of a Nation Advertisement

Hartford’s Challenge to “The Birth of a Nation”

D. W. Griffith’s silent movie, the racially charged “Birth of a Nation,” initially played to large audiences in Hartford before meeting with official resistance after World War I.

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Right foot of James Wilbraham

Civil War Soldier Dies of Gangrene – Today in History: July 10

On July 10, 1864, Civil War soldier Curtis Bacon of…

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Paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh

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

May 15, 2017 • Uncategorized

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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Modified Action in 1969 coming out of turn 4, Waterford Speedbowl

Waterford’s Need for Speed

The Waterford Speedbowl is a 3/8-mile oval racetrack located along…

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Video – Hidden History: Bushnell Park

Your Town’s History in Video: Bushnell Park

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Muster of Civil War troops, Main Street, New Britain, May 11, 1861

The Civil War Commences: Connecticut’s Involvement in the Civil War

Diaries, letters, and other documents provide firsthand witness to the sacrifices of Connecticut men and women during the years of bloody conflict.

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Patents – Stafford’s Inventive Minds

Starting in 1790, Connecticut became a national leader in obtaining patents for its abundant innovations. It not only led the nation in patents issued per capita, but in 1809, South Killingly resident Mary Kies became the first woman awarded a US patent.

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Video – Unsung Heroes: The Music of Jazz in New Haven

This documentary clip showcases the heritage of New Haven’s jazz community, weaving the personal narrative of musicians and their families within the context of the city’s social and political history.

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Patents – Bloomfield’s Inventive Minds

From the time the federal government first began issuing patents…

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Video – Augusta Lewis Troup Tribute Film

The Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame pays tribute to Augusta Lewis Troup, a pioneering labor leader, journalist, educator, and suffragist.

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Mariann Wolcott

Map: Connecticut Women in History (more to come…)

March 27, 2017 • Hide Featured Image, Women, Work

From forging Revolutionary War ammunition to running newspapers, patenting new…

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Video – Dotha Bushnell Hillyer Tribute Film

The Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame pays tribute to philanthropist Dotha Bushnell Hillyer, patron of a living memorial to her father, the Reverend Horace Bushnell.

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Video – Helen Keller Tribute Film

The Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame pays tribute to Easton resident Helen Keller, an inspirational champion for the disabled.

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Video – Florence Wald Tribute Film

YouTube – Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame The Connecticut Women’s…

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Video – Barbara McClintock Tribute Film

The Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame pays tribute to Hartford native Barbara McClintock, a famed geneticist and Nobel Prize winner.

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Video – When Disaster Struck: The Flood of 1936, Part I

The CPTV Original, When Disaster Struck Connecticut, provides an in-depth look at the four major natural disasters that befell Connecticut between 1888 and 1955. This clip of archival sources and eyewitness accounts paints a vivid picture of how Connecticut residents coped with the Flood of 1936. The flood stands as the worst natural disaster to ever hit Hartford and the other towns that lie along the Connecticut River.

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Video – When Disaster Struck: The Flood of 1936, Part 2

The CPTV Original, When Disaster Struck Connecticut, provides an in-depth look at the four major natural disasters that befell Connecticut between 1888 and 1955. This clip of archival sources and eyewitness accounts paints a vivid picture of how Connecticut residents coped with the Flood of 1936. The flood stands as the worst natural disaster to ever hit Hartford and the other towns that lie along the Connecticut River.

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Middletown, Main Street

Video – When Disaster Struck: King Blizzard

The CPTV Original, When Disaster Struck Connecticut, provides an in-depth look at the four major natural disasters that befell Connecticut between 1888 and 1955. This clip of archival sources and eyewitness accounts paints a vivid picture of how Connecticut residents coped with the monumental storm that hit New England in March of 1888. King Blizzard delivered 20 to 50 inches of snow with drifts of up to 20 feet.

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Blizzard of 1888 - Hartford, corner of Main Street and State Street

Blizzard of 1888 Devastates State

An unexpected and deadly March storm, stretching from Washington, DC, to the Canadian border, buried Connecticut in as much as 50 inches of snow.

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Video – Mary Townsend Seymour Tribute Film

Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame pays tribute to Hartford native Mary Townsend Seymour, a pioneering advocate for equal rights for African Americans and co-founder of Hartford’s chapter of the NAACP.

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Horse pistol ca. 1799, Simeon North

Government Orders Horse Pistols – Today in History: March 9

On March 9, 1799, the government issued its first contract…

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Video – Florence Griswold Tribute Film

The Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame pays tribute to Florence Griswold, an Old Lyme native who fostered the impressionist art movement in Connecticut.

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WTIC-TV filming airplane

Oldies But Goodies – Order DVDs from the Vaults of the Connecticut Humanities

February 14, 2017 • Hide Featured Image, The State

YouTube – CTHPrograms – Co-produced by Connecticut Public Television and…

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Video – Connecticut’s Cultural Treasures: American Clock & Watch Museum

Connecticut’s Cultural Treasures is a series of 50 five-minute film vignettes that profiles a variety of the state’s most notable cultural resources.

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Over Time: West Hartford’s Historical Population

January 15, 2017 • Hide Featured Image, West Hartford

Census data, from colonial times on up to the present, is a key resource for those who study the ways in which communities change with the passage of time.

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Workers on the Charter farm on Crystal Lake Road, Ellington

William Pinney Does It All for Ellington

William N. Pinney’s life was one of public service. A…

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Advertising label for Fine Old Bourbon Whiskey, 1855

Video: No Booze for You – Who Knew?

During Prohibition, many Connecticut residents found it easy to obtain alcohol illegally, though violations of Prohibition led to an increase in violent crime.

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View of Ansonia, Conn. 1875

Map – Bird’s-eye View of Ansonia, 1875

November 28, 2016 • Ansonia, Environment

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries panoramic or…

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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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Borden's Evaporated Milk Crate Label

Evaporated Milk’s Connecticut Connection – Who Knew?

…that in 1856 businessman Gail Borden Jr. opened the first…

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The Connecticut History Sports Challenge

Here’s a game for the truly competitive: Flex your mental…

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Video – When Disaster Struck: The 1938 Hurricane, Part I

The CPTV Original, When Disaster Struck Connecticut, provides an in-depth look at the four major natural disasters that befell Connecticut between 1888 and 1955. This clip of archival sources and eyewitness accounts paints a vivid picture of how Connecticut residents coped with the 1938 Hurricane.

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The Forlorn Soldier

The Forlorn Soldier, a statue by James G. Batterson, survived years of neglect, punishing weather, and movements to tear it down, and yet still serves an important purpose in Civil War commemoration.

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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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Middletown Historical Society Explores City’s Lost Maritime Past

September 13, 2016 • CT Live

The Middletown Press – by Scott Whipple There may be…

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Video – William Gillette’s Railroad

YouTube – CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection Actor…

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Video – Free-for-all Race at Charter Oak Park

A crowd of some 25,000 to 30,000 people turned out to see John R. Gentry compete for a $6,000 purse.

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Camp Cross Housatonic State Forest

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

June 20, 2016 • Cornwall, Environment, Sharon, Work

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

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Billings & Spencer Company

Christopher Miner Spencer, 19th-century Arms Manufacturer

A well-known American inventor in his day, this Manchester native obtained 42 patents during his lifetime and created the first successful breech-loading repeating rifle.

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

An Overview of Connecticut’s Outdoor Sculpture

June 19, 2016 • Arts

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

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Perry Memorial Arch, Entrance to Seaside Park, Bridgeport

The Park City – Who Knew?

 …that Bridgeport’s nickname is the “Park City” due to its…

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Map of the state of Connecticut showing Indian trails, villages and sachemdoms

Andover to Woodstock: How Connecticut Ended Up with 169 Towns

Religious mandates, the difficulties of colonial-era travel, and industrialization are a few of the forces that gave rise to the proliferation of towns in our state.

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Defenders of the Flag Monument, Soldiers Monument, Plainville

A Special Place to Honor Military Veterans in Plainville

On the corner of Maple and Whiting Streets in Plainville,…

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Map – Connecticut Landmarks of the Constitution

A map of some of the Connecticut Landmarks of the Constitution researched and published by the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation.

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Pope Automobile Model S, Seven Passenger Car, 1909

Albert Augustus Pope, Transportation Pioneer

Pope’s bicycles and automobiles not only gave 19th-century consumers greater personal mobility, they also helped propel social change.

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Nathan Starr Cutlass

Nathan Starr’s Cutlass Fought the War of 1812

On May 18, 1808, the Navy Agent Joseph Hull of New London negotiated a contract with Nathan Starr of Middletown for 2,000 cutlasses.

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Boy Scouts carrying World War I banners

Hartford’s Commemoration of World War I Servicemen and Women

At the end of the First World War, Hartford found a variety of ways to honor the sacrifices of its servicemen and women.

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