News & Updates

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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Main Street, During Fair Week

The Great Danbury State Fair & Early 20th-Century Outdoor Advertising

In 1909, the Danbury Agricultural Society called attention to its upcoming fair in a most creative manner.

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The crew and passengers of the steamboat Sunshine

Rising Tide: Steamboat Workers on the Connecticut River

October 8, 2021 • Transportation, Work

For the deck hands, stevedores, and firemen who made the steamboats of the Hartford Line run, 18-hour days, dangerous conditions, and lousy food were the norm.

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Typing History

Home to companies such as Royal and Underwood, Connecticut became an important manufacturing center for typewriters in the early 20th century.

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Illuminations at the entrance to the Bulkeley Bridge

Mighty, Mighty Hartford

In October of 1908, Hartford celebrated the opening of the…

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Henry Augustus Loop, Jonathan Edwards

Connecticut Origins Shape New Light Luminary Jonathan Edwards

Arguably one of the most significant religious figures in US history, this theologian, philosopher, pastor, revivalist, educator, and missionary spent his formative years in the Nutmeg state.

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

October 4, 2021 • Civil War, Hartford

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

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Whitneyville Armory, Whitney's Improved Fire-Arms, from an advertisement, ca. 1862

The Whitney Armory Helps Progress in Hamden

Eli Whitney is famous for the cotton gin. His invention…

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Residence and Library of Ithiel Town, New Haven

American Architect Ithiel Town Born – Today in History: October 3

On October 3, 1784, prominent American architect and engineer Ithiel…

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Steam-powered cider press at BF Clyde's in Mystic

BF Clyde and the Steam-powered Cider Mill – Who Knew?

…that the oldest steam-powered cider mill in the US still…

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Norwich City Hall, Union Square, Norwich, New London County

Site Lines: Monuments to Connecticut’s Lost County Government

County government operated in Connecticut in one form or another for nearly 300 years before the state abolished it in 1960.

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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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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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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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Evelyn Beatrice Longman Commemorates the Working Class

“Industry,” also known as “The Craftsman,” resides in Hartford. The work, by Evelyn Longman, is a celebration of the working class and their contribution to society.

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When the NFL Played in Connecticut: The Hartford Blues

In 1926, the Hartford Blues became the first and only NFL team to call Connecticut home. After a disappointing season, the NFL voted them out of the league.

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A Monument Memorializes the Fallen

In front of the state capitol is a mortar commemorating the service of the First Connecticut Heavy Artillery Regiment. The mortar may or may not be the original “Petersburg Express” used at the famous siege of Petersburg, Virginia, during the Civil War.

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Benjamin Spock: Raising the World’s Children

Pediatrician (and Connecticut native) Benjamin Spock revolutionized childcare in the 20th century before becoming a leading figure in the anti-war movement of the 60s and 70s.

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Charcoal Kiln, Union

1938 Hurricane Fuels Charcoal Business – Who Knew?

…that the hurricane of 1938 which devastated the Quinebaug Forest…

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Walt Dropo, Boston Red Sox

Walt Dropo Stars Throughout New England

Few major league baseball players had rookie seasons as good as Walt Dropo’s while playing for the Boston Red Sox in 1950.

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Nathan Hale Statue, Hartford

Nathan Hale Hanged in New York – Today in History: September 22

On September 22, 1776, the British hanged Revolutionary War soldier…

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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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Thomas Hooker: Connecticut’s Founding Father

A powerful and popular preacher, Thomas Hooker led a group of Puritans out of Massachusetts in 1636 to settle new lands that eventually became the city of Hartford.

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Art Young, Radical Cartoonist

September 19, 2021 • Bethel, Arts, Popular Culture, Social Movements

One of the more controversial cartoonists of the early 20th century, Art Young lived much of his life in Bethel. Residents later founded the Art Young Gallery in his memory.

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The Rise of the Black Panther Party in Connecticut

As they did nationally, the Black Panther Party in Connecticut fought for an end to discriminatory legal and regulatory practices, often clashing with authorities to achieve their goals.

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Remembering Civil War Prisoners of War

Outside the Connecticut State Capitol building in Hartford stands a monument to the Connecticut prisoners retained at the Andersonville Prison during the Civil War.

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Panorama of Bushnell Park, 1920s

Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch – Today in History: September 17

September 17, 2021 • Architecture, Civil War, Hartford

On September 17, 1886, the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch…

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Needlework by Prudence Punderson

Prudence Punderson, Ordinary Woman, Extraordinary Artist: Needlework in Connecticut

September 16, 2021 • Arts, Preston, Revolutionary War, Women

Completed in the 1700s, “The First, Second and Last Scene of Mortality” is considered to be one of the most spectacular pieces of needlework in US history.

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Penguins, 1933-35, Antarctic

Sixty Degrees Below Zero: Connecticut Man Explores Antarctica

September 15, 2021 • Bolton, Exploration and Discovery, Science, Work

John Henry Von der Wall, a life-long resident of Bolton, took part in Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s famed expeditions to the South Polar regions.

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Amasa Preston House

“Washburn Colonials”: Distinguished 1920s Homes Stand the Test of Time

Without formal training, Alice Washburn designed some of Connecticut’s most iconic Colonial Revival buildings of the early 20th century.

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Igor Sikorsky's first helicopter ascent, Stratford

World’s First Helicopter – Today in History: September 14

On September 14, 1939, the VS-300, the world’s first practical…

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Illustration of Lorenzo Carter's first cabin

Putting Cleveland on the Map: Lorenzo Carter on the Ohio Frontier

Lorenzo Carter was a Connecticut native who became the first…

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1954 ad for Pioneer Parachutes

Parachutist Snagged in Midair – Today in History: September 13

On September 13, 1966, Charles (Chuck) Alexander became the first…

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Catharine Beecher, Champion of Women’s Education

Sister to two of the most famous figures of the 19th century–Harriet Beecher Stowe and Henry Ward Beecher–Catharine Esther Beecher achieved fame in her own right as an educator, reformer, and writer.

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Nutrition class, Connecticut Agricultural College

From Aprons to Lab Coats: The Art and Science of Home Economics

In 1893 the Storrs Agricultural College (the precursor to the University of Connecticut) began training women in domestic science, the discipline that would later be called home economics.

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Hartford County Jail, 1915

The Deplorable History of Hartford’s Seyms Street Jail

September 10, 2021 • Crime and Punishment, Hartford

Abhorrent conditions characterized life in Hartford’s Seyms Street Jail for much of its century-long service to the county.

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Prudence Crandall

Prudence Crandall Fights for Equal Access to Education

A headmistress champions education for African American women and although forced to close her school in 1834, she helped win the battle for generations that followed.

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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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The Wheeler & Wilson Ruffler

Wheeler & Wilson: A Stitchy Situation in Watertown

The Watertown firm of Wheeler & Wilson Manufacturing produced one…

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Bushnell's Turtle

The Turtle Submarine – Today in History: September 6

On September 6, 1776, the first functioning submarine, called the…

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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.

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Straitsville Schoolhouse, Naugatuck

Child Labor vs. Schooling in 19th-century Naugatuck

September 4, 2021 • Henry Barnard, Education, Naugatuck, Work

The Naugatuck school system today consists of 11 public schools…

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Seaside Sanatorium, Waterford

Seaside Tuberculosis Sanatorium: Waterford’s Contested Oceanfront Gem

Connecticut’s Seaside Sanatorium in Waterford is the site of a former nationally recognized tuberculosis hospital.

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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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Martha Graham, Connecticut College, and the American Dance Festival

September 1, 2021 • Arts, New London, Women

Martha Hill established the School of the Dance on the campus of the Connecticut College for Women in 1948, and hired such renowned instructors as Martha Graham.

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Workingmen's Restaurant, 129 Market Street, Hartford.

Serving Up Justice: Hartford’s Black Workers Organize

The earliest labor union for African American workers in Hartford appeared in 1902 with the birth of the Colored Waiters and Cooks Local 359.

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