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South view of the Hempstead House, New London

The Joshua Hempsted Diary: A Window into Colonial Connecticut

January 16, 2020 • Everyday Life, New London

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

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God admonishing his people of their duty, as parents and masters

A Most Unusual Criminal Execution in New London

On December 20, 1786, a crowd gathered behind New London’s…

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State Street and Old Ferry Landing, New London

New London’s Ferries: A Transportation Tradition

December 16, 2019 • Groton, New London, Transportation

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

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The Deutschland at the Connecticut State Pier in New London

New London Harbors a German Submarine During World War I – Who Knew?

The German merchant submarine Deutschland made two trips to America, including one to New London, Connecticut, during World War I.

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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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Martha Graham, Connecticut College, and the American Dance Festival

September 3, 2019 • 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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William Eustis plans for New London

Defending Connecticut: Fortifying New London Against the British in 1812

August 10, 2019 • New London, War and Defense, War of 1812

“Sir, You will immediately commence the repairs of the magazine at Fort Trumbull and the block house at Fort Griswold…,” wrote the US Secretary of War to a captain in New London.

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Nathan Hale: The Man and the Legend

A school teacher hanged as a spy during the American Revolution, Nathan Hale became Connecticut’s official state hero in 1985.

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Diagram of SS Savannah

Steaming Across the Atlantic

New London‘s advantageous location on Long Island Sound made it…

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First American Medicine Patent – Today in History: April 30

On April 30, 1796, Samuel Lee Jr. of Windham, Connecticut,…

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Postcard of New London Bridge on Thames River, New London, Conn.

I-95 Reaches New London

The arrival of I-95 to New London brought tremendous change to the city’s infrastructure, as well as to its businesses and neighborhoods.

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Lyman Allyn Art Museum

The Lyman Allyn Opens – Today in History: March 2

On March 2, 1932, the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, in…

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The U.S. frigate United States capturing H.B.M frigate Macedonian

Site Lines: The Mysterious Blue Lights

During the War of 1812, warning signals in the form of two blue lights prevented US ships from slipping past the British blockade of New London’s harbor. This left officials and the public to wonder: who was lighting these “torches of treason,” and why?

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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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American Whaler printed by Elijah Chapman Kellogg

New London’s Indian Mariners

November 23, 2018 • 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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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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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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Senator Brandegee Stonewalls Women’s Suffrage

Senator Frank Brandegee of New London vehemently opposed progressive legislation at the national level, particularly when it came to the issue of women’s suffrage.

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Fort Trumbull neighborhood, New London

Private vs. Public Property – Today in History: June 23

June 23, 2018 • Law, New London

On June 23, 2005, in the eminent domain case Kelo…

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Ensign Merle J. Smith, Jr.

Academy Graduates First African American Student – Today in History: June 8

June 8, 2018 • Education, New London

On June 8, 1966, the US Coast Guard Academy in…

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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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Fort Griswold, 1781

Fort Griswold Attacked – Today in History: September 6

On September 6, 1781, British forces overtook Fort Griswold and,…

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John Warner Barber, South view of the Hempstead house, New London, 1836

Joshua Hempsted Born – Today in History: September 1

September 1, 2017 • Everyday Life, New London

On September 1, 1678, Joshua Hempsted was born in New…

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Suffragette Helena Hill Weed of Norwalk, serving a 3 day sentence in D.C. prison for picketing July 4, 1917

19th Amendment: The Fight Over Woman Suffrage in Connecticut

The 19th Amendment to the Constitution guarantees all women who…

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Illustration of a woman on horse, woodcut

Sarah Kemble Knight’s Journey through Colonial Connecticut

In 1704, when long distance travel was rare and roads crude, a Boston woman journeyed by horseback to New York City and recorded her views of Connecticut along the way.

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Piling sandbags, Colt dike

The Hurricane of 1938 Rocks Connecticut

Together the combination of chance and human error produced the most destructive hurricane in Connecticut’s history.

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Dr. Sheffield's creme dentifrice box

Aristocratic Dental Cream Gets Squeezed

Dr. Washington Wentworth Sheffield was born in North Stonington, Connecticut….

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A Different Look at the Amistad Trial: The Teenager Who Helped Save the Mende Captives

James Benajmin Covey, a former slave, was only 14 years old when asked to serve in one of the most publicized trials in American history.

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Map of the West Indies, 1717

Connecticut and the West Indies: Sugar Spurs Trans-Atlantic Trade

This profitable exchange brought wealth and sought-after goods to the state but came at the price of supporting slavery in the bargain.

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Eighty-Five Hundred Souls: the 1918-1919 Flu Epidemic in Connecticut

December 12, 2015 • Disaster, Health and Medicine, New London

The state’s busy ports, and particularly New London’s Navy base, provided an easy point of entry for the disease that claimed millions of lives around the world.

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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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Captain James W. Buddington and crew on whaling schooner

The Rise and Fall of Sealing in Early New London Industry

New London owed much of its early prosperity to the…

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Captain Nathaniel Shaw Mansion, New London

New London’s Sound Defense

The use of privateers to supplement naval forces and wage…

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Elias Perkins: One of Lisbon’s Most Accomplished Public Servants

Elias Perkins’s career in public service lasted nearly half a…

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Over Time: New London’s Historical Population

April 4, 2014 • Hide Featured Image, New London

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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Fort Griswold

Fort Griswold and the Battle of Groton Heights 1781

East of the Thames River, on Groton Heights, Fort Griswold…

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John Warner Barber, Groton Monument and Fort Griswold

Blood on the Hill: The Battle of Groton Heights, September 6, 1781

Public passions were stirred by reports of a “massacre” at Fort Griswold and its particulars remain a topic of debate to this day.

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J.O. Davidson, Battle of Port Hudson

Connecticut’s Naval Contributions to the Civil War

From makers of gun boats to bakers of ship biscuits, companies across the Nutmeg state helped keep the Union navy afloat while sea-savvy leaders and sailors from the state kept it in fighting form.

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