Throughout the state’s history, Connecticut residents have always been breaking barriers. Most often these incidences take the form of compelling stories about individuals and groups that made a lasting impact on our nation’s history. From tales of achievement (such as the election of Ella Grasso) to acts of civil disobedience (such as those undertaken by the Smith Sisters in their fight for equality), the perseverance and resolve demonstrated throughout Connecticut’s history makes significant contributions to the story of breaking barriers in the United States.HistoryDayCT

Breaking Barriers in Connecticut History

Nutmeggers have been involved in all manner of breaking barriers dating back to the establishment of the Fundamental Orders and carrying right through to the modern fight against educational segregation found in the case of Sheff v. O”Neill. This has required not only pushing at the boundaries of law and government but those of art, education, the environment, and health and medicine as well. One only has to look at the story of Maria Sanchez or the revolutionary inventions of Charles Goodyear to get a sense of the breadth of strategies Connecticut residents have employed in the name of breaking new ground.

The very idea of breaking barriers provides fascinating opportunities for study through its promotion of encounters with new people, ideas, cultures, and environments as well. These interactions, while sometimes causing conflict, also challenge long-held beliefs, help broaden ideas, and give rise to new perspectives. The diverse nature of these impacts present themselves when one explores the variety of local barrier-breaking stories, such as Connecticut’s aviation pioneers, the work of Isaac Glasko (a blacksmith of mixed African American and Native American descent who challenged 19th-century voting rights in Connecticut), or Connecticut’s passing of the nation’s first “Lemon Law.”

Whether you choose to focus on issues of race, belief, gender, law, politics and government, work, or education, Connecticut’s history provides numerous examples of engaging stories to help you in your search for a local topic that addresses the many varied aspects of Breaking Barriers in History.

We designed this Connecticut History Day page to help you find the perfect topic and connect you to the sources you need to get your project started. We will add new items and links as we get them, so be sure to check back often. In addition, if you have any questions, we’re here, just ask. Happy exploring!

Connecticut History Day is an affiliate program of National History Day.

Learn More


“Association for the Study of Connecticut History,” 2016. Link.
“Connecticut Explored,” 2016. Link.
“Connecticut History Day,” 2016. Link.
“Connecticut League of History Organizations,” 2016. Link.
“Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame,” 2017. Link.
“National History Day,” 2016. Link.
“National History Day 2020 Theme Book: Breaking Barriers in History,” 2019. Link.


“Connecticut Historical Society,” 2017. Link.
“Connecticut Landmarks,” 2016. Link.
“Connecticut State Library,” 2017. Link.
“Fairfield Museum and History Center,” 2016. Link.
“Hartford History Center.” Hartford Public Library, 2016. Link
“Mystic Seaport,” 2017. Link.
“New Haven Museum,” 2017. Link.
“The Museum of Connecticut History.” Connecticut State Library, 2017. Link.


“Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.” University of Connecticut Libraries, 2016. Link.
“Connecticut Digital Newspaper Project,” 2016. Link.
“Connecticut History Illustrated,” 2016. Link.
“National History Day 2020 Theme Book: Breaking Barriers in History,” 2019. Link.
“Newspapers of Connecticut - Digital Database.” Connecticut State Library, 2016. Link.
“ResearchIT CT.” Connecticut State Library, 2016. Link.
“The Connecticut Digital Archive,” 2016. Link.

Sign Up For Email Updates

Oops! We could not locate your form.