Connecticut Votes for Women – Connecticut State Library, State Archives, Connecticut Woman’s Suffrage Association

Emergence of Modern America (1890–1930)

The arrival of the 20th century accompanied revolutionary change in America. The conclusion of a successful war with Spain brought controversial new territories such as Cuba and Puerto Rico under American control. The degree of autonomy granted these acquisitions played out in debates over legislation such as the Platt Amendment. Meanwhile, rapidly progressing technologies ushered in the era of the automobile and the airplane. Connecticut was the first state in the country to pass many of the laws regulating these new forms of transportation. Despite the devastation wrought by mankind’s first “world war,” it was an era of hope characterized by the granting of voting rights to women, the birth of Hollywood and acting legends such as William Gillette, and the heyday of amusements such as those found at Savin Rock, Lake Compounce, and Luna Park.

Featured

American Cookery, or, The Art of Dressing Viands, Fish, Poultry, and Vegetables by Amelia Simmons

Amelia Simmons Adds a Uniquely American Flavor to Cooking

In 1796, Amelia Simmons authored American Cookery—believed to be the first cookbook authored by an American published in the United States. …[more]

Broadside for Pine Apple cheese patented in 1810

The Story of Pineapple Cheese

On a farm in West Goshen Lewis Norton made one... …[more]

Beatrice Fox Auerbach meets with the department heads of her store, G. Fox & Company

Beatrice Fox Auerbach: Retail Pioneer Led Iconic Family Department Store

Beatrice Fox Auerbach was pioneering retail executive who ran the G. Fox & Co. department store and numerous philanthropic benefiting people in Hartford and around the world. …[more]

Detail from A mapp of New England by John Seller

Lion Gardiner Helps to Fortify Early Old Saybrook

In 1635, the governor of the Saybrook colony hired engineer... …[more]

Replicas of the 1636 church and house built by Reverend Thomas Hooker

What’s a Puritan, and Why Didn’t They Stay in Massachusetts?

Mean-spirited, repressed souls or persecuted refugees and rugged egalitarians? Connecticut's state historian sets the record straight. …[more]

Wood-cut representing Alexis St. Martin's wound

The Father of Gastric Physiology Born – Today in History: November 21

On November 21, 1785, physician and physiologist William Beaumont, who... …[more]

Pierre Lallement and the Modern-Day Pedal Bicycle – Today in History: November 20

On November 20, 1866, mechanic Pierre Lallement, a temporary resident of New Haven, Connecticut, received a patent for an improvement in velocipedes. …[more]

Hiram Bingham

Hiram Bingham III: Machu Picchu Explorer and Politician

Hiram Bingham III was a distinguished scholar and public servant... …[more]

A Connecticut Nazi Spy Has a Change of Heart

On the morning of October 6, 1944, Niantic-born William Colepaugh... …[more]

Captain Nathaniel B. Palmer

Nathaniel Palmer discovers Antarctica – Today in History: November 18

On November 18, 1820, Nathaniel Brown Palmer of Stonington, Connecticut,... …[more]

Williams Shaving Cream and Aqua Velva ad, ca. 1929

The Aqua Velva State – Today in History: November 17

On November 17, 1917, the J.B. Williams Company of Glastonbury... …[more]

Oyster grounds, Western Division; Town of Westport

The Battle for Cockenoe Island

In 1967, the United Illuminating Company proposed to build a nuclear power plant on Cockenoe Island off the coast of Westport, but grassroots activism ultimately scuttled that plan. …[more]

Copy of Map of Windsor, shewing the parishes, the roads, and houses by Seth Pease

Seth Pease Surveys New Lands

This Suffield native’s work in “New Connecticut” and other Western territories reveals how the new nation took stock of its expanding borders. …[more]

Kaman Aircraft, 1949

Helicopters, Guitars, and Guide Dogs: The Revolutionary Mind of Charles Kaman

Charles Kaman, an inventor and aviation pioneer, managed to combine... …[more]

An Oyster Supper

Any Month with an “R” in It: Eating Oysters in Connecticut

Lack of refrigeration and higher bacteria counts in tidal waters once made summer months a dangerous time to eat oysters.  …[more]

Alexander Calder in studio, Roxbury, 1973

Calder in Connecticut: World-Famous Artist Called Roxbury Home

His mobiles, stabiles, and constellations are featured in museum collections around the world.  …[more]

Foreign Mission School, Cornwall

An Experiment in Evangelization: Cornwall’s Foreign Mission School

The story of the Foreign Mission School connects the town... …[more]

Thomas Dodd (at podium), Nuremberg trial, ca., 1945-46

Connecticut Lawyer Prosecutes Nazi War Criminals at Nuremberg

In the immediate aftermath of World War II, Thomas Joseph... …[more]

Separable Attachment Plug

First US Detachable Electric Plug – Today in History: November 8

On November 8, 1904, Harvey Hubbell II patented the first... …[more]

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. …[more]

John F. Kennedy campaigning in New Haven, 1960

The Kennedys in Connecticut – Today in History: November 6

On November 6, 1960, forty-eight hours before the Presidential election, Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts addressed a street rally in New Haven.  …[more]

Two A-10 Thunderbolt IIs from the Connecticut Air National Guard's 103rd Fighter Wing fly in formation behind a KC-135

Connecticut’s “Yankee Watch” Squadron Protects the Skies Here and Abroad

Based in Orange, the 103rd Air Control Squadron of the... …[more]

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

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. …[more]

John Warner Barber, Public square or green, in New Haven

A Separate Place: The New Haven Colony, 1638-1665

In 1638, Puritan leader John Davenport led a group of settlers out of Boston, ultimately founding what became the New Haven Colony. …[more]

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. …[more]

Picking Tobacco in the Connecticut River Valley

Literacy Tests and the Right To Vote

Connecticut was the first state to require a literacy test of would-be voters and, even as the practice came under fire as a tool of discrimination, the state held steady until 1970.  …[more]

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.  …[more]

Results of Halloween pranks, Windsor

Past Hallowe’en Pranks Bemused Some and Frustrated Others

Jack o’ lanterns, cider, masquerades, witches, and ghosts—many of the... …[more]

Charles De Wolf Brownell, Charter Oak

Hiding the Charter: Images of Joseph Wadsworth’s Legendary Action

Overshadowed by the famed oak, Joseph Wadsworth, “the hero of the Charter,” has become the Rodney Dangerfield of Connecticut history—he doesn’t get any respect—or much recognition. …[more]

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. …[more]

Witchcraft in Connecticut

Well before the Salem trials, Connecticut residents were executing "witches." Connecticut is home to what was most likely the first execution of its kind in colonial America. …[more]

Birthplace of Seth Thomas

Seth Thomas Works Around the Clock in Wolcott

Seth Thomas was a Connecticut native who became a pioneer... …[more]

Currier & Ives, The drunkards progress. From the first glass to the grave

The Temperance Movement in Connecticut – Today in History: October 27

Wo to Drunkards – Increase Mather On October 27, 1841,... …[more]

American Actor Changes 19th-Century Theater – Who Knew?

Hartford-born William Gillette, known best for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in film and theater, was also a successful playwright. His 1886 Civil War drama, Held by the Enemy, earned accolades from British critics and audiences and helped change perceptions of American art forms overseas. …[more]

Igor Sikorsky in the VS-300

Igor Sikorsky Dies – Today in History: October 26

On October 26, 1972, aviation pioneer Igor Ivanovich Sikorsky died... …[more]

Congressional pugilists

Roger Griswold: A Governor Not Afraid To Challenge Authority

Roger Griswold was a lawyer, judge, and politician who spent... …[more]

Goodspeed Opera House, East Haddam

Goodspeed Opera House Opens – Today in History: October 24

On October 24, 1877, the Goodspeed Opera House on the... …[more]

Hartford and New Haven: A Tale of Two Capitals

Before the expense of having two capital cities became too great, both Hartford and New Haven served that function. Hartford became the sole capital in 1875. …[more]

Map detail from Turnpikes of Connecticut,

Oxford: From Paths to Pikes

When colonists first settled around Oxford, Connecticut, roads consisted of... …[more]

Yung Wing

Avon’s Educational and Cultural Pioneer

Yung Wing was the first Chinese student to graduate from... …[more]

Westport Country Playhouse

Broadway Comes to Westport

The Westport Country Playhouse is a theater meant to provide... …[more]

Sloop-of-War Ship’s Figurehead Lands at State Capitol

A figurehead from the USS Hartford currently resides at the Connecticut State Capitol and serves as a reminder of the state's rich maritime heritage. …[more]

View on the Erie Canal

Benjamin Wright: The Father of American Civil Engineering

Benjamin Wright helped build transportation and canal systems in the... …[more]

Gravestones, Old Burying Ground, Hartford

The Art of Burying the Dead: Exploring Connecticut’s Historic Cemeteries

From winged death's heads to weeping willows, gravestone carvings in Connecticut's historic cemeteries reflect changing attitudes toward mourning and memorialization.  …[more]

Sandbagging at the Stanley P. Rockwell Co

The Flood That We Forget: October 15 and 16, 1955

When we speak of the “Flood of 1955,” we should remind ourselves that two separate floods, one in August and a second one in October, occurred.  …[more]

Vietnam Protests in Connecticut

Opposition to the war in Vietnam manifested itself in Connecticut in many of the same ways it did across the country. The most extensive protests occurred in 1969 and 1970. …[more]

New Haven: What Was Everyday Life Like During the Civil War?

Questions? We get a lot of them and some of... …[more]

Beacon Falls Rubber Shoe Company

Beacon Falls Rubber Shoe Company Puts Best Foot Forward

Father and son George and Tracy Lewis not only founded... …[more]

Improved Centrifugal Governor

Portland Improves the Steam Engine

Thomas R. Pickering, an engineer, ran a factory power plant... …[more]

Howard Chandler Christy, Signing of the Constitution

The US Constitutional Convention: America Forms a Bicameral Legislature

In the summer of 1787, Connecticut delegate helped shape the drafting of the US Constitution through his proposal for a bicameral legislature. …[more]

Learn More

Websites

Connecticut State Library. “Connecticut in World War I,” 2016. Link.
Connecticut State Library. “World War I Veterans Database,” 2016. Link.

Video

Once Upon a Time in Old Lyme the Story of an American Art Colony. DVD. Old Lyme, CT: Florence Griswold Museum, 2007.

Places

“Fairfield Museum and History Center,” 2016. Link.
“Florence Griswold Museum,” 2017. Link.
“Greenwich Historical Society,” 2017. Link.
Gunn Memorial Library & Museum. “Gunn Historical Museum,” 2017. Link.
Hartford Public Library. “Hartford History Center,” 2016. Link
“Mattatuck Museum,” 2017. Link.
“Naugatuck Historical Society,” 2016. Link.
“New Britain Industrial Museum,” 2017. Link.
“New England Air Museum,” 2016. Link.
Norwich Free Academy. “Slater Memorial Museum,” 2017. Link.
Connecticut State Library. “The Museum of Connecticut History,” 2017. Link.
“The Wadsworth Atheneum,” 2017. Link.
U.S. National Park Service. “Weir Farm National Historic Site,” 2016. Link.
“Weston Historical Society,” 2017. Link.

Documents

CRIS Radio. “Audio: World War I Archives, Diaries of World War I Servicemen from Connecticut, Charles F. Watrous - Audio Access for People Who Are Blind or Print-Challenged,” 2016. Link.
Library of Congress -  Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. “Digital Collection - Lewis Hine Photographs,” 2016. Link.
Connecticut State Library. “Digital Collections: World War I,” 2016. Link.
Connecticut State Library. “Finding Aid to the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association Inventory of Records,” 2016. Link.
“Guide to Digitized Newspaper Content - Play, Recreation, and Childhood in Progressive Era Connecticut.” Connecticut Digital Newspaper Project, 2016. Link.
Connecticut Digital Newspaper Project. “Guide to Digitized Newspaper Content - The American Labor Party Movement in Connecticut, 1918-1921,” 2016. Link.
“Guide to Digitized Newspaper Content: Free Speech & Seditious Speech in World War I Era Connecticut.” Connecticut State Library, Connecticut Digital Newspaper Project, 2016. Link.
Connecticut History Illustrated. “Images - Savin Rock, Connecticut,” 2016. Link.
US Department of State - Office of the Historian. “Milestones: 1899-1913; The United States, Cuba, and the Platt Amendment, 1901,” 2016. Link.
“Treaty Between the United States and the Republic of Cuba Embodying the Provisions Defining Their Future Relations as Contained in the Act of Congress Approved March 2, 1901.” National Archives and Records Service, May 22, 1903. Link.

Books

Thornton, Steve. A Shoeleather History of the Wobblies: Stories of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) in Connecticut. Boston, MA: Red Sun Press, 2013.
“An Act Regulating the Speed of Motor Vehicles.” In Public Acts Passed by the General Assembly of the State of Connecticut in the Year 1901. Hartford, CT: Belknap & Warfield, 1901. Link.
Albert E. Van Dusen. “Connecticut During World War I.” In Connecticut. New York, NY: Random House, 1964.
Connecticut State Highway Department, and Tercentenary Commission of Connecticut. Forty Years of Highway Development in Connecticut, 1895-1935. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1935.
Heming, Arthur Henry Howard. Miss Florence and the Artists of Old Lyme. Essex, CT: Pequot Press, 1971.
Greenfield, Briann. Out of the Attic: Inventing Antiques in Twentieth-Century New England. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2009.
Murray, Robert K. Red Scare: A Study in National Hysteria, 1919-1920. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1980.
Connecticut Daughters of the American Revolution, and Elizabeth C. Barney Buel. Report of War Work of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Connecticut During the Great World War, from August 15, 1914-November 11, 1918, with Supplemental Reports Since the Signing of the Armistice, to and Including June, 1919. Meriden, CT: Connecticut Daughters of the American Revolution, 1919. Link.
Reynolds, Edith. Savin Rock Amusement Park. Charleston,  SC: Arcadia, 2006.
Arcari, Ralph D., and Hudson Birden. The 1918 Influenza Epidemic in Connecticut. Vol. 38. New Haven, CT: Association for the Study of Connecticut History, 1999.
Larkin, Susan G. The Cos Cob Art Colony: The Impressionists on the Connecticut Shore. New York; New Haven, CT: National Academy of Design; Yale University Press, 2001.
Pope, Albert. The Movement for Better Roads. Boston, MA: Pope Manufacturing Company, 1892. Link.
Nichols, Carole. Votes and More for Women: Suffrage and After in Connecticut. New York: Institute for Research in History: Haworth Press, 1983.
Fraser, Bruce. “Yankees at War: Social Mobilization on the Connecticut Homefront 1917-1918.” Columbia University, 1976.

Articles

“A New Flying Machine.” Scientific American 84 (June 1901): 357. Link.
Leukhardt, Bill. “Sgt. Stubby, The Canine World War I Hero from New Haven.” Hartford Courant. May 27, 2014, sec. Moments In History | Courant 250. Link.
Johnson, Charles. “The Negro Population of Hartford, Connecticut.” Department of Research and Investigations of the National Urban League, 1921. Link.
Leach, Gene. “The Scandalous Luna Park.” Connecticut Explored, Summer 2013. Link.