Locomotive number 14 from the Central New England Railway Co

Detail of Locomotive number 14 with workers from the Central New England Railway Co., 1906 – University of Connecticut Libraries, Thomas J. Dodd Research Center and Connecticut History Illustrated

The Industrial United States (1870–1900)

The late 19th century was a period characterized by innovation, racial tension, and labor unrest in America. A country characterized since its birth by its constant expansion into the wilderness, America began looking inward after acknowledging the demise of the American frontier. The explosive growth of railroads, oil, steel, and other industries facilitated by men such as Collis Huntington and J. P. Morgan led to growing disparities in wealth that soon caught the attention of “muckraker” journalists such as Ida Tarbell. Communications expanded with the New Haven opening of the country’s first telephone exchange in 1878, while Connecticut writers and reformers such as Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe sought to entertain while also informing the American public about the social injustices of the Gilded Age.

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Rescue Scene, Hurricane, September 1938

The Great Hurricane of 1938 – Today in History: September 21

The most devastating hurricane in New England history. …[more]

Red Cross Emergency Ambulance Station

The Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918

For those who lived through the 1918 flu, life was never same. John Delano of New Haven recalled, "The neighborhood changed. People changed. Everything changed." …[more]

Connecticut’s Chickamauga Tree: An Investigation

The Connecticut State Capitol displays part of a tree with a cannonball lodged in it. While it is believed to be a remnant of the battle at Chickamauga Creek during the Civil War, evidence exists suggesting the artifact may have been fabricated for the purpose of commercial sale. …[more]

Climax Fuse Company, 1899

Avon Industry: From Underground to Outerspace

The Climax Fuse Company manufactured safety fuse, a type of... …[more]

Battle Flag Parade, Hartford, Connecticut, September 17, 1879

A Day of Celebration – Today in History: September 17

September 17, 1879 was a day of celebration in the City of Hartford when more than 100,000 people came to the city to celebrate Battle Flag Day with a grand parade and celebration of Connecticut’s Civil War veterans. …[more]

Enoch Smith Woods, Colonel Thomas Knowlton

Thomas Knowlton: A Small Town’s National Hero

Thomas Knowlton is arguably Ashford’s most widely recognized war hero.... …[more]

Red Cross Headquarters, Hurricane of 1944

The Great Atlantic Hurricane Hits Connecticut

Applying lessons learned from the Hurricane of 1938, Connecticut made extensive preparations before the arrival of a similar storm in 1944. …[more]

FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive poster of Victor Manuel Gerena

Financing a Free Puerto Rico: The Great Wells Fargo Heist of 1983

On September 12, 1983, an employee at the Wells Fargo depot in West Hartford, Connecticut, committed what was, at the time, the largest cash robbery in American history. …[more]

Second Congregational Church, Greenwich

Bucket Brigade to the Rescue – Today in History: September 12

On September 12, 1873, the bell in the Episcopal Church... …[more]

Combate de Cavite, 10 de Mayo 1898

The Colvocoresses Oak

Litchfield remembers the Spanish-American War's Battle of Manila Bay. …[more]

Combat between the Frigate Constitution and the British Frigate Guerriere

A Patriotic Legacy in Print

Two hundred years ago, on September 10, 1813, the US captured six vessels from the British Royal Navy, the most powerful maritime force in the world. …[more]

Sol Lewitt, Certificate of Ownership and Diagram Wall Drawing #614

Painter, Muralist, Sculptor Sol LeWitt born – Today in History: September 9

On September 9, 1928, the American artist Sol LeWitt was... …[more]

Aerial view of Connecticut State Prison

Wethersfield Prison Blues

In September 1827, the newly constructed Connecticut State Prison in... …[more]

Greased pole, Labor Day picnic, Colt Park, Hartford

Labor Day at the Turn of the 20th Century

In February of 1889, the Connecticut General Assembly passed a... …[more]

Fort Griswold, 1781

Fort Griswold Attacked – Today in History: September 6

On September 6, 1781, British forces overtook Fort Griswold and,... …[more]

General Nathaniel Lyon

From the State Historian: The Final Journey of Nathaniel Lyon

The first Union general to die in the Civil War, this soldier from Eastford received national attention as mourners from Missouri to Connecticut gathered to pay tribute. …[more]

Straitsville Schoolhouse, Naugatuck

Child Labor vs. Schooling in 19th-century Naugatuck

The Naugatuck school system today consists of 11 public schools... …[more]

Prudence Crandall

State Heroine Prudence Crandall

Prudence Crandall was born in 1803 in Hopkinton, Rhode Island,... …[more]

Hartford’s Les Payne, Trailblazing Journalist

Les Payne grew up in Hartford and became one of the best-known African-American journalists in the United States. …[more]

Horse race, Goshen Fair, 1911

Goshen Fairs Well with Agricultural Enthusiasts

The town of Goshen plays an important role in connecting... …[more]

The southeast block of West Street, Litchfield as it looked in the Civil War era, 1867

The Peace Movement in Litchfield

Connecticut saw no combat on its soil during the Civil War. Yet, the conflict left its mark on the state in ways that historians are still sorting out. This account details the war's impact on two Connecticut towns.  …[more]

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

Joshua Hempsted Born – Today in History: September 1

On September 1, 1678, Joshua Hempsted was born in New... …[more]

Poli's Palace Theatre, Waterbury

Sylvester Poli, Negotiating Cultural Politics in an Age of Immigration

This Italian-born businessman and New England theater magnate also helped the working poor in New Haven’s immigrant communities at the turn of the 20th century.  …[more]

Silkworms, Cheney Brothers, Manchester

Connecticut’s Mulberry Craze

In pursuit of silk thread, the state went crazy for mulberry trees. …[more]

Halladay’s Revolutionary Windmill – Today in History: August 29

On August 29, 1854, Daniel Halladay a machinist, inventor, and... …[more]

Horses crossing the finish line at Charter Oak Park

And They’re Off!: Harness Racing at Charter Oak Park

The day was cool and 10,000 spectators crowded the stands at Charter Oak Park to see a come-from-behind victory as Alcryon left the other trotters in the dust.  …[more]

Nicholas Grillo and his Thornless Rose

Nicholas Grillo was a self-made floriculturist who earned international acclaim for developing the world’s first thornless hybrid tea rose. …[more]

Honiss Oyster House, Hartford

Oystering in Connecticut, from Colonial Times to the 21st Century

Why tasty Crassostrea virginica deserves its honored title as state shellfish.  …[more]

Caleb Brewster and the Culper Spy Ring

Caleb Brewster used his knowledge of Long Island Sound to serve as a member of the Culper Spy Ring during the Revolutionary War. …[more]

Steam tugboat J. W. Coultston, ca.1890s

The Great River: Connecticut’s Main Stream

Highway. Barrier. Resource. Sewer. Over the centuries each of these names has been used to describe one of the defining feature's of the state's landscape.  …[more]

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. …[more]

Trinity College, Hartford, CT

Trinity College – Scholarship and Community Engagement

Founded in 1823, Trinity College has evolved alongside the city of Hartford for nearly 200 years.  …[more]

Portland Passenger Bridge, ca. 1906

The Longest Highway Drawbridge – Who Knew?

… that in 1896, when the Middletown and Portland Bridge... …[more]

Pier at Savin Rock, West Haven, 1905

Savin Rock Park: “Connecticut’s Coney Island”

Savin Rock Park was a seaside resort constructed in the... …[more]

Detail of an advertisement for Connecticut Pies, 1913

The Pie Man from Georgetown and the Connecticut ~ Copperthite Pie Company

More than just a wagon driver and Civil War veteran, Henry Copperthite built a pie empire that started in Connecticut. …[more]

United States Army dirigible with crowd of onlookers

Airborne Pioneers: Connecticut Takes Flight

Daring flights and first-of-a-kind inventions mark the state’s 200-plus-year history of taking to the skies.  …[more]

Torrington Recovers after the Flood of ‘55

In August of 1955, two hurricanes that moved through Connecticut... …[more]

Eighteen-hundred-and-froze-to-death: 1816, The Year Without a Summer

Sunspots and volcanic eruptions led to cooler than normal temperatures in the summer of 1816. The cold weather decimated harvests and encouraged many residents to head West into the area of modern Ohio. …[more]

Frame for Indian round house

Living Rituals: Mohegan Wigwam Festival

The Wigwam festival is a modern version of the ancient Mohegan Thanksgiving for the Corn Harvest, or Green Corn Festival. …[more]

Work on foundation of the Bulkeley Bridge

The Sand Hogs Set the Foundation for the Bulkeley Bridge

Toiling in dangerous conditions beneath the Connecticut River's surface for only $2.50 a day, African American workers dug the foundation for the Bulkeley Bridge. …[more]

Connecticut History Day 2021: Communication in History

The of exchange of words, thoughts, and ideas also lay behind some of the most monumental events that happened right here in Connecticut …[more]

Collision on the Housatonic Railroad near Bridgeport

Horror on the Housatonic: The Railroad Disaster of August 1865

Despite measures to ensure the safe operation of railroad trains traveling in opposite directions on single-track lines, things sometimes went wrong—with deadly results. …[more]

Discovery of mastodon bones on the farm of Ms. Theodate Riddle

Mastodon Bones Unearthed – Today in History: August 13

On August 13, 1913, workmen unearthed the skeleton of a... …[more]

Flood damage to railroad tracks, Derby, 1955

Hurricanes Connie & Diane Deliver Double Hit – Who Knew?

…that Hurricanes Connie and Diane, which struck within days of... …[more]

Intertwining Family Businesses

Emory Johnson, a farmer from Chatham, Connecticut, moved to East Haddam and operated one of the area's most successful businesses of the late 19th century. …[more]

Contagious Ward, Greenwich General Hospital, 1916

Health Department Fights Unseen Enemies During World War I

How Greenwich faced the menace of two highly contagious and potentially deadly diseases: polio and Spanish Influenza. …[more]

The Stonington Battle Flag

The Stonington Battle Flag

On August 10, 1814, during a lull in the attack by the British on Stonington, citizens nailed a large US flag–a banner of defiance–to a pole above the battery. …[more]

The Entrance to Pope Park

Pope Park – Yesterday and Today

Once the proposed site of Albert Pope's industrial village, Pope Park has served the recreation needs of the Hartford community for over one hundred years. …[more]

Detail from a New York Times article August 11, 1886

The Shoe Box Murder Mystery

On the morning of August 8, 1886, on a walk through the Parker farm district of Wallingford, Edward Terrill and his dog uncovered what appeared to be a box of a dozen shoes that had recently fallen from a cart.  …[more]

Faulkner’s Island

Improving Sea Transportation: Guilford Goes About it the Light Way

Approximately 3 ½ miles off the coast of Guilford lies... …[more]

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