Constance Baker Motley (1921-2005)
Constance Baker Motley was an attorney, and later, federal judge, who became a leading figure in the civil rights movement. Born in New Haven, she became the first black woman to attend Columbia Law School. After graduating, future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall hired her to work at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Among her many accomplishments, Motley worked to desegregate southern universities and public spaces, at times providing legal services to such notable activists as Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1964 she became the first black woman ever elected to the New York State Senate, and two years later, the first to become a federal judge after an appointment by President Lyndon Johnson. She spent much of her later life living in Chester, Connecticut.
The most devastating hurricane in New England history. …[more]
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]
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]
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]
On September 12, 1873, the bell in the Episcopal Church... …[more]
On September 9, 1928, the American artist Sol LeWitt was... …[more]
On September 6, 1781, British forces overtook Fort Griswold and,... …[more]
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]
The Naugatuck school system today consists of 11 public schools... …[more]
On September 1, 1678, Joshua Hempsted was born in New... …[more]
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]
On August 29, 1854, Daniel Halladay a machinist, inventor, and... …[more]
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]
Why tasty Crassostrea virginica deserves its honored title as state shellfish. …[more]
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]
Founded in 1823, Trinity College has evolved alongside the city of Hartford for nearly 200 years. …[more]
More than just a wagon driver and Civil War veteran, Henry Copperthite built a pie empire that started in Connecticut. …[more]
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]
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]
The of exchange of words, thoughts, and ideas also lay behind some of the most monumental events that happened right here in Connecticut …[more]
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]
On August 13, 1913, workmen unearthed the skeleton of a... …[more]
…that Hurricanes Connie and Diane, which struck within days of... …[more]
How Greenwich faced the menace of two highly contagious and potentially deadly diseases: polio and Spanish Influenza. …[more]
Approximately 3 ½ miles off the coast of Guilford lies... …[more]
Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame. “Constance Baker Motley,” 2015. Link.
Justice Is a Black Woman: The Life and Work of Constance Baker Motley. Hamden, CT: Quinnipiac University, 2012.
Rodgers, R.E. The Trials of Constance Baker Motley, 2015.
Connecticut Freedom Trail. “Constance Baker Motley House,” 2017. Link.
Smith College, Sophia Smith Collection. “Finding Aid to the Constance Baker Motley Papers, 1948-1988: MS 110,” 2015. Link.
Motley, Constance Baker. Equal Justice Under Law: An Autobiography. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1998.
Motley, Constance Baker, James K. Feibleman, and Telford Taylor. Perspectives on Justice. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1975.
Motley, Constance Baker. The Legal Aspects of the Amistad Case. New Haven, CT: New Haven Colony Historical Society, 1990.