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.
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]
Mean-spirited, repressed souls or persecuted refugees and rugged egalitarians? Connecticut's state historian sets the record straight. …[more]
On November 21, 1785, physician and physiologist William Beaumont, who... …[more]
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 III was a distinguished scholar and public servant... …[more]
On November 18, 1820, Nathaniel Brown Palmer of Stonington, Connecticut,... …[more]
On November 17, 1917, the J.B. Williams Company of Glastonbury... …[more]
Charles Kaman, an inventor and aviation pioneer, managed to combine... …[more]
Lack of refrigeration and higher bacteria counts in tidal waters once made summer months a dangerous time to eat oysters. …[more]
His mobiles, stabiles, and constellations are featured in museum collections around the world. …[more]
The story of the Foreign Mission School connects the town... …[more]
In the immediate aftermath of World War II, Thomas Joseph... …[more]
On November 8, 1904, Harvey Hubbell II patented the first... …[more]
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]
Based in Orange, the 103rd Air Control Squadron of the... …[more]
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]
Jack o’ lanterns, cider, masquerades, witches, and ghosts—many of the... …[more]
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]
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]
Wo to Drunkards – Increase Mather On October 27, 1841,... …[more]
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]
Roger Griswold was a lawyer, judge, and politician who spent... …[more]
On October 24, 1877, the Goodspeed Opera House on the... …[more]
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]
Benjamin Wright helped build transportation and canal systems in the... …[more]
From winged death's heads to weeping willows, gravestone carvings in Connecticut's historic cemeteries reflect changing attitudes toward mourning and memorialization. …[more]
Questions? We get a lot of them and some of... …[more]
Father and son George and Tracy Lewis not only founded... …[more]
In the summer of 1787, Connecticut delegate helped shape the drafting of the US Constitution through his proposal for a bicameral legislature. …[more]
An author of the Connecticut Compromise, Roger Sherman is also the only person to have signed all four of the most significant documents in our nation’s early history. …[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.