Just one hundred years ago, in 1913, forward-looking legislators in Connecticut began planning for the preservation of places of natural beauty and historic interest throughout the state, so that they might be enjoyed by future generations. While the state park system, like the federal national park system, intended to maintain these properties in their natural state, the parks were also meant to be used by the public for hiking, swimming, picnicking, and other forms of outdoor recreat... read more
Connecticut’s response to the firing on Fort Sumter and Lincoln’s call for three-month volunteer troops was immediate and significant. Throughout the state, men of military age enlisted for what most people thought was going to be simply a show of strength that would dissuade southerners from supporting secession.
In the months following the sobering Union defeat at the first battle of Bull Run in July 1861, additional units were recruited. In the summer of 1862, yet another infantry reg... read more
By 1781 it was becoming apparent to both sides that outright British victory in the American Revolution was unlikely, in part due to the commitment of French troops and other resources that would culminate in the successful Yorktown campaign in October 1781.
Connecticut native Benedict Arnold... read more
Trivia Question: In which state, besides Connecticut, does a verified grandchild of the Charter Oak tree grow? Missouri. On May 3, 1904, during the Dedication Ceremony of the Connecticut State Building at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, a seedling from the grounds of Mr. James H... read more
It’s almost September and families are flocking to the beaches to get in their last days of summer sunshine. One of Connecticut’s most popular summer spots is Rocky Neck State Park in Niantic.
The stretch of beach was not always a designated area for sunbathing, swimming, or hiking. In the 18... read more
The day was cool and 10,000 spectators crowded the stands at Charter Oak Park to see the gray stallion Alcryon come from behind to beat the great trotting mare Geneva S. and the flagging favorite Nelson in the Charter Oak Stakes on August 28, 1889.
Charter Oak Park opened in 1873 near the Har... read more
Railroad mishaps have been in the news in 2013, from the Metro-North derailment and collision in May to the runaway oil train explosion in Canada and the Spanish high speed train crash, both in July. While a broken rail is suspected in the Metro-North incident, human failure seems to be involved... read more
July 31st marks the 43rd anniversary of the Powder Ridge Rock Festival—or would if the festival had gone off as planned. Instead, it marks the 43rd anniversary of the intersection of 30,000 young people, no food or entertainment, and lots of hallucinogenic drugs.
The festival was scheduled fo... read more
On July 26, 1847, a group of settlers in a small colony on the west coast of Africa issued a Declaration of Independence, creating the independent Republic of Liberia, with a constitution based on the political principles of the United States. Many of these former African-Americans were freed sl... read more
The discovery of anesthesia is one of the major breakthroughs in medical history. From ancient times to the mid-1800s, pain from dentistry and surgery could be relieved but never eliminated. Surgery in colonial America (such as amputating a limb, removing a tumor or eye cataract, or repairing a s... read more
“The lingerie dress is one of the most vitally important items of the summer outfit” states the April 1909 edition of Harper’s Bazaar. The popularity of lingerie dresses swept western fashion between 1900 and 1920. These dresses were thin, summer-weight dresses of thin cotton, linen, and silk. ... read more
July 7th marks the birthday of one of Hartford’s most remarkable leaders whose dedication to her company, her employees and the city are still felt today… Beatrice Fox Auerbach.
Beatrice was born in Hartford in 1887, the daughter of Theresa and Moses Fox. Her husband, George Auerbach, was... read more
Private Loren Goodrich was at a camp in Western Maryland when he wrote home to family and friends. He and his comrades in the 14th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry had just been in a major battle in the small Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg. That battle was fought 150 years ago, from July 1-3, 186... read more
If you grew up in New England, there’s a good chance you have at least one memory of visiting a beach on a hot summer day. Whether you prefer a day of excitement and thrills on amusement park rides or a relaxing lounging session in the sun, you can usually find a New England beach that suits you.... read more
June 14, 2013 marks the one hundredth anniversary of the “Swing Bridge” across the Connecticut River in East Haddam, Connecticut. While most drawbridges have a section that moves up and down to accommodate river traffic, the East Haddam bridge has a section that swings open like a gate to allow... read more
For many of today’s drivers, tools like Google Maps and GPS devices have made turn-by-turn directions a familiar—even essential—part of getting from point A to point B. But this isn’t a new idea and didn’t start in Silicon Valley. In the early days of the automobile, “route guides” included turn-... read more
“The foundation of authority is laid firstly in the free consent of people.” That principle lies at the heart of the representative system by which the United States has governed itself for more than two centuries.
But when the Reverend Thomas Hooker declared those words in a sermon in Hartfo... read more
Memorial Day originated in the years following the Civil War, as a way to honor those Union and Confederate soldiers who died in that conflict. A large collection of photographs of Connecticut Civil War soldiers in the Connecticut Historical Society’s collection recalls the origins of the holiday... read more
As the weather warms up this spring, so does the lure of the open road, and all that comes with it- scenic views, the ocean breeze along the coast, and everyone’s favorite road food! While it may not be warm enough to go for a swim in Long Island Sound, it is perfect weather for a stop at one of... read more
Ella Tambussi Grasso was born to Italian immigrant parents in Windsor Locks, Connecticut on May 10, 1919. She attended the Chaffee School in Windsor and earned a scholarship to Mount Holyoke College where she earned both BA (1940) and MA (1942) degrees. At an early age, she displayed an interes... read more