July 21: Testing the World’s First Military Submarine — in 1776

  While Connecticut has been home to an outsized share of American innovators and creative geniuses, few of them have had as long-lasting an impact as David Bushnell, inventor of the Turtle — the world’s first combat submarine. Born in Saybrook in 1740, Bushnell decided at age 30 to sell his share of the family…

July 20: Reverend Sun Myung Moon Arrested in Danbury

  Sun Myung Moon, the late 20th century Korean evangelist whose Unification Church once claimed over 3 million members worldwide, was a figure dogged by controversy throughout his entire life.  Born in occupied North Korea in 1920, Moon developed strong anti-Communist views as an adult and founded the Unification Church in Seoul, South Korea, so…

July 19: The American Impressionist Movement Blooms in Ridgefield

  Located in Ridgefield, Connecticut, the Weir Farm National Historic Site memorializes the life and historic contributions of J. Alden Weir, one of the most iconic painters of the American Impressionist movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Born in 1852 to a prosperous family, Weir showed artistic promise at an early age…

July 18: Hammonasset State Park Opens to the Public

  Hammonasset Beach State Park, Connecticut’s largest public beach and one of the state’s most popular attractions, first opened to the public on this day in 1920.  Located in Madison, Hammonasset features a continuous two-mile-long stretch of sandy beaches that line a shoreline peninsula that juts southward into Long Island Sound. Before opening to the…

July 17: The First Annual Nutmeg Games

  As the largest amateur multi-sport event in Connecticut, the Nutmeg State Games have promoted camaraderie, healthy competition, and the Olympic spirit among student athletes for over thirty years.  On July 17, 1986, the first Nutmeg State Games took place as 300 amateur athletes gathered in Canton, Connecticut to compete against each other in a…

July 16: The “Connecticut Compromise” Saves the U.S. Constitution

  On this day in 1787, the vision of a new federal government for the fledgling United States of America was saved from the scrap heap of history as the delegates to the Constitutional Convention narrowly voted to adopt a key provision known as the Connecticut Compromise (or, alternately, the Great Compromise). For weeks, delegates…

July 15: Creating the Largest Lake in Connecticut

  With an area of 8.4 square miles and over 60 miles of coastline, Candlewood Lake is the largest lake in the state of Connecticut.  Located in five towns and straddling both Litchfield and Fairfield counties, its shores are also home to some of the state’s highest-priced real estate and have served as a recreational…

July 14: A Tale of Two Tape Measures

  On July 14, 1868, Alvin Fellows of New Haven, Connecticut received a patent for his spring-loaded, locking tape measure.  While Fellows certainly wasn’t the first to conceive of using demarcated strips of metal tape as a measuring tool, his unique design featured significant improvements over previous tape measures and was the first to resemble…

July 13: Connecticut Suffragists Appeal to Woodrow Wilson

  On July 13, 1918, the morning edition of the Hartford Courant featured a rousing account of rallies held throughout the state by women demanding action on the proposed nineteenth amendment to the U.S. Constitution — the amendment that would guarantee women the right to vote. In Hartford, speeches were given at City Hall and…

July 12: Buckminster Fuller’s Car of the Future

  R. Buckminster Fuller, an inventor, architect, author, and futurist best known for his popularization of the geodesic dome, was one of the most prolific public intellectuals of the early 20th century. In the early 1930s, Fuller coined the word “Dymaxion” — a portmanteau of the words “dynamic,” “maximum,” and “tension” — and applied it…

July 11: The Voyage of the Neptune

On this day in 1799, the merchant ship Neptune sailed into New Haven harbor after an absence of two years and eight months with the most lucrative haul of cargo Connecticut had ever seen. Captained by New Haven native Daniel Green, the Neptune set sail in late 1797 with a crew of 45 “young, sturdy,…

July 10: Connecticut’s Worst Tornado Outbreak

  On this day in Connecticut history, the worst recorded tornado outbreak in state history tore through the state, as multiple twisters killed two people, devastated a historic forest, and left behind numerous trails of destruction in their wake. While local meteorologists had warned local residents about the high potential for severe weather on July…