September 22: Nathan Hale Hanged as a Spy

  In early September 1776, the Continental Army was enduring some of the darkest days it would ever encounter in the entire Revolutionary War.  George Washington and his troops had just been soundly defeated in the Battle of Brooklyn, and had just barely escaped annihilation during their retreat.  It looked more and more likely that…

September 21: The Treaty of Hartford Ends the Pequot War

  On this day in 1638, an “agreement between the English in Connecticutt and the Indian Sachems” was signed in Hartford, marking the end of the Pequot War which had ravaged both the English and Indian inhabitants of the colony of Connecticut for sixteen bloody months. On May 1, 1637, leaders among the English settlers…

September 20: Establishing Connecticut’s Presence at the Big E

  One of the most enduring and beloved examples of New England regionalism is the annual Eastern States Exposition fair, colloquially known as “The Big E.”  Whereas most other states in the U.S. feature their own state fairs in the summer or fall seasons, the Big E represents all six New England states in one…

September 19: Remembering Old Saybrook’s “Battle of the Books”

  In 1701, the Connecticut General Assembly passed an act establishing a “Collegiate School” in hopes of creating a place “wherein Youth may be instructed in the Arts and Sciences who [through] the blessing of Almighty God may be fitted for [public] employment both in Church & Civil State.”  For the first several years of…

September 18: Twain Becomes a Mark for Local Thieves

  In the later years of his life, famous American author and satirist Samuel Langhorne Clemens — better known as Mark Twain — savored the tranquil days spent at his Italianate mansion in Redding, Connecticut.  Initially named “Innocents at Home” as an homage to his famous novel Innocents Abroad, Twain soon renamed his new home…

September 17: Soldiers & Sailors Arch Dedicated in Hartford

  On September 17, 1886 — the 24th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam — thousands of spectators and Civil War veterans gathered in Hartford to partake in the dedication of the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch in Bushnell Park.  Hartford’s Memorial Arch was the first permanent triumphal arch memorial in the United States, and…

September 16: Lt. Col. Thomas Knowlton Killed at the Battle of Harlem Heights

  On this day in 1776, one of Connecticut’s most valiant heroes of the Revolutionary War, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Knowlton, died while commanding his men at the Battle of Harlem Heights in New York City.  Born in Massachusetts but raised in Ashford, Connecticut since early childhood, Knowlton was a seasoned veteran who had served under…

September 15: Connecticans to Vote on a New State Constitution

  On September 15, 1818, three weeks after they first assembled at the state house in Hartford, delegates voted 134 to 61 to approve a newly-written state constitution and submit it to a vote of the people of Connecticut for ratification.  In a particularly radical, last-minute twist, the delegates also voted to require only a…

September 14: Connecticut Ratifies the 19th Amendment

  On this day in 1920, nearly 52 years after they first convened to fight for women’s right to vote, members of the Connecticut Women’s Suffrage Association watched as the Connecticut General Assembly finally ratified the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave all American women the right to vote. For decades, Connecticut suffragists…

September 13: Union General John Sedgwick Born in Cornwall

  One of Connecticut’s most influential Civil War figures, Major General John Sedgwick, was born in Cornwall on this day in 1813.  After attending prestigious academies in Sharon and Cheshire, Sedgwick attended West Point and graduated as a member of the Class of 1837 alongside several other future generals who would serve on both sides…

September 11: 9/11 Terrorist Attacks Hit Close to Home

  On this day in Connecticut history, we remember the victims of the worst tragedy to hit American soil in recent memory. On September 11, 2001, the course of United States history was forever altered as terrorists hijacked four commercial airliners, crashing two into the Twin Towers in New York City, one into the Pentagon…