September 22: The Man Who Proved You Are What You Eat

  Wilbur Olin Atwater, who died today in 1907, was a nineteenth-century pioneer in nutrition science who talked about food and metabolism 150 years ago in a way that would seem totally at home on the pages of a health magazine or nutrition brochure today. The son of a New York minister and librarian, Atwater…

September 8: “Old Nan” Comes to the End of the Line

  When  Amtrak’s Northeast Regional train 67  crossed the Niantic River  on its nighttime  run from Boston to New York at 11:39 p.m. on September 7, 2012, it was the last train ever to travel on “Old Nan,” the 105 year old railroad drawbridge  between East Lyme and Waterford,  a historic “choke point” on the nation’s busiest rail line.  At…

August 31: Hurricane Carol, A Storm So Devastating They Stopped Using Its Name

  After living through 10 consecutive years without a single hurricane, complacent Connecticans and all New Enganders  received a rude and disastrous awakening the morning of August 31, 1954, when giant Category 5 hurricane Carol, with winds gusting to 130 miles per hour, moved swiftly across Long Island, and then slammed into the area between…

July 14: Bridgeport Throws Express Train 172 a Deadly Curve

  Whenever a train approached Bridgeport’s “Jenkins Curve,” the sharpest curve of the New Haven Railroad system, safety regulations required the engineer to slow down to 30 mph. At 3:42 in the morning of July 14, 1955, however, the driver of  New Haven Railroad’s express train 172, from New York City to Boston, inexplicably continued…

June 17: The First Black Playwright To “Take a Giant Step” to Broadway

  Award-winning playwright and filmmaker Louis Peterson spent his career creating dramatic stories that explored conflict and relationships especially as they turned around issues of race. He achieved a number of firsts, becoming the first Black playwright to have his work produced on Broadway and one of the first Black Emmy nominees – but before…

June 15 Connecticut’s First Television Station Takes to the Airwaves.

  Today in 1948, Connecticut’s first television station WNHC-TV, Channel 6  (now WTNH Channel 8) began broadcasting in New Haven. The introduction of this new media to Connecticut was the  brainchild of Aldo DeDomenicis, an Italian pasta-wholesaler who had previously found success buying radio time on Italian programs and selling that time as radio ads…

June 13: An Old New England Tradition Goes International

  Today in 1914, the people of Manchester turned a time-honored New England tradition on its head.  Rather than celebrating Old Home Days – an annual event held in communities across New England  to  bring  emigrated Yankees back for a visit to their “Old Home” town –  the city celebrated “Homeland Day,” where  Manchester’s foreign-born…

June 11: UCONN’s 1st Black Basketball Player

  Harrison “Honey” Fitch, arrived on the University of Connecticut (then Connecticut State College) in the fall of 1932 and he made a solid impression, fast. Fitch, the first Black basketball player for the University of Connecticut (then Connecticut State College) and at the time the only Black student,  had already earned the nickname “Honey” for…

April 26: Sarah Boone Gets a Patent For a Better Way to Iron

  Today in 1892, African American inventor Sarah Boone of New Haven patented an ironing board, which was the precursor to the modern appliance residing in many of our homes today. When Sarah Boon was living in New Haven, the fashion of the time was for women to wear corsets. Since the late-1800s, New Haven…