November 1: The Wilbur Cross Parkway Opens

  Today in 1949, 10 long years after construction first began, the Wilbur Cross Parkway finally opened to the public following a formal ceremony at the brand-new West Rock Tunnel adjacent to the New Haven-Woodbridge town line. There, after a motorcade procession through the 1200-foot-long tunnel,  Lieutenant Governor William T. Carroll proclaimed the newest stretch…

October 31: Connecticut’s Greatest Legend Happened Today…. or Did It?

  One of the most important symbols in Connecticut history is the Charter Oak – the giant, gnarled oak tree that represents Connecticut’s “steady habit” of self-rule and resistance against tyranny. Depictions and namesakes of the Charter Oak are plentiful throughout the state: schools, streets, social organizations, parks, Connecticut’s state quarter, and even a brewery…

October 30: Yung Wing and the Chinese Educational Mission

  Born in 1828 to a poor farming family in Macau, Yung Wing was sent to attend foreign missionary schools in southern China at a young age, in hopes that learning English would lead young Wing to a more prosperous career path. In 1847, when Yung was 19 years old, he accompanied his former headmaster…

October 29: The First Issue of the Country’s “Oldest” Newspaper

  In October of 1764, 29-year-old Thomas Green, a fourth-generation printer, suddenly found himself out of a job working at the Connecticut Gazette print shop in New Haven. The Gazette, Connecticut’s very first newspaper, had been established several years earlier by the enterprising Benjamin Franklin, who had just sacked Green in order to install his…

October 28: The Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association Formed

  On this day in 1869, at a meeting in Hartford attended by civil rights luminaries including Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and William Lloyd Garrison, Isabella Beecher Hooker and her husband John formally established the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association. Isabella was born into the famous Beecher clan of Litchfield in 1822. She and…

October 26: Hartford’s Underwood Typewriters Speed Past the Competition

  The first few decades of the 20th century were heady years for the American typewriter industry.  The invention of portable typing machines in the late 1800s revolutionized the business world by making clerical work faster, cheaper, and easier. Connecticut was home to several of the world’s most popular and innovative typewriter companies during that…

October 25: The Final Voyage of the Bounty

  The HMS Bounty is undoubtedly one of the most famous and storied sailing vessels in history, capturing the world’s imagination ever since the original British ship was the site of a famous mutiny against Captain William Bligh in 1789 in the South Pacific. Even though the original HMS Bounty was destroyed in 1790, a…

October 24: Baseball Legend Jackie Robinson Dies in Stamford

  Today in 1972, baseball legend Jackie Robinson passed away at his longtime home in Stamford, Connecticut. Today, Robinson is a household name, best known as the first African-American to play Major League Baseball and as one of the greatest all-around players of the game in American history. In 1947, when he was drafted by…

October 23: The First Protestant Missionaries to the Hawaiian Islands

  During the first quarter of the 19th century, the tidal wave of Protestant Christian revivalism known as the Second Great Awakening transformed Connecticut’s social and cultural landscape. New Protestant denominations finally gained a foothold in the once exclusively Congregational state, church attendance among all sects dramatically increased, and scores of young Connecticut men and…

October 22: From Yankee Peddler to Railroad Tycoon

  Collis Potter Huntington was born on this day in 1822, the sixth of nine children born to William and Elizabeth Huntington of Harwinton, Connecticut. The Huntington family, owners of a farm in a section of Harwinton fittingly known as “Poverty Hollow,” constantly struggled to make ends meet, forcing Collis to set off on his…

October 21: Connecticans Celebrate 400th Anniversary of Columbus’ Arrival

  At a time when immigrants – many from Italy – were pouring into America in numbers that seriously alarmed the “old stock” descendants of the original Puritan settlers, the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s even-then-disputed “discovery” of America proved an ideal time for Connecticans to assess the contributions of newcomers while expressing a common patriotism….