November 2: The “Best Built Car in America” Hits the Road

  On this day in 1902, the Locomobile Company of America delivered its first four-cylinder, gasoline-powered car, designed by engineer and former racecar driver Andrew Riker, who personally drove the $4,000 car from Bridgeport, Connecticut to New York City to present it to its new owner. The Locomobile Company, whose headquarters and main factory were…

November 1: The Wilbur Cross Parkway Opens

  Today in 1949, ten long years after construction first began, the Wilbur Cross Parkway finally opened to the public following a formal ceremony in at the brand-new West Rock Tunnel in West Haven.  There, Lieutenant Governor William T. Carroll proclaimed the newest stretch of Route 15, named after Connecticut’s popular governor who led the…

October 30: Yung Wing, Chinese-American Educational Pioneer

  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 Connecticut Courant Published

  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 nephew…

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, after 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…

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

  On this day 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…

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 had a significant impact on 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…

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…