January 3: But For a Hanging Chad, He Would Have Been Vice President

  Today in 2013, after over 40 years of public service to the people of Connecticut and having come within a few contested votes of being the nation’s first Vice President of Jewish faith, Senator Joseph Lieberman retired from politics. He decided not to run for re-election to the U.S. Senate, a decision informed, no…

January 1: March 25th Is No Longer New Year’s Day

Today in 1752, Connecticans woke up to the realization that January first was, and henceforward always would be, New Year’s Day.  The year before, and for 597 years before that,  both in Old and New England,  New Year’s Day had  fallen on March 25th. Facing a year that began in mid-winter wasn’t the only calendar…

December 31: Cutting-Edge Teamwork Turns A Starr Into A Star

  As a major in the Continental Army, Nathan Starr forged and repaired weapons as part of his service during the Revolutionary War. After the war was over, Starr returned to his hometown of Middletown, Connecticut, and made a living manufacturing blades of a different sort: mostly agricultural tools like scythes for local farmers. In…

December 30: A Winter Mutiny at “Connecticut’s Valley Forge”

  When Americans think of the hardships faced by starving, shivering Continental Army troops during the harsh winters of the Revolutionary War, they usually remember the infamous winter encampment at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania  in 1777–1778. What few realize, however, is that the eastern division of the Continental Army under the command of General Israel Putnam…

December 28: When Eastern Pennsylvania Belonged to Connecticut

  Connecticut stands today as one of the smallest states in the Union in terms of land area. But during the 17th and 18th centuries, ambitious Connecticans dreamed of expanding the colony’s control over vast swaths of territory located far to the west. Connecticut’s Royal Charter of 1662, issued by King Charles II, had originally…

December 26: The Governor Who Refused to Leave Office

  One of Connecticut’s most accomplished citizens — and governors — also had one of the state’s most unusual nicknames. Morgan G. Bulkeley — Civil War veteran, financier, insurance executive, first president of baseball’s National League, and strong-arm politician — earned himself the nickname “the Crowbar Governor,” while serving in that office in 1891.” Bulkeley…

December 25: On Christmas Morning, Mark Twain Is Troubled By a Pandemic

  December 25th, 1871 found Samuel Clemens – better known as Mark Twain – far from home, lonely for his wife and son, ruminating on Christmas, and deeply worried about a pandemic. The 36-year-old author and humorist was in Chicago, in the middle of a grueling four-and-a half-month, 76-performance lecture tour that would prove one…

December 24: Financier Charles Dow Joins the New York Stock Exchange

  Looking at the many hardships he faced during his Connecticut childhood, no one would have ever guessed that young Charles Dow would  become one of the biggest names in American financial history. Dow was born in 1851 in Sterling to a family of farmers. Because his father and two brothers all died when he…

December 23: Bridgeport Benefactor Beardsley Brutally Beaten in Break-in

    In 1812, James Walker Beardsley was born to a prominent cattle-farming family in Monroe, Connecticut, and remained a farmer for his entire life, splitting his time between his family’s Monroe farm and a second residence in the then-bustling city of Bridgeport. In addition to farming, Beardsley also dabbled in speculation and trading cattle…