September 25: Remembering the Civil War’s Pivotal “Petersburg Express”

  The Siege of Petersburg was one of the most significant military campaigns of the final year of the Civil War.  From June 1864 to March 1865, Union troops continuously besieged and harassed the Confederate railroad hub city of Petersburg, Virginia and surrounding environs in hopes of depleting both the Confederate Army and its nearby…

September 24: Connecticut’s Last Whaling Voyage

  In the 19th century, New London, Connecticut was one of the busiest whaling hubs in the entire world, outranked only by Nantucket and New Bedford, Massachusetts.  Whale oil was a crucial and versatile resource that played a huge role in powering the Industrial Revolution, serving as both fuel for lamps and as a lubricant…

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 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…

September 10: Boxing Sensation Willie Pep K.O.s the Competition

  Today in 1942, Connecticut boxer Willie Pep began his meteoric rise to stardom when he when he knocked out featherweight Frankie Franceroni of New Jersey just two minutes into the first round, shocking a crowd of thousands at Madison Square Garden.  Just two months and five more wins later, the twenty-year-old Pep became the…

September 7: ESPN Goes Live from Bristol

  On this day in 1979, at 7:00pm Eastern time, the first cable channel devoted exclusively to sports and entertainment went live from its studio in Bristol, Connecticut. The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) was the dream of Bill Rasmussen, a former communications director for the New England (later Hartford) Whalers, who spent the better…

September 5: Lead-foot Celebrities on the Merritt Parkway

  Every day, tens of thousands of commuters from Connecticut and its neighboring states use the Merritt Parkway as an alternative to the often-congested Interstate 95 highway in an attempt to more quickly get to their destination — and every day, a number of them are ticketed for going a little too quickly.  Connecticut, in…

September 4: The USS Everett Larson Honors A Brave Connecticut Marine

  Born in Stamford, Connecticut in 1920, Everett Frederick Larson was one of thousands of young Connecticans who answered their country’s call to service during World War II.  In January 1942, Larson enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve and, several months later, participated in the Guadalcanal Campaign, a major offensive by the Allied…

August 31: Glenna Collett Vare Wins Record 6th Golf Championship

  On August 31, 1935, thousands watched New Haven-born golf sensation Glenna Collett Vare win a record-breaking 6th U.S. Women’s Golf Championship at the Interlachen Country Club in Hopkins, Minnesota. Born in New Haven in 1903, Glenda Collett Vare was an active youngster, excelling at a variety of sports including swimming, diving, and golf.  She…