July 6: The Hartford Circus Fire

  What began as an innocent day at the circus ended in one of the worst fire disasters in U.S. history, today in 1944. In early July of that year, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus had set up one of their largest “Big Top” tents in a field in Hartford’s North End…

June 30: The Highest Award a Civilian Can Receive

  On June 30, 1947, President Harry Truman awarded Dean Acheson the Medal for Merit, a special honor given to civilians for “exceptionally meritorious conduct” in service of the Allied powers during World War II. The Medal for Merit was awarded for a period of 10 years, from 1942 – 1952. It was the highest…

June 29: In the Middle of a World War, a Vote for History

  Connecticut history made history today in 1943, when Governor Ray Baldwin signed a law setting new standards for citizenship education in Connecticut schools. The new law required that any college or grade school receiving state funding — public or private –had to include a comprehensive study of American history and government in its curriculum….

June 28: Disaster on the I-95 Mianus River Bridge

  Early in the morning of June 28th, 1983, at around 1:30 am, a 100-foot span of Interstate 95 in Greenwich collapsed into the Mianus River. It was one of the most infamous American bridge disasters of the 20th century. Three people died and three more were seriously injured, when a car and two tractor-trailers…

June 25: Marilyn Monroe Takes Connecticut By Storm

  Today in 1956, the small, rural, western Connecticut town of Roxbury was swarmed by reporters who had learned that the internationally famous starlet Marilyn Monroe was there visiting her fiancée, Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Arthur Miller. The couple had been dating for months, and they had announced their plans to marry the week before. Miller,…

June 20: CT Resident Helen Keller Honored by President Kennedy

  Today in 1961, Easton resident Helen Keller received a birthday greeting from President John F. Kennedy containing high praise for her lifetime’s worth of hard work and advocacy for people who, like herself, were blind and/or deaf. In it, he wrote: “You are one of that select company of men and women whose achievements…

June 19: Connecticut Troops Sent to Guard the Mexican Border

  In June 1916, while the horrors of the Great War in Europe remained an ocean away, President Woodrow Wilson confronted a more immediate threat along the United States’ border with Mexico. Earlier that year, Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa had led a deadly raid into New Mexico that left an American town destroyed. In response,…

June 18: Crowds Bloom at America’s Oldest Municipal Rose Garden

  For over a hundred years, crowds of visitors have flocked to Connecticut’s Elizabeth Park in June to see the thousands of roses in bloom in the park’s historic Rose Garden. One peak example of this annual pilgrimage occurred today in 1933, when nearly 15,000 people in one day — some from as far away…

June 17: Windsor’s “Murder Factory” Takes It’s Last Breath On Broadway

  Today in 1944, a Broadway comedy based on one of Connecticut’s most infamous true crime tales wrapped up a wildly successful, multiyear New York run after over 1,400 shows. The unlikely inspiration for “Arsenic and Old Lace,” written by Joseph Kesserling in 1939, was the story of Amy Archer-Gilligan, a twice-widowed caretaker who ran…

June 16: The Liberty Bell’s Whistle-Stop Tour of Connecticut

  Today in 1903, just after 6:00 p.m., one of the most iconic symbols of American freedom — the Liberty Bell — arrived in Connecticut. Over the next 24 hours, it would visit five Connecticut cities and towns, giving tens of thousands of Connecticans a chance to see and be seen in its presence, before…