December 1: PEZ Candy Opens Visitor Center in Orange

  Today, PEZ candy conjures up images of whimsical plastic dispensers full of small, brick-shaped little candies.  First invented in Austria in the early 20th century, PEZ candy has quite a storied history — one that visitors can learn for themselves with a visit to the PEZ Visitors Center in Orange, Connecticut, which first opened…

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 1: Same-Sex Civil Unions Become Law in Connecticut

  On October 1, 2005, Connecticut became the third state in the union to legally recognize same-sex civil unions.  Four years earlier, Vermont became the first state to do so after the Vermont Supreme Court mandated that denying same-sex couples the benefits of marriage violated their state constitution. In 2004, Massachusetts’s Supreme judicial court similarly…

August 30: The UConn Huskies’ First Football Game at Rentschler Field

  On this day in 2003, the UConn Huskies football team kicked off a new era in Connecticut college sports as they played their first-ever game in a brand-new, 92 million, 40,000-seat stadium stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford.  The new stadium was the result of a decade-long search for a suitable new home for…

August 15 – Connecticut State Parks Centennial Celebration

On August 15, 2013, the Connecticut State Parks system celebrated its centennial by launching a Summer Outdoor “Sojourn” (a portmanteau of “Summer Outdoor Journey”) that linked the northeast and southwest corners of the state in a single, 195-mile journey.  The Sojourn began in Quaddick State Park in Thompson and ended in Sherwood Island State Park…

June 23: Eminent Domain Redefined in New London

  On June 23, 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Kelo v. City of New London, a case that redefined — and vastly expanded — the permissible boundaries of eminent domain in the United States. In the year 2000, the New London Development Corporation, acting under the city’s authority, moved to seize over 100 privately-held…

June 21: Governor John Rowland Resigns

  “I acknowledge that my poor judgment brought us here,” said John Rowland to a sea of reporters, standing on the back lawn of the Connecticut Governor’s Mansion in Hartford.  The date was June 21, 2004, and Rowland was announcing his resignation amid a federal corruption investigation and impeachment inquiry. His Lieutenant Governor, M. Jodi…

May 17: Connecticut Vietnam Memorial Unveiled in Coventry

  On this day in 2008, hundreds gathered at Patriot’s Park in Coventry, Connecticut to attend the unveiling of the first monument to honor all 612 Connecticans who lost their lives during the Vietnam War. The movement to establish the handsome, black-granite monument began as part of a classroom project undertaken by students at Coventry’s…

April 6: UConn First School to win Dual NCAA Basketball Championships

  On April 6, 2004, University of Connecticut fans across the state and across the country cheered as the UConn women’s basketball team, led by coach Geno Auriemma , won its 5th NCAA championship, which was the team’s third national championship in a row.  The women beat their longstanding rival, Tennessee, 70 – 61 in…

March 26: The First State in the US to Raise the Minimum Wage Above $10

On March 26, 2014, Connecticut lawmakers became the first in the country to push their state’s minimum hourly wage over the ten dollar mark.  The bill passed in the Senate by a vote of twenty-one to fourteen and in the House by a margin of eighty-seven to fifty-four. Governor Dannel Malloy campaigned hard for the…