June 11: The Nation’s First Hospice Facility

  This day in Connecticut history marks an American medical history milestone: the green-lighting of the first hospice care facility in the United States and the realization of nurse Florence Wald’s lifelong dream of providing comprehensive, compassionate care for patients with terminal illnesses. Having spent significant time in hospitals herself as a child due to…

June 9: President Taft Dedicates the State’s Oldest Wood-Framed House.

  June 9, 1915 marked the start of a new lease on life for the Thomas Lee House in East Lyme, which stands today as the oldest wood-framed building in Connecticut. Amid a flurry of pomp and circumstance and community celebration, former President William Howard Taft helped dedicate the reopening of the newly restored colonial…

June 7: Earning the Rights to Both Privacy and Birth Control.

  Today in 1965, the U.S. Supreme Court established a constitutional “right to privacy” for Americans by overturning a 92-year-old Connecticut law that outlawed the use of birth control. Back in 1873, during the apex of the Victorian era in the United States, Congress passed the Comstock Law, which outlawed “the circulation of obscene literature…

June 6: Seconds Before Jumping, A D-Day Message From Home

  In the early morning hours of June 6, 1944, Private Robert C. Hillman became one of over 13,000 American paratroopers to leap out of a plane over Normandy as part of the “D-Day” invasion of occupied France — one of the largest offensives of World War II. A member of the legendary 101st Airborne…

June 5: Mandatory “Registration Day” for the Great War.

  The United States’ entry into World War I on April 6, 1917 marked the end of a long period of military non-intervention, resulting in a scramble to recruit men to fill the ranks of America’s army and navy before engaging the enemy in Europe. After a national volunteer recruitment drive only attracted a fraction…

June 4: Connecticut Passes the Nation’s First “Lemon Law”

  On this day in 1982, in response to an increasing number of consumer complaints concerning the purchase of defective new automobiles (colloquially known as “lemons”), the Connecticut legislature passed the nation’s first “Lemon Law.” Introduced by freshman representative John J. Woodcock III of South Windsor, the law was loosely modeled on a set of…

June 3: The U S President Speaks at Coast Guard Academy’s 78th Graduation

  While the commencement ceremonies at the United States Coast Guard Academy are always filled with a dazzling amount of pomp and circumstance, the Academy’s 78th commencement, which took place on June 3, 1964, was especially memorable. For the first time in history, the President of the United States would be delivering the commencement speech….

June 2: “Connecticut Symphony” debuts at Norfolk Music Shed

  Today in 1935, a packed house of 1,500 enthusiastic music lovers in Norfolk, Connecticut heard the world premiere of internationally-renowned conductor and composer Henry Hadley’s latest work: The Connecticut Symphony, written to celebrate the Constitution State’s tercentenary. Hadley’s half-hour-long work was played by a 65-piece orchestra at the Norfolk Music Shed, a venue built…

June 1: The Nation’s Oldest Public Art Museum Established

  On this day in 1842, Connecticut governor Chauncey Cleveland signed an act formally incorporating the Wadsworth Atheneum, creating what would become the first and oldest continuously operating public art museum in the United States. Construction immediately began on the iconic, castle-like building that remains the centerpiece and most recognizable feature of the Atheneum campus,…

May 31: Rev. Thomas Hooker Declares “the People” the Foundation of Government

  To many students of Connecticut history and colonial America, Thomas Hooker is considered the “founding father” of Connecticut.  A Puritan minister who journeyed from England to Holland to Massachusetts in search of a place where he could preach his message of reformed Christianity free from persecution, Hooker served with distinction as the first established…