October 10: Home-Schooled Wethersfield Native Engineers the Erie Canal

  Benjamin Wright, the chief engineer behind some of the most famous civil engineering projects in United States history — including the Erie Canal — was born to Grace and Ebenezer Wright of Wethersfield today in 1770. Ebenezer’s accumulated debts had forced young Benjamin to forego most of his formal schooling to take up odd…

October 9: A Doomed Nazi Airship Flies Over Connecticut

  Today, the name “Hindenburg” is most closely associated with the fiery, disastrous crash that destroyed the famous dirigible in 1937. Before its demise, however, the massive, 800-foot-long German airship was considered the pinnacle of modern aerospace engineering and luxury travel, and often attracted crowds of awe-struck spectators wherever it went. Built over a period…

October 8: A Bridge That Wouldn’t Burn

  For most of the 19th century, travelers passing between Hartford and East Hartford crossed the Connecticut River over a wooden covered bridge, constructed in 1818 and expanded several times to include additional lanes and, eventually, room for trolleys. In 1895, the entire structure burned down in a spectacular fire that, according to newspapers, some…

October 7: Thomas Jefferson Opposes Connecticut’s State Church

  One of the central tenets of modern American political doctrine was borne out of a  letter exchange between Connecticut Baptists and an American President that began today in Connecticut history. On October 7, 1801, the Danbury Baptists Association sent an eloquent letter to newly elected President Thomas Jefferson expressing their concerns about Connecticut’s backing…

October 5: An Angry Public Protests A Hated Tax

One of the largest protests in Connecticut history took place today in 1991, as tens of thousands of Connecticans gathered on the lawn of the State Capitol in Hartford to call for the repeal of the brand-new state income tax. 1991 was a tumultuous year in state politics; during the summer, legislators repeatedly clashed both…

October 4: The Last Run of the State’s Greatest Fair

  When it comes to annual autumn fair traditions, Connecticans have plenty of options to choose from. In non-COVID-19 years, there are dozens of local fairs held within the state, not to mention “The Big E” Eastern States Exposition located just over the Massachusetts border in West Springfield. For over 110 years, however, the Danbury…

October 3: Massive, Freak Tornado Devastates Windsor Locks

  On this day in 1979, one of the most devastating freak storms in state history spawned a massive F-4 tornado that tore through north-central Connecticut. Just after 3:00pm, a funnel cloud touched down in the Poquonock area of Windsor and carved a path four miles long and a quarter-mile wide northward through Windsor Locks,…

October 1: Toward a More Perfect Union

  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…

September 30: Babe Ruth’s Final Game

  Today  in 1945, a promotion-minded Hartford jeweler and a sports legend well past his prime joined together to make baseball history. Superstar Babe Ruth delighted 2,500 Connecticut fans by participating in an exhibition game between the semi-pro Savitt Gems of Hartford and the New Britain Codys. The Gems had been founded by successful local…