February 4: Colt Firearms Factory Destroyed By Fire

    On the morning of February 4, 1864, just after 8:00am, the loud, sharp, incessant tones of a steam whistle pierced the air in Hartford, alerting city residents to danger.  As men and women rushed toward the source of the noise in the city’s south end, they were shocked to find the massive East…

January 31: Danbury’s Kohanza Dam Bursts

  In 1860, residents living in Danbury, Connecticut banded together to build a large, earthen dam to create a reservoir that would provide a steady water supply for the town’s steadily-increasing population and burgeoning factories.  A few years later, they built a second dam about a mile downriver, and the structures became known as the…

January 18: Hartford Civic Center Roof Collapses

  At 4:19am on January 18, 1978, downtown Hartford narrowly missed being the site of one of the deadliest disasters in American history when the entire roof of the Hartford Civic Center arena — covering an area of nearly 2.5 acres and weighing 1,400 tons — suddenly collapsed onto a coliseum of 10,000 empty seats. …

January 15: They Got On the Wrong Train.

  Today in 1878, right after hearing the famed evangelist Dwight Moody preach that “repentance is grabbing your bag and coat and getting out of the wrong train and onto the right one”, a group of revival-attending passengers in Hartford boarded a specially-ordered train that took them to one of Connecticut’s deadliest train disasters.  When…

January 14: Tragedy at the Hazardville Gunpowder Mill

  The community of Hazardville, Connecticut unintentionally lived up to its name on this day in 1913, when an errant spark of unknown origin caused a deadly chain reaction of four massive explosions at the Hazard Powder Company. Situated on the banks of the Scantic River in the southern half of the town of Enfield,…

December 4: The Great East Thompson Train Wreck

  Today in 1891, one of the largest train disasters in American history — and the only one to involve four different trains — occurred outside of the small town of East Thompson.  Located in the extreme northeast corner of the state, nestled right against the Massachusetts and Rhode Island borders, the tracks in East…

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…

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, on this day 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…

June 28: Mianus River Bridge Collapses

  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 in one of the most infamous American bridge disasters of the 20th century.   Three people died and three more were seriously injured as a car and two tractor-trailers careened…

April 23: Connecticut’s Worst Construction Disaster: L’Ambience Plaza

  In early 1987, excitement was building in Bridgeport for “L’Ambience Plaza,” a new luxury apartment complex slated to open later that year on the corner of Washington Avenue and Coleman Street.  Those dreams of downtown revitalization were suddenly dashed, however, in the afternoon hours of April 23.  At 1:36pm, construction crews had just hoisted…

April 14: Titanic sinks with 33 Connecticans Aboard

  On this day in 1912, the ocean liner RMS Titanic was struck by an iceberg in the North Atlantic ocean and sank, killing over 1,500 passengers and crew in one of the most infamous disasters of the 20th century.  The Titanic was the world’s largest ship afloat at the time, billed with great fanfare…