November 3: After 47 Years, Joshua Hempstead Writes His Last Diary Entry.

  Today in 1758, the last word was written in one of the most important documents the people of Connecticut have to help them understand the realities of day-to-day life in our region during the colonial period. Ironically, that document was painstakingly created by a person who primarily intended it to be read by only…

November 2: Introducing the “Best Built Car in America”

  Today in 1902,  former race car driver Andrew Riker, personally drove the first production model of the luxury $4000,  four-cylinder, gasoline-powered car he had designed, engineered and manufactured in Bridgeport  into New York City to present it to its new owner. Since its founding in 1899, the Locomobile Company, whose headquarters and main factory…

November 1: A Popular Governor Gets a Parkway

  Today in 1949, 10 long years after construction first began, the Wilbur Cross Parkway finally opened to the public following a formal ceremony at the brand-new West Rock Tunnel adjacent to the New Haven-Woodbridge town line. There, after a motorcade procession through the 1200-foot-long tunnel, Lieutenant Governor William T. Carroll proclaimed the newest stretch…

November 29: Connecticut’s Presidential Portrait Painter

  Today in 1982, a very special delivery was received at the White House: a stunningly photo-realistic portrait of President Jimmy Carter, painted by Connecticut artist Herbert E. Abrams. The painting was President Carter’s official White House portrait, and after viewing it, White House curator Clement Conger declared Abrams the best contemporary artist he had…

November 28: Connecticut’s Famous Librarian

  Today in 1900, Granby native George Seymour Godard was appointed Connecticut’s third State Librarian. The hand-picked choice of his predecessor Charles J. Hoadley, who had died the month before, Godard served as State Librarian for 35 years. During that time, he radically expanded the mission of the state library system, and made the Connecticut…

November 20: A Fire, A Fiery Lady & A Hungry Lion

    On November 20, 1887, fire raged through the winter quarters of Barnum & Bailey’s Greatest Show on Earth. The five-acre compound in what is now Bridgeport’s Went Field Park housed circus animals, staff and equipment during the chilly off-season. Unfortunately, if there was anything to be said about the nineteenth-century circus, it’s that…

November 19: Bold as Brass, The Silver City Goes International

  Today in 1898, in the middle of a sustained series of national economic crises, the International Silver Company, one of Connecticut’s most famous and globally recognized brands, was formally incorporated in Meriden. The central Connecticut city had already established a national reputation as a leading producer of silver and silver-plated goods by the late…

November 18: A Famous-Family Murder Mystery with Two Surprise Endings

  Today in 1842, hours after he had married his beautiful mistress and moments before he was to be hanged for murder, gunmaker Samuel Colt’s brother John took his own life with a six-inch-long Bowie knife in a New York City prison cell. His suicide –perhaps assisted by his brother, who sone speculate helped him…

November 17: Plymouth Man Clocks in with a Timely Patent –– His First of 10

  Today in 1797, an inventor, entrepreneur, and future-famous clock maker residing in the two-year-old manufacturing town of Plymouth received the first clock-making patent ever issued in the United States. That patent launched an incredible career in manufacturing that helped make Connecticut the epicenter of quality clock manufacturing for the duration of the 19th century,…