November 5: Ella Grasso, First Female Governor

  Born to Italian immigrants in 1919, Ella Rosa Giovanna Oliva Tambussi grew up in a blue-collar neighborhood of first and second-generation Americans in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.  Her parents, determined to invest in a better future for their daughter, saved up enough money to send Ella to the prestigious Chaffee School in Windsor.  Afterwards, she…

November 4: Connecticut Founder John Winthrop Jr. Arrives in America

  Today in 1631, John Winthrop, Jr., one of the most significant leaders in Connecticut history, first set foot in the New World, having arrived in Boston where his father, John Winthrop Sr., was governor.  A remarkable Renaissance man of many talents, the younger Winthrop was well-versed in medicine, theology, and alchemy, and quickly acquired…

October 30: Yung Wing, Chinese-American Educational Pioneer

  Born in 1828 to a poor farming family in Macau, Yung Wing was sent to attend foreign missionary schools in southern China at a young age, in hopes that learning English would lead young Wing to a more prosperous career path.  In 1847, when Yung was 19 years old, he accompanied his former headmaster…

October 15: From Connecticut Governor to Russian Ambassador

  On this day in 1853, Thomas H. Seymour, one of Connecticut’s most accomplished — and controversial — 19th century politicians, resigned his role as Governor in order to accept his nomination by President Franklin Pierce to become the United States’ next minister to Russia.  It was the latest in a long list of prestigious…

October 6: A High-Profile Presidential Debate in Hartford

  The national spotlight landed on Hartford, Connecticut on the evening of October 6, 1996, as presidential candidates Bob Dole and Bill Clinton held the first presidential debate of the campaign season at the Bushnell Theater.  Thanks in part to the influence of Connecticut senators Chris Dodd and Joe Lieberman, the city of Hartford won…

October 5: Protesting Against the State Income Tax

  One of the largest protests in Connecticut history took place on this day 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…

September 15: Connecticans to Vote on a New State Constitution

  On September 15, 1818, three weeks after they first assembled at the state house in Hartford, delegates voted 134 to 61 to approve a newly-written state constitution and submit it to a vote of the people of Connecticut for ratification.  In a particularly radical, last-minute twist, the delegates also voted to require only a…

September 14: Connecticut Ratifies the 19th Amendment

  On this day in 1920, nearly 52 years after they first convened to fight for women’s right to vote, members of the Connecticut Women’s Suffrage Association watched as the Connecticut General Assembly finally ratified the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave all American women the right to vote. For decades, Connecticut suffragists…

August 26: State Constitutional Convention Convenes in Hartford

  On this day in 1818, delegates to the state’s Constitutional Convention gathered at the State House in Hartford for the first time, charged with the formidable task of restructuring Connecticut state government by creating a new, written constitution. Writing a new constitution was no small task, given the social, cultural, and political upheaval Connecticut…

August 3: Connecticut Chooses its Delegates for First Continental Congress

  Today, Americans are so familiar with the imagery and historical stories surrounding the creation of the Declaration of Independence that they often forget just how radical an event it was.  The very notion that representatives from all thirteen American colonies would meet in secret to discuss a coordinated, organized resistance to British rule as…