September 30: Babe Ruth Plays His Last Baseball Game Ever in Hartford

  On this day in 1945, baseball superstar Babe Ruth delighted 2,500 fans in Hartford by participating in an exhibition game between two local semi-pro teams: the Savitt Gems of Hartford and the New Britain Codys. The Gems had been founded by a successful local jeweler, Bill Savitt, who used his money and influence to…

September 10: Boxing Sensation Willie Pep K.O.s the Competition

  Today in 1942, Connecticut boxer Willie Pep began his meteoric rise to stardom when he when he knocked out featherweight Frankie Franceroni of New Jersey just two minutes into the first round, shocking a crowd of thousands at Madison Square Garden. Just two months and five more wins later, the twenty-year-old Pep became the…

September 7: ESPN Goes Live from Bristol

  On this day in 1979, at 7:00pm Eastern time, the first cable channel devoted exclusively to sports and entertainment went live from its studio in Bristol, Connecticut. The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) was the dream of Bill Rasmussen, a former communications director for the New England (later Hartford) Whalers, who spent the…

August 31: Glenna Collett Vare Wins Record-Breaking 6th US Golf Championship

  On August 31, 1935, thousands watched New Haven-born golf sensation Glenna Collett Vare win a record-breaking 6th U.S. Women’s Golf Championship at the Interlachen Country Club in Hopkins, Minnesota. Born in New Haven in 1903, Glenda Collett Vare was an active youngster, excelling at a variety of sports including swimming, diving, and golf. She…

August 30: The UConn Huskies’ First Football Game at Rentschler Field

  On this day in 2003, the UConn Huskies football team kicked off a new era in Connecticut college sports as they played their first-ever game in a brand-new, 92 million, 40,000-seat stadium stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford. The new stadium was the result of a decade-long search for a suitable new home…

August 15: When State Parks Turned 100

  On August 15, 2013, the Connecticut State Parks system celebrated its centennial by launching a Summer Outdoor “Sojourn” (a portmanteau of “Summer Outdoor Journey”) that linked the northeast and southwest corners of the state in a single, 195-mile journey. The Sojourn began in Quaddick State Park in Thompson and ended in Sherwood Island State…

August 11: First Forester and Founding Father of Conservation Gifford Pinchot

  The next time you hear someone talking about the sustainable use of our environmental resources, you might want to give thanks to forester and founding father of the modern conservation movement Gifford Pinchot (pronounced “pin-show”), who was born in Simsbury today in 1865. Son of a wealthy merchant family, Pinchot’s passionate early interest in…

August 6: Dale Earnhardt Smokes the Competition in Stafford

  For a small state sandwiched between two of America’s largest cities, Connecticut has enjoyed its fair share of exposure to professional sports. While Connecticut is best known for its association with professional hockey and baseball teams and for the many Olympic athletes who grew up in its suburbs, the state has also played host…

August 1: “Base Ball” in 19th Century Hartford

  The Charter Oak Base Ball Club, founded in the summer of 1862, was the first baseball team to be formed in Hartford. Their stated mission was to “establish on a scientific basis the health-giving and scientific game of Base Ball, and to promote good fellowship among its players.” In the age before national professional…

July 29: The Andover Lake “Wade In”

  In 1926, a group of eastern Connecticut investors hoping to capitalize on the state’s new car culture, expanding highway system, and Roaring 20’s prosperity, purchased a large spring fed-wetland in Andover Connecticut. They cleared trees, cut roads, and built the 550 foot long dam that created beautiful Andover Lake.  When completed in 1928, they…

July 18: Connecticut’s Largest Shoreline Park Opens to the Public.

  Hammonasset Beach State Park, Connecticut’s largest public beach and one of the state’s most popular attractions, first opened to the public on this day in 1920. Located in Madison, Hammonasset features a continuous two-mile-long stretch of sandy beaches that line a shoreline peninsula that juts southward into Long Island Sound. Before opening to the…

July 17: The First Annual Nutmeg Games

  As the largest amateur multi-sport event in Connecticut, the Nutmeg State Games have promoted camaraderie, healthy competition, and the Olympic spirit among student athletes for over thirty years. On July 17, 1986, the first Nutmeg State Games took place as 300 amateur athletes gathered in Canton, Connecticut to compete against each other in a…