June 2: “Connecticut Symphony” debuts at Norfolk Music Shed

  Today in 1935, a packed house of 1,500 enthusiastic music lovers in Norfolk, Connecticut heard the world premiere of internationally-renowned conductor and composer Henry Hadley’s latest work: The Connecticut Symphony, written to celebrate the Constitution State’s tercentenary. Hadley’s half-hour-long work was played by a 65-piece orchestra at the Norfolk Music Shed, a venue built…

May 11: Connecticut’s Old State House Opens in 1796

  At the historic center of Hartford stands the Old State House, a beautiful federal-era building that served as Connecticut’s capitol for 83 years.  Designed by pioneering American architect Charles Bulfinch, the State House opened for business today in 1796, as the state legislature met insides its spacious chambers for the first time. Built with…

April 28: Corruption Along Connecticut’s Historic Merritt Parkway

  Connecticut’s historic Merritt Parkway is the oldest scenic parkway in the United States.  One of the first limited-access, divided-lane highways in the United States, its novel use of entrance and exit ramps preceded the Eisenhower interstate system by decades.  Lined with trees, carefully maintained green spaces, and passing underneath dozens of uniquely decorated stone…

April 19: Connecticut (Finally) Approves U.S. Bill of Rights

  Today in 1939, Connecticut became the last state in the the union (which consisted of 48 states at the time) to ratify the US Constitution’s Bill of Rights — 150 years after the list of amendments were first proposed. Why the delay?  It certainly wasn’t because Connecticans didn’t place a high value on securing…

April 8: Connecticut Becomes “The Constitution State”

  What’s in a name?  Or… a nickname? Connecticut has had its share of diverse nicknames over the course of its nearly 400 years of recorded history — some of them more flattering than others. During the American Revolution, the colony and soon-to-be state of Connecticut became known as “The Provisions State” because of its…

March 31: The First Statewide Aerial Photography Survey in the US

  In 1933, Connecticut Governor Wilbur L. Cross, determined to move forward with infrastructure improvements in spite of budget constraints caused by the Great Depression, presented the State Planning Board with a formal request for an aerial photographic survey of the entire state.  Governor Cross reasoned that a detailed set of photographs would be an…

March 18: A Rising Star Falls Twice

  The day after St. Patrick’s Day was anything but a lucky one for John G. Rowland, who found himself on the wrong end of the law on March 18, 2005, and then again ten years later on March 18, 2015. Once considered one of Connecticut’s best and brightest politicians, Rowland first won elected office…

March 16: Connecticut Chooses An Official State Song

  In late 1977, temporarily setting aside the politics of a struggling national economy and election-year posturing, the Connecticut General Assembly took up the task of selecting an official state song for the state of Connecticut.  The request for a state song first came from then-governor Ella Grasso’s predecessor, Thomas Meskill, who was reportedly sick…

February 1: The Third State Census in Seven Years.

  Since 1790, people in the United States have participated in a census of the population once every ten years.  During the American Revolution, however, Connecticut conducted three censuses in only seven years, each in response to different demands created by the revolutionary struggle. The third and final count was conducted today in 1782, and…

January 24: Legislators Create the Connecticut Hall of Fame

  On January 24, 2005, state legislators unveiled a plan to establish an official Connecticut Hall of Fame to honor the state’s most distinguished citizens.  Supported by individual donations, state grants, and Connecticut-based businesses, the Hall of Fame was created to recognize the accomplishments of notable inventors, entertainers, artists, politicians, athletes, and others with an…

July 4: Delegates Selected for Connecticut’s New State Constitution

  Today in 1818, the voters in every Connecticut town gathered at 9:00 am to select their town’s delegates to a convention at Hartford that would produce – a few months later – the first state Constitution ratified by a vote of the people themselves. The constitutional convention was the result of a decades-long struggle…

July 2: Connecticut Refuses to Fight in War of 1812

  It would be an understatement to say that the War of 1812 was unpopular in Connecticut. As a region, New England as a whole was fiercely opposed to the War of 1812, which they viewed as a frivolous and economically disastrous war waged by President James Madison against the British Empire.  But Connecticut in…