July 2: Connecticut Refuses to Fight for the United States

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

June 19: Connecticut Troops At the Mexican Border

  In June 1916, while the horrors of the Great War in Europe remained an ocean away, President Woodrow Wilson confronted a more immediate threat along the United States’ border with Mexico. Earlier that year, Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa had led a deadly raid into New Mexico that left an American town destroyed. In response,…

June 14: The Nuclear Age Gets a Game-Changing, Record-Breaking Submarine

  Today in 1952, President Harry S. Truman journeyed to Groton, Connecticut to dedicate the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus. The keel-laying ceremony took place at the Electric Boat shipyard on the banks of the Thames River and was hailed in the press as “The Birth of the Atomic Era Navy.” Before a…

June 6: In the Skies of France, A D-Day Message From Mom

  In the early morning hours of June 6, 1944, Private Robert C. Hillman became one of over 13,000 American paratroopers to leap out of a plane over Normandy as part of the “D-Day” invasion of occupied France — one of the largest offensives of World War II. A member of the legendary 101st Airborne…

June 5: Mandatory “Registration Day” for Service in the Great War.

  The United States’ entry into World War I on April 6, 1917 marked the end of a long period of military non-intervention, resulting in a scramble to recruit men to fill the ranks of America’s army and navy to fight the enemy in Europe. After a national volunteer recruitment drive only attracted a fraction…

May 17: A Middle School Project Printed On Paper, Etched in Stone

  Today in 2008, hundreds gathered at Patriots Park in Coventry, Connecticut to attend the unveiling of the first monument to honor all 612 Connecticans who lost their lives during the Vietnam War. The movement to establish the handsome, black granite monument began as part of a classroom project by students at Coventry’s Captain Nathan…

May 3: A Medal for the Common Soldier

  “The road to glory in a patriot army and a free country is thus opened to all.” So said George Washington when he created the Badge of Military Merit, which he first awarded today in 1783, to two brave enlisted Connecticut soldiers at the Continental Army headquarters in Newburgh, New York. Prior to this,…