January 12: Mary Townsend Seymour, Civil Rights Champion

  Born in Hartford in 1873, lifelong civil rights activist Mary Townsend lost both her parents at the age of 15, and was adopted into the family of local black activist and Civil War veteran Lloyd Seymour.  A few years later, she married one of his sons, Frederick Seymour, and the newlyweds settled in the…

January 7: Hiram Bingham III, Connecticut’s One-Day Governor

  It would be an understatement to say that Hiram Bingham III, Connecticut’s famous archaeologist, explorer, professor, pilot, politician, and best-selling author who likely was the inspiration for the fictional adventurer Indiana Jones, accomplished much in his lifetime.  It remains an irony, however, that one of Bingham’s most well-known accomplishments was also one of the…

November 11: Connecticut’s Last World War I Casualty

  For many countries around the world, November 11 is known as Armistice Day in honor of the truce that marked the end of hostilities on the Western Front between German and Allied forces, enacted on November 11, 1918.  While a lasting peace was not formally established until the Treaty of Versailles was signed in…

October 14: Hartford Shuts Down Over Influenza Fears

  Today in 1918, as a deadly and highly contagious strain of influenza spread throughout Connecticut, Hartford city leaders considered drastic action in order to minimize further public exposure.  To many Americans, the global Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918 – 1919 was arguably just as — if not more — terrifying than the First World…

September 29: The USS Connecticut and the “Great White Fleet”

  On this day in 1904, the USS Connecticut was launched as the flagship of a new class of heavy battleships intended to show off a new era of American naval dominance in the early 20th century.  These battleships were the hallmark of President Theodore Roosevelt’s signature initiative to modernize the American navy. The USS…

August 27: First Chemotherapy Treatment in the United States

  On this day in Connecticut history, in 1942, physicians at Yale University made medical history as they administered the first use of intravenous chemotherapy as a cancer treatment in the United States.  This medical milestone was the culmination of years of research, including top-secret experiments involving mustard gas that a handful of Yale doctors…

August 7: Statewide Strikes Bring Connecticut to a Halt

  Today in 1919, Connecticut companies throughout the state were effectively shuttered as thousands of workers across a multitude of different industries joined in a massive regional strike that, within the course of a week, spread from Maine to New York and brought New England commerce to a screeching halt. Connecticut, like many other states…

June 19: CT Troops Patrol the Mexican Border

    In June 1916, while the horrors of the Great War in Europe remained an ocean away, President Woodrow Wilson anticipated 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.  After…

June 5: “Registration Day” for 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 before engaging the enemy in Europe.  After a national volunteer recruitment drive only attracted a…

May 19: America’s World War I Flying Ace Killed In Action

  Today in 1918, one of America’s greatest and most colorful World War I flying aces was killed in action after being shot down over France by a German triplane.  Raoul Lufbery, a proud Franco-American who had lived in Connecticut before joining the Allied war effort, was only 33 years old at the time. Born…

April 20: Connecticut Soldiers Fight at WWI Battle of Seicheprey

  100 years ago today, a division full of new Connecticut recruits encountered their first taste of modern warfare in a small village in northeastern France, repelling a regiment of elite German stormtroopers and holding the front lines against all odds. The US 26th Infantry Division, nicknamed the Yankee Division because all of its subordinate…