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Today in Connecticut History

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Profiles

  • Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd, Jr. USN (1888 - 1957)
    Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd, Jr., USN (October 25, 1888 – March 11, 1957) was a naval officer who specialized in feats of exploration. He was a pioneering American aviator, polar explorer, and organize...
  • Photo by Harris & Ewing. Public domain via Library of Congress. Via https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2016859442/
    Marcus H. Holcomb, 66th Governor of Connecticut (1844 - 1932)
    Marcus H. Holcomb was an American politician and the 66th Governor of Connecticut. He was a member of the Republican Party and served as governor from 6 January 1915 to 5 January 1921. Prior to that, h...
  • John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the USA (1917 - 1963)
    John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), commonly referred to by his initials JFK , was an American politician who served as the 35th President of the United States from Janua...
  • Helen Keller (1880 - 1968)
    Helen Keller was the first deaf and blind person to graduate from college.The story of how Keller's teacher, Annie Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, all...
  • Elias Boudinot (1802 - 1839)
    For more pictures go to the Media section. There is a picture of Elias Boudinot in his Indian dressage. Elias Boudinot (1802–June 22, 1839) was a Cherokee Indian who started and edited the tribe's firs...

This Geni project is meant as an unofficial companion piece to the excellent website Today in Connecticut History, which is a project of the Office of the State Historian of Connecticut and CT Humanities.

Each day, the Today in Connecticut History website features a person and/or event important in state history. This Geni project compiles genealogical profiles relevant to those dates.

Calendar

January

  • January 1: In 1908, high-level Soviet agent and "Red Spy Queen" Elizabeth Bentley was born in New Milford
  • January 3: In 2013, Stamford native Joe Lieberman left the United States Senate, ending his 43-year career as an elected official
  • January 11: In 1975, the Hartford Whalers -- owned by Howard Baldwin -- played their first game in the city
  • January 12: In 1824, Yale anatomy professor Jonathan Knight was interrogated over his suspected involvement in body-snatching
  • January 15: In 1878, more than a dozen people died in a train wreck in Tariffville after leaving a Dwight Moody sermon in Hartford
  • January 19: In 1886, Anna Louise James -- the first Black woman to be a Connecticut pharmacist -- was born in Hartford
  • January 20: In 1941, pilot Lt. Eugene M. Bradley crashed at the Windsor Locks Army Air Base, now Bradley International Airport
  • January 21: In 1954, First Lady Mamie Eisenhower christened the USS Nautilus -- the world's first nuclear submarine -- in Groton
  • January 23: In 1871, William Russell Frisbie opened Bridgeport's Frisbie Pie Company, where the pie trays inspired the game and toy of Frisbee
  • January 26: In 1802, segregationist Gideon Granger of Suffield became U.S. Postmaster General

February

March

  • March 1: In 1781, Scotland native Samuel Huntington technically became the "first President of the United States"
  • March 3: In 1871, President Grant named Connecticut politician and veteran Joseph Hawley leader of the centennial World's Fair
  • March 20: In 1914, Theresa Weld won the first-ever U.S. Figure Skating Championships, in New Haven
  • March 21: In 2009, the Connecticut Working Families Party led a creative protest against Wilton-based financial giant AIG
  • March 22: In 1816, renowned landscape painter John Frederick Kensett was born in Cheshire
  • March 23: In 1950, Joseph "Mad Dog" Taborsky committed his first murder, in West Hartford
  • March 24: In 1754, the poet, public intellectual, and diplomat Joel Barlow was born in Redding
  • March 25: In 1783, in Woodbury, Samuel Seabury became the first Episcopal bishop of the U.S.
  • March 26: In 2014, thanks to Gov. Dan Malloy, Connecticut became the first state with a $10 minimum wage
  • March 27: In 1877, the Staffordville Dam burst, causing destruction throughout the Willimantic River Valley
  • March 28: In 1951, the research vessel Shang Wheeler, named for Milford oysterman Charles "Shang" Wheeler, set sail
  • March 29: In 1882, the Knights of Columbus was founded by Father Michael J. McGivney in New Haven
  • March 30: In 1919, Stratford's great helicopter inventor Igor Sikorsky arrived in the U.S.
  • March 31: In 1933, at the urging of Gov. Wilbur L. Cross, Connecticut became the first state to conduct an aerial photography survey

April

May

  • May 2: In 1903, influential pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock was born in New Haven
  • May 3: In 1783, two Connecticut soldiers -- Elijah Churchill of Enfield and William Brown of Stamford -- were awarded the first two Badges of Military Merit, the precursor to the Purple Heart
  • May 4: In 1826, iconic landscape painter Frederic Edwin Church was born in Hartford
  • May 5: In 1809, inventor Mary Dixon Kies of South Killingly became the first woman in the U.S. to receive a patent
  • May 7: In 1909, inventor and Polaroid co-founder Edwin Land was born in Bridgeport
  • May 8: In 2012, acclaimed children's author and illustrator Maurice Sendak died in Danbury
  • May 9: In 1800, revolutionary abolitionist John Brown was born in Torrington
  • May 11: In 1796, the Charles Bulfinch-designed Old State House opened in Hartford
  • May 12: In 1907, acclaimed actor Katharine Hepburn was born to a prominent Hartford family
  • May 15: In 1992, socialite and convicted tax fraud Leona Helmsley entered the federal women's prison in Danbury
  • May 20: In 1823, Guilford native Catharine Beecher opened the Hartford Female Seminary, offering an education level previously reserved for boys
  • May 25: In 1986, former Connecticut governor, Congressperson, and ambassador to multiple countries Chester Bowles died in Essex
  • May 26: In 1647, Alse Young of Windsor became the first victim hanged for witchcraft in the Thirteen Colonies

June

  • June 19: In 1916, Connecticut governor and New Hartford native Marcus H. Holcomb mobilized the newly-formed Connecticut National Guard for the first time, for service in Nogales, Mexico
  • June 20: In 1961, Easton resident Helen Keller received a birthday greeting from U.S. president and former Canterbury and Choate student John F. Kennedy
  • June 21: In 2005, Connecticut governor, former U.S. Congressmember, and future federal inmate John G. Rowland resigned due to a federal corruption investigation and impeachment inquiry
  • June 22: In 1839, Cherokee leader and alumnus of Cornwall's Foreign Mission School Elias Boudinot / Gallegina Uwati was assassinated
  • June 23: In 2005, New London resident Susette Kelo lost her "Little Pink House" case at the U.S. Supreme Court and had her home taken by eminent domain
  • June 24: In 1813, famed preacher, orator, and abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher was born in Litchfield
  • June 25: In 1956, international media swarmed Roxbury, trying to get photographs of soon-to-marry residents Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller
  • June 26: In 1767, Sarah Pierce was born in Litchfield, 25 years before she would open the Litchfield Female Academy
  • June 27: In 1833, Canterbury schoolteacher Prudence Crandall -- who would later become Connecticut State Heroine -- was arrested after refusing to close her school for Black girls
  • June 29: In 1943, Gov. Raymond E. Baldwin signed a bill requiring Connecticut students to learn history and government

July

  • July 10: In 1989, the worst tornado outbreak in Connecticut history struck, leading Greenwich-raised Yale alumnus George H. W. Bush to declare a state of emergency
  • July 29: In 2017, Hamden resident and long-time New Haven minister Bishop William M. Philpot died
  • July 30: In 1970, 30,000 attendees showed up for "the greatest concert that never was," when Middlefield's "Powder Ridge Festival" -- featuring headliners including Janis Joplin, Chuck Berry, and James Taylor, amongst many others -- was cancelled at the last minute

August

September

October

  • October 2: In 1771, Hartford's Col. Samuel Wyllys led the creation of the Governor’s Foot Guards, today the oldest continuously-operated U.S. military unit
  • October 5: In 1991, an estimated 40,000 people protested in Hartford following the approval of a permanent state income tax by Gov. Lowell Weicker
  • October 6: In 1944, William C. Colpaugh of Niantic set voyage from Germany, returning to the U.S. to spy for the Nazis
  • October 7: In 1801, the Danbury Baptists Association began its famed correspondence with Thomas Jefferson opposing state religion
  • October 8: In 1908, a new bridge -- later renamed in honor of Gov. Morgan Bulkeley -- crossing the Connecticut River opened, connecting Hartford and East Hartford
  • October 10: In 1770, Benjamin Wright -- the "Father of American Civil Engineering" -- was born in Wethersfield
  • October 11: In 1930, famed polar explorer Richard E. Byrd spoke to a crowd of 2,600 at the Waterbury State Armory
  • October 12: In 1818, Gov. Oliver Wolcott, Jr. proclaimed the new state constitution effective

November

December

  • December 8: In 1810, pacifist, abolitionist, and lecturer Elihu Burritt was born in New Britain
  • December 9: In 1967, Jim Morrison of The Doors was arrested while performing on stage at the New Haven Arena

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