Monday 18 July 2011

The America project - Connecticut

Connecticut (CT) size 5,543 sq.m population 3.6 million

Bordering states New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island (3)
State capital Hartford
Most populous city Bridgeport
Other notable places New Haven, Stamford, Waterbury
Notable landmarks and natural features Bear Mountain, Yale University

Statehood 9th January 1788 (5th)

Ten famous Connecticutters
P.T. Barnum (showman and entrepreneur; born Bethel, 1810-1891)
Henry Ward Beecher (clergyman, abolitionist and social reformer; born Litchfield, 1813-1887)
Ernest Borgnine (actor; born Hamden, 1917 -)
George W. Bush (politician, 43rd President of the USA; born New Haven, 1946 -)
Charles Goodyear (inventor and businessman; born New Haven, 1800-1860)
Katharine Hepburn (actress; born Hartford, 1907-2003)
Annie Liebovitz (photographer; born Waterbury, 1949 -)
Robert Mitchum (actor; born Bridgeport, 1917-1997)
Moby (musician; born New York City (raised in Darien), 1965 -)
Benjamin Spock (paediatrician and author; born New Haven, 1903-1998)

Three important events

1. Terratorial disputes
Connecticut was a haven for Dutch settlers until the English arrived in the early 17th Century. By sheer weight of numbers they began to dominate affairs in the area. In the end, a number of treaties were drawn up to set out proper boundaries. These treaties in themselves fuelled the disputes for years to come. One early document promised Connecticut an ocean coast to its east, causing centuries of squabbles with Long Island and Rhode Island. To the West, open warfare broke out between Connecticut and Pennsylvania between 1773 and 1778 over an area called the Western Reserve. As is so gallingly often the case with any such serious territorial tussles, neither State can now lay claim to the area: it's now part of Ohio.

2. USS Nautilus (1954)
Munitions and military hardware have often been the bedrock of Connecticut's economy, but they have also been pioneers. During the Cold War years, the world's first nuclear submarine, USS Nautilus was built in Connecticut. Nautilus saw active service from 1954 until 1980. After it was decommissioned it was turned into a naval history museum in Groton, CT.

3. Carrie Saxon Perry (1987)
In 1987, Hartford made a little piece of American history, becoming the first major US city to elect an African American woman as its mayor. She served for three terms of office.

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