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The Constitution State

Connecticut was inhabited by multiple Native American tribes prior to European settlement and colonization, including the Mohegans, Pequots and Paugusetts.  Adriaen Block, Dutch, was the first European explorer to Connecticut  in 1614.  The Dutch established a small, short-lived settlement in the present-day Hartford.  Fur traders built a fort in the present-day Hartford location.  The first English settlers came in 1633, however the main body of settlers came in one large group in 1636.  These were Puritans from Massachusetts who founded the Connecticut Colony, Saybrook Colony and New Haven Colony.   These colonies made up documents of Fundamental Orders which were considered the first constitutions in North America.  Because the Dutch were outnumbered by the flood of English settlers from Massachusetts, they abandoned their fort in 1654.  The Connecticut Colony and the Quinnipiack Colony were not of the English Crown, they were independent political entities.  They were considered English but were actually only secessionist outposts of Massachusetts Bay.  These two colonies became united and obtained an English Charter.  In 1662 these three colonies merged into a royal charter making Connecticut a crown colony which was one of the Thirteen Colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution.   Benedict Arnold, born in Connecticut, turned his back on the Americans and led British troops in their raid of New London, CT.   The Pequot War was the first major clash between the European settlers and the Native Americans in New England.  Settlers raided a Pequot village on Block Island in 1636.  The Pequots attacked several of the settlements and a militia of colonists attacked the Pequot village on the Mystic River to force the Pequot into a truce.


The state prospered after the American Revolution, as mills and textile factories were built and seaports flourished from trade and fisheries.  Connecticut ceded territory to the United States government and made land agreements with Pennsylvania and New York in 1800 to bring Connecticut to its present boundaries.

Connecticut was influential in the development of the federal government of the United States.  


Prescott Bush represented Connecticut in the US Senate from 1952-1963.  His son, George H.W.Bush and grandson George W.Bush both became presidents of the United States.


Information acquired from :    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


Capital -    Hartford

Largest city -    Bridgeport

Area -    5,543 sq. miles,  70 X 110 miles, third smallest state.

Population -    3,596,080  (2013 est.)

State bird -    American Robin

State Flower -    Mountain Laurel

State tree -     Charter White Oak

State mammal -    Sperm Whale

State fish -    American Shad

State insect -   Praying Mantis


Sports -    College - NCAA Division I - UConn Huskies, basketball

                    football - UConn Huskies

Important people -    George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Charles Dow,  Katherine Hepburn, J.P.Morgan, Jackie Robinson, Meryl Streep,                              Mark Twain, Benedict Arnold, Phil Donahue, Nathan Hale, Andy Rooney, Charles Goodyear.

Agriculture -    Involved nursery stock production, dairy products and eggs, tobacco, fish & shellfish and fruit.  Oyster harvesting was an important source of income.


Connecticut was named after the Connecticut River and is the southernmost state in New England.  The highest peak is Bear Mountain in Salisbury.  The most populated metropolitan area in the state is in the Connecticut River Valley which cuts through the center of the state.   January 9, 1788 Connecticut became the 5th state of the Union.


Fall brings colorful foliage along the northern parts of the state.  Tropical cyclones occasionally affect the region.  The state usually averages one tornado a year.  On 9/21/1938, the most destructive hurricane in New England struck Connecticut causing extensive damage.


Connecticut's rivers and ports give the state a strong maritime trade.  The state has a long history in the financial-services industry including Hartford Insurance and hedge funds.


Yale College was established in 1701, dominating Connecticut's intellectual life.   Four delegates from Connecticut signed the Declaration of Independence: Samuel Huntington, Roger Sherman, William Williams and Oliver Wolcott.  


The state became recognized as a major center for manufacturing after the British blockade in the War of 1812 hurt exports stimulating the construction of factories to manufacture textiles & machinery.  Eli Whitney and the Industrial revolution helped in this progress.  Noah Webster compiled his great dictionary in New Haven.


Connecticut's manufacturers played a major role in supplying the Union forces with weapons and supplies during the Civil War.  The state furnished 50,000 men to the military.  The New Haven railroad became the dominant railroad company after 1872.  By 1912, the New haven operated over 2000 miles of track and employed 120,000 people.  In 1875, the first telephone exchange in the world was established in New Haven.  Connecticut became a major supplier of weaponry to the United States military in 1914 for World War I.  By 1918, 80% of the state's industries were producing goods for the war effort; Remington Arms in Bridgeport, Winchester in New Haven and Colt in Hartford.  It was an important US Navy supplier also, receiving an order for 85 submarines, building more than 20 and building freighters.  On June 21, 1916, the US Navy made Groton the site of its East Coast sub base and school.  With the states enthusiastic support of the war effort, the manufacturers suffered with manpower shortages so the federal government furloughed soldiers to help.  In 1925, Prat & Whitney in Hartford was created to develop aircraft engines and become an important military supplier in WWII and one of the three major jet engine manufacturers in the world.  May 13, 1940 was the untethered flight of the first practical helicopter.


Finance and insurance is Connecticut's largest industry as of 2009.  Manufacturing is the third largest industry.  The state was a historical center for gun manufacturing.  The arts, film, history and tourism impact the state's economy.


In 1992, initial construction on Foxwoods Casino was completed which became the largest casino in the Western Hemisphere.  Mohegan Sun followed four years later.  Connecticut has one of the highest rates of bicycle ownership and use in the United States. New Haven has the highest percentage of commuters who bicycle to work of any major metropolitan center on the East Coast.


On 11/12/2008, the state became the second state (after Massachusetts) to allow same-sex marriages.

The Charter Oak appears on this quarter. Where was this famous tree?

Qui transtulit sustinet, reads the state flag. What does it mean?

Movie Stars

Sure, you probably recognize these famous faces (you do, don't you?) But can you name the Connecticut city or town each came from? Answers below.

Qui transtulit sustinet means "He who transplanted sustains."
The Charter Oak grew in Hartford.
Ernest Borgnine was born in Hamden.
Glenn Close is from Greenwich.
Robert Mitchum is from Bridgeport.
Rosalind Russell is from Waterbury.
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