Thursday, February 9, 2012

Connecticut - #5, January 9, 1788

The first colony of New England to join the United States was Connecticut, in 1788, the fifth state to ratify the US Constitution. Having grown up in New York, on Long Island, I have been to and through the Nutmeg State on many occasions. In high school, I was part of a Model United Nations Club and for two successive years our club traveled to a conference at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

Most summers growing up, my family would travel to Maine for an extended vacation and that would bring us through Connecticut, though not at this particular time. The future Mrs. BA and I took an extended trip through New England, stopping at Mark Twain's home in Hartford, Connecticut.

Some years later, I spent an overnight at a bachelor party at Mohegan Sun casino and a motel hard on the highway in New London, which is not the nicest place when the submarine fleet is out of town.

Connecticut holds a distinction of having a presidential birthplace. George Herbert Walker Bush (who of course made his reputation in Texas) was born in New Haven, Connecticut. His father, Prescott Bush, was a long-time Senator from Connecticut.

The current governor of Connecticut is a Democrat, Dan Malloy. The Senators for the state are one Democrat, Richard Blumenthal, and one . . . not, Joseph Lieberman. The five Representatives are all Democrats.
Prominent Connecticuters (really?) - here are two for this state - here and here - many New Yorkers tend to say they are from Connecticut. I disagree)
  • Dean Acheson
  • P.T. Barnum
  • Henry Ward Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • John Brown (although I would certainly identify him with other states - he was born
  • Bette Davis
  • Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan
  • Charles Goodyear
  • Ella Grasso (the first woman elected to a governorship)
  • Katharine Hepburn
  • Annie Liebovitz
  • Frederick Law Olmstead (although he certainly made his mark elsewhere)
  • Benjamin Spock (no not that Spock)
  • Noah Webster


Anna van Schurman said...

No explanation of the whole nutmeg thing? It's not like CT has the Caribbean climate to grow them...

Brave Astronaut said...

It's not exactly clear. It's not the unofficial nickname. From Wikipedia - "The origins of the nutmeg connection to Connecticut are unknown. It may have come from its sailors returning from voyages with nutmeg (which in the 18th and 19th centuries was a very valuable spice). It may have originated in the early machined sheet tin nutmeg grinders sold by early Connecticut peddlers. It is also facetiously said to come from Yankee peddlers from Connecticut who would sell small carved nobs of wood shaped to look like nutmeg to unsuspecting customers."