Monday, September 15, 2014

The 175th Anniversary of The Amistad Hearings at Connecticut’s Old State House

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For Immediate Release
September 15 2014
Contact: Chris Zaccaro
(860) 522-6766 ext. 116
 
This Friday, September 19th marks the 175th Anniversary of The Amistad Hearings at Connecticut’s Old State House in downtown Hartford. To mark this significant event in our state’s history, the Old State House will begin hosting a special exhibit featuring objects relating to the Amistad trial, including the original keys to the Hartford Jail, a bust of the African prisoners’ leader, Cinque, as well as images and speeches from the famous case. The exhibit will be open for General Admission viewing through August 2015.

Another new exhibit featuring items related to the famous abolitionist John Brown will be open for General Admission viewing starting September 19th as well. Brown, a Connecticut native, led a raid on the federal arsenal at Harper’s Ferry in order to start an armed insurrection to end slavery. This special exhibit will feature images of Brown and a reproduction of the fort at Harper’s Ferry.

Visitors will be able to get a special sneak peek of the new Amistad and John Brown exhibits this Thursday, September 18th at Noon with the debut of the Old State House’s new themed-tour, A Great Storm Swept Over Us: African American History at the Old State House. Through this guided tour visitors will learn the story of the famous Amistad trials of 1839, learn about slavery in our state and discover how some citizens fought to overcome the status quo.

Future tours are scheduled to take place once a month after October 2014; however groups may schedule to take the tour at a separate time by making a special reservation through Old State House Visitor Services at (860) 522-6766. To view upcoming dates for all of the Old State House’s themed-tours and other public events, visit the online calendar on the Old State House website at www.ctoldstatehouse.org.

These new exhibits are made possible through the loan of objects by The Amistad Center for Art and Culture and the Connecticut Historical Society. Connecticut’s Old State House is one of more than 130 sites on Connecticut’s Freedom Trail, which documents and designates sites that embody the struggle toward freedom and human dignity and celebrates the accomplishments of Connecticut’s African-American community.

Located in Hartford, a short walk from the Wadsworth, Connecticut’s Old State House served as a seat of government for the Constitution State from 1796 to 1878. The Old State House Shop, located on the Main Street side of the building, provides visitors an opportunity to purchase great, quality-made Connecticut and Hartford themed gifts, products and apparel. The Old State House Farmers Market, the oldest of its kind in the state, is open Tuesdays and Fridays throughout the summer. For more information on admission prices, upcoming events and parking discounts nearby, become a fan of Connecticut’s Old State House on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or visit us online at http://www.ctoldstatehouse.org.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

BIKE WEEK AT THE OLD STATE HOUSE (Sept. 16-20): Antique Bike Exhibit & The American Dream Machine: Bicycles Past, Present & Future (Sept. 16 at Noon)

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For Immediate Release
September 9, 2014
Contact: Chris Zaccaro
chris.zaccaro@ct.cga.ct.gov
(860) 246-1553 ext. 116

How did a Civil War veteran become the father of the American bicycle and turn Hartford into the
bicycle capital of the world? How did he predict trends in transportation and go on to build other dream machines?
 
Join Steve Goddard, author of Colonel Albert Pope and His American Dream Machines, on Tuesday, September 16 to discover how one Hartford factory became the largest employer in New England, producing everything from high wheelers to bicycles to electric cars. Following Mr. Goddard’s talk, join in a panel discussion about making Connecticut more bike-friendly and promoting bike racing among Connecticut kids with Mr. Goddard, Aidan Charles, the Founder and Executive Director of the Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program, and Kelly Kennedy, Executive Director of Bike Walk Connecticut. The Connecticut Network’s (CT-N) Diane Smith will moderate the conversation.

Following the program, enjoy Wheels for All, a wonderful, temporary exhibit that showcases six bikes dating from 1869 to 1914, on loan from the Connecticut Historical Society. The antique bikes, which include Lakin’s Improved Velocipede (1869), the Pope Manufacturing Company’s Columbia Ordinary (1881) and the Woman’s Chainless Safety bicycle from the League Cycle Company (1894), will be on display at Connecticut’s Old State House from September 16-20. General admission rates apply to this exhibit.

The American Dream Machine: Bicycles Past, Present & Future begins at Noon, attendees are encouraged to enjoy their lunches during this free event inside Connecticut’s Old State House. This program is funded by Connecticut Humanities.

Located in Hartford, a short walk from the Wadsworth, Connecticut’s Old State House served as a seat of government for the Constitution State from 1796 to 1878. The Old State House Shop, located on the Main Street side of the building, provides visitors an opportunity to purchase great, quality-made Connecticut and Hartford themed gifts, products and apparel. The Old State House Farmers Market, the oldest of its kind in the state, is open Tuesdays and Fridays throughout the summer. For more information on admission prices, upcoming events and parking discounts nearby, become a fan of Connecticut’s Old State House on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or visit us online at http://www.ctoldstatehouse.org.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

State Archaeologist Dr. Nicholas Bellantoni Sits Down for Interview on Eve of His Retirement

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For Immediate Release
August 13, 2014
Contact: Chris Zaccaro
(860) 246-1553 ext. 116
 
State Archaeologist, Dr. Nicholas F. Bellantoni, has been excavating in Connecticut for over 30 years. On Wednesday August 20, the eve of his retirement, Dr. Bellantoni will sit down for a special conversation with the Connecticut Network’s (CT-N) Diane Smith to reflect on the most amazing moments of his fascinating career and his role in preserving the state’s archaeological treasures. Among the many highlights of Dr. Bellantoni’s career was his involvement with the repatriation of Native American remains and the examination of a skull fragment that was claimed to be Adolf Hitler’s.
 
This free event, which is co-sponsored with Connecticut Humanities, starts at Noon and is open to the public.
 
Located in Hartford, a short walk from the Wadsworth, Connecticut’s Old State House served as a seat of government for the Constitution State from 1796 to 1878. The Old State House Shop, located on the Main Street side of the building, provides visitors an opportunity to purchase great, quality-made Connecticut and Hartford themed gifts, products and apparel. The Old State House Farmers Market, the oldest of its kind in the state, is open Tuesdays and Fridays throughout the summer. For more information on admission prices, upcoming events and parking discounts nearby, become a fan of Connecticut’s Old State House on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or visit us online at http://www.ctoldstatehouse.org.
 
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Monday, July 21, 2014

"From Farming to Therapy: Animals at Work" - Old State House, Conversations at Noon – Tues, July 29

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For Immediate Release
July 21, 2014
Contact: Chris Zaccaro
chris.zaccaro@cga.ct.gov
(860) 246-1553 ext. 116

Hartford, CT - There is a special group of workers who contribute much to our society but are often overlooked - animals. What was their role in early nineteenth-century agriculture? What kind of work do animals perform today?

Join Connecticut’s Old State House on Tuesday, July 29 as we meet some hardworking, four-legged friends during our next installment of Conversations at Noon entitled, From Farming to Therapy: Animals at Work. Enjoy a presentation on nineteenth-century agrarian life by Rhys Simmons, Coordinator of Agriculture at Old Sturbridge Village, followed by a panel discussion led by the Connecticut Network’s (CT-N) Diane Smith. Diane will sit down with Simmons and other animal experts to discuss the various roles animals hold inside the working world and the steps that have been taken and should be taken to ensure their safety.

To round off this special event, the Old State House will be visited by some of Hartford’s finest, the horses of Hartford’s Mounted Police at the end of the program. This free event starts at Noon and is sponsored by Connecticut Humanities.

Located in Hartford, a short walk from the Wadsworth, Connecticut’s Old State House served as a seat of government for the Constitution State from 1796 to 1878. The Old State House Shop, located on the Main Street side of the building, provides visitors an opportunity to purchase great, quality-made Connecticut and Hartford themed gifts, products and apparel. The Old State House Farmers Market, the oldest of its kind in the state, is open Tuesdays and Fridays throughout the summer. For more information on admission prices, upcoming events and parking discounts nearby, become a fan of Connecticut’s Old State House on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or visit us online at http://www.ctoldstatehouse.org.

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Connecticut’s Old State House & Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art Announce Partnership for Admission Discounts

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For Immediate Release
July 11, 2014
Contact: Chris Zaccaro
(860) 246-1553 ext. 116

Hartford, CT – Connecticut’s Old State House is proud to announce that it has entered into a partnership with the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art to provide admission discounts to those who visit both venues in the same day. This new agreement will allow visitors to enjoy two iconic Hartford landmarks, separated by just a few steps, for extremely affordable prices.

Effective Saturday, July 12, all guests who visit the Old State House will receive a $5 admission at the Wadsworth upon the presentation of a same-day ticket. That is a savings of 50% for adults and 37% for seniors and students. Admission for children 12 years and younger will remain free.

All guests who visit the Wadsworth will receive $1 off admission at the Old State House upon presentation of a same-day ticket to the museum. Admission for children 5 years and younger will remain free.

The Old State House will also validate parking tickets from the State Street South Parking Garage and the State House Square Parking Garage, resulting in a $5 charge for all-day parking in downtown Hartford. A regular adult will be able to park downtown and visit the Old State House and Wadsworth, all for a low total price of $15.

The timing of this agreement is spectacular as it will allow tourists and local residents to enjoy two historic and entertaining attractions during Hartford’s beautiful summer months. The Old State House’s Summer Schedule took effect the same week of the promotion, granting visitors the ability to enjoy both venues on Saturdays until October 11, when the Regular Schedule takes effect again. The Old State House is open Tuesday - Saturday, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., during the Summer Schedule.

“It’s a short walk between Connecticut’s Old State House and the Wadsworth Atheneum.” stated Sally Whipple, Executive Director of the Old State House. “We hope that a discounted ticket for visiting both museums will encourage more people to take that walk and get as much out of Hartford’s treasures as possible.”

Earlier this year, the Old State House agreed to house five original paintings from legendary American artist John Trumbull as the Wadsworth undergoes renovations. They are currently available for viewing through general admission.

Located in Hartford, a short walk from the Wadsworth, Connecticut’s Old State House served as a seat of government for the Constitution State from 1796 to 1878. The Old State House Shop, located on the Main Street side of the building, provides visitors an opportunity to purchase great, quality-made Connecticut and Hartford themed gifts, products and apparel. The Old State House Farmers Market, the oldest of its kind in the state, is open Tuesdays and Fridays throughout the summer. For more information on admission prices, upcoming events and parking discounts nearby, become a fan of Connecticut’s Old State House on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or visit us online at www.ctoldstatehouse.org.  

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Connecticut Students Win National Awards at History Day Contest

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For Immediate Release
June 23, 2014
Contact: Rebecca Taber-Conover
860-522-6766, ext. 11
 
 
 
College Park, MD – Fifty-nine middle and high school students had the experience of a lifetime as they represented Connecticut at the prestigious National History Day Contest, which took place at the University of Maryland in College Park from June 15 to June 19.  The Connecticut students competed against more than 2,900 students from across the country.   They presented projects-exhibits, documentaries, papers, websites and performances -that showcased months of historical research and hard work to teams of judges.  During the week, students met fellow competitors, toured Washington, D.C., met U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, and participated in a variety of fun, educational activities. The amazing experience culminated with a three-hour Awards Ceremony on June 19, which was live streamed on the History Channel’s website, History.com. You can view pictures of the delegation’s trip to National History Day on the History Day in Connecticut Facebook page.
There were several Connecticut winners, they are listed below. You can view a list of all winners here.
  • Nicholas Serrambana, a student at Classical Magnet School in Hartford, won Third Place (in the nation) in the Senior Individual Performance category for his project, Hanging Satan: The Eradication of Connecticut’s Witch-Craze.
  • Five students from Pequot Home School in Southport won Second Place (in the nation) in Senior Group Performance for their project, The Farm Security Administration Photography Project: Human Rights and Government Responsibility through an Altered Lens.  The students are: Isabella Altherr, Annabel Barry, Pierce Barry, Quinn Barry and Jaden Esse.
  • Samuel Porcello won the prize for Outstanding Entry tied to a Historic Site with his exhibit, A Tale of Two Floods: How Johnstown Elevated Individual Rights and America’s Flood Responsibility.  He is a student at Conard High School in West Hartford.  During the National Contest, Sam met with one of the flood survivors whom he had previously interviewed over the phone.
  • Jonas Burkhard and Tim Nolan were awarded the Senior Prize for a Connecticut Project with their documentary, Neutrality? Bombs, Gold and Swiss Support of the South African Apartheid Regime.  They are students from E.O. Smith High School in Storrs and, in fact, flew back from high school graduation in order to participate in the National Contest.
  • Jasmine Su and Gabrielle Young won the Junior Prize for Outstanding Connecticut Entry with their exhibit, Japanese Internment During WWII: Connecticut Acts Responsibly to Restore Basic Rights of Japanese Americans. They are students at Memorial Middle School in Middlebury, CT.
Additionally, several Connecticut students were recognized as finalists, selected as a top fourteen project among over a hundred, at the National Contest:

  • Abigail McMahon and Aje Watson from Praise, Power, and Prayer Christian School in Windsor were finalists in the Senior Group Performance category with their project Dodging the Draft: Rights and Responsibilities During the Vietnam War.
  • Jack Higgins from Thomas Edison Middle School in Meriden was selected as a finalist with his documentary, The Beman Triangle: A Community’s Struggle for Freedom.  Jack received a special invitation to attend “Breakfast on the Hill” with members of Congress, an event sponsored by National Endowment for the Humanities.  Jack spoke with legislators about his award-winning documentary which focused on a vibrant African-American community in Middletown, CT.
  • Catherine Cranmer, Rebecca Coyne, and Lydia Russell from Mansfield Middle School in Storrs were selected as finalists in the Junior Group Website category with their project, Japanese American Internment: The Rights of the People vs.  The Responsibility of the Government.
Connecticut’s National Contest participants had previously placed first or second at the Connecticut History Day State Contest, held on April 26, 2014 at Central Connecticut State University. “The quality of our students’ work is phenomenal,” stated Rebecca-Taber Conover, Head of Public Programs and History Day for Connecticut’s Old State House. “I am so proud of our Connecticut students.”
During the National Contest, students, teachers and parents participated in several special activities.  The Connecticut Delegation visited the U.S. Supreme Court and enjoyed private tours of the National Gallery of Art and the U.S. Capitol. Students, Angela Yu and Maddy Fodor, from Staples High School in Westport, CT, exhibited their project, Prudence Crandall, as part of National History Day Night at the Museum of American History.  Each NHD affiliate selects one project to be displayed at the special event; Maddy and Angela’s project represented Connecticut. 
 
Over 4,000 middle and high school students participate in History Day in Connecticut, one of 56 affiliate programs of National History Day, a renowned, year-long, academic program.  The road to National History Day (NHD) usually begins in Connecticut’s classrooms and home schools where students choose topics reflecting an annual NHD theme, conduct research and analysis and create an exhibit, performance, website, paper or documentary that shares their findings. Of these, over a thousand students competed in this year’s District Contests, with 400 of winners going on to the State Contest, which sends first and second-place winners on to Nationals.
All of this is made possible by a strong collaboration among many of Connecticut’s history organizations who work with dedicated educators to help students develop critical thinking skills and a passion for learning and sharing history. A shared goal is to encourage a life-long interest in Connecticut’s rich stories, archives, historic buildings and museum collections. The collaboration is led by Connecticut’s Old State House, funded by Connecticut Humanities, and supported by the Connecticut League of History Organizations, the Connecticut Historical Society, Central Connecticut State University and scores of historical societies and civic groups who provide special prizes at the state level.
You can learn more about History Day in Connecticut by visiting its website at http://www.historydayct.org/or becoming a fan of the organization on Facebook.
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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Two Connecticut Teachers Named Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award Recipients by National History Day


Two Connecticut Teachers Named Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award Recipients by National History Day

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For Immediate Release
June 12, 2014
Contact: Chris Zaccaro
(860) 246-1553, ext. 116
 
 
Hartford, CT – History Day in Connecticut, an affiliate of National History Day (NHD), is proud to announce that two Connecticut teachers have been honored as recipients of the Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award by NHD. Jennifer Hunt, a teacher at Sedgwick Middle School in West Hartford, and D. Claude Morest, a teacher at the Academy of Information Technology and Engineering in Stamford, were both selected as the two state winners for Connecticut.
 
“National History Day firmly believes that quality teachers are the best educational tools that students have,” said NHD Executive Director Cathy Gorn. “The history teachers selected as Behring Award recipients are a credit to their discipline, and exemplify what it takes to truly be a quality educator.” 
 
Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award winners are NHD participating teachers who have shown outstanding creativity, commitment and inspiration in developing student interest in the field of History. Each winner is awarded $500 and becomes eligible for the National Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award. Two national winners will be announced during the NHD Awards Ceremony at the University of Maryland on Thursday, June 19.
 
“The NHD structure gives me a foundation on which to enhance student learning,” said Behring Award Winner Jennifer Hunt. “The process offers three crucial ingredients for intellectual engagement. Choice of topics allows personal empowerment, depth of knowledge from primary and secondary sources provide an opportunity for substantive analysis and the breadth of topics that relate to the same theme illustrates the interconnectedness of humans and the importance of studying history.”
 
“This is a thoughtful recognition of the teachers who put in an extra effort to educate their students beyond the normal expectation level,” said Behring Award Winner D. Claude Morest. “As one of those teachers, I am glad that NHD has recognized my hard work. This honor motivates me to continue going above and beyond the call in teaching my students how to conduct historical research and write papers.”
 
What’s Up Next for History Day in Connecticut?
The 2014 History Day in Connecticut Delegation will be traveling to the National Contest at the University of Maryland, which will be held June 15-19. While there, the students will not only participate in the contest but also take a tour of Washington, D.C. and meet with U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy. The Awards Ceremony will be taking place on the morning of Thursday, June 19 from 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. The History Channel will be live-streaming the ceremony on its website, www.History.com.
 
History Day in Connecticut is an affiliate program of the renowned academic program, National History Day (NHD). History Day in Connecticut is led by Connecticut’s Old State House with support from the Connecticut Historical Society, the Connecticut League of History Organizations and ConnecticutHistory.org. Major funding provided by Connecticut Humanities. For more information on History Day in Connecticut, contact State Coordinator Rebecca Taber-Conover at 860-522-6766, ext. 11 or rebecca.taber-conover@cga.ct.gov.
Learn more about History Day in Connecticut by visiting our webpage http://www.historydayct.org/ or liking us on Facebook. The National History Day website may be viewed at http://www.nhd.org.
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