Thursday, April 30, 2015

Top Student Historians Get Ready for Connecticut History Day Contest: Saturday, May 9 at Central Conn. State University

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For Immediate Release
April 30, 2015
Contact: Chris Zaccaro
(860) 246-1553 ext. 116

New Britain – More than 400 Connecticut middle and high school students have spent months digging into the history of the state, nation and world in preparation for the Connecticut History Day Contest taking place Saturday, May 9 at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain.

This year, students will be presenting their projects based on the 2015 theme of Leadership and Legacy in History in hopes that they will qualify for the National History Day Contest taking place at the University of Maryland in June. Project topics have covered a diverse number of topics, including the leadership of local icons such as aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky, artist J. Alden Weir and State Hero Nathan Hale – to name a few. A number of students have also taken on national and international subjects such as Coretta Scott King, Alan Turing and Julius Caesar. Contestants are able to compete in five categories – paper, performance, exhibit, documentary or website – either as an individual or within a group. More than one hundred local historians, educators, museum professionals and history lovers will volunteer as judges.

To qualify for the Connecticut History Day Contest students must have placed within the top three in their category at their Regional Contest. The six Regional Contests, which are based in Hartford, Torrington, Manchester, New Haven, Fairfield and Mansfield, took place throughout March. Students who place first or second in their respective categories at the State Contest will be invited to represent Connecticut at the National History Day Contest where over 2,500 students from across the United States will compete for prizes and scholarships.

Connecticut History Day Contest Schedule:
The Connecticut History Day Contest will begin with a Welcome Ceremony at 9 a.m. in Welte Auditorium on the Central Connecticut State University Campus in New Britain. Students will begin presenting projects at 9:30 a.m. in the nearby Social Sciences Building. Public viewing of this year’s History Day in Connecticut exhibits will take place from 11:45 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. in the Constitution Room of Memorial Hall. Judging will conclude at 2 p.m.

The First Company of the Governor’s Foot Guard will provide a rousing start to the Award Ceremony, which is scheduled for a 3:45 p.m. start time in the Welte Auditorium. State Historian Dr. Walter Woodward, new Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell and Stephen Armstrong of the State Department of Education will present medals and special prizes to student winners. The special prizes are sponsored by twenty Connecticut organizations, including The Institute for American Indian Studies, the Wadsworth Atheneum and the Supreme Court Historical Society. The Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award and the History Channel Award will also be presented to History Day in Connecticut educators.

Media & Public
Both the media and the public are welcome to attend the contest during the presentation phase and at the Awards Ceremony (3:45 p.m. start time). For more information about the History Day in Connecticut program, contact State Coordinator Rebecca Taber-Conover at (860) 522-6766 ext. 11.

History Day in Connecticut is one of 56 affiliate programs of National History Day. It is led by Connecticut’s Old State House, with support from the Connecticut Historical Society, the Connecticut League of History Organizations and the website. Major funding is provided by Connecticut Humanities.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Exploring Connecticut and the Slave Trade: Tuesday, April 21 at Noon

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For Immediate Release
April 15, 2015
Contact: Chris Zaccaro
(860) 246-1553 ext. 116

Hartford, CT – On Tuesday, April 21 Connecticut’s Old State House will explore the Nutmeg State’s seldom discussed role in America’s slave trade as it welcomes historian Anne Farrow, author of The Logbooks: Connecticut’s Slave Ships and Human Memory, to be the featured speaker during the next installment of Conversations at Noon. Farrow has spent the last decade exploring the content and meaning of an 18th-century New London slave ship’s set of logbooks. Her new book discusses three 1757 voyages of the slave ship Africa, including a journey from New London to the tiny island of Bence in Sierra Leone to take on fresh water and slaves.  These voyages, documented by the ship owner’s son, unearth new realities of Connecticut’s slave trade and question how we could have forgotten this part of our past so completely. 

Following Farrow’s talk, she will be joined by Dr. Robert Wolff, Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University, and Dr. Allegra di Bonaventura, author of For Adam’s Sake: A Family Saga in Colonial New England, for a panel discussion moderated by the Connecticut Network’s (CT-N) Diane Smith. Following the program, there will be a book signing with Ms. Farrow and Dr. di Bonaventura in the Old State House Shop.

This installment of Conversations at Noon is co-sponsored with the Stanley Whitman House. This program is free to attend and begins promptly at Noon on Tuesday, April 21.

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 interactive History is All Around Us exhibition by the Connecticut Historical Society, located in the Mortensen Gallery of the lower level of the Old State House, allows visitors to explore over 300 years of Hartford and Connecticut history. 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