Category Archives: Uncategorized

Exhumation planned for two Circus Fire victims

Grace Fifield, a 47-year-old woman visiting Wethersfield from Newport, Vermont went to the Ringling Brothers Circus in Hartford’s North End on July 6, 1944 and never came home. Her family has assumed all these years that she was among the 168 people killed in the fire that swept through the big top that day. But […]

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Hear Susan Campbell talk about her new Frog Hollow book

Susan Campbell got to know the city’s Frog Hollow neighborhood as a longtime reporter and columnist for the Hartford Courant. Now she has poured that expertise into a new book that delves into the neighborhood’s long history as a hotbed of industrial, political, and cultural change. You can meet Campbell and buy a copy of […]

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The historic Aetna Ambulance

Kudos to Fox 61 (WTIC-TV) for its recent profile of Aetna Ambulance, which began in 1945 in response to an ambulance shortage during the 1944 Circus Fire. The company, headquartered off Van Block Street, in the Sheldon/Charter Oak neighborhood, also made history as the city’s first African American-owned ambulance service. Here’s the Fox 61 video:

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A Willie Pep movie? Set in Hartford?

Several Hartford-area executives already have invested in the project, which has a projected budget of $1.5 million, according to the Journal. The investors hope this movie, named “Pep,” will raise Hartford’s profile the way another boxing movie, “Rocky,” did for Philadelphia in the 1970s. The Hartford Business Journal reports that a New York-based production team […]

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This week’s trivia question

What Hartford institution disappeared on October 20, 1976?

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A Hartford landmark needs your help

Upon its construction on Charter Oak Avenue in 1876, Temple Beth Israel became Connecticut’s first purpose-built synagogue. With its twin domes and arched doors and windows, it also became an architectural jewel of the neighborhood. The congregation moved to West Hartford in 1935, but with the Charter Oak Cultural Center now operating there, the place […]

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MLK and Hartford

Martin Luther King Jr., just 30 years old but already recognized nationally as a leader of the civil rights movement, walked onto the stage of Bushnell Memorial Hall on May 7, 1959. In a speech entitled, “The Future of Integration,” King pointed to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling five years earlier that state laws establishing […]

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This week’s trivia question

What city institution—still with us—was founded in response to a steam boiler explosion that killed 21 and seriously injured as many as 50 on March 2, 1854, at the Fales and Gray railroad-car factory near Dutch Point?

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Catching up

Here’s some news that got lost in the holiday hub-bub. *** The Hartford Courant reported that the 160-year-old Lewtan Building on High Street, just off Bushnell Park, will join the many downtown buildings undergoing conversion into apartments. (This Google Maps photo shows it in relation to the park.) As reporter Ken Gosselin put it: For […]

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Hartford stuff for your last-minute shopping

If you’ve got some last-minute holiday shopping to do and want to share the Hartford love, dash into Hartford Prints at 42 1/2 Pratt Street. You’ll find all kinds of Hartford-themed items, from calendars to Yard Goats and Whalers hats. It’s open till 7 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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This week’s trivia question

What key part of Hartford’s infrastructure is named after a man who grew up in the city and was killed in the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor? The answer is here.

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Dillon Stadium flashback

Today’s ceremonial groundbreaking for the renovation of Dillon Stadium put me in mind of the Hartford Knights, the minor-league football team that played there in the late 1960s and early 1970s. I was nine years old when my father brought me to Dillon for the September 5, 1970 game against the Indianapolis Capitals. I don’t […]

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