On February 4, 1864, the East Armory of the famous Colt Patent Fire Arms Company, built in 1855 in Hartford, Connecticut, was completely destroyed in a fire, incurring $2 million in damages. Elizabeth Colt, Samuel Colt’s widow, had insured the factory buildings and the structures were quickly rebuilt, including the distinctive blue onion dome. Today the armory is part of a National Historic Landmark District.
Did you know that William Henry Johnson, the first African-American from Connecticut who volunteered to serve in the Civil War, enlisted in the all-white Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteer Infantry in September 1861? Later African-American volunteers from Connecticut generally joined the all-black Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. It wasn’t until November 1863, as the North’s insatiable need for soldiers intensified, that the Twenty-ninth (Colored) Connecticut Regiment Volunteer Infantry was formed.
Our collections include the publication “Connecticut’s African-American Soldiers in the Civil War, 1861-1865,” written in 2000 by Diana Ross McCain. You can read it in its entirely on our digital repository.
We can’t wait to cheer on the UConn Football team at the St. Petersburg Bowl, playing against Marshall University’s Thundering Herd. The game is at 11:00a.m. on Saturday, December 26, and will be televised on ESPN.
Merry Christmas, everyone! Our reading room will be closed for the two weeks between December 21 and January 4 but please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about our collections.
It’s National Tango Day! Not in the U.S., though, but in Argentina. That’s as good an excuse as any to put up this photo of a couple dancing a tango on ice from the book “Dancing on Ice,” which you can find in our digital repository.
Here is a page from one of the many holiday books that you can find in the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection. The Miracle of the Potato Latkes: A Hanukkah Story, was written in 1994 by Malka Penn and illustrated by Giora Carmi. This page from the book is shown here courtesy of the author and illustrator.
This is one of many images UConn Professor Jerauld Manter took of agricultural scenes on campus, this one taken in 1944. For more photos of cows and other livestock check out our digital repository at http://archives.lib.uconn.edu/.
More than 2000 UConn alumni served in World War II; 114 of them lost their lives in the conflict. After the war the Veteran’s Administration requested that the university accept between 3000 and 4000 returning soldiers as students. In 1946 the campus had 792 veterans enrolled as students (11 of them were women) with another 300 at the Hartford and Waterbury extension campuses and 154 are enrolled in the Law, Insurance and Pharmacy schools. Eleven temporary barracks, nicknamed “Siberia” because of their distance from the main campus, were built on “the site of the former agronomy plots bordering the main road to Willimantic.” This site is now the Fine Arts Complex and E.O. Smith High School. As more veterans were accepted to UConn more housing was built or found in nearby Willimantic.
More information about the expansion of the campus for returning World War II veterans can be found in the UConn Chronology at http://doddcenter.uconn.edu/asc/collections/chronology/index.cfm and photographs of scenes such as the one above, of “Agronomy Field” can be found on the Digital Repository.
President Bill Clinton came to the University of Connecticut in 1995 to dedicate the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. He returns today, exactly twenty years later, to receive the Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights, along with the international Human Rights Education organization Tostan. We’re delighted to welcome him back to UConn! Here he is at the ceremony on October 15, 1995.