98 Interesting Facts About Connecticut

Last updated on November 24th, 2023

Connecticut is the 29th most populous and the 48th most extensive of the 50 states of the United States. It lies in the northeastern region of the United States. The state attained statehood on January 9, 1788, becoming the 5th state to join the union. Its three bordering states are New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. See the complete list of the 50 states and their borders here. Connecticut (nicknamed: the Constitution State, the Nutmeg State, the Provisions State) has counties. The state’s capital is Hartford. The postal abbreviation for Connecticut is CT. With these facts about Connecticut, let us learn more about its history, geography, people, economy and more.

Facts about Connecticut

1. The state is named after the Connecticut River, which bisects the state and is a major river in the U.S. The Connecticut River flows through the center of the state, south to the Long Island Sound. It flows through four states including – New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

2. The word “Connecticut” is derived from the Native American word quinetucket, meaning “besides the long, tidal river”.

3. The Connecticut River Valley is known for its fertile soil, making it an important agricultural region for crops like tobacco, corn, and dairy farming.

4. Connecticut has a rich tradition of boatbuilding and sailing, with boatyards and marinas scattered along its coastline. This heritage highlights the state’s strong connection to the sea and its appeal as a destination for sailing enthusiasts.

5. Lake Candlewood is the largest lake in Connecticut. The lake has an area of 8.4 square miles, and some of the most expensive real estate in Connecticut is located on the shores of the lake, in the towns of Brookfield, New Fairfield, New Milford, and Sherman.

Connecticut on map

6. Mystic Seaport, located in Mystic, Connecticut, is the largest maritime museum in the United States. It is a living history museum that preserves the region’s maritime traditions.

7. The state’s Mystic Aquarium is renowned for its marine life exhibits and its beluga whale (the only one of its kind in New England) and penguin encounters. This is one of only 2 US aquariums that houses Steller sea lions.

8. The state has several notable lighthouses, including the New London Ledge Lighthouse and the Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse.

9. Since 1910, the city of New London, Connecticut, has been home to the United States Coast Guard Academy. It was originally located in Massachusetts, but after merging with the Life Saving Service, it found its new home in Connecticut.

Rubber Duck Racing. Connecticut facts
Photo © Neil Lockhart

10. The town of Chester, Connecticut, is known for its quirky tradition of hosting an annual “rubber ducky race” in which thousands of rubber ducks are floated down a river.

11. The Connecticut River Estuary is an important ecological region and provides habitat for various species of birds, fish, and plants.

12. Arriving in 1614, the first settlers in the state were the Dutchmen. The Dutch were fur traders who built a fort near present-day Hartford.

13. Connecticut has a significant Irish American population, and the city of New Haven hosts the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, one of the oldest and largest in the country.

14. The Connecticut Freedom Trail highlights sites associated with African American history and the abolitionist movement in the state.

15. On August 22, 1902, Theodore Roosevelt became the first U.S. president to ride in an automobile while in office. He stopped in Hartford’s Pope Park and spoke to a gathering of about 10,000 workers. Interestingly, Mr. Roosevelt was also the first president to own a car and have a telephone in his home.

16. Bear Mountain in Salisbury in the northwest corner of the state is the highest peak in the state.

American robin
American robin. Photo © Sekernas

17. Connecticut’s state bird is the American robin, known for its cheerful presence and melodic songs.

18. The mountain laurel is the state flower which adorns the woodlands with its beautiful clusters of bell-shaped blooms. These symbols reflect the state’s natural beauty and commitment to conservation.

19. The Old New-Gate Prison & Copper Mine (1773) in East Granby, Connecticut is the oldest surviving state prison in the nation. However, in 1827, the prison was abandoned. During its more than 50 years as a penitentiary, well over 800 prisoners had served time there, including four women.

20. The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion in Norwalk, Connecticut, is a stunning example of Second Empire architecture and is often referred to as the “Palace of Victorian Newport.”

21 – 40 facts about Connecticut

21. Connecticut is home to several prestigious hospitals and medical institutions, including Yale-New Haven Hospital and Hartford Hospital.

22. Connecticut has 169 towns, 21 cities and 9 boroughs.

23. Connecticut is one of the original 13 colonies.

24. Connecticut is one of the six (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut) New England states. 

25. Connecticut was the first state in the United States to pass a law establishing a speed limit for automobiles. In 1901, the state enacted a law that set a speed limit of 12 miles per hour in cities and 15 miles per hour on rural roads.

26. The state has a rich industrial heritage, and the American Clock & Watch Museum in Bristol explores the history and craftsmanship of timekeeping devices.

27. The city of Bridgeport in Connecticut was a major center for manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution.

The USS Nautilus permanently docked at the US Submarine Force Museum and Library, Groton, CT.
The USS Nautilus permanently docked at the US Submarine Force Museum and Library, Groton, CT. Image – Wikipedia.org

28. The world’s first nuclear submarine–USS Nautilus (SSN-571)–was constructed in Groton, Connecticut, between 1952 and 1954. It had the ability to remain submerged almost indefinitely because it used nuclear fuel and no air. It lasted in service for 25 years.

29. Connecticut is home of Samuel Colt, the inventor of the revolver. Connecticut was a leading manufacturer of guns and other arms.

30. Connecticut has a strong tradition of aerospace and defense manufacturing, with companies like Pratt & Whitney and Electric Boat having a significant presence in the state.

31. Connecticut was once known as the “Arsenal of the Nation.” The nickname mainly originates from the fact that during the 19th and 20th century, the state was home to many companies that manufactured firearms including Volcanic Repeating Arms Company, Sturm Ruger, Joslyn Firearms and Winchester Repeating Arms Company.

Goodyear tyre side profile. Connecticut facts
Photo © vladimir razgulyaev

32. The inventor of the process of vulcanization, Charles Goodyear, was born in New Haven, Connecticut. Goodyear was a self-taught chemist and engineer who received patent number 3633 from the United States Patent Office on June 15, 1844.

33. Elias Howe, a native of Spencer, Connecticut, patented the first commercial sewing machine. He took out the patent in September 1846 for his lock stitch machine and was awarded patent 4,750 for the device.

34. The Frisbee, a popular recreational disc, was invented in Connecticut. In the 1870s, William Russell Frisbie opened a bakery in Bridgeport, Connecticut, which later became the Frisbie Pie Company. College students in the area began tossing around the empty pie tins, leading to the creation of the Frisbee.

35. The typewriter has a long history in Connecticut. In 1892, a portable typewriter design was put forward by Stamford. By 1913, Connecticut had over 70 typewriter manufacturers in the state. In 1953, company Royal set up a factory in Holland.

36. Did you know why Connecticut became known as the “Provision State”? It is due to the fact that during the revolutionary war, Connecticut sent many supplies and cannon to the Continental Army.

37. Connecticut is nicknamed the “Constitution State” because “The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut” first adopted in 1639, served as a model for the U.S. Constitution. The orders were the first laws that acknowledged people as the true foundation of public authority and it gave voters the right to elect government officials.

38. Connecticut has a rich literary history, with famous authors such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Wallace Stevens, and Ernest Hemingway having strong connections to the state.

Interior of Public Library on 5th avenue open to public and tourists.
Interior of Public Library on 5th avenue open to public and tourists.

39. The Scoville Memorial Library in Connecticut is the oldest publicly funded library in the U.S. It was established in 1771 by a local man named Richard Smith. Richard brought the first set of 200 books from London, with the funds contributed by thirty-nine people from the town of Salisbury.

40. Connecticut is home to the oldest public art museum in the United States, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford.

41 – 60 facts about Connecticut

41. The Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale University houses extensive collections of fossils, minerals, and artifacts.

42. The state has a thriving music scene and has been the birthplace of several notable musicians, including John Mayer, Moby, and Michael Bolton.

43. The state has a vibrant arts and theater scene, with renowned theaters such as the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven and the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam. The Goodspeed Opera House is renowned for its musical theater productions and has launched many successful Broadway shows.

44. Before the infamous Salem Witch Trials in Massachusetts, Connecticut experienced its own bout of witch trials. In the 17th century, several witchcraft trials took place in Connecticut, predating the more well-known events in Salem, Massachusetts.

45. Connecticut has a high concentration of hedge funds and financial services companies, particularly in Fairfield County.

46. Hartford, the state’s capital is called the “Insurance Capital of the World”. In 1898, the first car insurance in America was issued at Hartford.

Connecticut State License plate

47. In 1937, Connecticut became the first state to issue permanent license plates to cars.

48. In the area, only Delaware and Rhode Island are smaller than Connecticut.

49. Between 1701 and 1874, the state had two capitals, New Haven and Hartford.

50. The Connecticut State Flag prominently displays the Latin motto “Qui Transtulit Sustinet,” which means “He who transplanted still sustains.” Connecticut welcomes people from all over the world, and this motto shows this by stating that even when you’re from somewhere else, you have value.

Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford, Connecticut, USA during autumn. Connecticut facts
Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford, Connecticut, USA. Photo © F11photo

51. The Connecticut State Capitol building in Hartford features a unique gold-domed tower inspired by the style of the French Renaissance.

52. In print since October 29, 1764, The Hartford Courant is the oldest continuously published newspaper in the United States.

53. Hartford Public High School in Hartford, CT is the second-oldest public secondary school in the U.S. It was founded in 1638. Boston Latin School (1635), Boston, Massachusetts is the oldest one in the U.S.

54. Connecticut is known for its prestigious boarding schools, including Choate Rosemary Hall and Hotchkiss School.

55. New Haven, CT is the birthplace of George W. Bush, the only U.S. president born in the state.

56. Edwin Land was born in Connecticut. This genius is credited with patenting 535 inventions, more than anyone except Thomas Edison (1,097 American patents). Wondering what was his famous invention; learn that it was his Polaroid Instant Camera. With this camera, he made possible for a picture to be taken and developed in 60 seconds or less.

57. Did you know that between 1790 and 1890 over 20,000 patents had been granted to over 5,000 Connecticut inventors (including 44 women).

Sikorsky VS-300 Helicopter
Sikorsky VS-300 Helicopter

58. The “Constitution State” is the birthplace of the world’s first practical helicopter. Designed by Vought Sikorsky, the VS-300 took flight at Stratford, Connecticut on September 14, 1939.

59. Connecticut and Rhode Island have no county government. All county governments in Connecticut were abolished on October 1, 1960.

60. On February 21, 1878, the first telephone book was issued in New Haven, CT. The book had the contacts of only 50 people representing the fact that the invention of the telephone was made recently. Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated his invention (the telephone) in New Haven.

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