48 Interesting Facts About Connecticut

Last updated on March 25th, 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. The word “Connecticut” is derived from the Native American word quinetucket, meaning “besides the long, tidal river”. The Connecticut River flows through four states including – New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.[1,2,31]

2. 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.[1,3]

3. 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.[28]

4. Bear Mountain in Salisbury in the northwest corner of the state is the highest peak in the state.[1]

5. 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.[29]

Connecticut on the map

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

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

8. In 1901, the first law regulating the speed of a motor vehicle was imposed in Connecticut. Initially, the law restricted the drivers not to exceed 12 mph.[26]

9. Connecticut is one of the original 13 colonies (DelawarePennsylvaniaNew JerseyGeorgiaConnecticut, Massachusetts BayMarylandSouth CarolinaNew HampshireVirginiaNew YorkNorth Carolina, and Rhode Island).[4]

10. Connecticut is home of Samuel Colt, the inventor of the revolver. Connecticut was a leading manufacturer of guns and other arms.[4]

11. 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.

12. 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.

Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford, Connecticut, USA during autumn.
Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford, Connecticut, USA during autumn.

13. 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.

14. 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.[4]

15. 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.[4]

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 source – Wikipedia.org

16. 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.[18]

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

17. 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.[16,17]

18. In 1937, Connecticut became the first state to issue permanent license plates to cars.[15]

License plate from Connecticut

19. Connecticut has the highest personal income per capita (more than $70,000) in the country. However, the national average is $50,392.[14]

20. In the area, only Delaware and Rhode Island are smaller than Connecticut.[13]

21. Between 1701 and 1874, the state had two capitals, New Haven and Hartford.[12]

Flag of Connecticut

Connecticut state flag - the fact file

22. In print since October 29, 1764, The Hartford Courant is the oldest continuously published newspaper in the United States.[11]

23. Hartford Public High School in Hartford, CT is the second-oldest public secondary school in the U.S. It was founded in 1638.[27]

24. New Haven, CT is the birthplace of George W. Bush, the only U.S. president born in the state.[10]

25. 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.[9]

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

27. 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.[8]

Sikorsky VS-300 Helicopter
Sikorsky VS-300 Helicopter

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

29. 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.[7]

30. In 1844, the first use of anesthesia was made in Connecticut by Horace Wells (Nitrous Oxide was used for the purpose).[6]

31. Noah Webster, the author of the first American English dictionary was born in West Hartford, Connecticut on 16th October 1758.[5]

32. Connecticut is one of the 48 contiguous states of the U.S.[1]

The State Quarter

Connecticut State Quarter: Connecticut fact file

33. Lollipops were invented by George Smith of New Haven, Connecticut in 1908. He had this idea of putting candy on a stick so that it is easier to consume. Lollipops were originally soft rather than hard.[19]

Colorful lollipops.

34. Did you know when and where the first hamburger in the United States was made? Learn that Louis’ Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut is the first and the oldest still operating hamburger serving restaurant in the U.S.[20]

35. Yale University is located in New Haven, CT. Established in 1701, Yale University is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. Presidents such as Gerald Ford, William Howard Taft, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton have all attended it.[21]

36. The first public tree planting program in America was conducted in New Haven, CT. The city was given the nickname “The Elm City” because the trees planted in the program were elms.[22]

hand planting tree
Interesting facts about Connecticut.

37. Bridgeport is Connecticut’s largest city followed by New Haven and Hartford.[1]

38. ESPN, the world’s first sports cable channel was launched in Bristol, Connecticut in 1979. With this fact also learn that Stamford, Connecticut is where the headquarters of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. is located.[24,25]

39. Lyme disease (spread by ticks in Northern Hemisphere) was first identified in 1975 in Old Lyme, Connecticut.[23]

40. John Haynes was Connecticut’s first governor.[3]

41. Connecticut is one of the most densely populated states of the U.S.[4]

42. The first fully operational steel mill in America opened in Simsbury, Connecticut, in 1728.[30]

43. Mark Twain, an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer, wrote his famous adventure of Huckleberry Finn while in Hartford, Connecticut.

Hartford, Connecticut, USA skyline from Founders Bridge.
Hartford, Connecticut, USA skyline from Founders Bridge.

44. In 2008, the Supreme court legalized marriages between the individuals of the same sex. And in 2003, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriages.[32]

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