98 Interesting Facts About Connecticut

Last updated on November 24th, 2023

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

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

63. Connecticut is one of the 48 contiguous states of the U.S.

64. 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.

65. The Pez candy company, famous for its iconic dispensers, was founded in Connecticut in 1927. The PEZ Visitor Center in Orange, Connecticut, offers visitors a chance to learn about the history and production of the iconic PEZ candies.

66. The state is known for its vibrant and diverse culinary scene, offering a wide range of international cuisines and farm-to-table dining experiences.

67. 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.

68. The Mystic Pizza restaurant in Mystic, Connecticut, gained fame after being featured in a 1988 movie starring Julia Roberts.

69. Connecticut is famous for its seafood, particularly its renowned lobster rolls and New England clam chowder. These delicious dishes showcase the state’s commitment to quality seafood and its rich culinary heritage.

70. The city of New Haven is home to the famous Pepe’s Pizzeria, considered by many to serve some of the best pizzas in the United States.

71. 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. S. Presidents such as Gerald Ford, William Howard Taft, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton have all attended it.

72. The Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven houses an extensive collection, including works by renowned artists such as Vincent van Gogh and Pablo Picasso.

hand planting tree
Interesting facts about Connecticut

73. 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.

74. Bridgeport is Connecticut’s largest city followed by New Haven and Hartford.

75. 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.

76. The state is home to the oldest continuously operating art colony in the United States, the Lyme Art Colony, established in the late 19th century. At one stage, there were more than 200 artists living and creating art on the colony at one time.

77. Lyme disease (spread by ticks in Northern Hemisphere) was first identified in 1975 in Old Lyme, Connecticut.

78. John Haynes was Connecticut’s first governor.

79. Connecticut is one of the most densely populated states of the U.S.

80. The first fully operational steel mill in America opened in Simsbury, Connecticut, in 1728.

Hartford, Connecticut
Hartford, Connecticut. Photo © Sean Pavone

81 – 98 facts about Connecticut

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

82. The Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford was the former residence of this renowned author and showcases his life and works. The Mark Twain House in Hartford is said to be haunted and has been the subject of paranormal investigations.

83. 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.

84. In 1659, Connecticut passed a law that made it illegal to “kiss your wife on Sundays” as it was considered a form of lewd behavior.

85. Connecticut and Rhode Island were the only two states that did not ratify the 18th Amendment, which prohibited the manufacture, sale or transportation of alcohol.

86. The Connecticut State Police is one of the oldest state law enforcement agencies in the United States, founded in 1903.

Gillette Castle State Park
Photo © Ritu Jethani

87. The Gillette Castle State Park in East Haddam features a unique medieval-style castle built by actor William Gillette.

88. Among the 50 states, Connecticut is first on the list of the percentage of urban lands covered by trees. Close to 60% of the state’s land is covered by forest. The most common tree in Connecticut is the red maple.

89. Connecticut has numerous beautiful state parks and forests, including Sleeping Giant State Park, Devil’s Hopyard State Park, and Talcott Mountain State Park.

90. Connecticut is home to the Connecticut Sunflower Trail, a scenic route that takes visitors through fields of vibrant sunflowers during the summer. The state hosts an annual Sunflower Maze in South Windsor, where visitors can explore a maze created from thousands of sunflowers.

91. Connecticut can be divided into three geographic regions. The Western Uplands (filled with steep hills), the Central Lowlands (contains ridges and valleys) and Eastern Uplands (has hills, rivers, and dense forest.)

92. The state has a strong tradition of hosting agricultural fairs, with the Durham Fair being the largest volunteer agricultural fair in the United States.

93. The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, established in 1875, researches agriculture, environmental sciences, and public health.

Autumn colors around Merritt Parkway in Connecticut
Merritt Parkway in Connecticut. Photo © 1miro

94. The iconic Merritt Parkway, known for its scenic beauty and unique Art Deco bridges, is a historic parkway that runs through Connecticut.

95. Connecticut is home to the oldest continuously operating amusement park in the United States, Lake Compounce, which opened in 1846. Today, it has a total of 44 attractions, including 13 water rides and 5 rollercoasters.

96. Connecticut is home to the largest indoor ropes course in the world, It Adventure Ropes Course, located in New Haven. It features several 180-feet ziplines and 56-foot tall rope course that has cargo nets and rope ladders.

97. The state has a thriving craft beer scene, with numerous breweries offering a wide range of unique and flavorful beers.

98. The Connecticut Wine and Chocolate Trail combines two of the state’s specialties, allowing visitors to sample local wines and chocolates.

About the Flag of Connecticut

Connecticut state flag - the fact file
The State flag of Connecticut.
1. Design and Symbolism
The flag of Connecticut has three main elements: a royal blue field, a white shield, and a white scroll. It acts as the civil and state flag.
The scroll has the Latin words “Qui Transtulit Sustinet” or “He who transplanted sustains.” Charles Hoadly, a former state librarian, notes the possible link to the Bible passage in Psalms 80:8 about a vine out of Egypt.
The shield exemplifies the grand baroque art style with curved edges and intricate details. Three grape vines represent the original settlements. 
2. Adoption
The Connecticut General Assembly approved the current design in 1897. The women of the Anna Warner Bailey chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution presented the first flag under law. 
3. Technical Details
The design has a proportion of 4:3. The official flag is 1.7 meters long and 1.32 meters wide (5 feet 6 inches by 4 feet 4 inches). Use azure blue silk. The border of the shield must have gold and silver embroidery. The white streamer must have forked ends and a gold-brown edge. Write the motto in dark blue ink.
4. History
In 1639, Col. George Fenwick brought a seal from England to the Saybrook Colony. It features 15 grape vines and a hand holding a banner that reads, “Qui transtulit sustinet.” Five years later, the Connecticut Colony purchased land at Saybrook and got the seal as a bonus. In 1662, the General Assembly formally adopted it as the Connecticut seal. 
In 1711, the governor simplified the design by cutting the grape vines from fifteen to three. They represent separate settlements: New Haven, Saybrook, and Hartford. The oval border contained “SIGILLUM COLONIAE CONNECTICUTENSIS” (Seal of the Connecticut Colony). In 1784, after the revolution, they changed this to “SIGILLUM REIPUBLICAE CONNECTICUTENSIS (Seal of the State of Connecticut). 
In 1895, the Anna Warner Bailey Chapter of the group Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) asked the government to adopt an official flag. They had a new meeting place and wanted the flag to serve as centerpiece décor. Gov. Vincent Coffin proposed the adoption of a state flag to the General Assembly, which formed a special committee to handle the matter. 
The DAR submitted several designs and revisions, but Civil War veterans opposed these. They clung to their blue regimental flags. James Goodwin, president of the Connecticut Society of the Colonial Wars, made another design. After numerous debates, the legislature compromised by keeping the traditional blue field while retaining the ornate shield for the coat of arms. 
5. Other Flags
During the American Revolution against the British, troops used a flag resembling the current design but with a red field.
6. Flag Honors
The Connecticut state flag may fly at half-staff upon the death of a former governor, legislator, or soldier. Other sorrowful events, such as the anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, can also trigger this. The president may issue a nationwide order to place the US and state flags at half-staff, like after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Further reading . . . 

Bridgeport- Initially Part of Stratford

Before the official incorporation, Bridgeport was home of P.T. Barnum, a 19th Century showman from Bethel. The area was mainly a settlement with Stratfield and Newfield occupying the local harbor. This harbor played a significant role in the Revolutionary War where ships were docked by the Continental Army.

Frank Pepe's Apizza, New Haven, Connecticut.
Frank Pepe’s Apizza, New Haven, Connecticut. Image via amanderson2. Interesting facts about Connecticut. 

New England’s Best Pizza

A visit to New Haven is incomplete without biting a slice of Apizza, a modern and famous pizza in the city. It is the kind of delicacy you can order as takeaway and start eating right away in the car before driving back home. You can still find the world’s greatest hamburger without condiments in New Haven.

Nautical City of Stamford

If you want to test the waters in Connecticut, the best place to be is Stamford. Have fun swimming, crabbing, or fishing in one for the public beaches at Cummings Park and Cove Island Park. Boat rides, concerts, lectures, and workshops are offered here.

Bushnell Park, Hartford, Connecticut.
Bushnell Park, Hartford, Connecticut. Image via Sage Ross.

The oldest Publicly Owned Park in the US

In the state capital is a 50-acre oasis known as Bushnell Park, a historic place that is publicly funded by the government. The beautiful park has been a key feature of Hartford’s heritage for the last 150 years. The biggest turkey oak tree ever seen in New England is also found here. The circumference of the trunk is about 17 feet. People come to Bushnell Park for picnics, fun events, museum visits, eating out, and shopping.

Jesus’ Junkyard

At a 17-acre hilltop in Waterbury, there is a 16-metre high cross that attracts tourist with saint statues representing biblical events. Also known as the Holy Land, some 200 miniature structures in Jesus’ junkyard were created to replicate Bethlehem. Even though it was neglected for 35 years, it finally got revived in the early 50s by John Baptist Greco, a devoted Catholic. It took about 3 decades to complete and today is used as a theme park that seems to be in the midst of resurrection.

Life is Literally a Beach in Norwalk

Both locals and visitors frequent the many beaches of Norwalk. One of the best for summer vacations is Calf Pasture beach. For a serene seaside experience without the crowds, head to Rowayton Beach and soak some sunshine.

The City of Performing Arts

Danbury offers numerous places where local legends perform arts. Artists from over 20 towns in Connecticut draw crowds from all over the world at the Carnegie Hall. Three major concerts happen annually at the Connecticut Master Chorale. Also famous with classical and modern musical performances is the Danbury Music Center that is found inside a restored building of the 19th Century.

Organic Food in a Big City

Year-round restaurants in the city of New Britain offer top-quality local foods made with certified organic produce. The food is sourced from the local community as well as specialty markets of New Britain. Make sure you taste some heirloom tomatoes, salad greens, herbs, cooking greens, etc. The same food crops grown in New England are also produced here including zucchini, hot and sweet peppers, okra, figs, and summer squash. There is a farm that grows organic greens even in winter.

Lake Compounce Trolley, Connecticut, United States.
Lake Compounce Trolley. Image via Martin Lewison

America’s Oldest Operating Amusement Park

Right at the center of Bristol, the Lake Compounce was founded in 1846 by a local entrepreneur Gad Norton. By then, it only had a concert gazebo, swimming pool, and some rides. Today, it offers first-class roller coasters such as Boulder Dash- the first wooden roller coaster created on a mountain side. There are also plenty of rides, a water park, and a crocodile cove.

A Gift from Walter Hubbard

A tower was dedicated to the residents by Walter Hubbard, a philanthropist and President of Hubbard Manufacturing Company. Situated in Meriden’s Hubbard Park, Castle Craig is a stone-built observation tower featuring native trap rock and an interior staircase.

State symbols and quick facts about Connecticut

State AbbreviationCT
State CapitalHartford
Largest CityBridgeport
State SizeTotal (Land + Water): 5,543 sq miles; Land Only: 4,845 sq miles
3,617,176 (Estimate July 1, 2023 from United States Census Bureau)
StatehoodJan 9, 1788
State rank by population29th
State rank by date of formation5th
State rank by area48th
Number of Counties8
Complete list of 50 states and number of counties in each
Bordering StatesMassachusetts, New York, Rhode Island
Highest PointMassachusetts border on south slope of Mount Frissell (2,380 feet)
Lowest pointLong Island Sound
Sea level
Mean elevation500 feet above sea level
Length 70 miles (113 km)
Width110 miles (177 km)
GovernorNed Lamont (D)
Lieutenant GovernorSusan Bysiewicz (D)
Electoral Votes7
State MottoQui transtulit sustinet (He who transplanted sustains)
State NicknameArsenal of the Nation
Constitution State
Land of Steady Habits
Nutmeg State
Provisions State
% Water12.6
Noble prize WinnersBarbara McClintock (Physiology or Medicine, 1983)
Alfred G. Gilman (Physiology or Medicine, 1994)
George A. Akerlof (Economic Sciences, 2001)
Craig C. Mello (Physiology or Medicine, 2006)
Edward C. Kendall (Physiology or Medicine, 1950)
John F. Enders (Physiology or Medicine, 1954)
John H. van Vleck (Physics, 1977)
Roger W. Sperry (Physiology or Medicine, 1981)
Famous peopleFloyd Little (Pro Football player)
Roger Connor (Baseball player)
Rebecca Lobo (Basketball player)
Seth MacFarlane (Actor)
Tony Scherr (Singer)
U.S. President Born in ConnecticutGeorge Walker Bush
State BirdAmerican robin
State fishAmerican Shad
State FossilEubrontes giganteus
State FlagshipFreedom Schooner Amistad
State FlowerMountain laurel
State InsectEuropean Praying Mantis
State mineralGarnet
State shellfishEastern oyster
State TreeCharter Oak
Longitude71°47′ W to 73°44′ W
Latitude40°58′ N to 42°03′ N
Time ZoneEastern Time Zone
Area Codes203, 475, 860, 959
Table last updatedDecember 21, 2023