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2021 is Connecticut Magazine’s 50th anniversary year, so throughout we will be taking a look back through our archives from each month and remembering some of the moments that have helped shaped our state.

From the archives

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 “Thanks a Million" (January 1979) — Seven years after Connecticut’s state lottery began, Connecticut Magazine staff writer (and future longtime editor) Charles Monagan tracked down the game’s million-dollar winners to find out how their lives had changed. As the article put it, “although none of the million-dollar lottery winners have offered to give the money back, for some the experience wasn’t so enriching.”

Find more selected stories from Connecticut Magazine's 50-year history at connecticutmag.com/archives

Cover flashback: January 1988

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According to our January 1988 cover story, “The New Improved Man” is “sensitive, he’s attentive, he knows how to cook, and he’s finding life more satisfying than ever before.” 

Best Restaurants Hall of Fame

Every year, Connecticut Magazine recognizes excellence in the state's dining scene with our annual Best Restaurants awards (see the 2021 winners here). Between our Readers' Choice survey, which began way back in 1979, and more recently with our Experts' Picks selections, hundreds of Connecticut restaurants have been chosen over the years in their various regions and categories. But while tastes may change, there are some beloved institutions that pop up year after year after year. Our Best Restaurants Hall of Fame is a celebration of both quality and longevity, consisting of the 41 Connecticut restaurants — many still in operation, others fondly remembered from years past — that have been earned a Best Restaurants award on at least 20 separate occasions.

January in Connecticut History 

With State Historian Walter Woodward

JANUARY 18, 1978 


At 4:19 a.m., hours after nearly 5,000 cheering basketball fans watched the UConn Huskies beat the UMass Minutemen 56-48, the snow-covered roof of the 3-year-old Hartford Civic Center Arena suddenly collapsed onto the coliseum floor below. Miraculously, no one was killed, though restoring the building to service took two full years. Investigations showed the disaster was caused by design flaws and construction errors in the roof’s innovative “space truss” design, touted by architects as being able to support more weight using fewer and less expensive materials. A penny saved was a dangerous lesson learned. 

JANUARY 30, 1945 

Lt. Col. Henry Mucci of Bridgeport led U.S. Rangers on the most successful rescue operation in U.S. history, freeing 500 Allied POWs from a Japanese prison camp in the Philippines.

JANUARY 5, 1848 

Waterbury’s Ezra J. Warner received a patent for the world’s first can opener. His one-handed tool replaced hammers and chisels as can openers, making canned food fast food, too.

JANUARY 21, 1954 


The launch of the world's first nuclear powered submarine, the U.S.S. Nautilus.

At 10:57 a.m., First Lady Mamie Eisenhower champagne-christened the world’s first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus, at the General Dynamics drydock in Groton, launching a new chapter in naval history. 

This article appears in the January 2021 issue of Connecticut MagazineYou can subscribe to Connecticut Magazine here, or find the current issue on sale hereSign up for our newsletter to get our latest and greatest content delivered right to your inbox. Have a question or comment? Email editor@connecticutmag.com. And follow us on Facebook and Instagram @connecticutmagazine and Twitter @connecticutmag.