In honor of Connecticut Magazine’s 50th anniversary year, throughout 2021 State Historian Walter Woodward is highlighting some of the moments that have helped shaped our state throughout its history.
Nov. 30, 1940
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, the couple destined to become one of the most famous couples in television history as the co-stars of the I Love Lucy sitcom, were married in Greenwich. After the afternoon ceremony the couple drove back to New York City so Arnaz could make his scheduled appearance that night at the Roxy Theatre. Ever a romantic, Arnaz carried his bride over the threshold — of his dressing room.
Nov. 14, 1939
New Haven-born sailor-turned-shoemaker Paul A. Sperry received the patent for his iconic footwear — the herringbone-grooved boat shoe called the “Sperry Topsider.” Sperry got the idea for the grooved sole, which keeps sailors from slipping on wet decks, from studying the paw of his dog Prince, after he saw him run across ice without slipping. From then on, they were sole mates.
Nov. 21, 1914
The Yale Bowl, the county’s first bowl-shaped stadium, and at the time the largest football arena ever built, welcomes fans to its first Harvard-Yale football game. Sixty-eight thousand fans watched the home team lose 36–0.
Nov. 5, 1974
Ella Rosa Giovanna Oliva Tambussi Grasso, the daughter of Italian immigrants to Windsor Locks, became America’s first woman governor to be elected in her own right. Re-elected in 1978, she was forced by health issues to resign two years into her term, and died on Feb. 5, 1981. (Image, Connecticut State Museum)
Nov. 23, 1863
Gov. William Buckingham signed into law the bill creating the 29th Regiment of the Connecticut Infantry, the state’s first African American military unit, to serve during the Civil War. The 29th was mustered into service in March 1864, served with distinction in several campaigns, and was one of the first Union regiments to march into Richmond when the capital of the Confederacy fell in April 1865.
Nov. 2, 1902
The first Locomobile, a luxury car that would own its category and reign supreme as the “Best Built Car in America,” rolled off the assembly line in Bridgeport. The Locomobile was the car of the American wealthy class for decades until the stock market crash of 1929 brought its long ride to an end.
Nov. 8, 1941
One hundred years after it had been launched in New Bedford, Massachusetts, the Charles W. Morgan, the last remaining wooden whale ship in the world, made her permanent home at the Mystic Seaport Museum. Since its arrival, it has welcomed more than 20 million visitors.