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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.

Oct. 31, 1687

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Sir Edmund Andros was treated to a trick, when after demanding return of Connecticut’s Royal Charter in the name of the English king, Hartford’s Joseph Wadsworth hid the document in the hollow of the giant tree that would ever afterward be known as the Charter Oak. 

Oct. 9, 1936

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Seven months before its fiery demise in Lakehurst, New Jersey, the 800-foot-long Nazi dirigible airship Hindenburg flew a host of high-powered celebrities over Danbury, Waterbury, New Britain and Hartford as part of a “thank you flight” for the warm reception the technologically advanced airship had received from the American people.

Oct. 24, 1972

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Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play Major League Baseball and one of the greatest to play the game, died in Stamford, where he and wife Rachel Robinson had fought segregation to build their dream house in the 1950s.

Oct. 3, 1979

A freak and massive F-4 tornado tore through Windsor, Windsor Locks and Suffield, killing three people, injuring hundreds and destroying more than 60 structures and three dozen businesses including many of the prized historic aircraft at the New England Air Museum. 

Oct. 5, 1991

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Tens of thousands of Connecticans gathered at the state Capitol to call for the repeal of the new state income tax. Estimated between 40,000 and 70,000 people in total, it remains one of, if not the, largest single public protest in Connecticut history. 

Oct. 14, 1918

Hartford Alderman Humphrey Greene called for the closing of all schools, theaters and “places of public gathering” because of the lack of precautionary measures taken by public health officials in response to the influenza pandemic. Shortly after, the alderman converted the Hartford Golf Club into an emergency hospital. 

Oct. 13, 1931

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George P. Smith of New Haven finally received a Trademark for the name “Lolly Pop” (two words), for the hard candies on a stick he had been making and calling “lollipops” (one word) since 1908. Named after a racehorse, the Lolly Pop made Smith a front-runner to win a place in candy-making history.

Today in Connecticut History with Walter Woodward can be heard daily on Connecticut Public Radio (WNPR). Subscribe to stories at TodayinCTHistory.com.