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February 25, 2023

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Trivia question

What educational institution left Hartford in 1999, despite a 138-year history in the city?

Scroll to the bottom of the newsletter for the answer.

HPL requests your help

The Hartford Public Library has launched an “HPL Restore & Renew” fund-raising campaign to help cover the costs of repairing and restoring the downtown library following the extensive water damage it suffered from a burst pipe on Christmas Eve. “While there is insurance to cover costs associated with cleanup and repair,” the Library says, “we anticipate there may be additional costs that will not be covered.” The Hartford History Center public room, on the building’s third floor, was particularly hard-hit—though officials have said technology and fixtures took the brunt of it, with historical collections left largely unharmed because most of those are stored on the ground floor.

At a news conference Thursday to give updates on various projects, HPL Director of Public Services Marie Jarry announced that the Ropkins Library branch, located inside the S.A.N.D. Elementary school on Main Street, will feature a “satellite” Hartford History Center when it reopens following renovations.

Dig this podcast

If you’re not subscribing to Grating the Nutmeg: The Podcast of Connecticut History, you’re missing some great recent episodes concerning Hartford. Episode 157 focuses on the Hartford-based Chinese Educational Mission, a ground-breaking cultural and educational exchange program that enabled 120 Chinese boys to study in New England between 1872 and 1881. To honor the 150th anniversary of the Mission, the Connecticut Historical Society is holding an exhibition on it through July.

Episode 155, “Celebrating Hartford’s Black Firefighters,” features great interviews with retired Chief Charles Teale Sr. and retired Captain Steven Harris, both passionate students of HFD history. The podcast is the work of the history magazine Connecticut Explored and Connecticut State Historian Emeritus Walter W. Woodward.

A push to promote tourism, museums

Connecticut’s tourism and arts organizations have teamed up to ask the state to more than double what it currently spends to promote museums and other tourist attractions, according to the Hartford Business Journal. Industry leaders call the requested funding-- $58.5 million annually--critical, noting that Connecticut has traditionally fallen behind neighboring states when it comes to investing in the arts, culture, and tourism. They also say that for every dollar invested, the local economy gets a return of $3.

MLK monument in D.C.

Beyond Black History Month

Connecticut public school teachers, Capital Community College students, and professors gathered at the Old State House last Thursday to discuss the future roles Black History Month could play in the state’s classrooms. Read or listen to Lesley-Cosme Torres’ report on the event for Connecticut Public Radio.

Trivia question answer

The Morse School of Business. It left its longtime home at the corner of Asylum and Ann Uccello streets (formerly Ann Street) in downtown after merging with the New Britain-based New England Technical Institute. Morse began in 1860 as the Bryant and Stratton College on Main Street, with five students. Over the years, it became best known for teaching secretarial skills, like typing and shorthand. But with the rise of personal computers and other technological tools, a re-set was needed, the school's director told the Hartford Courant in 1999. He also said the school needed to be closer to its students--most of whom now lived in the suburbs. With the merger, the Morse name disappeared.

More trivia questions at HartfordHistory.net