History Center News

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World War I Diary: 100 Years Ago

What a wonderful gift! The staff of the Bridgeport History Center got an idea.  One hundred years ago, World War I started.   We wanted to do an exhibit.  Just after the initial thought, the phone rang.

I answered and heard the voice of Vincent Keating.  “Would you be interested in a diary and other things from World War I?” …Continue reading

Special Events

two Shots heard round the world

Two Shots Heard ‘Round the World

Saturday, Nov. 22, 11:00 AM

Mark Albertson, Norwalk Community College lecturer and author of USS Connecticut:  Constitution State Battleship and They’ll Have to Follow You!  The Triumph of the Great White Fleet, will discuss the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and Countess Sophie in July of 1914, and the events and circumstances that triggered World War I.

Location:  Burroughs-Saden Library, 925 Broad Street, 3rd floor

 

Heroes and Villains

Kennedy at train station

President Kennedy in Bridgeport November 5, 1960

The crowd of 6,000 came to see then Senator John F. Kennedy.  The crowd,as estimated by Superintendent of Police Francis J. Shanley, cheered when Kennedy said that Connecticut was a key state in the election.

“The nation will have its eyes on Connecticut,” Kennedy told the crowd. …Continue reading

Films

Memorial Day Parade, 1923-1929

Memorial Day Parade in Bridgeport, Connecticut, 1923-1929

A film showing a 1920’s Memorial Day parade in downtown Bridgeport is significant in several respects.  At this time, the History Center has no additional footage depicting events, buildings, people, etc. in Bridgeport from that era.  …Continue reading

Bridgeport at War

McLevy, Edna Ferber, et al_edited-2

Black Market Rally Bridgeport:1943

Rationing of many products during World War II, such as food items, gasoline, and coffee, caused a surge of the black market--goods traded illegally.  In August 1943, a rally in Marina Park was held to protest the black market.  Shown in attendance in the rally are from left to right, the following:  (front row) Franz Rupp, pianist; Marian Anderson, opera  singer; Bud Hollick, comedian;Carl Frank, radio announcer and actor; (back row) Franklin P. Adams; columnist and quiz expert; Mayor Jasper McLevy; Edna Ferber, novelist; and Clifton Fadiman, book reviewer for the New Yorker.

Bridgeport at Work

Art Selleck center, Putnam Street Firehouse 1953

Art Selleck: A Tribute to a Fireman Historian 1920-2004

Arthur “Art” H. Selleck was born in Bridgeport in 1920, living there for five years before moving to Nichols. He attended Harding High School in the Park City,  since Trumbull had no High School at the time.  He would later recall witnessing a house fire as a youth in Nichols, …Continue reading

Women

Woman working in factory during WWII

Marge Schneider:Bridgeport’s Own Rosie the Riveter

This young lady was amazing. In 1942, Marge Schneider lived with her family on Barnum Avenue near Central. With the flurry of war around her, Marge took a job at the Bridgeport Brass Company on Grand Street. Marge walked to work. …Continue reading

African American Heritage

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Mary and Eliza Freeman Houses

By:  Charles Brilvitch

A community of “free people of color” began to coalesce around the lower reaches of Bridgeport Harbor the same year (1821) that Bridgeport itself came into being.  Comprised of freed blacks born in Connecticut, …Continue reading

Maritime

Bridgeport Lighthouse

Bridgeport Lighthouse

The Bridgeport Lighthouse, shown here in 1930, marked the entrance to the Bridgeport harbor for about 80 years.

First constructed in 1871 by the federal government, it ushered in a dramatic increase in harbor activity. …Continue reading

Architecture

Jose DeRivera

Jose DeRivera

Most residents of Connecticut, when considering who were the earliest immigrants to this State naturally think mostly of the European countries.  If you asked anyone when the first Puerto Rican immigrant came to Connecticut, they would say, ” probably the 1950’s.” …Continue reading

Travel into the past and see what we can learn