HC News

Digitized Bridgeport Newspaper

Connecticut Digital Newspaper Project Digitizes 
Bridgeport Evening Farmer, 1910-1916

The Connecticut State Library is pleased to announce that it has digitized the Bridgeport Evening Farmer from January 1, 1910 – October 31, 1916 as part of a grant received from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize historically significant Connecticut newspapers. The digital images of the Bridgeport Evening Farmer are now included in the Library of Congress’newspaper site: Chronicling America http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/

…Continue reading

New Acquisitions

A Letter from Ireland:

ireland

Irish surnames, counties, culture, and travel

by Mike Collins

Have you ever wondered where the Irish surnames in your family tree come from? What was life like for your Irish ancestors? What gave them their values, their drive and their sense of fair play? In this collection of Letters from Ireland – written each Sunday morning from Cork in Ireland – we cover these questions and many more covering Irish Ancestry, Travel and Culture.

Author Mike Collins lives in County Cork, Ireland. From there, he runs YourIrishHeritage.com with his wife, Carina. They spend as much time as possible travelling around Ireland, taking pictures and collecting stories.

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

Barnum Festival Parade, 1956

Film enthusiast Nicholas Soltis was born and raised in Bridgeport and spent his entire career as a policeman on the Bridgeport force. Nick enjoyed taking home movies of family gatherings and special events in Bridgeport. In this film, Mr. Soltis captured the 1956 Barnum Festival Parade in front of a Bridgeport furniture store (the Franklin Furniture Company). His wife, Gertrude (Trudy), as well as his son, Conrad, appear at the start of the film. Conrad also makes a special appearance at the end of the film.  Orginal film: 8mm, color

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

Warner Brothers factory, Bridgeport Connecticut

The Warner Brothers and their Amazing Corsets

As doctors in the late 1800s, brothers Dr. Lucien and Ira De Ver Warner became concerned with the use of the corset in women’s fashion.  The corset was a piece of underclothing meant to give women an “hourglass” figure desirable at the time.  …Continue reading

African American Heritage

Michelle-Black-Smith

Black Bridgeporters

by Michelle Black Smith

In 1977, a dedicated group of African American teachers decided to record the history of Black Bridgeporters in the residents’ own words. The Afro-American Education Association (hereafter AAEA) petitioned the CT Humanities Council for funds and technical support. The introduction to the AAEA recorded history states “This project is a study of the changes in Bridgeport neighborhoods from the viewpoint of selected Black residents during the historical periods of World War I, the Depression, World War II, and the 1960’s.” …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