BHC Special Events/Announcements

EVENING HOURS for the BHC – Department now open Thursday, 12-8!

Friday, June 23 - December 31, 2017

All Day

Please note that the Burroughs-Saden Library has changed its schedule.  The BHC is now open: Thursday, 12:00 – 8:00 pm; Friday-Saturday, 10:00 – 5:00 pm

The Great War and the Striking Summer of 1915

Saturday, November 4, 2017

2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

The year 1915 would bring Bridgeport’s triumphant, striking summer. World War I transformed Bridgeport, Connecticut, into a powerful arsenal for the allied war effort at home and abroad. Munitions contracts on a massive scale would profoundly alter the physical landscape, population, and workforce. In a twelve-month period in 1915, Remington-Union Metallic Cartridge would construct a […]

BHC News

Bridgeport Cultural Arts Center Project

Wednesday, August 2 - December 31, 2017

12:00 am

The ABCD Cultural Arts Center was a creative and social hub of Bridgeport in the 1960’s and 70’s.  The Arts Center occupied a space at the intersection of visual arts and music,  and politics and community activism.  Thanks to a generous grant from the CT Humanities Council,  the BHC is organizing an exhibition and public […]

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BHC Events & Regular Monthly Programming

Genealogy Roundtable
Genealogy Roundtable

Thursday, October 19, 2017

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Memoir Writing Class
Memoir Writing Class

Saturday, October 21, 2017

2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Genealogy Roundtable
Genealogy Roundtable

Thursday, November 16, 2017

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Memoir Writing Class
Memoir Writing Class

Saturday, November 18, 2017

2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Genealogy Basics: How to Get Started
Genealogy Basics: How to Get Started

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Memoir Writing Class
Memoir Writing Class

Saturday, December 16, 2017

2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Genealogy Roundtable
Genealogy Roundtable

Thursday, December 21, 2017

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Heroes and Villains

The Night Broadway Joe Brought His Act to Bridgeport

By Andy Piascik

There’s an old expression in Broadway theatrical circles that goes something like “Everything outside of New York is just Bridgeport.” Perhaps Broadway Joe Namath felt that way when he travelled to the Park City in 1967, perhaps not. But on one summer evening nearly 50 years ago, Bridgeport hosted an exhibition football game featuring the flamboyant Namath and the up-and-coming New York Jets.

Films

Mayor Jasper McLevy Administration: 1930’s Civic Improvements

This 1930’s era silent, black and white film shows locations around the City of Bridgeport, Connecticut, where infrastructure improvements are being implemented under the aegis of the Mayor Jasper McLevy administration. Scenes include: Park Avenue; Seaside Park; Bridgeport Harbor (including lighthouse); State Street; North Avenue and the Wheeler Memorial Fountain; trolley tracks; and Bridgeport Firefighters.  Jasper McLevy was Mayor of Bridgeport from 1933-1957.

 

Bridgeport at War
Viola Louise Smith Bridgeforth

Viola Louise Smith Bridgeforth: Making the Most From Extraordinary Times

By Mary K. Witkowski,
Editor: Ann Marie Virzi

In her 99 years on earth, Viola Bridgeforth, born in 1897, lived through many if not most of the profound changes that African-Americans and women in general experienced in the 20th century. Through all the changes, Viola Bridgeforth remained steadfastly focused on what mattered.

Architecture

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.”

Bridgeport at Work

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

By Rob Novak, Bridgeport Fireman

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,

Women

Kathleen Moore, 1812-1899

By:  Mary K. Witkowski

The story of Kate Moore, the lighthouse keeper who kept the lights aglow in Black Rock Harbor is a wonderful tale of the sea of long ago.

In 1817, Captain Stephen Moore was injured while unloading goods from a ship.  Stephen then applied for a job through the United States Lighthouse service as a lighthouse keeper. He was given the position as the Keeper of the Fayerweather Lighthouse.

African American Heritage

Unhidden Public Policies: Could Historic Redlining be the Reason Bridgeport’s Neighborhoods Remain Racially Divided?

Have you ever wondered why some neighborhoods in Bridgeport have more wealth than others? The disparity between the wealth held by residents of different neighborhoods in Bridgeport – often correlated with the racial composition of each neighborhood – were not created by chance. In his book The Color of Law, Richard Rothstein discusses racial disparity as a product of public policy: “Today’s residential segregation in the North, South, Midwest and West is not the unintended consequences of individual choices and of otherwise well-meaning law or regulations but of unhidden public policy that explicitly segregated every metropolitan area in the United States” (Rothstein, 2017, VIII).

Maritime

The Bridgeport Harbor Lighthouse

by Andy Piascik

The waters near Bridgeport were long served by lighthouses that helped to guide ships to their destinations. One that is still in use is the Penfield, which opened in 1874 and is located a mile from shore. A little more than a mile to the east is the Fayerweather, constructed in 1808 and long out of use though a popular part of Bridgeport history. (1)