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

BHC News

Bridgeport Cultural Arts Center Project

Thursday, June 1 - 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 Basics: How to Get Started
Genealogy Basics: How to Get Started

Thursday, June 29, 2017

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Memoir Writing Class
Memoir Writing Class

Saturday, July 15, 2017

2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Genealogy Roundtable
Genealogy Roundtable

Thursday, July 20, 2017

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Genealogy Roundtable
Genealogy Roundtable

Thursday, August 17, 2017

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Memoir Writing Class
Memoir Writing Class

Saturday, August 19, 2017

2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Memoir Writing Class
Memoir Writing Class

Saturday, September 16, 2017

2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Genealogy Roundtable
Genealogy Roundtable

Thursday, September 21, 2017

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Heroes and Villains
The Charles Cooper: The Only Surviving American Packet Ship

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

Barnum Festival, 1949, pt. 1, by Vincent Frazzetta, Sr.

This is the first segment of four reels of 8mm film taken during the first year of the Barnum Festival in Bridgeport, 1949.

This segment begins with a long shot of the stature of P.T. Barnum located at Seaside Park. The photographer pans from the statue toward Long Island Sound where a strip of beach with sunbathers and park visitors strolling along a walkway are visible. As the camera faces east looking across the Sound toward Stratford, the Bridgeport Harbor Lighthouse is visible for a few frames.

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

1936: Macbeth With an All-Black Cast Plays Bridgeport

by Andy Piascik

For five days in the summer of 1936, Bridgeport’s Park Theatre played host to one of the most innovative and talked-about theater productions of that era: the Federal Theatre Project’s staging of Shakespeare’s Macbeth with an all-black cast, as directed by Orson Welles and produced by John Houseman. The play opened in New York City on April 14, 1936 at Harlem’s Lafayette Theatre, where it ran for ten weeks before moving to the Adelphi Theatre for two additional weeks. Advance word about the production had been so great that a reported 10,000 people gathered outside the Lafayette on opening night. Macbeth played to enthusiastic audiences, sold-out houses and mostly rave reviews during the twelve-week engagement that lasted through July 18th.

Maritime

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.