BHC Special Events/Announcements

World War One Series – “Prescribing from the Bookshelf,” Using Books as Medicine in World War I and in Bridgeport Hospital

Saturday, December 2, 2017

2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

When Connecticut’s servicemen went to war in 1917, they didn’t go alone. Connecticut’s charitable organizations and libraries, supported by donations from the state’s residents, provided reading materials for soldiers and sailors throughout the war. Librarians who served on the front lines and in military hospitals believed books had important uses during the war: to educate, […]

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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Family Search – BHC an Affiliate for Digital Records

Wednesday, November 1 - December 31, 2017

All Day

The BHC is an affiliate for the Family Search program published by the LDS church.  This means that patrons using the computers at the History Center may access thousands of digitized records in the Family Search program that were previously available on microfilm only.  More records are being added each month, so stop by the […]

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BHC Events & Regular Monthly Programming

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.”

Art

A.B.C.D. Cultural Arts Center – a Creative Community Response

By Michelle Black Smith

On July 6, 1970, under the agency leadership of Charles B. Tisdale, the A.B.C.D. Cultural Arts Center (hereafter Art Center) welcomed Bridgeport youth and young adults to explore a variety of creative expression at an office building in downtown Bridgeport.  Free of charge and located at 1188 Main Street, the inhabitants of this converted art space were unique tenants among the doctors, lawyers, and dentists who shared the building.  The CT Commission on the Arts (hereafter Commission) was established in 1965, the same year that A.B.C.D. received official designation as a regional anti-poverty agency. 

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

Little Liberia – WNPR pod cast from “Where We Live”

Maisa Tisdale, President of the Mary and Eliza Freeman Center for History and Community, and Keith Stokes, Vice President of the 1696 Heritage Group, are interviewed by Lucy Nalpathanchil about Bridgeport’s Little Liberia, a community that was settled by African and Native Americans in the early 19th Century on Bridgeport’s South End.

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)