Connecticut entered the union as the 5th state on January 9, 1788. Connecticut is nicknamed, The Constitution State and The Nutmeg State. According to the 2010 U.S. Census the population was 3,574,097. Connecticut is the second smallest and southernmost state of New England. It is 5,009 square miles and bordered by New York on the west, Rhode Island on the east, Massachusetts on the north and by Long Island sound on the south.
Fact 1: Although Connecticut was first explored by the Dutch, who founded trading posts, the very first stable settlements were made by English Puritans from Massachusetts, starting in 1633.
Fact 2: From the beginning, Connecticut enjoyed a vast measure of political independence, declaring in its Fundamental Orders of 1639 a democratic principle of government based on the will of the people. These Fundamental Orders are said to have been the first written Constitution of a democratic government; that is where the nickname “The Constitution State,” originated.
Fact 3: Connecticut started to earn a reputation as the Insurance State about 180 years ago. Marine insurance, which is the great grandfather of all modern forms of insurance, started in Connecticut with coverage for ships and cargoes that sailed from the state’s ocean and river ports down to the Caribbean. In 1794 Fire Insurance got its formal start and other types of insurance followed over the next century. Connecticut is home to 106 insurance companies.
Fact 4: Agriculture is no longer a prominent position in the economy of Connecticut, but farming is still important to the state. The most important crops are dairy, forest and nursery, poultry, tobacco, fruits and vegetables.
Fact 5: Although New England has a reputation for a rugged climate, Connecticut’s weather is fairly mild. On the average, there are only 12 days a year when temperatures go above 90 degrees, and as few as six days when the temperatures fall below zero. The growing season is rather long, the first killing frost is usually in mid-October and the last in mid-April, this as well as moderate rainfall provides a good growing season.
Fact 6: Connecticut tourism brings in about $4 billion-a-year. Most of the tourism is based on the attraction of the state’s 250-mile Long Island Sound shoreline, the rolling Litchfield Hills, and its unspoiled Connecticut River Valley. With its rich open lands, Connecticut’s scenery is some of the most beautiful of New England. Its Colonial villages are packed with historic homes and landmarks.
Fact 7: The oldest U.S. newspaper is still being published in Connecticut, The Hartford Courant, it was established in 1764.
Fact 8: Visit the Connecticut Science Center in downtown Hartford when the weather outside isn’t so inviting. There are 150 hands-on exhibits, a state-of-the-art 3D digital theater, four educational labs, as well as daily programs and events, the Center offers unlimited exploration for children, teens and adults. Ranging from physics to forensics, geology to astronomy, visitors have all of the sciences at their fingertips.
Fact 9: Children that are interested in having a positive impact on the future of Connecticut’s wildlife and other natural resources may benefit and enjoy a visit to Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area in Burlington. The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection runs regular programs, demonstrations and workshops specifically about wildlife and natural resource management, as well as miles of hiking trails.
Fact 10: Starting in the 1840s, Connecticut was overwhelmed with manufacturing. In just about every corner of the state, in a large factory or small, people were making things and the rest of the world was buying them. Today in Connecticut you can find old manufacturing buildings in almost every town, some of the buildings have been abandoned, but others have found new life as retail stores, residential complexes and museums.