45 Fun Facts About Connecticut You Probably Don’t Know

Connecticut was settled by Puritans in 1636, so you can imagine how many fun facts about Connecticut have emerged over that time!

Some of these facts have to do with inventions while others are about the citizens of the state. Many fun facts are also associated with food.

And that’s only the beginning. Connecticut, like many of the thirteen original colonies, had some weird laws on its books.

Fun facts about Connecticut

Here are some of the more interesting, unusual, and strange facts about Connecticut:

Connecticut is the birthplace of the hamburger

The exterior of Louis Lunch where the first hamburger was served - fun facts about Connecticut
Photo credit: amanderson2 / Creative Commons

Louis’ Lunch in New Haven has been serving its signature hamburgers, grilled vertically and topped with simple yet delicious ingredients, since 1900.

The first speed limit law in the U.S. was passed in Connecticut

A speed limit sign - the first speed limit is among the fun facts about Connecticut

Among the fun facts about Connecticut is that in 1901, the state implemented a maximum speed limit of 12 miles per hour at a time when fewer than 6,000 cars were on American roads.

The Frisbee was invented at Yale University

A dog holding a frisbee in its mouth

It was inspired by the Frisbie Pie Company’s pie tins, which students at Yale University began tossing around for fun, eventually leading to the creation of the iconic flying disc.

People from Connecticut are known as “Nutmeggers”

Nutmeg on a table both whole and ground

Connecticut earned the nickname “The Nutmeg State” due to the shrewdness and resourcefulness of its residents. (Click here to read the full story)

The First Subway in the United States was in Bridgeport

A photo of a subway at a station

In 1875, the world’s first practical subway system, known as the “Bee Line,” operated in Bridgeport, connecting downtown with the waterfront. The subway only lasted six months, but it paved the way for future urban transportation systems.

The exclusive Skull and Bones secret society is in New Haven

The outside of the Skull and Bones society

The society, founded in 1832, is associated with Yale University. Its members include notable figures such as former U.S. presidents and influential leaders.

The oldest public art museum in the United States is in Hartford

The Wadsworth Atheneum in Connecticut
Photo credit: Daderot / Creative Commons

Founded in 1842 and opened in 1844, The Wadsworth Atheneum has a collection that spans over 50,000 works of art, ranging from ancient to contemporary.

Connecticut created the first written constitution in the United States

And another fun fact about Connecticut is this is the reason why the state’s nickname is “The Constitution State”.

A charter oak once hid the state’s Royal Charter from the British

A stamp with a Charter Oak - among the fun facts about Connecticut

Connecticut’s famous Charter Oak, which fell during a storm in 1856, is remembered for hiding the state’s Royal Charter in 1687 to protect it from British authorities. The tree’s legacy lives on in Connecticut’s identity.

Connecticut has the highest per capita income among the fifty states

It was $52,034 in 2021. The median household income was $90,213.

But the state is ranked #2 for the largest income inequality

Only New York has a larger gap between the rich and the poor.

The first submarine used in battle was built in Old Saybrook

A replica of the first submarine The Turtle
A replica of The Turtle in the Musée Océanographique de Monaco Photo credit: Arnaud 25 / Creative Commons

The Turtle was built by David Bushnell in 1775 as a way to attach explosive charges to ships in a harbor for use against the Royal Navy during the American Revolutionary War.

Connecticut was one of only two US states to vote against the 18th Amendment

The 18th Amendment prohibited the manufacture, transportation, and sale of intoxicating liquors from 1920 to 1933.

The first nuclear submarine was built in CT

The USS Nautilus submarine
Photo credit: Vonsky87 / Creative Commons

The USS Nautilus was built in 1954 and retired in 1980 and set records by traveling underneath the Arctic ice cap.

At one point, Connecticut had two state capitals

Between 1701 and 1874, Connecticut had two state capitals: New Haven and Hartford. However, the assembly always met in Hartford.

The “Insurance Capital of the World” is in Hartford

The city of Hartford, the insurance capital of the world

Hartford is often referred to as the “Insurance Capital of the World.” The city is home to numerous insurance companies, contributing significantly to the global insurance industry.

Connecticut formerly prohibited certain retail sales on Sundays

These laws were often in place to observe a day of rest and religious practices.

Mark Twain wrote many of his novels in Connecticut

a photo of Mark Twain

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Fin, as well as many others, were penned during the seventeen years he lived in Hartford.

The earliest witch trials happened in Windsor

The trials happened in 1662, predating the more infamous Salem Witch Trials in Massachusetts.

Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain were neighbors

The Harriet Beecher Stowe house in Connecticut
Photo credit: Greg Hume / Creative Commons

Harriet Beecher Stowe, known for her work Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was a next door neighbor to Twain until he left Hartford in 1891.

Litchfield County is considered the state’s UFO Capital

In the 1960s and ’70s, the county gained notoriety as a UFO hot spot after several reported sightings and encounters in the area.

The first lollipop-making machine was in Norwich

A photo of a lollipop

In 1908, George Smith, a local resident, invented the machine that automated the process of putting candy on a stick.

The oldest continuously planted municipal rose garden in the country is in Wethersfield

In addition to its roses, the town played a significant role in introducing onions to the United States in the 17th century.

Hamburger Helper boxes on a shelf - Hamburger Helper was invented in Connecticut - among the fun facts about Connecticut

The ground beef pasta mix was created by General Mills in 1971.

A state law used to restrict public entertainment on Sundays

Certain forms of public entertainment, such as theatrical performances or sporting events, were restricted on Sundays to encourage a day of reflection and religious observance.

The longest river in New England flows through the state

The Connecticut River

The Connecticut River flows through the heart of the state. It has played a crucial role in the region’s history, serving as a lifeline for trade and transportation.

The state insect isn’t native to Connecticut

A praying mantis

The praying mantis was designated the state insect in 1972 despite the fact it’s from Europe and Africa.

By area, CT is the third-smallest state

Only Rhode Island and Delaware are smaller.

Connecticut is one of the most densely populated states in the country

It may be the smallest state by area, but it’s the fourth most densely populated.

Connecticut has a national park dedicated to painting

Weir Farm National Historic Site in Wilton is the only national park dedicated to American painting. It was the home of Julian Alden Weir, a leading figure of American Impressionism.

Noah Webster made the first American dictionary in Connecticut

His first dictionary was published in 1806, and an expanded and comprehensive version was published in 1826.

Friction matches, commonly called “matches”, were invented in New Haven

A box of matches

The friction match, a significant innovation in fire-starting technology, was invented by Alpheus Hyatt in 1830. This invention revolutionized how people lit fires.

Anesthesia was first used in Connecticut  

Horace Wells of Hartford, CT, successfully used anesthesia for the first time in 1847.

The official song of Connecticut is Yankee Doodle

Yankee Doodle music which is the official song of Connecticut and is among the fun facts about Connecticut

This song differs from other state songs in that it doesn’t reference the state’s name.

The name Connecticut means “long tidal river”

The name Connecticut comes from the Algonquian word quinetucket which can be translated to “long tidal river,” “upon the long river,” or “beside the long, tidal river”.

New Haven has the most biking commuters on the East Coast 

A woman commuting on a bike

Many old railroad tracks have been converted into bike trails across the state.

The first European to explore CT was from The Netherlands

The Dutch explorer Adriaen Block first came to the area in 1614, traveling up the Connecticut River.

The largest maritime museum in the USA is in Connecticut

Founded in 1929, Mystic Seaport is one of the most popular attractions in the state.

ESPN began in Connecticut

A screen with ESPN on it

In 1985 the sports entertainment network began in Bristol.

The first helicopter flew in Connecticut

A photo of a helicopter

On September 14, 1939, the VS-300 took flight in Stratford.

The first woman to get a patent in the US was from Connecticut

The patent was issued on May 5, 1809, to Mrs. Mary Kies of South Killingly. The patent was for a new way to braid straw with silk and other threads to make women’s bonnets.

The first phone book was published in 1878 in Connecticut

A photo of a hand on an open phone book - the phonebook started in Connecticut making it among the fun facts about Connecticut

Less than two years after the telephone was invented, the New Haven District Telephone Company issued its first phone book on January 28, 1878.

The Hartford Courant is the oldest continuously published newspaper in the country

On October 29, 1764, the paper began as the weekly Connecticut Courant. It became a daily paper in 1837.

Only one U.S. president was born in Connecticut

George W Bush - the only president born in Connecticut

George W. Bush was born on July 6, 1946 in New Haven.

Dinosaur tracks were discovered in Connecticut

Among the fun facts about Connecticut is that on August 23, 1966, bulldozer operator Edward McCarthy uncovered a fossilized Triassic lake bed in Rocky Hill while he was excavating for the new Interstate 91. It was later discovered that this former lake contains the most ample display of Eubrontes tracks in North America.

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A photo of Kerry Flatley leaning against a wall

About Kerry Flatley

Kerry Flatley has lived in New England for the past 26 years. She has roots in Maine & Massachusetts, family in New Hampshire, and grew up close to the Connecticut border. She loves all that this region has to offer – the ocean, mountains, islands, history, villages, and cities. When she’s not writing about New England, she’s relaxing at home in the Boston suburbs with her two teenage daughters and husband.

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