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Third Thursday Speaker Series 2018

Each year the Connecticut Heritage Foundation supports the State Library and Museum of Connecticut History’s Third Thursday Brown Bag Lunchtime speaker series.  This series features a variety of speakers on various aspects of Connecticut history.


January 18, 2018 

Diana Ross McCain, author of the new historical novel Thy Children’s Children, will give a talk on the Lyman’s of Lyman Orchards. Between 1741 and 1871, Lyman men and women established and nurtured a farm and homestead that are owned by descendants to this day. They also took part, often at great personal peril, in political, moral, and economic movements that shaped the course of American history. One generation fought for American independence on the battlefield and the home front. Another crusaded to abolish slavery from the United States. Today the eighth and ninth generations of Lymans operate Lyman Orchards, a 1,100-acre agricultural/recreational complex that includes the land first purchased in 1741.

 February 15, 2018

Maisa Tisdale, President of the Mary and Eliza Freeman Center for History and Community will give a talk on the Historic Freeman Houses of Little Liberia.  Little Liberia was a community of freed blacks born in Connecticut, West Indians, Cape Verdeans, runaway enslaved persons from southern states, and remnants of Indian tribes from Connecticut and New York State. This village came to be known as Ethiope. By 1850 the community came to be known as “Liberia,” evidently reflecting the pride felt by its residents in helping their brethren on the road to freedom. In the 1900’s the community was affectionately referred to as “Little Liberia.” The Mary and Eliza Freeman Houses are significant as the last two surviving homes of “Little Liberia,” a settlement of free African Americans in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

  March  15, 2018

Mary Mahoney Ph.D. Candidate in History at the University of Connecticut, will give a talk on  Prescribing from the Bookshelf” Louise Sweet and Connecticut’s role in the Library War Service. 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, to entertain, and when prescribed in hospitals, to heal. This talk will offer a history of the Library War Service itself, the roles women played as librarians dispensing books, and Connecticut’s place in this history.

April 19, 2018

Judge Michael Shay will be the guest speaker at the Connecticut State Library on April 19, 2018, 12:00-12:45. Judge Shay will lead a discussion on the Battle of Seicheprey in which the men of the 102nd Infantry, a National Guard Regiment, composed mostly of Connecticut men distinguished themselves in an attack by a superior German force of more than five times their number. Seicheprey is a town on the southern edge of the St. Mihiel salient, a deep 30 kilometer bulge pointing west into what was then the Allied lines.  The Battle of Seicheprey was a surprise battle as far as the Americans were concerned.  German forces attacked American forces from the north in the wee hours of the morning. In front of the Germans were the US 26th Infantry Division along with the 1st, 2nd and 42nd Infantry Divisions. The 100th Anniversary of this epic battle will be April 20, 2018.

   May  17, 2018

Rachel Thomas-Shapiro, Waterfront Supervisor, Interpretation Department, Mystic Seaport Museum ,will give a talk on the Connecticut oyster industry.

    June  21, 2018

Dr. Kim Stoner will give a talk on Planting for the Bees’ Needs –
Providing Habitat for Honey Bees and Wild Bees

June 18 -24th is designated as National Pollinator Week.  Dr. Kimberly Stoner from the Department of Entomology at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) will give a talk on Planting for the Bees’ Needs – Providing Habitat for Honey Bees and Wild Bees, June 21, 2018, 12:00 P.M.-12:45 P.M., at the Connecticut State Library. The focus of her discussion will be based on the life cycles of bees, where they live, what plants they need to thrive, and how to protect them from pesticides. Bees are important for producing honey and wax and pollinating crops, and they also are important to the health of the environment by pollinating native wild plants. The economic importance of honey bees is large, mainly because honey bees are generalist capable of pollinating many agricultural crops.  However, honey bees are very different from our native wild bees. Currently, there are 349 different species of bees in the state of Connecticut.  This program is part of the State Library and Museum of Connecticut History’s Third Thursday Brown Bag Lunchtime Speaker series. This series features a variety of speakers on various aspects of Connecticut History. All programs are free and open to the public and attendees should feel free to bring their lunch.