Throughout the year, the Connecticut Historical Society offers public presentations, participates in festivals and family events, and partners with community organizations and businesses in the region and around the state. Here you will find a list of activities at various off-site locations. For more information about a specific event check our calendar of upcoming events or please be in touch with the local contact. We hope to see you when we’re out and about!
Adult Outreach Programs
We are open late Thursdays!
CHS on the Road
Adult Traveling Programs
Bring entertaining and engaging history to your library, senior center, retirement community, or club with a CHS Traveling program. See our current presentations.
Please call (860) 236-5621 x232 or email us to book your program or for more information.
Reflections: Growing Up
Designed for adults with memory loss.
This interactive, conversation-based program uses images, music from the 40s-60s, and hands-on objects such as historic toys to promote conversation among participants about their childhoods. This program welcomes participants to think about their past, and share their memories with others. Objects, images, music, and questions will spark reminiscences and conversation. This engaging program is best suited to individuals with early to mid-stage dementia.
Katharine Hepburn: From Hartford to Hollywood
With a stage and film career that spanned six decades, Katharine Hepburn is an American icon. Born and raised in Connecticut, Hepburn had a career in stage, film and television that reflected the changing role of women in broader society. Challenging the norms of the day, she took control of her image and identity by establishing a unique sense of style which influenced countless women, fashion designers, and the informal, elegant approach to American style that continues to resonate today. The story of her life-long ties to Connecticut offers a complete picture of how Hepburn became the woman and the star she was. This presentation will link her career and legacy to her roots in Connecticut to ask how she achieved her truly extraordinary legacy.
Witches in Connecticut
The harrowing story of the hanging of witches in Colonial New England continues to haunt our present-day imagination. The trials and executions of witches in Connecticut predated the more famous Salem witch panic by over 40 years. Hear the stories of some of the women and men accused, tried, and executed as witches and learn how Connecticut successfully controlled the spread of witch accusations long before Salem erupted in panic and violence.
Remembering G. Fox & Co. in the 1950s
In the 1950s, just about every major city had a landmark department store. In Connecticut, it was G. Fox & Co. in Hartford! This presentation will bring you back in time to Fox’s heyday, as we go from floor to floor and recall departments ranging from accessories on the “street” floor, to designer dresses on 6, and ending at Toyland on 11. You’ll also learn about Beatrice Fox Auerbach, the remarkable woman who made every visit to Fox’s special and set the standard for customer service. We promise to stir pleasant memories of date nut bread in the Connecticut Room, back-to-school shopping, and the wonderful Christmas season at G. Fox & Co.!
Tories, Spies, and Traitors: Divided Loyalty in Revolutionary Connecticut
Which side are you on? That’s the question that every single person in Connecticut had to answer in 1775, as the thirteen colonies began a rebellion against British rule. Loyalty was not only a matter of words or opinion. For soldiers and civilians alike, loyalty could mean loss of fortune, of friends, and even of life. This presentation reveals stories – some well known, some obscure – of Nutmeggers who risked and sacrificed to support their chosen side during this “tumultuous jarring time of civil war.”
Black History in Connecticut: Artifacts from the Connecticut Historical Society
In this program, we’ll take you on a tour of items from our collection representing a spectrum of the Black experience in CT. You’ll learn about a Harlem Renaissance writer, Ann Petry, who carefully preserved artifacts chronicling the black community of Saybrook. Examine daguerreotypes by Augustus Washington, who abandoned a successful Hartford photography business to build a new nation in Africa. Browse through the photo album of a Hollywood actress who became a champion of labor rights for black entertainers. Marvel at the gorgeous costumes created by CT’s West Indian community for their annual MAS celebration, and see artifacts documenting the Civil Rights movement in our state.
Connecticut and the Pandemic of 1918
In 1918-1919, the world experienced a lethal outbreak of influenza that took the lives of millions. What was it like to live through the Influenza Pandemic of 1918? In this program, we’ll look at archival images, letters, and newspapers to explore this topic, including sources left by Connecticans who experienced the flu first-hand.
A Vote of Her Own: The Fight For Women’s Suffrage in Connecticut
How did the women of CT work for – or against – the right to vote? In this program, we’ll look at photos, letters and pamphlets from our collection to understand one of the most hard-fought political battles of American history. You’ll learn about suffragists like Katharine Houghton Hepburn, Mary Townsend Seymour, and Isabella Beecher Hooker, as well as some CT women who fought tooth-and-nail against women getting the vote (what was up with them?).
Facing War: Connecticut in World War I
What was life like on the home front during WWI? Learn about this dramatic time during which CT confronted women’s demand for the vote, a deadly flu epidemic, and mass immigration — all while sending thousands of men and women to the front.
Tapping Into the Past: Tavern Life in Early Connecticut
Taverns in early Connecticut were more than just a place to drink. Travelers and locals alike saw taverns as a place to be entertained, spread news and gossip, have a good meal, and get a night’s lodging. Learn about how taverns were an essential part of every Connecticut town.
Something Old, Something New: Connecticut Weddings Through the Ages
From colonial to modern times, how did Connecticans tie the knot? How did they celebrate? What did they wear? And how did some of our cherished wedding customs originate? This program uses CHS’s extensive collection of wedding clothing, accessories, photographs and prints to examine some of our ideas about what makes a “traditional” wedding, and what those traditions can reveal about how ideas about marriage have changed through the years.
Rosie the Riveter
“Rosie the Riveter” became an iconic image of working women during World War II. What was it really like for them? We’ll look at propaganda posters, art, music, photos, and hear real-life accounts of Connecticut women who worked for victory in the war.
Hoopskirts to Flappers
A woman born in 1850 who lived for 80 years would have seen fashion change dramatically in her lifetime. This program will walk you through our Costume and Textile collection to see how women’s clothing transitioned from the iron reign of the hoopskirt to the relative freedom of the flapper dress.
Hair jewelry? Creepy puppets? Corpse preserver? This presentation explores some of CHS’s strangest items. You will learn how even the oddest artifacts can be gateways into a deeper understanding and appreciation of our state’s history.
Any questions? Call Education Coordinator Rebecca Gross at (860) 236-5621 x 232.
Tuesday-Friday 12pm-5pm, Thursday nights until 8pm
Research Center Hours:
Tuesday-Saturday 12pm-5pm, Thursday nights until 8pm
Always by appointment only.
One Elizabeth Street
Hartford CT, 06105