Ringing in the New Year (in Connecticut)

1974.6.20 Flash-light at midnight, 183 Sigourney Street, Hartford, December 31, 1888.

1974.6.20 Flash-light at midnight, 183 Sigourney Street, Hartford, December 31, 1888.

Another productive year has almost come to a close, and a New Year will soon commence. At midnight tomorrow, many of us will pop the champagne cork as we ring in 2014, and reflect on our accomplishments from this past year.

x.2000.28.28 Illumination of Old State House, Hartford, December 31, 1900

x.2000.28.28 Illumination of Old State House, Hartford, December 31, 1900

In the past, Connecticut families celebrated with a multitude of lights and fireworks. The photograph of Hartford’s Old State House on December 31, 1900 epitomizes such festive sentiments, displaying an array of American flags, string lights and banners to ring in the new century. Today, many Nutmeggers can attend the annual gala known as First Night, which commemorates its 25th anniversary this year.

CHS contains many items that commemorate the New Year, which range from greeting cards and children’s books to original correspondence and broadside posters. In one New Year’s address from 1836, the author commends the city’s people for a hard year’s work, and warns those who “so terribly rage” to stay far away! Many of our New Year’s items can be accessed at HistoryCat, eMuseum and Connecticut History Online.

We at Connecticut Historical Society wish you a Happy New Year, and thank you for your continued support. We would love to know: how will you usher in the New Year?

Sierra Dixon is a Research & Collections Associate at the Connecticut Historical Society

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