Joined by schoolchildren, Boys and Girls Scouts, lawmakers and municipal officials, Governor M. Jodi Rell led a procession from the State Capitol to the State Library on February 17th to officially kick off the Connecticut’s 375th Anniversary Celebration.
“While all birthdays are fun, some are genuine milestones. This is certainly one of them,” the Governor told those gathered in historic State Library. “Today is just the beginning of a year-long tribute to those who came before us and helped shape the state we love. It is a state whose people will forever be industrious, inventive and enduring.”
Historians point to 1635 as the critical year for settlement of the three river towns – Wethersfield, Windsor and Hartford – that initially established the Connecticut Colony.
The event, which also featured a ceremonial escort by the Governor’s Foot Guard, also marked the unveiling of the official 375th Website – www.CT375.com – which will include a calendar of events and activities that will include local schools, state parks, the arts community, museums and oral histories. To help plan and promote events, the Governor assembled a volunteer commission of historians, educators, arts and culture representatives, fundraisers and others.
“These marvelous volunteers who have stepped forward to help are contributing their time, their expertise and in-kind services to make sure this celebration is a fun and rewarding one,” Governor Rell said.
The 375th Commission includes John Patrick, President, Farmington Bank, and former First Lady Nikki O’Neill, who was co-chairwoman of the state’s 350th Anniversary Celebration. Other members are State Historian Walter Woodward, State Librarian Kendall Wiggin, former Lt. Gov. Eunice Groark and Karen Senich, Executive Director of the state Commission on Culture and Tourism.