Letters Etc. Winter 2020-2021


(c) Connecticut Explored Inc Winter 2020-2021

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Laura Smith’s fine article “The Kid in Upper 4” (Fall 2020) brought me back to my own night aboard a U.S. Army troop train from New Haven to Fort Jackson, South Carolina, where I began my training for deployment to Viet Nam (1967 – 1968). I lay in my bunk that night filled with a puzzling mix of foreboding and a certain amount of dread—but also with a youthful sense of great adventure to come. Years later, I came to understand that my parents, that same night, were filled with an even greater measure of foreboding and dread but with none of the sense of adventure. They were sending their son off to war. Theirs was the greater emotional burden.

It is reported in the article that people reading “The Kid in Upper Four” ads while the war raged, and thinking of loved-ones of their own at war, were seen breaking into tears. Reading the article, I could not hold back mine.

Russell H. Jones
West Hartford

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Connecticut Explored would not be where it is today without the contributions of our Friends. Please make a gift of $100, $180, or more (add your subscription renewal to receive full tax-deduction to the gift portion) to the Friends of Connecticut Explored. Gifts of $100 or more received by December 31, 2020 will be acknowledged in the Spring 2021 issue.

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Venture Smith’s Colonial Connecticut Finalist for Award

Venture Smith’s Colonial Connecticut, our book for grades 5 – 8 about colonial Connecticut, was named the finalist for the 2020 Connecticut Center for the Book Awards in the “Spirit of Connecticut, Young Readers” category. The winners in all categories were announced October 15 during the Center for the Book’s virtual award ceremony.

“Venture Smith truly embodies the ‘Spirit of Connecticut,’ so we’re excited that this book has received this recognition,” publisher Elizabeth Normen said. “His story is a true story of freedom, and this book makes that story accessible to middle-school students who are just learning about and forming their understanding of the founding of this country. Learning from Smith’s own words will provide a sound foundation for their understanding of our nation’s history.”

Connecticut Center for the Book, housed at CT Humanities, is the state affiliate of the national Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. Its mission is to promote the written and spoken word throughout the state and to foster a love of reading for the people of Connecticut. The book awards recognize and honor authors and illustrators who have created the best books in or about our state in the past year. To find a list of the 2020 award winners visit ctcenterforthebook.org.

CTH Grant Enhances CTExplored.org

In July Connecticut Explored was awarded a $2,025 matching grant from CT Humanities to enhance its digital humanities resources by adding stories from the first 10 years of issues to CTExplored.org and make other improvements to the site, including adding a new Topics area that aggregates stories across multiple issues by topic. Visitors to the site will find it easier to read all of our stories on various topics without having to search issue by issue. Topics include: African American history, women’s suffrage, the Civil War, Historic Preservation, Connecticut Made, Labor history, immigration, Connecticut’s founding documents, childhood, and more. Read more on page 9.

CT Humanities is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities and receives its funding from federal and state dollars and foundations. CT Explored thanks CT Humanities for this grant and thanks our state and federal legislators for their support of humanities funding for historical societies, museums, and libraries across the state.

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