Grating the Nutmeg enters its ninth year in 2024. Wow! We have covered many different topics over the course of our nearly 200 episodes–from Connecticut’s trees, to witches, to our more recent CTE Game Changers Series–and we are excited for what’s in store for 2024. Thank you to everyone who has made our podcast possible!
We shared the top five episodes from 2023, now we want to celebrate the top ten most listened-to GTN episodes of all time. Enjoy our top downloaded episodes and then explore the rest! Just click on the links below, and then press play on the next page for your next good story.
- Connecticut and the Pandemic of 1918It’s hard to believe that the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic hit its peak nearly four years ago. In this episode, we discuss the influenza pandemic of 1918, which like COVID-19, stopped life-as-we-knew it in its tracks. What are the similarities and differences between the two pandemics? Where did the 1918 influenza come from? How did its impact change Connecticut and its people?
- The Delicious History of Pizza in New HavenPerhaps one of the greatest debates of the Northeast – which state makes the best pizza? To many, New Haven, Connecticut holds the spot as the best pizza destination. How did this city gain its world-class pizza reputation, and why “apizza?” What is the trinity of pizza places in New Haven?
- Rough Justice for Nathan HaleHale the hero or Hale the liar? This episode provides a new twist on a story we thought we knew in full using a previously unknown account of Hale’s arrest by Consider Tiffany. Is there any legitimacy in Tiffany’s or William Hull’s accounts? How do historians account for lapses and contradictions in the historical record? Why were the British so fired up to execute Connecticut’s state hero?
- Gov. John Dempsey-Son of CahirHow did John Dempsey’s mother inspire him to take risks for those in need? How did his father inspire his belief that those with power have the responsibility to help those who do not? How did a streetlight change John’s life? Tune into this episode to learn more about one of the most popular, and effective, Connecticut governors, and how his traits and programs were informed by experiences he had as a boy in Cahir, Ireland.
124 Lydia Sigourney, Benedict Arnold, & The Battle of Bunker Hill What do Lydia Sigourney, Benedict Arnold, and the Revolutionary War battle of Bunker Hill have in common? Listen to this reading of Sigourney’s book, Sketch of Connecticut Forty Years Since, to see the past through a double historical lens. Discover life in early-American Norwich as well as insights into the ways in which Norwich remembers Benedict Arnold and the Battle of Bunker Hill. This is a great episode to listen to as we prepare for the 250th anniversary of the United States in 2026.
- The Unlikely Legend – and History – of the Charter OakThe legend of the Charter Oak has deep roots in our state. But why has Connecticut been so heavily invested in a legend about a tree, a piece of paper, a meany-head monarch, and a crafty, independent group of subjects? Listen to this episode where we provide historical details of the Charter Oak and discuss to what degree the history matches up to the legend.
- Anni and Josef Albers in ConnecticutThis episode celebrates the 100thanniversary of the most influential design school of the twentieth century, the Bauhaus, and Connecticut’s connection to it – Modern artists Anni and Josef Albers. What was the Bauhaus? What is the significance of its name and architectural history? How did Anni and Josef meet? Discover how the Albers escaped Germany and why they came to Connecticut, as well as what happened to the Bauhaus. Plus, learn more about the Albers’ Connecticut home and one of Josef’s painting series.
- Revolver: Sam Colt and the Six-Shooter That Changed AmericaYou’ve probably seen the iconic, blue-domed Colt Armory off of I-91 on your drive to Hartford. You also may have heard of Colt Park or the Colt addition to the Wadsworth Athenuem. So, who was Sam Colt? Tune into this episode to learn more about Colt’s youth, family tragedies and mysteries, and his early businesses and failures. Find out whether there’s any truth to the inspiration behind his revolver design, and why “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” is a fitting saying for Colt.
- Uncovering African American Women’s Fight for Suffrage2020 marked the 100thanniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment. For a long time, women of color were excluded from the history of women’s suffrage. In this episode, Brittney Yancy and Karen Li Miller discuss the project they developed to uncover the suffrage work of women of color in CT. Learn how it came together, their research methods, and the significance of the project and its name. Discover the important suffrage and activism work of women such as Mary Townsend Seymour, Sarah Lee Brown Fleming, and Mary A. Johnson that bring a complexity to the history of suffrage.
- New London and the Middle Passage (CTE Game Changer Series)One of the sites on New London’s Black Heritage Trail is the Amistad pier, which marks the 1761 arrival of TheSpeedwell, carrying 74 enslaved persons. Although the ship’s records don’t show where the Africans aboard ended up, the probate record of Normand Morison shows 21 enslaved West Africans were placed on his farm in Bolton. In this episode, Kathy Hermes, Lonnie Braxton, and Tom Schuch discuss why this was a momentous event and what other stories it helps to tell. They also discuss the Black Heritage Trail and its significance, and the impact of the slave trade on Connecticut and its trading networks. Plus, learn why Morison and Benedict Arnold are important to this story and the story of New London.