You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2009.

A New Haven Railroad dining car employee serves Thanksgiving dinner to a passenger.

The employee magazine, or “house organ,” for such large businesses as the New Haven Railroad and the Southern New England Telephone Company, allowed company employees a means to communicate, to find out about recent happenings with the company, and to share such information as recent marriages, births, retirements, and deaths involving other workers.  At Thanksgiving time, as we see from the employee magazines for the railroad (on the left) and SNET (below) which are held in the archives, the magazines show how the employees enjoyed the feasts of the season.  We see a New Haven Railroad dining car employee serve a passenger (well, probably not a real passenger, probaby a model posing as a passenger or employee) her Thanksgiving dinner, and an employee in the New London office cafeteria is served turkey. 
This latter photo had the following caption:  “Susan Reidy can hardly wait to get back to a table in New London Cafeteria to down this delicious turkey dinner.  Bird was cooked by Catherine Tooker (carving), while Cafeteria Supervisor Mildred Berg looks on.

A SNET employee is served Thanksgiving dinner at the New London office cafeteria.

Tucked inside is Grace Murray’s famous dressing.  See recipe on Page 27.”

Of course we wouldn’t leave you hanging and not give you the recipe.  All of us at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center wish you and your loved ones a very Happy Thanksgiving!

The Dodd Research Center, including the John P. McDonald Reading Room, will be closed on Thursday, November 26th for the Thanksgiving holiday and Friday, November 27th for the State mandated furlough day.  We will re-open for our regular hours on Monday, November  30th.


Course of Study, 1881

With the 2009 Thanskgiving Break beginning at the end of the day on November 20th; the UConn campuses are much quieter.  The majority of the undergraduate students have left for a week-long break. Only a few days after their return finals begin.

We tend to forget that it wasn’t always like this.   A quick look in the Archives is enough to demonstrate how much things have changed at the University. 

On October 7, 1881, 12 young men began their agricultural studies at the new, small school nestled in the hills of northwestern Connecticut.   Their course of study was prescribed and the daily schedule had little variety. 


Daily Schedule, Academic year 1881-1882

 In comparison, this past August, 20,812 undergraduates (men and women) settled in on the University’s 6 campuses across the state to begin the Fall 2009 semester.  Hundreds of courses are available to leading to one hundred possible majors. Not to mention, the daily schedule is no longer prescribed and varies tremendously across the campuses and student body.   

The one thing that probably hasn’t changed much is the pervasive question that settles on the campuses this time of year–is it over yet?

The 2009 Raab Associates Prize in Illustration was another opportunity for the Dodd Research Center to partner with the School of Fine Arts and Professor Cora Lyn Deibler.  Now in its 11th year, the competition which was initiated in 1999 by alumni Susan Salzman Raab and her husband David, gives students of illustration a poem to illustrate, which again this year was an original work by Jane Yolen.    This year’s winner is Katelyn Fox.

KFox prize winner

The poem is as follows:

Bug Games
Lady bug,

How many
On a tree?


Who plays
Who wins the

Cabbage Worm,

When games
Are over,
Who’s first
In the tub?

Because of the generousity of the Raabs, this year marks the first Raab Associates Prize in Writing.  As with the illustration prize, students in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences were invited to submit an original short work for consideration.  The winner this year is John Allie, a senior art major, with his short story “Captain Hero.”

Katelyn Fox, UConn President Mike Hogan, John Allie

Today is day two of the CT Children’s Book Fair and it’s amazing to think that we have been a part of this for 18 years!  So why is it that we are still doing it, along with so many of our original volunteers?  The Connecticut Children’s Book Fair is a unique opportunity for the Dodd Research Center to reach out and be involved in promoting literacy.  Reading to children for just a small amount each day nets amazing results.  It helps them open doors to a big, exciting world and develop a love of stories and poems.  When children become readers, their world is forever wider and richer.  


Over the 18 years of the Fair, we have moved three times, had conferences for teachers, character breakfasts, speakers for 5th year students in the Neag School of Education, and partnered with wonderful organizations such as the UConn Co-op and School of Fine Arts.   We have met over 350 absolutely wonderful authors and illustrators, and forged relationship that have helped us with programming and enrichment of the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection archives. 

There is still some time today to check it out for yourself.  See you there.


CAC football team, 1924

CAC Varsity football players, 1924

On November 15, 1924, the Connecticut Aggies out scored the University of Rhode Island Rams (22-0) to remain undefeated.  The team finished the year as the New England Conference Football champions with an overall 6-0-2 season.

Armistice Day bonfire, Connecticut Agricultural College, 1919

Armistice Day bonfire, Connecticut Agricultural College, 1919

This year marks the culmination of the University of Connecticut Alumni Association’s yearlong effort to craft a fitting tribute to honor our alumni who have fallen while serving in the armed forces of our nation.  In November 2008, the Ultimate Sacrifice Memorial was dedicated.  Located on the Lawn to the east of the Wilbur Cross Building, the Memorial is constructed of brick, limestone and marble, and features a patio and handcrafted “eternal flame.” The marble headstone is drawn from the same quarry used for Arlington National Cemetery and the Lincoln Memorial. The headstone is a replica of that used at Arlington National Cemetery. 

The Roll of Honor was unveiled and dedicated during Reunion weekend activities on June 6, 2009.  The ceremony, which included the reading of  the names of 131 University of Connecticut alumni collected to date, was especially poignant as it was also the 65th anniversary of D-Day, the allied invasion of Europe during World War II.  The list of names is a collaborative effort of many people but the resources available in the University Archives provided a substantial portion as well as assisting in the research for the profiles intended for the planned website.

On November 10, 2009, as part of this year’s Veteran’s Day Observance, the Alumni Association announces the Roll of Honor website ( which provides a history of the project, photographs of associated events, the list of the fallen and information on how to submit additional names.

And to all our veterans, alumni or not, Thank you.

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