You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2009.

At the Farmer’s Convention that was held between the 15th and 17th of December 1880, Charles and Augustus Storrs announced their intention of offering property and funds to the State of Connecticut for the establishment of an agricultural school for boys.  The property in question was located in the rural, eastern portion of the state and included about 160 acres of land, farm buildings and a residence that had originally housed the Connecticut Soldiers’  Orphans’ Home, constructed in 1866 by Edwin Whitney.  The original Deed to the property was not clear and necessitated further legalities over the next several years but within the year, the State of Connecticut accepted the gift and the Storrs Agricultural School was established.

Duplicate of Storrs Deed, 1887

Storrs, Deed, p. 2


To tide you over for the next few winter weeks while the Dodd Research Center is closed for the winter break, we’d like to highlight a sampling of books from the Stephenson Collection of books on ice skating.  The collection includes everything from novels to how-to manuals. 

Hand-in-Hand Figure Skating by N. G. Thompson and F. L. Cannan, published in 1896, gives an overview of different hand holding positions while skating, including face to face, the link, side by side, and the echelon, all with illustrations.


Figure Skating for Women, by James A. Cruikshank, was published in 1921.

“It is not extravagant praise of figure skating to say that it is probably the finest sport available to the majority of American women.”  — James A. Cruikshank, page 9.

And finally, Ice Rink Skating, by T. D. Richardson, from 1938.

From the staff at the Dodd Research Center, we wish you a happy and peaceful holiday season.

The Dodd Research Center was among more than 100 public colleges and universities in all 50 states that contributed to the 2010 City University of New York’s (CUNY) calendar, website and curriculum project by sharing historic images and milestones from their own past.

Entitled, “Investing in Futures: Public Higher Education in America,” the 2010 calendar project is the sixth such collaboration bringing together CUNY, the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives and The New York Times Knowledge Network, with support provided by founding sponsors JPMorgan Chase and TIAA-CREF.

War Effort on Campus, from the University of Connecticut Archives

The calendar will have two photographs from the Archives, one that will appear on the page that highlights the efforts on college campuses during World War II and another they have labeled “milestones”, which will include our own Huskies women’s basketball team at the final game of the N.C.A.A. tournament. 

The LaGuardia and Wagner Archives, which produced the calendar, is housed at CUNY’s LaGuardia Community College in Queens, New York. You can visit the Investing In Futures calendar/curricula website at

Dec. 1, 2009, marks the 54th anniversary of the day Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, to make room for a white passenger. Many depictions of Parks show her as elderly, or frail, when in fact she was 42 years old and “tired of giving in.” Her subsequent arrest led to the beginning of the Montgomery bus boycott, during which African-Americans and some whites walked to work, school, church, and everywhere else they needed to go. City buses ran nearly empty for a total of 382 days before the Supreme Court’s ban of Jim Crow laws made segregation illegal in December 1956. Some of the greatest names in the civil rights movement such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., were involved in the boycott.

From Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney

The illustration pictured here is by Brian Pinkney for the 2008 work Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation, written in rhythmic text by Andrea Davis Pinkney and published by Greenwillow Books. Other recent works for children in the Dodd Research Center’s holdings include Nikki Giovanni’s Rosa, illustrated by Bryan Collier and published by Henry Holt in 2005, and The Bus Ride that Changed History: the Story of Rosa Parks, by Pamela Duncan Edwards, illustrated by Danny Shanahan and published by Houghton Mifflin in 2005.

For more information on the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection, see

December 1 marks World AIDS Day, first established by the World Health Organization 20 years ago to raise awareness and focus attention on the global AIDS epidemic.   Since the first cases of AIDS were identified in 1981, over 25 million people worldwide have died from AIDS.  Worldwide, the number of people currently living with AIDS is 33.4 million, with an estimated one million in the United States. 

The Thomas J. Dodd Research Center and the University of Connecticut Libraries are commemorating World AIDS Day with an exhibit on the plaza of Homer Babbidge Library featuring early publications, artists books, poetry, and health reports on HIV and AIDS from the Alternative Press and Human Rights Collections. 

World AIDS Day Newsletter, 1994. From the Human Rights Internet Collection, Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut Libraries.

In 2008, 2.7 million people became newly infected with HIV.  Since 1996, funding for the response to AIDS in low- and middle-income countries rose from US$300 million annually to US$10 billion in 2007.  This increase in financing for HIV programs in low- and middle-income countries is beginning to bear fruit, with many countries making major progress in lowering AIDS deaths and preventing new infections.  Progress remains uneven, however, and the epidemic’s future is still uncertain, underscoring the need for intensified action to move towards universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support. There have been many successes in the AIDS response in recent times including increases in HIV treatment coverage and prevention of mother-to-child transmission services, and an indication of decline in HIV incidence in some regions. However, at the moment globally five people are becoming infected with HIV for every two people accessing treatment.

In the countries most heavily affected, HIV has reduced life expectancy by more than 20 years, slowed economic growth, and deepened household poverty. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, the epidemic has orphaned nearly 12 million children aged under 18 years. The natural age distribution in many national populations in sub-Saharan Africa has been dramatically skewed by HIV, with potentially perilous consequences for the transfer of knowledge and values from one generation to the next. In Asia, where infection rates are much lower than in Africa, HIV causes a greater loss of productivity than any other disease, and is likely to push an additional 6 million households into poverty by 2015 unless national responses are strengthened (Commission on AIDS in Asia, 2008). According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), HIV has inflicted the “single greatest reversal in human development” in modern history (UNDP, 2005).

At the same time, the epidemic has heightened global consciousness of health disparities, and brought forth unprecedented action to confront some of the world’s most serious development challenges. No disease in history has prompted a comparable mobilization of political, financial, and human resources, and no development challenge has led to such a strong level of leadership and ownership by the communities and countries most heavily affected. In large part due to the impact of HIV, people throughout the world have become less willing to tolerate inequities in global health and economic status that have long gone unaddressed. 

Source:  UNAIDS, The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS

Dodd Center’s Tweets