Each of Connecticut’s eighty-seven governors has made valuable contributions to the rich history of our state. Yet, while many people have studied Connecticut’s history, few know very much about the governors themselves. How much do you know? Below, grouped into categories, are questions designed to test your knowledge about the men and women who held Connecticut’s top state office. Stumped? Click on the endnote for the answer!
From John Haynes, who served as the first governor of the Colony of Connecticut in 1639, to our current governor, Dannel P. Malloy, these men and women help make the history of Connecticut interesting.
2. Which two brothers served as governor?
3. Which governors never married?
4. Who was the first governor born in Connecticut?
5. Which governor had the most children?
6. Which governors had fathers who were also Connecticut governors?
7. Who was the first governor born in the 20th century?
8. Noah Webster, famous for writing the first American dictionary, was descended from which Connecticut governor?
Did you know that Governor John Dempsey, 1961-1971, was born in Ireland? He was the first governor since colonial times to be born outside of the United States.
10. Who served consecutively as Governor of the Colony and Governor of the State of Connecticut?
11. Before he was elected governor, who served as a defense attorney for the Mendi in the Amistad Affair?
12. Who was the first governor elected to serve a four-year term?
13. Who was the first Jewish Governor?
14. The Charter of 1662 disappeared before this governor’s eyes!
15. Which governor also served as a US Senator and Connecticut’s Chief Justice?
16. Which Connecticut governor was also a governor of Massachusetts?
17. Which Connecticut governor founded a city in New Jersey?
18. Who was the first Catholic governor?
19. Which two governors were so unpopular, their portraits were removed from the State Capitol?
20. Who was the last governor to preside as judge at a witchcraft trial in Connecticut?
Ella T. Grasso was Connecticut’s first female governor. She was also the first woman in the United States to be elected to serve as governor in her own right.
22. Which future governor was one of the first persons to enlist from Connecticut during the Civil War?
23. Which future governor became George Washington’s personal secretary during the Revolutionary War?
24. Which governor was a surgeon in Connecticut’s militia and served with the troops that were stationed in 1814 at Fort Griswold?
25. Which governor served as US Secretary of the Navy?
26. Which governor was known as the Hero of Chapultepec?
27. Which governor rose to the rank of Major General in the American Revolution?
28. Which governor served with the US Air Force as a combat flyer during the Korean War?
29. After an eye disease caused him to be discharged from service in the Second Connecticut Volunteers during the Civil War, which future governor used his considerable speaking talent to recruit volunteers to the Union?
During the Revolutionary War Connecticut was known as the Provisions State.
31. Who was serving as governor when two devastating natural disasters struck Connecticut?
32. Under whose term was an eight-hour workday for children established?
33. Who was the first governor to reside in the current governors mansion on 990 Prospect Avenue in Hartford?
34. Who was governor when a law was passed making it compulsory for children to attend school until they were sixteen?
35. Who was the first governor inaugurated in the `new’ (present) State Capitol?
36. Who was governor when Hartford became Connecticut’s only state capitol?
37. Which governor oversaw Connecticut’s approval of the 15th Amendment of the US Constitution, which gave Blacks the right to vote?
38. Who was governor of Connecticut when the Civil War broke out?
39. Which Governor served the longest term?
40. Which governor didn’t really want to be governor and didn’t attend most sessions of the General Assembly, yet the people kept on re-electing him?
41. Which governor voted in favor of the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution, which outlawed slavery, while serving in the US Congress?
42. The political bosses were not happy with the election of this governor. He was not supposed to win, and was told that he would be allowed to serve one term and that was it!
Did you know that it wasn’t until April 19, 1939 that Connecticut ratified the first Ten Amendments of the United States Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights? Raymond E. Baldwin was Governor of Connecticut at that time.
44. Which governor is in the Baseball Hall of Fame?
45. Which governor was an actor in Europe before being elected?
46. A lake in Connecticut is believed to be named for this governor.
47. How many towns are named after a Connecticut governor?
48. Who represented Connecticut for Connecticut Day at the Chicago World’s Fair?
49. Which governor’s statue is the only one on the grounds of the State Capitol?
50. Which governor had a job as a reindeer agent in Alaska before being elected?
51. A nature preserve in Connecticut is named after which governor?
52. Which governor became famous for his Thanksgiving Day address to the people of Connecticut?
53. Echo Camp, one of the great camps of Raquette Lake in New York State, was built by which governor?
Portrait of Jonathan Law, 1741-1750, on display in the Museum of Connecticut History.
Portrait of John Dempsey, 1961-1971, State Archives Picture Group 500, Individual and Family Portraits, Box 4, Folder Title “John Dempsey.”
Portrait of Ella T. Grasso, 1975-1980, on display in the Museum of Connecticut History.
“The Three Great War Governors of the State of Connecticut,” State Archives Picture Group 560, Group Portraits, Box 1, Folder Title “Governors and staff.”
Portrait of Raymond E. Baldwin, 1939-1941, 1943-1946, on display in the Museum of Connecticut History.
Compiled by Jeannie Sherman, History & Genealogy, Oct. 2005.