Nutmeg State on center ice
All-Connecticut Frozen Four finale pits Yale vs. Quinnipiac
The Frozen Four is an all-Connecticut affair, with Yale and Quinnipiac vying for the DI Men’s Ice Hockey Championship (7 p.m. ET Saturday, ESPN).
And while everyone is familiar with the UConn Huskies men’s and women’s basketball programs (with 11 combined national championships), you may not be as in tune with other things Connecticut …
The Dutch were the first Europeans to settle in the area, between the Connecticut and Park rivers in present-day Hartford. Eventually, Connecticut was a “crown colony” -- the fifth of England in the new land -- and was one of the 13 colonies that told the British to stick their crumpets in a tea pot in the American Revolution.
The 2010 U.S. Census lists Connecticut’s population as 3,574,097. The majority of the people are Italian (19.3 percent), Irish (17.9), English (10.7) and German (10.4). The most popular religion is Roman Catholic (32.0) followed by Baptist (10.0).
Being one of the original 13 colonies, it’s no surprise that gun manufacturing is a large part of Connecticut’s history. Four gun-manufacturing companies -- Colt, Mooberg, Ruger and Stag -- operate in the state.
While UConn, Quinnipiac and Yale are garnering the lion’s share of the press, Connecticut also is home to the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London. The state also had the nation’s first law school, Litchfield Law School (1773-1833), in Litchfield.
As for the championship contenders, the Yale and Quinnipiac campuses are separated by about 10 miles. On the ice, QU won the three previous matchups this season by a combined score of 13-3:
• Feb. 2 -- Quinnipiac 6, Yale 2
• Feb. 22 -- Quinnipiac 4, Yale 1
• March 23 -- Quinnipiac 3, Yale 0
Yale is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven. Founded in 1701, Yale is the third-oldest college in the U.S. (Harvard, 1636; William & Mary, 1693). Among Yale alumni are five U.S. Presidents and 19 U.S. Supreme Court Justices. (Yale Law School is the most selective law school in the United States.)
Quinnipac is a private co-ed university in Hamden. U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 America's Best Colleges issue has ranked Quinnipiac first among northern universities with master's degree programs as having made the most promising and innovative changes in academics, faculty, campus or facilities.
Other did-you-knows about the Nutmeg State:
• The first telephone book issued -- which had only 50 names -- was from the New Haven District Telephone Company in February 1878.
• Connecticut has about 144 newspapers being published (daily, Sunday, weekly and monthly), including the oldest U.S. newspaper still being published: The Hartford Courant, established in 1764.
• The first automobile law was passed by the state of Connecticut in 1901: The speed limit was set at 12 miles per hour. In 1937, Connecticut became the first state to issue permanent license plates for cars.
• PEZ candy is made in Orange, Conn. In October 2012, PEZ released a limited edition KISS gift set. Starchild (Paul Stanley), Demon (Gene Simmons), Catman (Peter Criss) and Spaceman (Ace Frehley) are displayed in a reusable metal gift tin.
• The Scoville Memorial Library is the United States’ oldest public library. The library collection began in 1771. (Between 2005 and 2009, Central Connecticut State's Dr. Jack Miller conducted annual studies aimed at identifying America's most literate cities. There were no Connecticut cities in the top 10.)
• On May 15, 1809, Mary Kies of South Killingly became the first woman to receive a U.S. patent, for a method of weaving straw with silk.
• And while Texas can claim a lot of things, cattle branding in the U.S. began in Connecticut; farmers were required by law to mark all of their pigs.
The list of people born in Connecticut is a Who’s Who, including Benedict Arnold. For you Hollywood types, Imdb has a complete list.
As noted, there also have been several famous people walk the grounds at Yale. ... Meanwhile, Wikipedia lists five notable names from Quinnipiac, including Turk Wendell. His claim to fame: being named the all-time most superstitious athlete by Men’s Fitness.
All eyes will be on Connecticut on Saturday night, and win or lose there will be celebrations. However, if you’re going to let loose in Southington, beware: Silly String is banned.
Information from wikipedia.org, 50states.com, imdb.com and dumblaws.com was used to compile this article.