In celebration of International Women’s Day, I want to take this time to acknowledge and express my appreciation to the of women who have left an indelible mark on our State throughout its history.
For centuries, Connecticut has been home to countless great female leaders who have earned us a reputation as a national leader on critical women’s issues. In 1809, inventor Mary Kies of South Killingly became the first woman in the United States to be granted a United States patent, and in 1833, Prudence Crandall opened the nation’s first school for African-American girls in Canterbury. In 1851, Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote her novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” in Hartford as a response to the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act, and President Abraham Lincoln is said to have credited Stowe and her book for launching the abolitionist movement that led to the Civil War. In 1974, Connecticut voters elected a woman, Ella T. Grasso of Windsor Locks, as Governor for the first time in American history, and no discussion of women’s excellence would be complete without acknowledging the dominance of the University of Connecticut’s basketball team over the last three decades.
I am particularly grateful to my wife, my mother, my sister, my daughter, my daughter-in-law, and my four granddaughters. May we all take time today, and every day, to show our appreciation for the women in our lives, and for the women across our great State, and to thank them for their contributions to our State and our way of life.