CONNECTICUT

 



    Up in the right corner of the United States there is a state so small, it is only about 100 miles across.
    But if you have seen many American films, you probably know exactly what Connecticut looks like. A typical picture shows an autumn countryside. The trees burst with red, yellow, and gold leaves. There are shiny red apples and fat orange pumpkins. The small towns have stone walls and painted wooden houses. And there is always a steepled church so white that it seems to glow. In fact, so many films with a snowy winter and merry Christmas theme have been made here, that "Christmas in Connecticut" is almost a stereotype for many Americans.
    The real picture and true story of Connecticut is, of course, quite different. Along with the beautiful countryside, you will find small cities with big-city problems such as unemployment. Many of the very old large factories have closed and are empty and silent.
    Connecticut has a long and interesting history. The first residents were Indians, mostly from the Pequot tribe. In the early 17th century the English arrived. By the early 1900s, seven out of ten people in The Constitution State were immigrants or children of immigrants.
    During World War II, many Blacks from the south moved to Connecticut to work in factories. In the 1980s and 1990s, a large number of immigrants came from Laos and Cambodia. And today some of the wealthy businessmen who take the short train ride across the border to their offices in New York City are Japanese.
    This changing mixture of people, cultures, and even languages has caused many changes in the lifestyle of this tiny state. Each time new factories were created, the owners earned a lot of money. But every time technology changed, some factories closed, and many workers lost their jobs. As a result, some of the richest and some of the poorest people in the United States live side-by-side here. But it is possible that this cycle will change. Connecticut has always been known for its traditional factories, but new technology and strong but smaller companies are becoming successful here.
    For example, many companies use robotics to make goods, and a biotechnology center has just opened.
    Although famous Colt rifles and guns are still manufactured in this little state, many people earn a living from fishing in the Atlantic Ocean, tourism, and the arts.
    The world's first nuclear submarine was built here, in 1954. There's a Lego factory in Enfield, and a jet engine factory in Southington.
    If you visit Connecticut you might enjoy the Mystic Seaport Museum of Maritime America. Why? You can explore the last American wooden whaling ship, the Charles W. Morgan. It was built in 1841. You can even help raise its sails and squeeze into the tiny rooms below the deck.
    Or you could visit Yale University, one of the oldest and finest universities in America. There's a Mark Twain Memorial here, and one of the largest dinosaur sites in North America. At Dinosaur State Park you can even make plaster casts of dinosaur tracks dating from the early Jurassic era, 200 million years ago.

 

PICTURE GALLERY
 

American Robin

White Oak

Mountain Laurel