15 Things You Might Not Know About Connecticut

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istock

1. The word “Connecticut” is an anglicized spelling of the Algonquian word “quinnitukqut,” roughly meaning “at the long tidal river.”

2. Connecticut is officially known as the Constitution State, referring to the state government-establishing Fundamental Orders of Connecticut. Written in 1639, the Fundamental Orders is considered history's first written constitution. Connecticut is also known as the "Nutmeg State." Traditionally, sailors brought the seed back from long voyages and, over time, peddlers from the state developed the reputation for selling fake nutmegs made out of carved wood.

3. Connecticut’s state song is “Yankee Doodle.” The scrappy lyrics to the historic tune allegedly came from a British surgeon named Dr. Richard Shuckburgh who wanted to make fun of the ragged appearance of the state governor’s son, Col. Thomas Fitch V, and his troops during the French and Indian War in 1755.

4. The first telephone book was issued in New Haven, Connecticut, on February 21, 1878, and featured only 50 names. One month earlier, New Haven was responsible for the first telephone exchange, with operators and switchboards to direct incoming and outgoing calls.

5. Connecticut is home to the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, USS Nautilus, which was built in Groton, Connecticut, in 1954. After her first cast off, the ship signalled the words “Underway on nuclear power.” The sub is now permanently docked in Groton and serves as a museum of submarine history.

6. First started in 1764, Connecticut’s Hartford Courant is the country’s oldest continuously published newspaper. George Washington once placed ads in the paper to lease part of Mount Vernon, and Thomas Jefferson once sued the paper for libel and lost.

7. The famous Revolutionary War traitor, Benedict Arnold, was born in the town of Norwich, Connecticut, in 1741.

8. Connecticut was one of two states (the other being Rhode Island) that decided not to ratify the 18th Amendment, the Amendment that prohibited the manufacture and sale of alcohol.

9. The Scoville Memorial Library, the country’s oldest publicly funded free library, is located in Salisbury, Connecticut. The library’s collection first began in 1771 when the owner of a local blast furnace named Richard Smith used the money collected from 39 members of the community to buy 200 books in London, England.

10. Mary Dixon Kies, the first woman to be issued a U.S. patent, was born in Killingly, Connecticut. Her patent involved a method she invented for weaving straw with silk for hat-making.

11. In Hartford, flying a kite in the street is specifically banned.

12. The hamburger was invented in New Haven, Connecticut, at a small restaurant called Louis’ Lunch, which is still in business today. The story goes that in 1900, a customer was in a rush and asked owner Louis Lassen for something to eat on the go. Lassen threw together cooked ground steak trimmings and put them between two slices of toasted bread, and the hamburger was born.

13. The first Frisbee, which was nothing more than an empty pie tin, was developed in Connecticut. A man named William Russell Frisbie moved to Bridgeport, Connecticut, in 1871 to take over what would become known as the Frisbie Pie Company. Nearby Yale University students found that the tins that held Frisbie’s delectable pies could be flung across rooms with ease, prompting them to exclaim “Frisbie!” to alert the catcher. Eventually, the design was perfected into the plastic flying disc we know today.

14. The first speed limit laws for cars were set in Connecticut in 1901. Drivers were prohibited from going faster than 12 miles per hour.

15. The PEZ Candy Company is based in Orange, Connecticut. The little blocks of sweetness—whose name comes from shortening the letters in the German word “pfefferminz,” or “peppermint”—were first invented in Vienna, Austria, in 1927 and were initially marketed along with their distinctive dispensers as an alternative to smoking.

Wednesday’s Best Amazon Deals Include Computer Monitors, Plant-Based Protein Powder, and Blu-ray Sets

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Amazon
As a recurring feature, our team combs the web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, December 2. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

10 Perfect Gifts for The Pop Culture Connoisseur in Your Life

Funko/Pinsantiy/Lil Cinephile/Amazon
Funko/Pinsantiy/Lil Cinephile/Amazon

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Over the past year, most everyone has been marinating in all kinds of pop culture. More than any other era, this moment in time has revealed how much we as a society should value our creators and artists. From cinematic comfort food to walks down nostalgia lane, the holiday season is a perfect time to celebrate the pop culture moments and icons that have kept us happy, engaged, and awed.

Here are 10 perfect gifts the pop culture connoisseur in your life is sure to love.

1. A is for Auteur; $30

Lil Cinephile/Amazon

The same team that put out the delightful, surprisingly adaptable Cinephile card game ($18) last year is out with a new book perfect for the cineastes in your life who love Agnès Varda. This alphabet book goes from A (Paul Thomas Anderson) to Z (Fred Zinnemann) and celebrates the unique elements of more than two dozen filmmakers’ careers. It’s a tongue-in-cheek delight, and if you don’t actually want your child to know about Quentin Tarantino just yet, it makes a gorgeous addition to any adult’s coffee table.

Buy It: Amazon

2. Schitt’s Creek Funkos; 4 for $77

Funko/Amazon

Eww, David! This set is ideal for fans of the Rose family who’d love Moira, Johnny, David, and Alexis peering down on them as they work or sleep or fold in the cheese. If you’re going the extra mile, grab the Amish David edition with hoodie, sunglasses, and rake. Individual figures run from $9-$30, and they all pair perfectly with a banana rosé.

Buy Them: Amazon

3. The Bruce Lee Criterion Collection; $68

Criterion Collection/Amazon

This is a stunning collection showcasing the best of the best of a true master alongside Criterion’s usual insightful commentary. Enter the Dragon has never been released as part of a collection before, and it stands as the crown jewel among The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, The Way of the Dragon, and the infamous Game of Death—all digitally restored in either 2K or 4K. The collection also features documentaries about Lee; an interview with his widow, Linda Lee Caldwell; and a conversation about the “Bruceploitation” subgenre that blossomed following Lee's untimely death.

Buy It: Amazon

4. NES Cartridge Coasters; $11

Paladone Products Ltd./Amazon

For the entertainer happy to have guests place their IPAs on SM3. These stylish coasters will protect your tables from coffee rings, wine stains, and barrels thrown by kidnapping apes. Plus, you won’t have to blow into these if they’re not loading correctly.

Buy Them: Amazon

5. Van Buren Boys Tee; $16

Underground Printing/Amazon

Deep into its eighth season, Seinfeld was still making iconic, quote-worthy moments. With this pre-shrunk, 100 percent cotton T, your favorite fan of the show about nothing can celebrate the comical street gang named for the 8th president (and the first president hailing from New York). It’s a handsome, comfortable shirt that comes in four colors and goes great with a Lorenzo’s pizza.

Buy It: Amazon

6. This Television History Puzzle; $49

White Mountain Puzzle/Amazon

This pop collage of more than 250 stars and scenes from TV’s past is a 1000-piece puzzle from acclaimed artist James Mellett. It’s probably the only image in existence where Kunta Kinte is between Superman, Gumby, and Norm and Cliff from Cheers. A gorgeous walk down memory lane, it’s also a healthy challenge that, at 24x30, would make a fine wall hanging if you don’t want to toss it back into the box.

Buy It: Amazon

7. Pictures at a Revolution; $17

Penguin Books/Amazon

Entertainment Weekly veteran Mark Harris is one of the most respected film historians of this generation, and this book, which goes deep on five pivotal films, is a must-have for serious cinephiles. Exploring Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, Look Who’s Coming to Dinner, In the Heat of the Night, and the surprise box office bomb Doctor Doolittle, Harris explores how 1967 marked a tectonic shift in American cultural preferences. Pair it with Five Came Back for bonus gifting points (and a book you can watch together on Netflix).

Buy It: Amazon

8. The Art of Mondo; $44

Insight Editions/Amazon

This is high on the list of gifts you’ll end up keeping for yourself. This sublime book boasts 356 pages of gorgeous prints from everyone’s favorite films. Cult, classics, blockbusters, and buried gems, the Austin-based Mondo is world-renowned for limited release posters from the best artists on the planet. One sheets typically sell for hundreds of dollars, so this book is the cheapest way to get them all. For your friend, of course. Right?

Buy It: Amazon

9. A Princess Bride Enamel Pin; $10

Pinsanity/Amazon

I do not think this pin means what you think it means. This playful piece features Vizzini’s shouting face above a stately “Inconceivable!” banner. It’s made of quality metal with vibrant enamel colors, and buying it should also send you down a rabbit hole looking for dozens of other pop culture pins.

Buy It: Amazon

10. Marvel’s Greatest Comics; $23

DK/Amazon

Someone in your life is bound to want three pounds of Marvel comics. This definitive tome showcases 100 issues that changed the world and built a powerhouse pop culture company, from Marvel #1 in 1939 to Avengers #6 in 2018. The eye-popping artwork is accompanied by smart commentary from industry trailblazers and experts, which makes it as informative as it is entertaining. Just remember to say “Pow!” when you gift it.

Buy Them: Amazon

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