Fight of the Bon Homme Richard and the Serapis

"On September 23, 1779, Captain John Paul Jones fought a battle without parallel in naval history. Hitherto the contest upon the sea had been mainly a predatory warfare of privateers, aimed at the destruction of commerce and the plunder of merchant vessels. The young republic was without a navy proper. Called 'Pirate Jones' by the English, for retaliating on the coast of England for the atrocities committed on the coast of America, the captain of the Bon Homme Richard gallantly refused the sword of the surrending captain of the Serapis — but did take his ship."

Dr. Robert Farris Thompson Remembers the Spirit of Basquiat, by Sotheby’s

"Jean-Michel's paintings contain spiraling active forces, and these forces are a constant. One force is script. Nothing makes him more righteously angry than to get this question, 'Tell me about your graffiti.' What Jean-Michel did was not graffiti. There were statements, there were epigrams, and he wanted you to see them so he wrote it out always in capital letters. That is one current always flowing."

Cutting the Transcultural Rug: An Evening with Robert Farris Thompson, by Alan Lockwood

"'One night, it was almost closing time and a dude grabbed the conga then started chanting: ‘Aguacero de mayo [‘May showers’].’ I wrote: ‘Perhaps this has reference to the religions in Cuba.’ Cut thirty years to 1985: I’ve been assigned to interview Toni Morrison, who said, ‘My mama said you should jump out in the first showers in May’—and I froze. Lydia Cabrera, the queen of Afro-Cuban anthropology, wrote: When you prepare the prenda, the Kongo charm, one ingredient may be rain from the first showers in May; it comes direct from God.'"

Tango: Acknowledgements, by Robert Farris Thompson

"Parts of these chapters were written on the tables of Jean Michel Gamme and Jean-Pierre Vuillermet's Union League Cafe in New Haven. I was equally welcome to write at Caffe Adulis, where the three Eritrean brother-owners — Sahle, Fiere, and Gideon Ghebreyesus — even went so far as to twist dials to cast extra light on my table. Similar courtesies were extended by Jeff Horton at Scoozie's Restaurant and John Clark at Zinc. All of these restaurants are in New Haven."

EXPLORE THE U. S. CAPITOL ART — Roger Sherman Statue, by Chauncey B. Ives

"We enter, directly beneath the great Rotunda, the so-called Crypt, a circular chamber with a coronade of forty Doric columns, modeled after the Temple at Paestum. These columns are surmounted by groined arches supporting the floor above. The exact center of the Capitol building is indicated by a star in the pavement... The sub-basement, below this crypt, was originally planned to contain the tomb of George Washington. Since 1865 it has been the receptacle of the bier used to sustain the coffin of Abraham Lincoln and other notable Americans who have lain in state in the Capitol."

A Model State Capitol (1885), by Frank Opel

"Time and tempest felled it at last; but it blooms here in marble still, its name is preserved throughout the city as the distinguishing mark of divers stores, shops, and companies; and a pretty marble slab, like a grave stone, in Charter Oak Place inadequately marks where the original flourished until 1856. In Bushnell Park (named after that eminent theologian, the late Dr. Horace Bushnell, who was the chief promoter of this public pleasure ground) there is a couple of Charter Oaks junior, sprung from its fruit; and 'certified' acorns, possibly taken from these younger trees, but supposed to have grown upon the parent, have been worth their weight in gold at charity fairs. Across the Connecticut, leading to East Hartford, stretches a covered bridge one thousand feet long, and taking up in its construction a corresponding quantity of timber. Mark Twain, showing some friends about, told them that bridge also was built of wood from the Charter Oak."

The only handwritten draft of the Bill of Rights, by Roger Sherman

"A handwritten working draft of the Bill of Rights — the only such document known to exist — has been found and identified in the most likely of places: the Library of Congress. This early draft was written by Representative Roger Sherman of Connecticut on an unknown date in July 1789 while the first Congress was meeting in New York. Sherman, a longtime judge of the Connecticut Superior Court who became a Senator in 1791, served with Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin on the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence. He was the only framer to sign all three original founding documents — the Declaration, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution."

Eateries help support health care workers, by Stephen Fries

"Restaurants in Connecticut and across the country have come together to feed the front line. In New Haven, 1,100 meals a day are prepared, with 18 restaurants participating, and deliveries made to Yale New Haven Hospital, the Veterans Affairs medical center in West Haven and various testing sites."

Ascent of Agiocochook — Home of the Great Spirit.

"The first ascent of Mount Washington by a European settler, was by Darby Field, an Irish immigrant, who accomplished this difficult feat in 1642 from a southerly approach. Partly guided by Indians and with only primitive equipment at his disposal, he is thus alleged to be the originator of all Mount Washington ascensions."

The Southernmost Holding of New Haven Colony

"MOST New Yorkers have doubtless forgotten it, but until a little more than three centuries ago the town of Southold, L.I., was the southernmost holding of New Haven Colony. It was bitter loss to New Haven when Southold was written out of the Royal Charter. The people of New Haven stewed for three years before they finally accepted the charter in 1665, without the property on Long Island. The people of Southold resisted the change for many years longer, petitioning the King to be left as part of Connecticut, and refusing to pay New York taxes."