The New Haven Museum’s “Heroes & Villains” lecture series continues in December, delving into the life of Ella Grasso and revisiting the rebellion on board La Amistad in 1839. The lecture series will continue through 2013 as the New Haven Museum celebrates its 150th and the City of New Haven’s 375th anniversary. All lectures begin at 6:30 pm. Lectures will be accompanied by book signings, and copies of each speaker’s books will be available for sale. All lectures are free and open to the public.
On Thursday, December 6, Jon E. Purmont will speak on his new book, Ella Grasso: Connecticut’s Pioneering Governor. In 1974, the people of Connecticut chose her as the nation’s first woman to be elected governor in her own right—the capstone of a long and successful career dedicated to public service, effective government, and the democratic process. The daughter of Italian immigrants, she endeared herself to her constituents during the great Blizzard of 1978, when she stayed at the State Armory around the clock to direct emergency operations and make frequent television appearances. Author Jon E. Purmont, who served as Grasso’s executive assistant when she was governor, draws on his diary from that time, research in Grasso’s archives, and interviews with Grasso’s family and friends to give us a rich and intimate portrait of this political pioneer. Jon is an emeritus professor of history at Southern Connecticut State University. His articles have appeared in Connecticut Review and Connecticut Explored, and he is coauthor of A Concise History of the United States.
The New Haven Museum, founded in 1862 as the New Haven Colony Historical Society, is located in downtown New Haven at 114 Whitney Avenue. For more information, contact Michelle Cheng, Director of Education, at (203) 562-4183 ext. 11 or email@example.com.