COMMISSION ON CULTURE AND
TOURISM ANNOUNCES FOUR STATE MUSEUMS WILL BE OPEN FOR SEASON JULY 4th
SPECIAL BELL RINGING 2 P.M. AT
(HARTFORD, CT) - Connecticut's Eric Sloane was
an artist, an author -- and also a patriot. He believed bells should ring for
four minutes at 2 p.m. each July 4 to celebrate the signing of the Declaration
of Independence. His conviction won over President John F. Kennedy, and in 1963
Congress passed a resolution that all bells on public property be rung
Fast forward to July 4, 2004: Sloane's vision
will be re-enacted at 2 p.m. at the Sloane-Stanley
Museum, one of four state museums open Sunday, July 4 from 10 a.m. to 4:30
p.m. Fellow patriots can visit the Sloane-Stanley Museum in Kent, the Old
New-Gate Prison and Copper Mine in East Granby, the Henry
Whitfield State Museum in Guilford and the Prudence
Crandall Museum in Canterbury. All four museums are open for the season.
Regular hours for the museums are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
All four state museums are celebrating this
summer after two years of state budget shortfalls that left them threatened with
closure and reduced hours. Each has a unique tie to America's Revolutionary era.
The four museums are now administered by the
Commission on Culture and Tourism. Created by the General Assembly in 2003, the
commission is designed to identify, preserve, strengthen, and promote
Connecticut's cultural and tourism industries in order to enhance the quality of
life for its citizens, create a destination for travelers, and contribute to the
reputation and economic vitality of the state.
Located on Route 7 in Kent, the Sloane-Stanley
Museum exhibits Sloane's extensive collection of hand-tools and examples of his
artwork. Early patriotic flags including one with 15 stripes dating back to 1792
are on display, and books relating to American flags are available in the museum
gift shop. For information, call (860) 927-3849.
Established as a maximum security prison by the
colony of Connecticut in 1773, Old New-Gate Prison was also used during the
American Revolution to hold British prisoners of war and those loyal to the
British crown. Tour the same copper mine tunnels prisoners lived in before
attacking the guards during a mass break-out in May 1781. Old New-Gate Prison is
located at 115 Newgate Road in East Granby. For information, call (860)
Unique and interesting artifacts relating to
Connecticut's role in the American Revolution are on exhibit at the Henry
Whitfield State Museum, including a section of charred rafter from the Daniel
and Charity Leete house that was burned by the British during a raid on Guilford
in 1781. The museum is located at 248 Old Whitfield Street in Guilford, and also
offers Revolutionary period books, games and toys in its gift shop. For
information, call (860) 453-2457.
The push for freedom did not end with the
conclusion of the American Revolution. Prudence Crandall opened the first school
in New England for young African-American girls in a home she purchased to house
the school in 1833. It was forced to close shortly thereafter due to strong
local opposition. Prudence Crandall was named Connecticut's state heroine in
1995 in recognition of her courageous efforts to provide equal opportunity for
all state residents. The museum is located in Canterbury at the junction of
Route 169 and Route 14. For information, call (860) 546-7800.
The Connecticut Commission on Culture and
Tourism is located at One Financial Plaza, 755 Main Street, Hartford, CT. 06103.
For more information, call (800) 411-1312 or (860) 256-2800.
Jennifer Aniskovich, (860) 256-2800
Karin Peterson, (860) 566-3005