CONNECTICUT AND THE SEA
How the sea influences state history, culture, agriculture and commerce
The history of Connecticut has been powerfully shaped by the sea. For hundreds of years, Connecticut has looked to the open waters of the Atlantic, Long Island Sound, the coastal estuaries and inland rivers -- for both inspiration and livelihood. Connecticut's people have always aggressively found new ways and new industries to exploit the sea's bounty, pursue adventure on and under its surface, and enjoy its vast beauty.
It is a steadily unfolding story of boundless possibilities met by extraordinary ingenuity. Through new ideas and technologies, fishery development, naval defense, and exploration -- Connecticut’s continuing connection to the sea helped not only to build the state, but also played a large part in America's maritime story.
Although the sea was once the economic mainstay of Connecticut and a dominant part of its culture, many state residents today have little sense of its exceptional role in state history. But Connecticut’s seafaring ways and its coastal connections continue to spur imagination and stimulate the economy. These are the sea stories that make Connecticut history, and that continue to influence Connecticut today. These are the stories of Connecticut and the sea.
Part of The Connecticut Experience series co-produced by CPTV and the Connecticut Humanities Council in association with Mystic Seaport, Connecticut and the Sea takes a sweeping look at the many different ways that the sea has influenced Connecticut's history, economy and culture. Narrated by the late, legendary broadcast journalist and sailing enthusiast Walter Cronkite, this documentary begins with the Native American perspective in the years before European settlement and follows the rapid growth in the 19th century of Connecticut's port cities and the industries of shipbuilding, fishing and coastal commerce. Produced, written and directed by Kenneth A. Simon, the program then delves into the 20th century, when the submarine industry burgeoned and subsequently waned. Now tourism has become more important to the shoreline economy - and Connecticut researchers are exploring ways that people may someday be able to live on the ocean floor.
Produced, Written & Directed by Kenneth A. Simon. Part of the Connecticut Experience video documentary series.
ORIGINAL BROADCAST: May 2000