The Shoeleather History Project

Stories from Hartford's Grassroots

Isabel Blake, Welfare Warrior

Isabel Blake challenges state legislators to “meet with us and talk things over.” The legislators stay silent. “We don’t bite,” Blake says, “we don’t have much to eat, but we … Continue reading

April 15, 2014 · Leave a comment

We Won’t Starve Quietly

At the height of the Great Depression, thousands of Hartford people were thrown out of work. Like the rest of the country, the 1929 stock market crash meant disaster for … Continue reading

November 12, 2013 · Leave a comment

No Room at the Inn

Ethel Thompson and her family reached Hartford after midnight. She entered the Hotel Essex on Main Street and went to the front desk to check in. The night clerk got … Continue reading

November 9, 2013 · Leave a comment

The Newsies Strike Back

The front page photo was startling, even to people who had lived in the city all their lives. On May 4, 1909, the Hartford Evening Post showed an alley just … Continue reading

July 30, 2013 · 3 Comments

Standing Your Ground

On the cold morning of November 29, 1976, snow and ice rained down on a small group crowded in the doorway of 18 Congress Street, the one-way street between Wethersfield … Continue reading

May 2, 2013 · Leave a comment

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The Shoeleather History Project