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(In-Person) Connecticut in Motion: How Transportation Has Shaped Our State

Thursday, April 18 at 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Join Richard DeLuca for a presentation about the importance of transportation as a force of history. During the lecture Richard will highlight the various stages of transportation development in Connecticut, from stagecoaches on the original Post Road, to steamboats, railroads, electric trolleys and of course the automobile in the twentieth century. The lecture will end with a short discussion of the impact of climate change on transportation and Connecticut’s future.

Presenter: Richard DeLuca earned a Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree from Manhattan College in New York in 1968, and a Master of Science degree in transportation planning from the University of Connecticut at Storrs in 1972. He has ten years of experience in the field of engineering as a transportation planner with the Connecticut Department of Transportation (1968-74) and with the Central Connecticut Regional Planning Agency (1974-78). In 1978, the author and his wife moved to San Francisco, after which he pursued a career as a writer, focusing on California history. He was a member of the California Historical Society, a volunteer teacher in the Society’s docent program, and past president of the Society’s docent association. For a short time, he was on the staff of the historical society as coordinator of their docent program. His article on the Indian occupation of Alcatraz Island and the origins of the Native American civil rights movement was published in California History magazine and received the society’s Alice J. Clark award for twentieth-century history in 1984.

In 1994, the author published a book documenting the historical roots of the social protest that took place in the 1960s. Entitled: We, The People! Bay Area Activism in the 1960s, the book was published by The Borgo Press of San Bernardino, California as part of its series on Great Issues of the Day. The case studies focused on: investigations of the House Un-American Activities Committee and the origins of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement; the San Francisco Freeway Revolt and the rise of environmental awareness in post-war America; and the Indian occupation of Alcatraz Island and the origins of the Native American civil rights movement. A concluding essay discussed the implications of these events for a broad interpretation of the social activism that took place nationwide in the 1960s. The author and his wife returned to Connecticut in 1998. Since 2006, he has been at work on a two-volume history of Connecticut transportation from the colonial period to the present. The first volume, Post Roads & Iron Horses, was published by Wesleyan University Press in December of 2011, and covers the history of Connecticut from colonial times through the age of steam. A second volume, entitled “Paved Roads & Public Money,” focusing on transportation in the twentieth century was published in 2020, and received the Connecticut Book Award from the Humanities Council. The author has presented his research at several history conferences, and published several articles in Connecticut History, the journal of the Association For The Study of Connecticut History. A complete list of articles, talks and conference papers is available on request. The author also served as past membership chair for ASCH, and is currently on the editorial board of Connecticut History Review.

Following the presentation, Richard will be selling copies of “Post Roads & Iron Horses” and  “Paved Roads & Public Money” $35 each.

Registration is required for this in-person event.




Thursday, April 18
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
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AFPL Adult Programs
860-673-9712 ext 4
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Community Room
281 Country Club Road
Avon, CT 06001 United States
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