This Week In Concord History

Feb. 11, 1941: President Franklin D. Roosevelt appoints John G. Winant of Concord to succeed Joseph Kennedy as U.S. ambassador to Great Britain. Winant, a Republican, is a former governor and served earlier in FDR’s presidency as the first administrator of the Social Security Administration.

Feb. 12, 2004: Concord High wins the Division I boys’ Nordic skiing state championship classic race, with a combined score of 766 to Keene’s 748. The title is the first boys’ ski championship since 1992.

Feb. 12, 1973: The Concord City Council rejects plans for a shopping center on the site of the South End Marsh. At issue: a $3 million air-conditioned shopping mall providing 250 new jobs. Says one resident: “We are not running out of shopping centers like we are running out of marshes.”

Feb. 13, 1847: Thomas “Old Soldier” Haines dies at 87. A Concord man, Haines volunteered in the Patriot cause at the age of 19. He was slightly wounded at Fort Ticonderoga in 1777 and had worse luck near Saratoga. He was shot and lay two days among the dead before being rescued. The ball had passed through both cheeks, nearly severing his tongue. The Bouton history of Concord reported: “His face bore the mutilation till his death.”

Feb. 13, 1788: New Hampshire delegates convene to consider the proposed U.S. Constitution. About two-thirds oppose it, and only after cajoling by Dr. Josiah Bartlett and other supporters do the delegates agree to reconvene in Concord in four months.

Feb. 13, 1992: In a show of fitness aimed at reassuring voters about his health, Democratic presidential candidate Paul Tsongas takes a very public swim at the Concord YMCA. With photographers and TV cameras recording his workout, he swims several laps free-style, then sends an aide to find him someone to race. When no one can be found, he does a 50-yard butterfly sprint on his own.

Feb. 13, 1849: Fire destroys all but the blacksmith shop of the Abbot & Downing coach factory in Concord. It will be rebuilt.

Feb. 13, 1932: Wearing a knitted toque (there are no more substantial headgear), Douglas Everett skates for the United States against Canada in the Olympic ice hockey final at Lake Placid. The teams tie 2-2. Canada, undefeated in the tournament, wins the gold medal. Everett will bring a silver medal home to Concord.

Feb. 14, 2000: Everett Arena officials ask the Concord City Council to chip in half the construction costs for adding two new locker rooms. Among other things, the plans would bring the rink into compliance with federal disability regulations and gender equity laws.

Feb. 15, 2001: The Sewalls Falls bridge is closed for repairs. One of the few crossings of the Merrimack River in Concord, the bridge has been slated for reconstruction in the past. As far back as 1993, the state said a new bridge would be in place by 1998.

Feb. 15, 1943: As a war measure, Concord’s Mayor Charles McKee recommends that stoplights be eliminated at city intersections. Posting stop signs in their places will conserve gasoline, he says.

Feb. 16, 2003: The Concord High gymnastics team, in its first “real” season, wins the state championship, the Monitor reports. At the State Gymnastic Meet in Londonderry, the Tide puts up 141.625 points to second-place Pinkerton’s 136.675.

Feb. 16, 2002: In Concord, a blaze that brings the city’s entire firefighting fleet to Main Street damages the two brick buildings that house Granite Bank and Eye 2 Eye Gallery. Nobody is hurt.

Feb. 16, 1943: The temperature falls to 37 below zero at 8:30 a.m., the coldest temperature ever measured in Concord. The record had been 35 below, set Jan. 8, 1878.

Feb. 17, 2003: Former Vermont governor Howard Dean makes his case for the Democratic presidential nomination at a house party in Concord hosted by Stonyfield Yogurt founder Gary Hirshberg and his wife Meg. “… I really believe this fellow can win,” Hirshberg says. “This is an opportunity for someone to win who is for and of the people.”

Feb. 17, 1874: Franklin B. Evans, killer of Josianna Lovering of Northwood, is hanged at the state prison. On his last night, Evans sold his body for $50 to a Concord doctor who planned to bring it to the Dartmouth College medical department. Evans was curious to learn if his bones would be wired together. The idea amused him. Over three years later, in a prank, students will steal his skeleton from a lecture hall and hang it on the college grounds.

Feb. 17, 1942: St. Paul’s School holds a blackout drill. A steam whistle blast announces the onset of 10 minutes of darkness for the school’s 750 students.

Feb. 17, 1900: Deep in debt, the 96-year-old Abbot & Downing coach and wagon company is taken over by creditors. Employment has dropped from 300 to 200. The families of Lewis Downing and Stephen Abbot will no longer be involved in running the company after 1901, and the new bosses will struggle to keep the enterprise afloat.

Insider staff

Author: Insider staff

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