This Week In Concord History

March 11, 2000: After 15 months of negotiations, the Concord teachers’ union and school board have a tentative agreement on a new contract, the Monitor reports.

March 11, 1734: Its right to self-government recognized seven years after the first white settlers arrive, Rumford in Essex County, Mass., convenes its first town meeting at 2 p.m. In time the town will be known as Concord, N.H.

March 12, 2000: Bishop Guertin defeats Concord, 3-2, in the Division I hockey championship game, ending the Crimson Tide’s run of four consecutive state titles.

March 13, 2003: Gladys Manyan dies at the age of 91. Manyan, known to many as the Monitor’s resident rural columnist, worked for the paper for more than 25 years, reporting news from Franklin, and at the same time, from her own life. In 1966, she began writing “A Domestic View,” a short column that combined recipes with stories of Manyan’s family, her Salisbury farm and her adventures as a country homemaker. That piece of weekly work soon became “Country Woman,” a Monitor feature that won Manyan a slew of loyal fans.

March 13, 1993: People hunker down for what television has hyped as the “storm of the century.” Concord gets 17 inches of snow. Most roads will be clear by morning.

March 13, 1974: U.S. Sen. Norris Cotton, long a supporter of President Nixon, says he would not have announced his retirement this year if he had known the Watergate issue would remain so “hot.” “I think only rats desert a sinking ship,” Cotton says. “I’m no rat.” Cotton makes his remarks in Concord, where he had come to witness Gov. Meldrim Thomson’s signing of a bill allowing Franklin Pierce Law Center to grant degrees.

March 13, 1929: Ray Barham is born. In 1981, he will murder his estranged wife’s boyfriend in Wolfeboro, earning a life sentence in New Hampshire State Prison. Six years later, he will begin writing a Monitor column that will earn him several honors including the state columnist of the year award in 1996. He will die in prison Jan. 28, 2002.

March 13, 1782: The Legislature meets in Concord for the first time. The site is “the Old North,” the First Congregational Church. The building will burn in 1870. It was on the site of the current Walker School.

March 13, 1855: Edward H. Rollins of Concord and his American (Know-Nothing) Party sweep the Democrats out of office in New Hampshire for the first time in decades. The Know-Nothings are anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic, but their party is also seen as a vehicle to oppose the pro-slavery views of the Democrats.

March 13, 1852: For the third time in three years, local voters reject a plan to turn Concord from a town to a city. The vote is 458 in favor and 614 against.

March 14, 1968: Thomas J. Saltmarsh, a 19-year-old paratrooper from Concord, is killed in action near Saigon. He is the 16th local man to die in combat during the Vietnam War.

March 14, 1948: For the second day in a row, the low temperature in Concord is 11 below zero. The normal March low for the 20th century is 22 above.

March 14, 1939: The Monitor reports that the task of renaming city streets has been turned over to the city planning board by an aldermanic committee which has had the job for nine months and renamed just one street.

March 14, 1947: The Monitor editorializes in favor of the construction of a city swimming pool – and a plan to charge swimmers a fee: “It is no more unreasonable to expect swimmers to pay something for this privilege than it is to expect golfers at Beaver Meadow or tennis players at Memorial Field to pay enough to cover the costs of their sport.”

March 15, 2002: Nearly 50 years after the concept of a Northwest Bypass emerged, the city of Concord has received a wetlands permit needed to build a portion of the road, the Monitor reports.

March 15, 1999: The Monitor reports that Vishay Sprague, one of Concord’s leading manufacturing employers, plans to close its plant on the Heights and move its remaining 2000 jobs to Maine.

March 15, 1914: The Right Rev. William Woodruff Niles dies in Concord at the age of 81. He had served as New Hampshire’s Episcopal archbishop for more than 40 years.

March 15, 1855: After the anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant Know-Nothing movement makes major gains in the annual elections, Concord editor George G. Fogg exults over the ousting of entrenched political powers. He writes: “Cowering and quivering before the indignation they have aroused, the panders of Slavery, Intemperance, Catholicism and every manner of evil lie stunned and prostrate at the people’s feet.”

March 16, 2003: Gov. Craig Benson’s proposed budget would reduce the prison staff looking after state inmates and shrink funding for education and rehabilitation, despite a growing number of residents behind bars, the Monitor reports. It could also increase crowding at the Concord prison.

March 17, 2001: Many Bow residents wake up to a surprise, learning that the school bond they defeated the night before isn’t dead just yet. Hundreds of voters went home after a proposal to build a $5.9 million elementary school had failed. Much later in the meeting, however, the issue was reopened when a motion to reconsider was approved by the remaining voters. Ultimately, the initial vote will stand.

March 17, 2000: The attorney general announces a breakthrough in the 1981 murder of Concord resident Yvonne Fine. Joseph Whittey, who’s been in prison on an unrelated attempted murder conviction since 1990, is now charged with first-degree murder in the death of the 81-year-old woman.

March 17, 1681: The Governor’s Council proclaims this a day of public fasting and prayer for John Cutt, New Hampshire’s first colonial governor, who has fallen ill. Cutt soon dies, but New Hampshire will observe Fast Day for more than three centuries.

Insider staff

Author: Insider staff

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