This Week in Concord History

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. 14, 2001: About 100 Bow residents attend a hearing on potential cuts to the school district budget. Many in the crowd are students particularly alarmed by reports that some athletic teams and clubs may lose funding.

 

Feb. 14, 2003: The Penacook tannery will receive half a million dollars from the state Land and Community Heritage Investment Program for cleanup and restoration, the program’s board of directors announces.

 

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. 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. 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. 16, 1992: Two days before the New Hampshire primary, a contingent from Arkansas comes to the state to campaign for Gov. Bill Clinton. At a rally in Concord, Clinton tells the crowd: “Thank you to the people of New Hampshire who have stood by me through thick and thin.”

 

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. Fifth-place Bow’s (131.950) Julia Riordan is the all-around winner.

 

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, 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.

 

Feb. 17, 1943: The low temperature in Concord is 18 below zero, but that’s a big improvement! It was 37 below the day before.

 

Feb. 18, 1827: The Rev. Asa McFarland, Concord’s Congregationalist minister for 30 years, dies at the age of 58. Two portraits of McFarland exist, including one by Samuel F.B. Morse, a resident of Concord in the early 19th century.

 

Feb. 18, 1842: The radical and conservative factions of the Democratic Party brawl in Concord’s town hall over control of a party caucus. An observer, Henry McFarland, writes that “seats and desks were smashed, wigs flew in the dusty air, and bloody noses were seen on most respectable faces. There was a great uproar and a clatter of flying feet, combatants chasing their foes as far down as Centre Street.”

 

Feb. 18, 1988: At the short-lived Johnny Babe’s Restaurant in Eagle Square, Democrat Gary Hart tries to convince the media he really didn’t mind coming in dead last in this week’s presidential primary. “I think we’ve got to get away from the notion of win-lose all the time,” Hart tells NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw. “There are other ways to serve one’s country than just standing high in the polls or winning primaries.”

 

Feb. 19, 2000: Concord wins the Class L wrestling title – but has to share the crown with Timberlane and Salem. A pin in the final match of the day should have given the Crimson Tide the title outright, but the team is penalized one point for premature celebration, and that leaves all three teams with the same score.

 

Feb. 19, 2002: The Diocese of Manchester holds a lunch meeting in Concord for all the Catholic priests in the state. Although no agenda has been set by Bishop John McCormack, most priests interviewed said they expect him to address the news that has shaken clergy and parishioners alike: Fourteen priests, whose name the diocese released last Friday, have been accused of sexual misconduct with children over the last 30 years.

 

Feb. 19, 2003: Democratic Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina brings a populist, blue-collar message to Page Belting factory in Concord, his first appearance in New Hampshire since joining the 2004 presidential race.

 

Feb. 20, 1772: Philip Carrigain is born in Concord. His father is a local physician. Philip will graduate from Dartmouth, practice law in Concord and become New Hampshire’s secretary of state. Chosen in part for his distinguished handwriting, in 1816 he will produce the first map of the state to show town boundaries.

 

Feb. 20, 1942: All New Hampshire people with excess sugar are asked to return it to their grocers, who are expected to pay them the full retail price for it.

 

Feb. 20, 1973: New Hampshire officials approve the state’s first “instant sweepstakes,” in which players will buy a 50-cent lottery ticket, remove a seal and know instantly whether they have won. The game is aimed at tourists. Top prize will be $100.

 

Feb. 20, 1994: On the way to spring training, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Bob Tewksbury of Concord, winner of 33 games the last two seasons, stops in New York for salary arbitration. He loses. His salary for 1994 will be $3.5 million.

Author: Insider Staff

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