This Week in Concord History

Jan. 9, 1944: Miss Grace Blanchard, Concord’s retired librarian of 40 years, dies. In her will, she leaves $40,000 in public bequests, including $25,000 to the library.

Jan. 9, 1974: Twenty-five people brave a snowstorm to gather at the State House to pray in support of beleaguered President Nixon. “God Loves Nixon,” reads one banner.

Jan. 9, 1997: Jeanne Shaheen is inaugurated, becoming New Hampshire’s first female governor.

Jan. 10, 1942: City aldermen approve a $400,000 expansion of Concord Airport. The city appropriation for the project is $30,000.

Jan. 10, 1964: Paul Grindle, David Goldberg, Sally Saltonstall and Caroline Williams arrive in Concord from Boston. The four young people, all political amateurs, pay $400 to rent an empty storefront across from the State House for two months. They order a telephone and borrow furniture and folding chairs from state GOP headquarters. They will pay a sign-painter $162 to paint a sign for their storefront reading “Lodge for President.” Two months later, their candidate, write-in Henry Cabot Lodge, will win the New Hampshire Republican primary.

Jan. 11, 1982: C. David Coeyman is elected to succeed Martin Gross as mayor of Concord. He beats Jim MacKay in a 9-6 vote of the city council. “We have not always agreed and we will not always agree, but I respect the man,” says Charles Vitagliano, on nominating Coeyman.

Jan. 11, 1993: A fire forces nine nuns out of the Carmelite monastery on Pleasant Street in Concord.

 

Jan. 12, 1952: The centerpiece of a proposal before Concord’s planning board would relieve downtown traffic and parking problems by making Main Street one-way.

Jan. 12, 1960: Concord teachers request a 15 percent pay raise. If it is granted, the starting pay for teachers will have doubled since 1947, when it was $2,000. The teachers want a contract granting them a pay range of $4,025 to $5,865.

Jan 12, 1968: At Concord’s Highway Hotel, Michigan Gov. George Romney begins his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination by challenging former vice president Richard Nixon to a series of debates. Of an America torn by violence over race and the Vietnam War, Romney says: “We’ve got to straighten out this mess. We’re in trouble.”

Jan. 12, 1981: The low temperature in the state capital is 21 below zero. The next morning in Concord will be just as cold.

Jan. 12, 1989: Concord Sen. Susan McLane proposes a ban on jet skis on every lake in the state. “A jet ski is like a noisy buzz saw going in mindless circles,” she says. “It’s driving people crazy. This is a problem that isn’t going to go away.” No overall ban is imposed. Instead, lakes are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Jan. 13, 1891: Concord’s board of aldermen and common council appropriate $20,000 “for a Soldiers’ Memorial to commemorate the men of Concord who served their country on land or sea, in the several wars to establish, defend and maintain the unity of the Republic.” It is planned for White Park, then city hall, then the county building. It will be eight years before the Memorial Arch is finally dedicated in front of the State House.

Jan. 13, 1943: Responding to the governor’s call for victory gardens and home farming, Concord Mayor Charles McKee says: “Concord citizens can keep pigs and chickens in their backyards if they want to. There is no city ordinance to stop them.”

Jan. 13, 1944: In an unprecedented ceremony at Representatives Hall, Lt. Chester Wheeler of Concord is awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. At the battle of Attu Island in the Aleutians the previous May, Wheeler led his platoon forward again and again against attacking Japanese units. He was severely wounded in the hip and is recuperating. Among those in attendance at the State House ceremony is Gov. Robert O. Blood, who himself won the Distinguished Service Cross during World War I.

Jan. 13, 2003: The Concord City Council votes to schedule a public hearing on the future of the historic Rolfe barn, which is slated to be taken apart, shipped out of state and reassembled as part of a building project. The council wants to know if the city should take the building through eminent domain.

Jan. 14, 1824: The “other Concord” – in the North Country – officially changes its name to Lisbon, ending confusion with New Hampshire’s capital city.

Jan. 14, 2001: Concord’s Adam Young enjoys his view of the New York Giants’ 41-0 thrashing of the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC championship game. Although he’s only on the practice squad, Young is headed to Tampa for the Super Bowl.

Jan. 14, 2002: After hearing testimony from several people who think the buildings’ facades are worth preserving, Concord’s city council decides in a 10-3 vote that the dilapidated downtown Sears Block will remain standing at least eight more months, despite warnings that it’s dangerous and could fall down. The block will be demolished in July.

Jan. 15, 1932: It’s a January thaw to remember: For the third day in a row, the temperature in Concord tops 60 degrees.

Jan. 15, 1965: Gov. John King announces plans to purchase Concord’s old post office on State Street and turn it into state offices. A new post office is under construction at Pleasant and South streets.

Author: Insider Staff

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