This Week in Concord History

June 12, 1804: Alarmed by the frequency of escapes from local prisons, Gov. John Gilman makes the first substantive proposal for a state prison in Concord. It will be more than eight years before the prison opens on North State and Tremont streets.

June 12, 1886: The Daniel Webster statue is dedicated in front of the State House.

June 12, 1977: In Concord, William Loeb tells the Gun Owners of New Hampshire that the only way to combat “anti-gun nuts” is “to go directly to the great mass of American people and educate them on the obvious necessity of citizens owning and having guns.”

June 12, 2001: About 40 educators, health care workers, environmentalists and others march from Allenstown to Concord to mark the 10th anniversary of the Claremont school funding lawsuit.

June 12, 2002: After three decades of teaching at Rumford School in Concord, teachers Curt Darling and Tom McKoan retire.

June 13, 1833: With several of his pupils, Samuel Gridley Howe, a Boston surgeon renowned for his work with the blind, demonstrates his techniques at New Hampshire’s Representatives Hall. “The books used for the blind were exhibited, and the blind read from them with considerable facility,” one observer in the large crowd will write.

June 13, 1859: A huge fire on the southwest corner of Main and Pleasant streets in Concord consumes a bakery, several stores and the South Congregational Church. When it becomes certain that the fire will destroy the granite-and-wood Greek Revival church, the Rev. Henry Parker gives one final pull to the church bell rope, and the bell is heard above the crackle of flames.

June 13, 1920: James Cleveland is born. He will serve as Second District congressman from 1963 to 1981 after practicing law in Concord and New London and serving 12 years in the state Senate.

June 13, 1957: President Dwight D. Eisenhower appoints James M. Langley, editor and publisher of the Concord Daily Monitor, to be U.S. ambassador to Pakistan. Langley will hold the job for just over two years.

June 13, 2002: In a preliminary vote, the Concord city council unanimously approves the restoration of Fire Engine 1 to Concord’s Central Fire Station.

June 14, 1831: Benjamin Brown French, a rising politico from Chester, goes to a party in Concord with future U.S. senator Charles G. Atherton and future president Franklin Pierce. His companions, both in their 20s, are ” ‘smashed’ by a pair of bright eyes, and a beautiful face,” but French “would as soon think of falling in love with an elegant piece of statuary.” He tells his diary: “Give me eyes that can pierce the very soul, and a countenance that bespeaks a mind within.”

June 14, 1962: Astronaut Alan Shepard of Derry is in Concord for the unveiling of his portrait at the State House. After a week of speeches and banquets, he says, he is glad the picture shows him in a space suit so people will know that “at least once in a while I do work.”

June 14, 2003: Concord High School graduates 355 students.

June 15, 1776: Three men, including Concord’s Timothy Walker Jr., write a resolution instructing Dr. Josiah Bartlett and William Whipple, New Hampshire’s delegates in Philadelphia, to join “in declaring the 13 united colonies a free and independent state.” New Hampshire will support such a declaration “with our lives and fortunes,” the resolution says.

June 15, 1799: The Concord Musical Society is incorporated “to encourage and promote the practice of sacred musick in Concord.”

June 15, 1987: Rep. Pat Schroeder of Colorado stops in Concord in search of support for a possible presidential run in 1988. “I think America is man enough to back a woman” – but not just because she is one, Schroeder says. She will later decide not to run.

June 15, 2000: Concord Police Chief Bill Halacy submits his resignation, just two years after taking over the department. “The position is so totally consuming,” he says. “I’m feeling like I’m missing out on a lot of the rest of my life.”

June 15, 2002: Concord High School junior Rachel Umberger wins the national title for the 800 meters. She runs it in 2 minutes, 9.67 seconds, a personal best.

June 16, 1842: The Democratic platform, as reported in Concord’s New Hampshire Patriot, rails against Whig support for broadening the rights granted to corporations. Only “an unwarranted construction of the Constitution” sanctions corporate privileges, the platform says. “If the policy of creating corporations be continued much longer, our country will (have) all the outward forms of a free Government, but . . . will in fact be governed by an oligarchy of corporations.”

June 17, 1840: On Concord’s Rumford Square, a five-acre field of trees between School and Center streets below Rumford Street, a speech by the Whig Sen. Daniel Webster draws a rousing crowd. The speech follows a “Log Cabin Procession” for Gen. William Henry Harrison.

June 17, 1863: With Union armies still faltering at the front, 30,000 people gather in Concord for the formation of the Public Loyal Union League of the state. Bands, speakers and marches are the order of the day.

June 17, 1970: Attorney General Warren Rudman tells the Concord Rotary Club that he was glad the Chicago Three – David Dellinger, Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman – were allowed to speak at UNH. “You cannot repress free speech,” he says. “You cannot repress advocacy of things you don’t agree with.”

June 17, 2000: The Class of 2000 says thank you to Concord High School Assistant Principal Michael Garrett, who has announced his retirement after 40 years at the school. In his honor, a path of granite steps between the school bus circle and the main entrance is christened “Garrett Way.”

June 18, 1853: A group of Concord citizens meets and raises money for a street sprinkler to keep the dust down on Main Street.

June 18, 2001: The Concord City Council puts off a proposal to raise the annual tax credit for veterans. The city’s veterans are entitled to a $50 tax exemption; the proposal would have doubled the amount.

Author: Insider Staff

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