April 17, 1885: Thomas Samon, who killed a woman in Laconia, stuffed her body in a trunk and wheeled it away, is the first man executed at the new state prison. A prison historian describes Samon as a dull man who spoke with a nasal tone and had one blue eye and one brown eye.
April 17, 1971: Two months after his trip to the moon, it is Alan Shepard Day in New Hampshire. The astronaut, originally from Derry, shares in a $5-a-plate lunch of ham in pineapple sauce at the Concord Country Club. He has no plans to enter politics. "I'm a pilot and an engineer, and I think I'll stick to what I know about," he says. Of the moon, he says: "It's desolate, it's quiet, it's stark. . . . There are no birch trees up there."
April 17, 2002: Three New England Patriots and team owner Bob Kraft attend a rally at the state house in Concord to celebrate the team's Super Bowl win. Players David Patten, Antowain Smith and Richard Seymour sign footballs for fans. "We were red, white and blue," Kraft said. "We were the Patriots. We were underdogs. But most of all, we were winners."
April 18, 1809: Isaac Hill, 21, publishes the first issue of the New Hampshire Patriot. He bought the American Patriot from William Hoit earlier in the year and changed its name. Hill's Patriot will become a mighty organ for Andrew Jackson and the Democratic Party, propelling Hill to a U.S. Senate and New Hampshire's corner office.
April 18, 2000: State Rep. Elizabeth Hager receives the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce's inaugural Athena Award for business leaders who have boosted women. A former city councilor and Concord's first female mayor, Hager is executive director of the United Way of Merrimack County.
April 19, 1865: On the day of President Lincoln's funeral in Washington, Civil War veterans, in a procession with a band, march to services at Concord churches.
April 19, 1886: "That certain harbinger of spring, the straw hat, has appeared," the Evening Monitor reports.
April 19, 2001: Meldrim Thomson Jr., the three-term governor whose rallying cry of "Ax the Tax" was one of the strongest influences on 20th-century New Hampshire politics, dies at the age of 89. Before word of his death spreads, the New Hampshire House votes - one more time - against an income tax.
April 19, 2003: Concord's Dewey School will close in 2004-05, the Monitor reports. The students who attend the school's kindergarten and first-grade classes will go to Kimball School, a few blocks away.
April 20, 1861: Former president Franklin Pierce, a Democrat and opponent of the Lincoln administration, speaks at the Eagle Hotel on the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter. If civil war comes, Pierce declares, all people of the North must stand together. He closes with these words: "I would not live in a state the right and honor of which I was not prepared to defend at all hazards and at all extremities."
April 20, 1965: Concord Police Chief Walter Carlson reports that the city's population is up by 219 adults and 20 minors over 1964. The report also reveals there are 62 more dogs in the city this year than last.
April 21, 1881: At 6 p.m., a small closed car drawn by a horse leaves Abbot & Downing shops for Fosterville. The ride ushers in the era of trolleys in Concord. The cars, made by Abbot & Downing, will carry 200,000 people in their first year of operation.
April 22, 1861: Meeting at the South Congregational Church, a group of Concord women organizes an effort to supply soldiers with "articles necessary to their comfort in the field." They have raised $200 and resolve to spend $150 on flannel for shirts for the First New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry Regiment. (next page »)