This week in Concord history
Jan. 29, 1896: Concord’s first Walker lecture (on Abraham Lincoln, by former Massachusetts governor John Long) is held at White’s Opera House. Money left to the city by Abigail Walker made the lectures possible. They continue to this day.
Jan. 29, 1942: Local stores report an early casualty of war: toilet paper. Most stores have sold out. They attribute the run on toilet paper to hoarding. Many set a limit of two rolls per customer.
Jan. 29, 2001: Jerry Madden, a 21-year veteran of the Concord Police Department, is promoted to chief. “I think it’s wonderful,” says Madden’s predecessor, Bill Halacy. “I don’t know anyone better suited for this job than Jerry Madden.”
Jan. 30, 2000: As many as 5,000 of the names on Concord’s voter rolls shouldn’t be there, the Monitor reports. The extra names include people who have moved away or died, as well as people who are listed more than once. “We have about 24,000 registered voters,” City Clerk Sharon Dery says, “but I think we’re closer to having about 19,000.”
Jan. 30, 2002: Here’s a good reason to watch more television and eat more candy, the Monitor reports. Concord native Jeremy Ellison-Gladstone is now appearing in a Snickers ad demonstrating the dangers of going too long without chocolate.
Jan. 31, 1892: Rev. John E. Barry, pastor of Concord’s St. John’s Church, announces that his French parishioners may form their own church. The next day, Rev. Joseph-Noel Plante arrives from the North Country to celebrate Mass at Phenix Hall. He announces that the new church will be called Sacred Heart. A brick chapel will open on Pleasant Street two years later, and the Gothic structure will be built in 1934.
Jan. 31, 1952: The Concord City Council debates plans for the construction of Storrs Street to relieve traffic downtown. There is no name yet for the new street, so it is referred to as Concord’s “Baby Bypass.”
Jan. 31, 1986: On a frigid night, thousands gather in the State House plaza for a memorial service for Christa McAuliffe. “Her teaching has not ceased,” says Rev. Chester Mrowka.
Feb. 1, 2003: News spreads through Concord that the space shuttle Columbia has exploded, reminding many of the space shuttle Challenger. “It’s amazing how it brings those feelings right back,” says state Rep. Jim Mackay, who was the city’s mayor when the Challenger exploded 17 years ago with Concord teacher Christa McAuliffe on board.
Feb. 2, 1996: President Clinton visits Concord’s Walker School and speaks to students at the Capitol Center. He praises Concord schools for innovative use of computers in the classroom.
Feb. 2, 2000: R.U. Outavit, a 49-year-old Weirs Beach poet, pleads not guilty to charges he disturbed a Penacook rally for Al Gore in January. “This was a complete fiasco,” Outavit says, insisting he was just listening to Gore’s speech when someone grabbed his hat and took off with it. In June, Outavit will be exonerated in Concord District Court.
Feb. 2. 2001: WKXL, Concord’s local radio station, is about to make dramatic changes to its programming, the Monitor reports. Party Line and Coffee Chat, two locally produced call-in and interview shows, will be off the air, replaced by a syndicated talk show hosted by New Yorker Mike Gallagher.
Feb. 3, 2002: With just seconds left to break the tie, Adam Vinatieri kicks a 48-yard field goal to give the Patriots their first Super Bowl victory in their 42-year history. They beat the St. Louis Rams, 20-17. Rundlett Middle School student Derek Graham, 11, will reflect the next day, “(Tom) Brady’s still my favorite player, but that Adam Vinatieri dude’s coming up. I never really cared about the kicker before, but now I guess I better.”
Feb. 3, 2003: Concord High School running phenom Rachel Umberger accepts a full scholarship offer to Duke University, according to running coach Barbara Higgins.
Feb. 4, 1908 : In Concord, the St. Paul’s School ice hockey team defeats the Harvard freshmen 9-1. Captain Hobey Baker “played a wonderful game,” scoring three goals, the Monitor reports. Baker will later become a college hockey star, and the trophy awarded to the nation’s best male collegiate player each year will one day bear his name.
Feb. 4, 1932: Skating on an outside rink in a preliminary match at the Olympic Games in Lake Placid, N.Y., Douglas Everett of Concord scores the U.S. goal in a 1-1 tie with Canada.
Feb. 4, 2000: Thousands of students got into the act of voting through the Kids Voting New Hampshire program, the Monitor reports. In Concord, 1,589 kids voted alongside their parents and, like their elders, chose John McCain and Al Gore as their favorite candidates.