This Week In Concord History

Dec. 9, 1979: Concord School Superintendent Calvin Cleveland says a group of Gideons will not be allowed to distribute Bibles in the schools, saying it would open the “floodgate” to all religions.

Dec. 9, 2000: David Souter of Weare is one of four U.S. Supreme Court justices to dissent from a decision to halt the presidential recount in Florida. Lawyers for the campaigns will return to the court in two days to argue whether and how that recount should resume or whether the election should be declared over.

Dec. 9, 1814: Speaking on the U.S. House floor, Rep. Daniel Webster of New Hampshire denounces a proposed draft to fill the ranks of the army fighting the British. The Constitution forbids a draft for the “purposes of conquest,” he argues, and the current proposal would make “slaves” of Americans by snatching parents and children from their homes by a “horrible lottery.” When he rises to fame as a nationalist, Webster will withhold publication of this speech, and it will not see the light of day until 1903.

Dec. 9, 1976: Republican Gov. Mel Thomson ignores a meeting of Northeastern governors with Democratic President-elect Jimmy Carter. John McDuffee, Thomson’s spokesman, says: “Instead of going to Washington to peek into the bag dangled by our federal Santa Claus,” Thomson is “participating with industrial entrepreneurs of our free enterprise system.” Translation: Thomson attends groundbreaking ceremonies for a new factory in Salem.

Dec. 9, 1991: At the depths of a recession, Gov. Judd Gregg announces the federal government will provide the state with $117 million in Medicaid money. The grant will help stave off a giant budget deficit. Wild spending, however, will not ensue. “We will not be able to loosen dramatically the need to be fiscally restrained,” Gregg says.

Dec. 10, 2003: In an effort to save money, Gov. Craig Benson announced that New Hampshire will begin buying prescription drugs from Canada, the Monitor reports.

Dec. 10, 2001: For the first time in the state’s history, a group of Concord-area agencies is trying to cooperate on transportation, the Monitor reports. After nearly two years of talks, CAT and some members of the Community Providers Network of Central New Hampshire, a group of 23 human service agencies, are on the brink of pooling their assets.

Dec. 10, 1993: Barry Stem’s 967 acres on Concord’s Broken Ground, proposed over the years as a site for a golf course, a luxury housing project, a hotel and conference center and an office park, are sold at a foreclosure auction for $286,501.

Dec. 10, 1991: In Concord, Pat Buchanan announces that he will challenge President Bush in the New Hampshire Republican primary. America’s Judeo-Christian heritage must be passed on to a new generation, Buchanan says, not “dumped on some landfill called multiculturalism.”

Dec. 10, 1991: At St. Paul’s School in Concord, Gov. Bill Clinton of Arkansas tells students that if he were the Democratic nominee for president, he would not stand still for attacks on his character. “Nobody’s going to question my patriotism, my devotion to this country or my values without paying a price if I can extract it,” he says.

Dec. 11, 2003: The Army National Guard’s Hillsboro-based 744th Transportation Company holds a deployment ceremony at the New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord. The 140 members of the Guard unit will be gone for more than a year.

Dec. 11, 1979: In Washington, the House votes to allow states to decide for themselves whether to spend Medicaid money on abortions. New Hampshire’s congressmen split their votes: Democrat Norm D’Amours votes yes; Republican Jim Cleveland votes no.

Dec. 11, 2000: An early-morning fire at the Royal Garden Apartments in Concord leaves 37 people homeless. The community will respond with offers of clothing, shelter, even Christmas gifts for the kids.

Dec. 11, 1999: Two Catholic priests whose recent marriages disqualify them from clerical service in the Roman Catholic Church become Episcopal priests in a liturgy at St. Paul’s Church in Concord. The service marks one of the first such clerical conversions in the state’s religious history.

Dec. 12, 2003: The Monitor reports that the state is running low on flu vaccine. With stories of children dying from the flu coming out of Colorado and Massachusetts, area residents have jammed clinics and swamped doctors’ offices, hospitals and organizations like the VNA with frantic phone calls hoping to get vaccines for themselves and their children.

Dec. 12, 2002: Concord city officials announce that they’re entering into exclusive, six-month negotiations with a Portsmouth developer, Michael Simckik of One Hundred Market Group Ltd., to draw up plans for the Sears block site. A Concord builder, Tom Avallone’s Cobb Hill Construction, will partner with Simchik for those conversations.

Dec. 12, 2001: After a community outpouring of support, bringing the project from being broke to a $25,000 surplus in less than two weeks, Operation Santa Claus concludes a successful season. The State Employees Association, which runs the charitable project, ships 3,281 bags of gifts to needy kids.

Dec. 12, 2000: About 100 Concord residents voice concerns about a retail development proposed for the city’s South End. For two hours, the crowd fires off questions about traffic, the demolition of old buildings and the impact on the neighborhood’s quality of life. In coming months, the proposal will be revised and then rejected by the city planning board.

Dec. 12, 1999: Concord residents aren’t bashful about buying Christmas trees, the Monitor reports, even though the city has announced that it won’t be picking up trees with the regular garbage collection. “Last year, an ice storm froze all the trees to the ground, and we were picking up trees until well into March,” says Vanessa Ghiden of the city’s General Services Department.

Author: Insider staff

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