This Week In Concord History

April 7, 2002: Tryouts for Concord’s Babe Ruth baseball are held at Rollins Park. 62 14- and 15-year-old boys spend the morning catching flyballs and grounders in hopes of impressing the coaches. The draft is held later in the day, and the players are pided among seven teams.

April 7, 2000: Robert Blair, who murdered his wife and her young son in a Concord motel in 1996, has told the police he also killed two people in Rutland, Vt., in 1983, the Rutland Herald reports. Detectives there, however, will find no evidence of the killings in the location Blair described.

April 7, 1968: About 350 people attend a memorial service on the State House plaza for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the civil rights leader who was assassinated three days earlier in Memphis. In a statement drafted in conjunction with other local clergy, Rev. Paul Beattie, a Unitarian minister, suggests that nearly all-white Concord should actively seek to persify. “Concord is an ideal town for developing a full interracial community,” he says. “We do not have a ghetto. We do not have a street where all or most Negroes live.” He suggests that Concord invite to town “some of the black people who have lost all hope while living in the segregated squalor of urban centers.”

April 7, 1945: The Monitor reports on Page 1: “Masculine aggressiveness, which took a set-back last year when a girl grabbed the highly prized No. 1 city bicycle registration, came back strong this year to capture the first six plates issued by the police department this morning.” Nos. 1, 2 and 3 will get their picture on Page 1 the next afternoon.

April 7, 1830: A committee is formed in Concord to pursue the idea of an east-west railroad line through New Hampshire and Vermont. The first train will not reach the city for 12 years, and it will come north from Boston.

April 7, 1965: The Monitor reports on plans for a new $1.2 million state liquor store on Storrs Street in Concord. “The state store is expected to become the first of its sort in the nation. Ohio has featured self-service liquor stores for a dozen years, but they have not also featured specialty liquors and wines, as planned in the model Concord store.”

April 8, 1992: The Associated Press reports that two of President Bush’s top advisers rolled up $774,000 in personal and political travel on military planes during the first half of his administration but reimbursed taxpayers less than 8 percent of that cost. The culprits: James Baker and John Sununu, the former New Hampshire governor.

April 8, 1939: From the “More Things Change Department”: A Monitor headline announces “Two-Monikered Streets Cause Befuddlement.” The reporter, describing plans to rename dozens of city streets, notes calmly: “There’s no hurry about this proposition, of course. Most of the streets have gone by their names for many years and couple more won’t hurt.”

April 9, 2003: In a rally at the State House, state employees and several hundred supporters attack Gov. Craig Benson’s proposed state cuts, rallying against a plan that would freeze wages and send their health care costs soaring.

April 9, 2000: A party at Rundlett Middle School brings together longtime Concord-area residents with immigrants and refugees who are more recent arrivals. The event is part of a broader effort that educational, social service and business organizations hope will eventually lead to the creation of a multicultural center.

April 9, 1991: After two consecutive days when the temperature reached 85 degrees, Concord settles for a high of 77. It’s apparently a big year for hot streaks: The city enjoyed another historic heat wave at the beginning of February.

April 10, 2001: The police arrest a Penacook man and charge him with arson and burglary in connection with recent vandalism at the United Church of Penacook.

April 10, 1991: The Concord planning board rejects a plan by developer Barry Stem to build a hotel and conference center on Broken Ground. It is just one segment of his development project, which also includes an 18-hole golf course and nearly 500 luxury homes. None of it will ever be built.

April 10, 1865: A huge celebration in Concord marks the end of the Civil War. Mayor Moses Humphrey orders the city’s fire engines decorated and ready to move to the State House by 4:30 p.m. Bands play, cannons boom, church bells peal. After nightfall, there is a “general illumination” of the city and a 400-gun salute is fired.

April 10, 1829: While addressing a Merrimack County jury in Concord, the spellbinding lawyer Ezekiel Webster, brother of Daniel, drops dead. “He had spoken nearly a half hour, in full and unaltering voice, when the hand of death arrested his earthly course,” writes Judge Charles Corning.

April 11, 2003: The New Hampshire Supreme Court upholds a 2001 Concord Planning Board decision that told the Richmond Co. it couldn’t build a shopping center in the old railroad yards near the South End marsh. The decision rewards the South End residents who have spent nearly three years fighting the project and reinforces the authority of planning boards.

April 11, 2001: New Hampshire Public Radio reports it has completed its most lucrative spring pledge drive ever. This fundraising success follows a decision to drop classical and jazz programming in favor of news and call-in shows.

April 11, 1986: Chosen by the New York Yankees five years earlier as a 19th-round draft pick, Bob Tewksbury of Concord makes his first major league start at Yankee Stadium. He defeats the Milwaukee Brewers 3-2.

April 11, 1793: A tragedy called ‘The Revenge’ plays at the Town House, on the current site of the Merrimack County Courthouse. It is the first play to be staged in Concord. The city’s Mirrour calling it “a virtuous, sentimental and rational amusement to the respectable inhabitants of the town.”

April 11, 1984:  Fire ravages the 125-year-old St. Paul’s church in Concord, leaving only the walls, bell tower and half the roof intact. Firefighters have to smash a century-old stained glass window to ventilate the building and the floor beneath the altar collapses.

April 12, 1827: On Fast Day, Rev. Nathaniel Bouton, 27, delivers the first temperance sermon in Concord. Bouton’s words at the Old North Church ignite local participation in a social movement that will last more than a century. Bouton asserts in his sermon that he has investigated and found that “the use of ardent spirits in Concord” is “universal.” He claims that the 1,400 men in Concord consumed nearly 14,000 gallons of liquor in 1825. The Concord Temperance Society will be formed three years later. By 1843, nearly half of the city’s adult residents will have signed a prohibition pledge.

April 12, 1973: The Monitor reports on plans to raze the mansion built by Gov. Isaac Hill on South Main Street in the 1830s.

April 13, 2003: A fire breaks out in an apartment building off East Side Drive in Concord, attracting the attention of Kyle Bissonnette, 12, Matthew Peters, 12, and Nate Bell, 10. Seeing flames shooting from a downstairs window in the Regency Estates apartment building, the three pull their bikes over and flag down a passer-by, who calls the police. Kyle and Matthew head into the building and start knocking on doors, making sure everyone is out and rousing residents who don’t hear the smoke alarms. Nate waits outside to make sure his friends come out okay. One apartment is destroyed in the blaze. Nobody is injured.

Author: Insider staff

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