This Week In Concord History

June 9, 1909: The cornerstone is laid for the New Hampshire Historical Society’s building on Park Street. It will be more than two years before the building is finished.

June 9, 2000: The House Judiciary Committee releases thousands of pages of transcripts from closed-door interviews during its investigation into allegations of misconduct on the state Supreme Court. The bundle of documents, weighing nearly 10 pounds, is available to the public for $60 a copy.

June 9, 1846: The cannon on Sand Hill in Concord booms the news that John Parker Hale of Dover, an anti-slavery leader, has been elected to the U.S. Senate.

June 9, 1986: Gov. John Sununu vetoes legislation aimed at reforming porce laws. He objects to the establishment of a $321,000 marital magistrate bureaucracy.

June 10, 2003: In their season opener, Concord’s Quarry Dogs eke out a 3-2 win over the Sanford Mainers at Doane Diamond.

June 10, 1985: Gov. John Sununu tells the annual conference of the American Nuclear Society that the nuclear power industry and its regulators are to blame for not making a case for new nuclear plants. “If the utilities band together, they could again have nuclear plants to do the job needed,” he says.

June 10, 1983: A celebration marks the opening of Eagle Square. Former mayor Martin Gross delivers a poem to mark the occasion. One stanza describes the Eagle Stable, which will soon be open in the Crystal Courtyard, a mini-mall for specialty foods:

Your stable’s stalls, once equine halls,

soon hungry souls will seek.

No hay or mash but gourmet stash —

an appetite boutique.

June 10, 1900: A Concord police officer arrests clerk Walter Davis at Fitch’s Drug Store for selling soda water on Sunday. The law allows for Sunday sales of only “bread, milk and the other necessities of life.” A judge will let Davis off, saying that soda is as necessary to life as milk and that citizens should be encouraged to drink anything other than alcoholic beverages.

June 11, 2001: People passing by the federal courthouse in Concord share their reactions to the early morning execution of Timothy McVeigh. Their overwhelming sentiment: Good riddance.

June 11, 1837: Samuel Coffin Eastman is born in Concord. A great-grandson of Ebenezer Eastman, Concord’s first settler, he will become a prominent lawyer, bank president, railroad man, speaker of the New Hampshire House and school board member. In 1915, when Concord celebrates the 150th anniversary of its royal charter as a parish, he will be recognized as the city’s most prominent citizen and “president of the day.”

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

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, 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, 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 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 13, 2001: By a 48-vote margin, the New Hampshire House rejects the state Senate’s $180 million education tax package. Hours later, the Senate passes a new version, this time intended to raise about $10 million more.

June 13, 2000: The House Judiciary Committee begins hearing public testimony into allegations of misconduct on the state Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the state Senate retains former U.S. Senate majority leader George Mitchell to help it prepare for a possible impeachment trial.

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, 1954: This is Freedom Day in New Hampshire, so declared by Gov. Hugh Gregg as a day of remembrance and prayer for those who have died resisting the Communist regime in Eastern Europe.

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

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, & 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, & a countenance that bespeaks a mind within.”

June 14, 1944: Speaking on the causes of juvenile delinquency, Dr. Anna Philbrook, a psychiatrist at the State Hospital, says: “Children are growing up in homes where they have no facilities for play, where parents are so deeply concerned with earning enough money to buy the food needed by the family that they cannot spare the time to guide their children to healthful recreation.”

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 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 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.”

Author: Insider staff

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