This Week In Concord History

July 7, 2003: In a town hall-style meeting at Conant Elementary School in Concord, presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards claims that from tax cuts to education, President Bush favors the wealthy over the working class. Instead, Edwards offers his own life experience as more in touch with middle class Americans and the American dream. “We are a nation of people who believe there is nothing we can’t do,” he says.

July 7, 1989: The state celebrates the opening of the new $30 million New Hampshire Hospital on Clinton Street in Concord. At 199,000 square feet, it is the state’s largest building project ever.

July 7, 1853: In arguing for the passage of prohibition in New Hampshire, George Fogg, a Concord editor, says legislators should line up against “the manufacturers of drunkards, paupers, and criminals.” The measure fails.

July 7, 1816: Concord awakens to a hard freeze.

July 7, 1847: President James Polk visits Concord, prompting a parade of bands up Main Street. “The streets were alive with sightseers and from the windows, ladies greeted the president with waving handkerchiefs,” one newspaper reports.

July 8, 1965: Construction of a new King’s Department Store begins on Loudon Road in Concord. Plans also call for a supermarket and five smaller stores.

July 8, 1967: Monitor reporters set out in the streets of Concord to test a Harris poll’s findings that President Lyndon B. Johnson’s popularity is rising and that the Vietnam War will be a decisive factor in the 1968 presidential election. Interviews with 115 people in Concord turn up these results: 28.7 percent like Johnson more than they did in 1964, 58 percent like him less. Most of those who criticize Johnson cite his handling of the war as the main reason for their discontent.

July 9, 2003: Summer school begins at the State House, as lawmakers try to write a budget that can pass into law. The session comes after Gov. Craig Benson stamped a big red VETO on the Legislature’s $2.6 billion budget and blocks an override.

July 9, 2000: The new owner of the May King restaurant on Concord’s Loudon Road plans a total makeover, the Monitor reports. The renovated restaurant, to be called Ginger Garden, will offer Chinese and Japanese cuisine, including the capital city’s first sushi bar.

July 9, 1964: Monitor columnist Leon Anderson takes U.S. Rep. Louis Wyman to task for calling the country’s new civil rights law “a bucket of worms.” He writes: “Most of us do not mind Wyman being in disagreement with some of our thinking, at times. But we also have standards of conduct, especially in public life, which have no place for such foul language. If Wyman kicks the bucket in his second-term bid, we dare suggest his ill-phrased ‘bucket of worms’ will have been the final straw.”

July 10, 2003: Former Vermont governor Howard Dean gives the hard sell to a huge gathering in Concord, holding up his recent fundraising success — and the unexpectedly large crowd — as proof that his insurgent presidential candidacy is no more liberal than mainstream America. “That’s how you beat George W. Bush,” he says, referring to the fact that half of the 60,000 contributors to his campaign had never given money to a political candidate before.

July 10, 2000: Concord’s city council approves a deal to split the cost of a connector road between Clinton and Pleasant streets with St. Paul’s School and Concord Hospital.

July 10, 1927: A U.S. Army flying school opens at Concord airport with the arrival of the first class of 20 pilots in training. With the opening of the school, the Monitor reports, Concord becomes the air defense site for “all that territory in a triangle running from Concord to the fishing port of Gloucester and its splendid harbor, west to the more important commercial harbor at Portland and back to Concord.”

July 11, 2003: Concord officials announce the disappearance of Sarah Gehring, 14, and Philip Gehring, 11, in a hastily called press conference. Six days after the brother and sister left the Concord fireworks display following a public argument with their father, the police arrested the father, Manuel A. Gehring, on child custody charges in California.

July 11, 2000: Like their counterparts around the country, local booksellers say they’ve sold all their copies of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. In Concord alone, more than 1,000 copies were bought on the day of the book’s release.

July 11, 1824: Dr. Asa McFarland, Concord’s Congregationalist minister, writes to the town requesting that the contract obliging the town to pay him as a town officer be terminated. At their 1825 town meeting, Concord voters will honor this request. From this time forward, according to an 1850 town report, “no money has ever been raised by the town, in the capacity of a parish, or for the support of preaching.”

July 11, 1973: The Concord City Council agrees to spend $1.6 million on a new police station and district court and extensive city hall renovations on Green Street.

July 12, 2003: Concord has a tentative plan to fill the site of the former Sears building with offices, retail stores, a restaurant, luxury condominiums, an independent movie theater, a supper club and a parking garage, the Monitor reports. The city council still has to approve the project, but, if things go as planned, developer Michael Simchik will buy the parcel for $1 and spend $10.9 million to build a six-story, 75,000-square-foot building. Concord will spend about $5.4 million to erect a parking garage with at least 330 spaces.

July 12, 2002: Rents in Concord continue to rise, the Monitor reports. But compared with points south, the city remains a relative bargain.

July 12, 1927: Mayor Fred Marden says he has received a telegram informing him that Col. Charles A. Lindbergh will soon fly to Concord in the Spirit of St. Louis.

July 12, 1976: Twenty-eight Taiwanese athletes, who have been refused permission to enter Canada for the Olympics because of their refusal not to compete under the name Republic of China, meet in Concord with their biggest local supporter: Gov. Mel Thomson.

July 12, 1854: On a tip, the Concord police raid a Pearl Street paint shop and break up a gambling den. Six men and boys are arrested and fined $5.

Author: Insider staff

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