This Week in Concord History

Jan. 12, 1943: State Rep. Norris Cotton leads the charge for a ban on smoking in Representatives Hall during House sessions. The tobacco habit, he says, “is distasteful and obnoxious to the many non-smoking members.” He says the House is the only legislative body in the world that allows smoking during deliberations. The bill passes 203-129.

Jan. 12, 1952: The Monitor reports on plans to make Main and State streets one-way, with one going north and the other going south. The idea is to relieve traffic congestion. (It’s never approved.)

Jan. 12, 1989: Concord Sen. Susan McLane proposes a ban on jet skis on every lake in the state. “A jet ski is like a noisy buzz saw going in mindless circles,” she says. “It’s driving people crazy. This is a problem that isn’t going to go away.” No overall ban is imposed. Instead, lakes are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Jan. 13, 1943: Responding to the governor’s call for Victory gardens and home farming, Concord Mayor Charles McKee says: “Concord citizens can keep pigs and chickens in their backyards if they want to. There is no city ordinance to stop them.”

Jan. 13, 1991: With placards proclaiming “No Blood for Oil” and other such messages, a peace group marches from the State House through the snow-banked streets of downtown Concord in protest of the threat of war with Iraq.

Jan. 14, 1824: The “other Concord” – in the North Country – officially changes its name to Lisbon, ending confusion with New Hampshire’s capital city.

Jan. 14, 1873: More than two years after Long Pond was recommended as Concord’s municipal water supply, the first water flows from the pond into city pipes.

Jan. 14, 2001: Concord’s Adam Young enjoys his view of the New York Giants’ 41-0 thrashing of the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC championship game. Although he’s only on the practice squad, Young is headed to Tampa for the Super Bowl.

Jan. 15, 1754: Dr. Josiah Bartlett of Kingston marries his cousin, Mary Bartlett of Newton. The doctor will become a New Hampshire leader during the American Revolution and a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Jan. 15, 1932: It’s a January thaw to remember: For the third day in a row, the temperature in Concord tops 60 degrees.

Jan. 16, 1874: Charles F. Low, Mexican War veteran, eccentric world traveler and erstwhile editor of the short-lived Concord Gazette, drowns in the Indian River in Florida. His obituary says Low was once robbed by Bedouins in the valley of the Jordan.

Jan. 16, 1942: Five soldiers from Manchester crash the car they are driving in West Concord, where one of them has just picked up a date. None of the 1941 coupe’s six occupants are injured, but the soldiers worry about getting back to their base in Gainesville, Fla. They also wonder what they’re going to tell the people at U-Drive-It in Gainesville, where they paid $125 to rent the car to drive home on leave.

Jan. 16, 1944: All flying and ground school aviation training is suddenly called to halt at Concord Airport. A private flying school under contract with the government had turned out more than 650 pilots for the War Training Service.

Jan. 16, 1995: Springtime in January? The temperature in Concord tops out at 63 degrees.

Jan. 16, 2002: In evaluating three warrant articles aimed at addressing Bow’s school crowding problem, the town’s budget committee votes unanimously to support the cheapest proposal regarding the middle school, a $5.5 million project that includes additions and renovations to the building.

Jan. 17, 1726: Massachusetts grants permission to settle the area that will become Concord. A supervising committee screens would-be settlers. It wants just 100 families.

Jan. 17, 1942: Concord’s zoning board unanimously approves the Brezner Tannery’s takeover of an abandoned mill in Penacook. The tannery will open later in the year, creating 200 jobs.

Jan. 17, 2000: New Hampshire celebrates its first official Martin Luther King Day, joining the other 49 states in so honoring the slain civil rights leader. Capping 20 years of political battles, the Legislature approved the holiday the previous May and Gov. Jeanne Shaheen signed it into law in June.

Jan. 18, 1982: New Hampshire is rattled by the worst earthquake in 42 years. In Concord, a city council meeting has just gotten under way. As Mayor David Coeyman gavels the meeting to order, the windows begin shaking and papers begin shuffling. “I will always remember this,” Coeyman says.

Jan. 18, 2003: 200 people rally in front of the State House in Concord, protesting the possibility of military action in Iraq.

Author: The Concord Insider

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