This Week in Concord History

Feb. 6, 1862: Meeting in Concord, a “Union Convention” adopts a platform plank on the war similar to that of the Democrats, which states: “This war should not be waged in any spirit of conquest or subjugation, or for the purpose of overthrowing the rights or established institutions of any of the States.”

Feb. 6, 1901: The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is formed. The group is a reaction to failed governmental efforts in Concord and Washington to promote safe and regenerative forestry policies. Years of fires, floods and clear-cutting have left the state’s northern forest in terrible condition.

Feb. 7, 1811: Nathaniel White is born in Lancaster. He will come to Concord to run a hotel and become a successful businessman. He will be a prominent abolitionist, working with William Lloyd Garrison, an early proponent of women’s suffrage and the Prohibition candidate for governor of New Hampshire in 1875. Among many other charitable acts, he will be a prime benefactor of the Centennial Home for the aged, now the Centennial Inn.

Feb. 7, 1986: As a memorial to Christa McAuliffe, the Concord High teacher who died during the Challenger launch, a new state trust fund is formed to allow other teachers to take “journeys of discovery and enlightenment.”

Feb. 8, 1820: George Hough, Concord’s first printer and editor of an 18th century newspaper in the city, dies at the age of 73.

Feb. 8, 1897: Concord’s first movie plays at White’s Opera House. The show includes bathers at Rahway, N.J., a watermelon-eating contest, a mounted policeman stopping a runaway horse and a three-minute boxing match featuring Gentleman Jim Corbett. “There is nothing fake about it,” the Monitor reviewer reports, adding that the pictures are “vivid and truthful.”

Feb. 8, 1943: The crew of nine women running the sawmill at Turkey Pond is forced to shut down the operation until the pond thaws. The women have been working at the mill since October and all vow to return in May. Timber boss Howard E. Ahlskog says the women are more loyal and dependable than the last male crews he hired.

Feb. 9, 1986: Former U.S. Senate majority leader Howard Baker names Tom Rath of Concord to direct his 1988 presidential campaign.

Feb. 9, 1988: Fresh from a first-place finish in Iowa, U.S. Sen. Bob Dole takes a hard anti-Communist line in a Concord campaign appearance. He warns against “glasnost fever,” saying: “Whatever glasnost is, it is not democracy. Whatever else Gorbachev may be, he is still a hard-as-nails Communist.”

Feb. 10, 1942: Robert Leon Harris, a 15-year-old student, agrees to leave Rundlett Junior High School “so as not to cause any trouble.” He is the second Jehovah’s Witness in the city to refuse on religious grounds to pledge allegiance to flag and country.

Feb. 10, 1992: Concord Mayor Bill Veroneau privately tells embattled City Manager Jim Smith that it is time for Smith to resign. In his latest scrape with councilors and residents, Smith’s slowness in sounding the alarm on a property tax shortfall made him a political target in the November election. He will take Veroneau’s advice and leave the job after 13 years.

Feb. 11, 2000: A Massachusetts development company is considering building a large shopping center anchored by a supermarket on land in the South End, the Monitor reports. Working through a local real estate agent, the company has approached at least 10 different property owners in a triangular-shaped area between Hall and South Main streets near Exit 13 off Interstate 93.

Feb. 12, 1968: A thin, soft-spoken, curly-haired Harvard divinity student named Sam Brown arrives at 3 Pleasant St. in Concord, headquarters of the “peace” candidacy of Sen. Eugene McCarthy. “The United States is now the great imperialist-aggressor nation of the world,” Brown tells an interviewer. He has come to town to lead scores of young visitors to the state in a one-month insurgency that will bring McCarthy to near-victory in New Hampshire and topple Lyndon Johnson’s presidency.

Feb. 12, 1973: The Concord City Council rejects plans for a shopping center on the site of the South End Marsh. At issue: a $3 million air-conditioned shopping mall providing 250 new jobs. Says one resident: “We are not running out of shopping centers like we are running out of marshes.”

Feb. 12, 1979: In Concord on Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, U.S. Sen. Robert Dole announces that he will run for president. “I’m a hard worker,” he says. “I think the record is there.”

Feb. 12, 2000: A new school board contract proposal would give Concord teachers annual base salary increases of 3, 3¾ and 4¼ percent, the Monitor reports. In addition, elementary school teachers would get an extra preparation period. In exchange, elementary and middle school teachers would have to agree to add time to the end of their official workday, starting in the year 2001-02. Contract negotiations have been going on for more than a year.

Feb. 12, 2004: Concord High wins the Division I boys’ Nordic skiing state championship classic race, with a combined score of 766 to Keene’s 748. The title is the first boys’ ski championship since 1992.

Author: Insider Staff

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