This Week in Concord History

June 19, 1807: Parliamentary maneuvering in the Legislature results in Concord being named the capital, ending several years of roving state government.

June 19, 1856: One hundred booms of the cannon in Concord celebrate the nomination of John Charles Fremont, the first Republican candidate for president. The cheer goes up: “Free Soil, Free Men and Fremont.”

June 19, 2000: Residents of Hull, Quebec, pedal through downtown Concord on a 33-passenger bicycle, part of a trek the Canadian town has organized to celebrate its bicentennial.

June 19, 2002: After 66 years, Washington Street School in Penacook closes. In the fall, students will attend Penacook Elementary School, a brand-new facility a mile away.

June 20, 1841: More than 1,000 people gather at the Old North Church to hear a lecture by John H.W. Hawkins, a self-proclaimed “reformed inebriate” who is now a silver-tongued missionary for temperance.

June 21, 1909: The White Parks beat the Old Timers 14-0 in the first game of Concord’s Sunset League. The four-team after-supper baseball league will have games daily except Saturday at 6:15 p.m. The teams play till dark or for five innings, whichever comes first. Crowds of 400-500 gather to watch.

June 21, 1990: With Steve McAuliffe and a large crowd of dignitaries and ordinary citizens in attendance, the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium is dedicated in Concord.

June 21, 2001: One of two men accused of fatally beating a 91-year-old Penacook woman confesses in court as part of a deal for a reduced prison sentence. In nine months, prosecutors will ask the court to dissolve the plea deal, saying they now want to try the man who confessed and accept a lesser plea from the second man, who had been headed for trial.

June 21, 2003: A robust fire that spits flames out of a Perley Street apartment house leaves eight people homeless. Nobody is injured.

June 22, 1825: The Marquis de Lafayette, hero of the American Revolution, visits Concord during his government-sponsored tour of all 24 states. Driven down Main Street in a four-wheel carriage, he is greeted by a crowd of 30,000 to 40,000. At the State House, 200 to 300 Revolutionary War veterans gather to shake his hand. Many weep. Nine years later, Concord’s Fayette Street will be named in memory of this day. An elm planted on the State House lawn to commemorate the event will flourish until 1956, when the state pays $300 to get rid of it. Gov. Lane Dwinell will salvage a few engraved gavels from the Lafayette elm. Other residents will use slabs from the trunk for coffee tables.

June 22, 1843: Col. Franklin Pierce, the future president, delivers a temperance lecture at Concord’s old North Church. Pierce is part of a committee whose aim is to “most certainly and speedily cause the use and traffic in intoxicating drinks to cease in town, except for mechanical and medical purposes.”

June 22, 1941: On the day that Adolf Hitler’s invasion of Russia dominates the radio news, Yankee third baseman Red Rolfe of Penacook homers with two out and no one on the ninth inning to tie a game with Detroit. Teammate Joe DiMaggio’s double figures in the winning rally. DiMaggio has now hit in 35 straight games.

June 22, 2003: The Concord Quarry Dogs bang out 15 hits and draw 10 walks at Doane Diamond in Concord, scoring the most runs in the team’s history, demolishing the Manchester (Conn.) Silkworms, 18-1.

June 23, 1785: A committee is appointed to lay out Main Street in Concord. A final report won’t be drafted until 1798.

June 23, 1815: A freight boat journeys from Boston to Concord for the first time.

June 23, 1823: The New Hampshire Historical Society, formed earlier in the year in Portsmouth, moves to Concord. It will occupy a room in the State House for three years before moving to North Main Street near Ferry Street.

June 23, 2000: James Hall is convicted of second-degree murder for strangling his 77-year-old mother in their Concord apartment.

June 23, 2001: A strong economy and a shortage of apartments have pushed up the median cost of rent and utilities for a two-bedroom apartment in Concord by 23 percent over the last four years, the Monitor reports. What used to cost $710 a month now costs $873, according to the state Housing Finance Authority.

June 24, 1993: Residents who use Concord’s buses, pools and libraries pack a public hearing to testify against proposed budget cuts. “I’m a little bit disturbed that the quality of life seems to be attacked every time we talk about budget cuts,” says Richard Croak.

June 24, 2000: New Hampshire Bituminous, the Merrimack Valley Little League champion, defeats the Eagles from Concord American Little League, 5-1. The result marks the first time in recent history that the Hilliker Cup will be headed to Penacook.

June 25, 1729: The proprietors of Penacook appoint a committee to find and hire a permanent Congregational minister for the settlement. The minister will be paid 100 pounds a year out of the proprietors’ treasury. A year later, the proprietors will hire the Rev. Timothy Walker for the job.

June 25, 1835: A Mormon remembered only as “Mr. Green” in a city history comes to Concord looking for converts. He finds none despite two days of lectures.

June 25, 2003: The Penacook Historical Society holds an open house for the Rolfe barn, a 200-year-old building that the group had fought to save for months. The event gives many supporters their first peek at the property.

Author: Insider Staff

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