This Week in Concord History

Oct. 30, 1865: The day after President Andrew Johnson proclaimed Dec. 7 as Thanksgiving Day, New Hampshire Gov. Frederick Smyth announces that this state will celebrate the holiday on Nov. 30. Smyth will hold out for 10 days before switching the date to conform with Johnson’s proclamation.

Oct. 31, 1944: Elizabeth Hager is born. In the 1980s, Hager will become Concord’s first female mayor. She will serve many years as a city councilor and state representative and run unsuccessfully for governor in 1992.

Nov. 1, 1819: A new animal law takes effect in Concord: “whereas the inhabitants of Concord and travelers with teams and loaded sleighs are frequently annoyed by cows and sheep running at large, therefore hereafter no cow or sheep shall be permitted to run at-large in the Main street . . . or within half a mile to the west of Main Street.”

Nov. 1, 1842: The New Hampshire Asylum for the Insane opens in Concord. One of the first patients: a man from Tuftonboro who prays and preaches on the subject of the Second Coming for four hours each morning and remains quiet the rest of the day.

Nov. 1, 1845: Thomas Potter of Concord falls 34 feet from a chestnut tree without fracturing a limb. Twenty-four years earlier, he fell the same distance from the same tree.

Nov. 1, 2001: An anthrax scare closes Boscawen Elementary School, forcing students to wait at Merrimack Valley High School until parents can pick them up. The scare turns out to be a false alarm.

Nov. 2, 1986: Vermonter Barry Stem makes public his plan to develop a world-class golf course, 246 single-family homes and 164 duplex condominiums on 840 acres of Concord’s Broken Ground. It won’t happen.

Nov. 2, 2002: A recent Monitor poll shows the race for U.S. Senate between Democratic Gov. Jeanne Shaheen and Republican U.S. Rep. John E. Sununu is statistically dead even. In informal interviews with nearly two dozen voters in Pembroke and Concord, most people say their decision will come down to their assessment of Shaheen’s performance during her six years as governor, or else specific issues, such as taxes or abortion.

Nov. 3, 1908: Concord elects Democrat Charles French as its new mayor. At midnight, a cheering crowd carries him through the city streets. Outgoing Mayor Charles Corning, who did not seek re-election, disapproves of his successor. The result will bring about “a veritable misfortune unless French reforms his loud manners & modifies his coarse & nasty speech,” Corning writes in his diary.

Nov. 3, 1947: John G. Winant, former governor and former U.S. ambassador to Great Britain, commits suicide in Concord.

Nov. 3, 2003: Seven candidates show up at the secretary of state’s office in Concord, marking the first day that presidential candidates are able to file papers to enter January’s primary. The only one whose name carries any cachet in Washington is Dick Gephardt, who makes a lunchtime appearance between campaign stops.

Nov. 4, 1947: Concord voters apparently aren’t in the mood to have fun this Election Day. By wide margins, they reject plans to construct a man-made lake and to permit high school sports and recreational bowling on Sundays.


Nov. 4, 2002: Three dozen South Enders turn out to meet with city councilors about a few neighborhood hot topics: the Northwest Bypass, the Richmond Co. shopping center and the Interstate 93 expansion.

Nov. 4, 2003: After a four-year hiatus from Concord’s city hall, Allenstown Police Chief and former councilor Jim McGonigle wins a seat with 1,788 votes citywide, the highest of the three candidates running for councilor-at-large.

Nov. 5, 1940: Arthur Smart of Tilton wins a seat in the state Senate at 29, despite the requirement that senators be 30 years old. When a Monitor reporter discovers the discrepancy, Smart will be ousted.


Nov. 5, 2001: After a property tax increase of 18 percent over last year in Bow, town clerk Jill Hadaway is inundated with complaints.

Author: Insider Staff

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