This Week in Concord History

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. 15, 1965: Gov. John King announces plans to purchase Concord’s old post office on State Street and turn it into state offices. A new post office is under construction at Pleasant and South streets.

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 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, 1948: Concord’s new mayor, Charles McKee, says he’s not giving up on plans for a new man-made lake on the Turkey River, despite voter opposition. “As I understand it, there was a lake there once, but someone pulled out the plug and it drained away. I am told it would be a comparatively simple matter to put the plug back in.”

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

Jan. 19, 1942: Sylvia Esty, an 8-year-old Jehovah’s Witness, puts her hand over her heart but refuses to say the words of the Pledge of Allegiance at the Garrison School in West Concord. She says God has forbidden her to pledge allegiance to flag and country. Concord’s school board says it may have to expel her.

Jan. 19, 1968: Speaking to students at St. Paul’s School, Arthur Schlesinger, onetime special adviser to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, opposes U.S. policy in Vietnam. He says it is based on a misguided analysis of post-World War II political realities.

Jan. 19, 2000: A jury finds state prison inmate James Skinner not guilty of murder and manslaughter in the death of another inmate, Eric Balagot. The jury agrees with Skinner’s self-defense claim: that he was fighting off an aggressor who threw the first punch.

Jan. 20, 1798: Concord’s first accidental fire is recorded at 10 p.m. in David George’s hat shop on North Main Street. “Let this, fellow citizens, excite everyone to vigilance,” writes the Concord Mirrour. “Query – would it not be a good plan for every man to keep a good ladder and one or two proper fire buckets always ready?”

Jan. 20, 1823: Rebecca Long, 36, dies in Concord. The cause: poisoning by white lead, accidentally mixed in the sugar used by the family.



Jan. 20, 1973: The Monitor reports on downtown progress: “Storrs Street, long planned as a bypass to Main Street traffic congestion, will probably have a traffic light of its own soon.”

Jan. 20, 1994: The temperature in Concord drops to 28 below zero, a record for the date.

Jan. 20, 1994: A three-alarm fire damages the Boutwell & Hussey-Wiren Funeral Home on North Main Street, a building that dates to the late 19th century. “I’d like to send a message out that we do plan to go on,” says Ronald Bourque, whose family has owned the business for 20 years.

Jan. 20, 1996: Responding to flat tax fever, GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole tells a Concord rally he favors “a flatter tax.”


Jan. 21, 1766: At Concord’s first legal town meeting, Lieutenant Richard Hasseltine is elected moderator. Among the other elected town officials are tythingmen, a sealer of leather and a scaler of lumber.

Jan. 21, 1857: A choral concert celebrates the opening of the new city hall and county building on the site that will eventually become Merrimack County Superior Courthouse.

Jan. 21, 1990: The new Concord Monitor building is dedicated off Sewalls Falls Road. In April, the staff will move into the building. The paper and predecessors to which it can trace its roots have been published in downtown Concord since 1808.

Jan. 21, 1994: For the second straight day, the temperature in Concord hits a new low for the date: 25 below zero.

Author: Insider Staff

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