This Week in Concord History

Jan. 22, 1811: A cow belonging to Abner Farnum Jr. of Concord gives birth to a two-headed calf.

Jan. 22, 1942: The Monitor reports that rather than wait for the draft, 32 men have enlisted at the Concord recruiting office for the duration of the war. Eleven are from Concord. Most have signed up for the air corps and been sent to Missouri to train.

Jan. 22, 2001: The Concord School Board names Chris Rath the superintendent of the city’s schools. A former principal at Rundlett Junior High School and Concord High School, Rath has held the post of interim superintendent for several months.

Jan. 22, 2002: In a special election in Penacook held to fill the city council and state representative seats left vacant by Dave Poulin, who died suddenly two months previously, Liz Blanchard reels in more than four times as many as her opponent, Myril Cox, and becomes the new Ward 1 city councilor.

Jan. 23, 1924:­ Carl Sandburg appears at the Concord City Auditorium. He reads his poems, plays his guitar and sings ballads and songs. According to the Monitor, Sandburg calls modern poetry “free” since it is “not marked off into measures and cadences.” He also remarks on the ships and railroads of the modern world, saying that because “the earth today is belted with steel, there is much an interweaving of cultures as has never before been known. Acceleration, the chaos of life today, is reflected in the poetry.”

Jan. 23, 1938: The Sacred Heart Hockey Club, composed mostly of young Concord men of French Canadian descent, plays Butterfield of Quebec at the White Park rink. A crowd of 1,167 pays the 15-cent price of admission.

Jan. 23, 2000: Concord’s Tara Mounsey is named one of two defensemen on the Hockey News All-World Team of the 1990s. Mounsey’s Olympic teammate Cammi Granato is the other American in the starting six; they are joined by three Canadians and a Finn.

Jan. 23, 2003: Former Vermont governor Howard Dean, after a visit to Pleasant View Retirement center in Concord, accuses his Democratic presidential primary opponents of trying to run against the very Republican policies they’d supported in Congress. “I think our party is suffering because we keep nominating people who will say anything they have to say to get elected,” he says.

Jan. 24, 1857: The mercury drops to 37 below zero in Concord.

Jan. 24, 1901: Wilbur Sweatt, 22, of Penacook, is accidentally stabbed in the chest by his friend, Fred Carr, while playing with a knife. Sweatt dies Feb. 6, and an autopsy will show that the knife pierced the lung and cut a half inch into his heart. It was considered a wonderful case that he could have lived so long with such a wound, a local history reports.

Jan. 24, 1988: City leaders unveil plans for a new district courthouse to be built on Clinton Street. The cost: $3.5 million. “We realized 10 years ago that the present court is not adequate. It has not been an easy process,” says Mayor Elizabeth Hager.

Jan. 24, 1992: Speaking to students at St. Paul’s School, Democratic presidential candidate Paul Tsongas is asked to assess another candidate, Republican Pat Buchanan. “Pat Buchanan,” he answers. “America first. Drives a Mercedes. Don’t you think at some point he would have said to himself, ‘Hey…’

Jan. 24, 2002: The Concord Police Department announces that George Pregent of Concord has been arrested and charged with four felony-level counts of possession with intent to distribute marijuana. The police found 78 pounds of the drug, the largest recovery of marijuana in the department’s history.

Jan. 25, 2000: Concord receives nearly 9 inches of snow, hardly an extraordinary occurrence for late January; however, it is the first significant snowstorm of the season, and for that to come in late January is unusual.

Jan. 25, 2003: At the state Democratic Party’s annual convention in Concord, both U.S. Rep. Dick Gephardt and former Vermont governor Howard Dean promise to do away with tax cuts for the wealthy, provide universal health insurance and fight terrorism through energy policy. They rouse the crowd with a vow to make the world safe for liberals again.

Jan. 26, 1839: In Concord, rain falls for 24 hours straight. The Merrimack rises 15 feet in 15 hours. Several bridges are destroyed.

Jan. 26, 1968: U.S. Sen. Eugene McCarthy brings his presidential campaign to Concord. He meets with Gov. John King, who is leading President Johnson’s campaign in the state, and says of New Hampshire: “It looks like Minnesota.”

Jan. 26, 2002: Merrimack Valley’s Luke Norton finishes second in the long jump and fourth in the high jump at the Class I/M/S boys’ indoor track championships. Which isn’t really all that impressive – unless you take into account the fact that both events occurred simultaneously. In doing so, he also led the Indians to a surprise third-place performance.

Jan. 27, 1848: Franklin Pierce returns home to Concord after leading a brigade in the Mexican War. A crowd of 3,000 to 4,000 people meet him at the city’s new railroad station. Pierce has been gone eight months. In that time, the Concord town meeting has banned “bowling, saloons and circuses.” Among those present for Pierce’s welcome home is his old friend and Bowdoin College classmate Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Jan. 27, 1942: Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony for Concord Mayor John Storrs and the city’s aldermen, Gov. Robert O. Blood has this to say about the world war: “We will put an end to this conflict in two years.”

Jan. 27, 1943: An anonymous Webster man applies to the Concord War and Price Rationing Board for 600 pounds of sugar. “I make alky mash and need sugar to make it ferment and taste right,” he writes. The board rejects his request.

Jan. 27, 1965: Concord Electric Company asks permission of the Federal Power Commission to close down its only generating plant, located at Sewalls Falls on the Merrimack River.

Jan. 27, 1983: Concord native John Bluto makes a brief TV appearance on an episode of Cheers. He plays an insurance salesman, a role he played in real life in Concord for more than 10 years.

Jan. 27, 1994: The temperature in Concord falls to 27 below zero, the city’s third record low in eight days.

Jan. 27, 2003: The Concord City Council votes to take the historic Rolfe barn through eminent domain, stopping Ken Epworth, the barn’s owner, from dismantling the building and selling the parts to an unnamed client. The Penacook Historical Society asked the city to step in so it can use the barn as a museum and community center.

Jan. 28, 1942: John G. Winant of Concord, the U.S. ambassador to England, tells a national defense luncheon in London that the United States will recruit an army of 7 million men. “Idleness has not been part of our national life,” he says. “That is not America.”

Author: Insider Staff

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