This Week in Concord History

Jan. 29, 2002: Citing a lack of evidence, a Merrimack County Superior Court judge sends Richmond Co.’s supermarket and shopping center proposal back to the Concord planning board, overturning the board’s unanimous decision against the Massachusetts company and upsetting some South End residents.

Jan. 30, 2000: As many as 5,000 of the names on Concord’s voter rolls shouldn’t be there, the Monitor reports. The extra names include people who have moved away or died, as well as people who are listed more than once. “We have about 24,000 registered voters,” City Clerk Sharon Dery says, “but I think we’re closer to having about 19,000.”

Jan. 30, 2002: Here’s a good reason to watch more television and eat more candy, the Monitor reports: Concord native Jeremy Ellison-Gladstone is now appearing in a Snickers ad demonstrating the dangers of going too long without chocolate.

Jan. 31, 1952: The Concord City Council debates plans for the construction of Storrs Street to relieve traffic downtown. There is no name yet for the new street, so it is referred to as Concord’s “Baby Bypass.”

Jan. 31, 1986: On a frigid night, thousands gather in the State House plaza for a memorial service for Christa McAuliffe. “Her teaching has not ceased,” says the Rev. Chester Mrowka.

Feb. 1, 1859: The Concord Railroad passenger station, including the offices of the Concord, Montreal and Northern railroads, the telegraph office and Depot hall, is destroyed by fire.

Feb. 1, 1992: Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton tells a Concord audience that ambition is no sin. “Some people are telling you you shouldn’t vote for me,” he says. “They say Clinton is too slick, he’s too glib, he’s always wanted to be president. Let me tell you something: Abraham Lincoln always wanted to be president, too.”

Feb. 1, 2003: News spreads through Concord that the space shuttle Columbia has exploded, reminding many of the space shuttle Challenger. “It’s amazing how it brings those feelings right back,” says state Rep. Jim MacKay, who was the city’s mayor when the Challenger exploded 17 years ago with Concord teacher Christa McAuliffe on board.

Feb. 2, 1942: Concord’s chief air raid warden, Gladstone Jordan, has signed up 304 wardens to watch the skies over the city. Jordan says 200 more are needed.

Feb. 2, 2000: R.U. Outavit, a 49-year-old Weirs Beach poet, pleads not guilty to charges he disturbed a Penacook rally for Al Gore in January. “This was a complete fiasco,” Outavit says, insisting he was just listening to Gore’s speech when someone grabbed his hat and took off with it. In June, Outavit will be exonerated in Concord District Court.

Feb. 2. 2001: WKXL, Concord’s local radio station, is about to make dramatic changes to its programming, the Monitor reports. Party Line and Coffee Chat, two locally produced call-in and interview shows, will be off the air, replaced by a syndicated talk show hosted by New Yorker Mike Gallagher.

Feb. 2, 2003: Representatives from several parish Voice of the Faithful groups meet in Penacook to discuss plans for the creation of a statewide organization. While many individual parishes have formed their own groups in response to the church’s sexual abuse crisis, no organization has claimed to speak for Catholics across the state.

Feb. 3, 1942: The Concord school board expels 8-year-old Sylvia Esty from school for failing to say the Pledge of Allegiance. Esty, a Jehovah’s Witness, says her religion prohibits it. The board says she may return to school when she is ready to say the pledge each day.

Feb. 3, 1944: On the Senate floor, U.S. Sen. Styles Bridges rises to defend Reader’s Digest against a Democratic senator’s complaint that the magazine should not have published an article critical of the Roosevelt administration. Reader’s Digest is published in Concord and printed at the Rumford Press.

Feb. 3, 1968: In Concord, Richard Nixon opens his presidential campaign with a speech in which he says America is a country with a torn soul, a country that needs a new leader who recognizes its “crisis of the spirit” and can restore “the lift of a driving dream.” He then hosts the press for a party at the Highway Hotel. Special guests: Nixon’s 19-year-old daughter Julie and her fiancee, David Eisenhower.

Feb. 2, 1996: President Bill Clinton visits Concord’s Walker School and speaks to students at the Capitol Center for the Arts. He praises Concord schools for innovative use of computers in the classroom.

Feb. 3, 2002: With just seconds left to break the tie, Adam Vinatieri kicks a 48-yard field goal to give the Patriots their first Super Bowl victory in their 42-year history. They beat the St. Louis Rams, 20-17. Rundlett Middle School student Derek Graham, 11, will reflect the next day, “(Tom) Brady’s still my favorite player, but that Adam Vinatieri dude’s coming up. I never really cared about the kicker before, but now I guess I better.”

Feb. 3, 2003: Concord High School running phenom Rachel Umberger accepts a full scholarship offer to Duke University, according to running coach Barbara Higgins.

Feb. 4, 1908: In Concord, the St. Paul’s School ice hockey team defeats the Harvard freshmen 9-1. Captain Hobey Baker “played a wonderful game,” scoring three goals, the Monitor reports. Baker will later become a college hockey star, and the trophy awarded to the nation’s best male collegiate player each year will one day bear his name.

Feb. 4, 1932: Skating on an outside rink in a preliminary match at the Olympic Games in Lake Placid, N.Y., Douglas Everett of Concord scores the U.S. goal in a 1-1 tie with Canada.

Feb. 4, 1965: Workers pour a concrete floor for the John F. Kennedy Apartments for the elderly on South Main Street in Concord. The 10-story building is expected to cost $1.4 million.

Feb. 4, 1971: The low temperature in Concord is 22 below zero. The day before it was 27 below, and two days before that it was 26 below.

Feb. 4, 1991: In the middle of a three-day heat wave, Concord residents enjoy a high temperature of 61 degrees. It was 59 the day before and will be again tomorrow.

Feb. 4, 2000: Thousands of students got into the act of voting through the Kids Voting New Hampshire program, the Monitor reports. In Concord, 1,589 kids voted alongside their parents and, like their elders, chose John McCain and Al Gore as their favorite candidates.

Author: Insider Staff

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