This Week in Concord History

April 9, 1975: State representatives from Concord say they have mixed feelings about a plan by Gov. Mel Thomson to convert the Pleasant View home into a treatment center for the criminally insane. (It won’t happen.)

April 9, 1991: After two consecutive days when the temperature reached 85 degrees, Concord settles for a high of 77. It’s apparently a big year for hot streaks: The city enjoyed another historic heat wave at the beginning of February.

April 9, 2000: A party at Rundlett Middle School brings together longtime Concord-area residents with immigrants and refugees who are more recent arrivals. The event is part of a broader effort that educational, social service and business organizations hope will eventually lead to the creation of a multicultural center.

April 9, 2003: In a rally at the State House, state employees and several hundred supporters attack Gov. Craig Benson’s proposed state cuts, rallying against a plan that would freeze wages and send their health care costs soaring.

April 10, 1829: While addressing a Merrimack County jury in Concord, the spellbinding lawyer Ezekiel Webster, brother of Daniel, drops dead. “He had spoken nearly a half hour, in full and unaltering voice, when the hand of death arrested his earthly course,” writes Judge Charles Corning.

April 10, 1991: The Concord planning board rejects a plan by developer Barry Stem to build a hotel and conference center on Broken Ground. It is just one segment of his development project, which also includes an 18-hole golf course and nearly 500 luxury homes. None of it will ever be built.

April 10, 2001: The police arrest a Penacook man and charge him with arson and burglary in connection with recent vandalism at the United Church of Penacook.

April 11, 1793: A tragedy called The Revenge plays at the Town House, on the current site of the Merrimack County Superior Courthouse. It is the first play to be staged in Concord. The city’s Mirrour calling it “a virtuous, sentimental and rational amusement to the respectable inhabitants of the town.”

April 11, 1984: Fire ravages the 125-year-old St. Paul’s church in Concord, leaving only the walls, bell tower and half the roof intact. Firefighters have to smash a century-old stained glass window to ventilate the building and the floor beneath the altar collapses.

April 11, 1986: Chosen by the New York Yankees five years earlier as a 19th-round draft pick, Bob Tewksbury of Concord makes his first major league start at Yankee Stadium. He defeats the Milwaukee Brewers 3-2.

April 11, 2003: The New Hampshire Supreme Court upholds a 2001 Concord Planning Board decision that told the Richmond Co. it couldn’t build a shopping center in the old railroad yards near the South End marsh. The decision rewards the South End residents who have spent nearly three years fighting the project and reinforces the authority of planning boards.

April 12, 1827: On Fast Day, the Rev. Nathaniel Bouton, 27, delivers the first temperance sermon in Concord. Bouton’s words at the Old North Church ignite local participation in a social movement that will last more than a century. Bouton asserts in his sermon that he has investigated and found that “the use of ardent spirits in Concord” is “universal.” He claims that the 1,400 men in Concord consumed nearly 14,000 gallons of liquor in 1825. The Concord Temperance Society will be formed three years later. By 1843, nearly half of the city’s adult residents will have signed a prohibition pledge.

April 12, 1861: On a gray, drizzly morning in Concord, the telegraph at the Eagle Hotel brings news of the attack on Fort Sumter.

April 12, 1917: Six days after the United States declares war on the Axis powers, the Legislature passes a law prohibiting walkouts, strikes and lockouts in New Hampshire industries that produce war materiel. A state Committee of Public Safety is established to report any union or other radical activity to federal agents based in Concord.

April 12, 1973: The Monitor reports on plans to raze the mansion built by Gov. Isaac Hill on South Main Street in the 1830s.

April 13, 2003: A fire breaks out in an apartment building off East Side Drive in Concord, attracting the attention of Kyle Bissonnette, 12, Matthew Peters, 12, and Nate Bell, 10. Seeing flames shooting from a downstairs window in the Regency Estates apartment building, the three pull their bikes over and flag down a passerby, who calls the police. Kyle and Matthew head into the building and start knocking on doors, making sure everyone is out and rousing residents who don’t hear the smoke alarms. Nate waits outside to make sure his friends come out okay. One apartment is destroyed in the blaze. Nobody is injured.

April 14, 1993: The Concord Fire Department, generally in the business of extinguishing fires, starts one: Environmentalists hope a controlled burn on 10 acres of grass at the Concord airport will improve conditions for the endangered Karner Blue butterfly.

April 14, 2003: Concord High School’s boys’ and girls’ tennis teams both win their season openers. The girls easily down Spaulding, 8-1. The boys have just as easy a time, beating the Red Raiders, 9-0.

April 15, 1861: Three days after the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, the first call for troops reaches Concord by telegraph from Washington, D.C., at 8 a.m. Friends rush across to the Phenix Hotel to awaken Edward E. Sturtevant, a popular police officer and former printer. Sturtevant rushes to the State House and, fulfilling his fondest wish, becomes New Hampshire’s first Civil War volunteer.

April 15, 1865: At 2 a.m., the telegraph at the Eagle Hotel brings news that President Abraham Lincoln has been shot. At 7:22 a.m., Lincoln dies in Washington. Word spreads quickly in Concord, and crowds gather in the streets. At 9 p.m. many drift to former president Franklin Pierce’s mansard-roofed home on Main Street near Thorndike Street. A lantern illuminating his face, Pierce expresses his “profound sorrow and regret,” telling the crowd: “My best wishes to you all and for what we ought to hold most dear – our country – our whole country.”

Author: Insider Staff

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