This Week in Concord History

April 30, 1697: In Penacook along the Merrimack River, Hannah Dustin and two other captives turn on the Indians who kidnapped them and killed Dustin’s newborn child in March. They catch all the Indians asleep, kill 10 of them and return home to Haverhill, Mass. For the 10 scalps they bring with them, they collect a bounty of 50 pounds.

April 30, 1963: New Hampshire establishes the nation’s first modern state-run lottery.

April 30, 1965: Gov. John King cuts the ribbon at the grand opening of the New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord. Tuition for state residents will be $300 a year. Out-of-staters will pay $800.

April 30, 2000: Tito Santana and other professional wrestlers perform at Bishop Brady High School in a charity event in memory of slain Epsom police officer Jeremy Charron. The proceeds go to a new scholarship fund, and Concord Mayor Bill Veroneau presents the Charron family with a plaque proclaiming the day Jeremy Charron Day.

April 30, 2001: Warren Doane coaches his final baseball game. Concord High’s coach since 1973, Doane has been diagnosed with cancer.

April 30, 2003: After six months of haggling, the city reaches a tentative deal to buy the former Penacook tannery. The city plans to pay Dana Willis $143,000 for the condemned, contaminated tannery and 2.5 acres of land. The deal means the end of 15 years of uncertainty for Penacook residents.

May 1, 1891: By custom, Concord’s May Horn ushers in a day of celebrating the final escape from winter. The horn is peculiar to Concord. “The ‘oldest inhabitant’ cannot recall a first day of May in his boyhood when the din of the horn did not reverberate in some wee hour,” the Monitor reports.

May 1, 1925: The Granite Monthly magazine reports approvingly that Concord, Hillsboro, Goffstown, Peterborough and Milford are all planning new high schools. “If we are to believe what some people say, that the young folks of today are headed nowhere in particular and in a hurry to get there, we are at least glad to know they are to be educated on the way.”

May 1, 2000: U.S. Sen. Bob Smith comes to Concord to endorse former senator Gordon Humphrey’s campaign for governor. Smith replaced Humphrey in the Senate in 1991.

May 1, 2003: A Merrimack County judge sentences Mark Haskins, 33, and Edward MacDonald, 46, to prison for killing Rose Yeaton almost five years ago. The house-bound 91-year-old was brutally beaten to death in her Fisherville Road home. Judge Edward Fitzgerald gives Haskins 40 years to life and MacDonald 20 years to life.

May 2, 1939: The news in New York and around the world of baseball is that Lou Gehrig, after playing 2,130 consecutive games for the Yankees, has sat one out. Without Gehrig, the Yankees clobber Detroit 22-2. In a nine-run seventh inning, Yankees third baseman Red Rolfe, the Pride of Penacook, hits two doubles and drives in three runs.

May 2, 1966: Former vice president Richard Nixon lands at Concord Airport for a speech at the Highway Hotel. Of the situation in Vietnam, he says: “We cannot tolerate the administration’s apparent resignation to a five to 10-year war in South Vietnam because this will eventually mean an American defeat.”

May 2, 1977: Two hundred seventy-seven of the 1,414 anti-nuclear demonstrators arrested at Seabrook on April 30 are moved to the armory on Concord Heights.

May 2, 2001: The temperature in Concord hits 91 degrees, the hottest it’s been on this date since 1930. Meanwhile, in Laconia, Lake Winnipesaukee’s ice-out is finally declared – 10 days shy of the record for the latest ice-out.

May 2, 2003: The state Supreme Court upholds the conviction of Joseph Whittey, meaning that the 42-year-old who strangled Yvonne Fine of Concord 22 years ago will spend the rest of his life in prison. Whittey had asked the Supreme Court for a new trial, arguing that the DNA technology used to convict him of first-degree murder had not been sufficiently tested. In addition, he said that the trial judge should have removed herself from the case because she had been a prosecutor in the attorney general’s office during the 19-year investigation.

May 3, 1943: Because of rampant juvenile delinquency, Concord churches ask the city to impose a 9 p.m. curfew on teenagers. Police Chief Arthur McIsaac says he’ll consider the request.

May 3, 1967: Concord High School bars the press from covering Alabama Gov. George Wallace’s appearance at the school. Referring to a recent incident in which he was prohibited from speaking at Yale University, Wallace says: “I am glad they are barred – and not me – this time.” After the CHS speech, Wallace heads for Dartmouth, where screaming, jeering students force him from the speaker’s platform and surround his car after he has left. They pound the car with their fists for 10 minutes amid signs that read “Wallace is a racist.”

May 4, 1848: Robert Hall is crushed to death in the water wheel gearing of the match shop of Jeremiah Fowler in Penacook.

May 4, 1943: The Concord police say they have solved hundreds of thefts with the arrest of 16 high school and junior high school boys. For the most part, the crimes involve objects taken from cars and houses. The boys range in age from 13 to 16.

May 4, 1944: Fire kills 2,000 chickens at Harold Ford’s farm on Loudon Road.

May 5, 1919: New Hampshire House Speaker Charles Tobey informs a federal agent in Concord that he has received a letter from one Sidney Downing of Lincoln protesting the state’ new anti-sedition law. Although the agent’s investigation will disclose that Downing is a contrary man who always takes the opposite side in political debates, a report filed with the federal government designates Downing a “Bolshevist sympathizer.”

May 5, 1944: An epidemic of German measles in Concord has driven the absentee list at city schools above 100.

May 5, 1945: Maj. Gen. Edward H. Brooks, a Concord native, accepts the battlefield surrender of the German 19th Army. Brooks is commander of the Sixth Corps.

May 6, 1799: Blazing Star Lodge No. 11, Free and Accepted Masons, is “consecrated in ample form” at Union Hall in Ben Gale’s inn. It is the first of innumerable fraternal organizations in Concord.

May 6, 1848: Colonel Dudley “Dud” Palmer, a leader of Concord’s temperance movement, puts forth a resolution requiring the town’s selectmen to enforce the laws against the sale of intoxicating drinks. It passes unanimously.

May 6, 1933: Concord’s trolley system, begun in 1881, shuts down.

May 6, 1990: Renowned portrait photographer Lotte Jacobi dies in Concord. A native of Germany who lived in Deering for 30 years, Jacobi photographed Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, Robert Frost, Marc Chagall, Eleanor Roosevelt and many other giants of the 20th century.

May 6, 2000: Concord Skatepark officially opens behind Everett Arena, and about 100 skaters immediately begin sliding, ramping and jumping to their hearts’ content. “A lot of kids go here, so I can learn all the moves,” says Josh Meekins, a middle schooler who plans many returns. “I never could do that before.”

May 6, 2002: The cities of Concord, Laconia and Somersworth are chosen to become New Hampshire Main Street Communities, and will have the support of the national program to help organize, promote, design and economically restructure their downtowns. Concords goals include bringing more housing downtown, redeveloping the Sears block and keeping stores open later. The Laconia group wants to provide better access to the Winnipesaukee River, fill vacant factory buildings and reverse the effects of the 1970s “urban renewal,” which closed off parts of downtown.

Author: Insider Staff

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