This Week in Concord History

May 7, 1861: The First New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry Regiment, gathered in Concord, completes its organization under Col. Mason Tappan of Bradford. Company I is the Concord company, with 34 members from the capital, including its three officers, Capt. Edward E. Sturtevant, 1st Lt. Henry W. Fuller and 2nd Lt. Enoch W. Goss.

May 7, 2000: The temperature in Concord tops out at 94 degrees, breaking by one degree a record that had stood for 64 years. The normal high for this time of year is 66 degrees.

May 7, 2001: A Concord man is sentenced to 25 to 60 years in prison for raping a 6-year-old girl with his brother while videotaping the crime.

May 8, 1900: Having made several battery-powered cars at his American Manufacturing Co. in Penacook, Adrian Hoyt secures a 10-year local tax exemption for his auto-making concern. He hopes to employ 150-250 men and make three cars a day. A few days later he will drive one of his cars through downtown Concord to show how efficiently a car can deliver the mail. The car business never takes off, but Hoyt Electric does.

May 8, 1996: Concord’s South Congregational Church votes to officially welcome lesbians and gays. The measure passes, 123-26, at the congregation’s 159th annual meeting. The church will now write acceptance of gays and lesbians into its bylaws.

May 8, 1996: Pitching for the San Diego Padres, Bob Tewksbury of Concord makes the 200th start of his major league career. He is in the midst of a streak in which he will win five of his first six starts for the Padres.

May 9, 1944: The woman who played the title role in Cover Girl, the current feature at the Capitol Theater, is living on Court Street in Concord. She is Susann Foster, a blonde who stands 5-foot-8 in high heels. Foster’s husband, Private Ralph Foster, was a flight instructor at Concord Airport but has been reassigned to the Midwest. Susann Foster stayed behind temporarily to see through her pregnancy. She is due in two weeks. The Monitor reports that Foster “doubts she’ll ever return to modeling, believing motherhood to be a far more important career.”

May 10, 1847: Residents of Concord gather to honor Franklin Pierce after he is commissioned brigadier general for the war with Mexico. The ladies of the town present Pierce with a sword. The men have purchased a fine horse for him. When the horse suddenly dies, William Walker, proprietor of the Eagle Hotel, sells the men his black horse, which is given to Pierce.

May 10, 1944: Pinched by the labor shortage, the Brezner Tannery in Penacook has put up cash prizes for the best slogan aimed at a convincing women to take jobs. The results are in. Contestants had to complete the sentence: “I shall help bring an early victory by taking a job because . . .” Taking home the $10 top prize is Margaret Fanning of Hills Avenue, whose entry read: .” . . now is the time, any job calling for help is the place, any unemployed woman is the girl, an age-old threesome guaranteed to bring speedy, satisfactory results when they are properly combined.”

May 10, 1994: In the early afternoon, a small crowd gathers at the State House Plaza, where telescopes have been set up to project onto a screen a total eclipse of the sun.

May 11, 1944: Speaking in Concord, Sen. Styles Bridges predicts that the GI Bill, providing billions for veterans’ benefits, will pass Congress before the month is out.

May 11, 2000: Concord schools Superintendent Curt Sokness announces he will serve the final year of his contract as principal of Walker School. He will fill in for the current principal, Clint Cogswell, who will be on sabbatical. Assistant Superintendent Chris Rath will take over for Sokness.

May 12, 1903: In a referendum, voters in Concord and New Hampshire’s other cities approve the licensing of liquor sales. Prohibition, honored in the breach, has been in effect since 1855, but the manufacture of spirits is permitted. The licensing referendum passes in 60 towns, but 144 others vote to stay dry. Voter turnout is 75 percent.

May 12, 1944: At their annual convention in Concord, Methodist clergymen follow the lead of Rev. J. Lester Hankins of Dover in voting 32-25 in favor of a pacifist platform. Among the tenets: opposition to the draft and the inclusion of conscientious objectors in the definition of those serving their country.

May 12, 1982: Concord City Councilor Robert Washburn calls for the resignation of City Manager Jim Smith. Smith will resign under pressure – but not until 10 years later.

 

May 12, 2003: The Concord City Council continues its green-tinged track record when it approves a plan to conserve 28 acres of land near Walker State Forest. The decision comes two weeks after a lengthy debate over whether the city should encourage housing developments or preservation projects deadlocked the council and left a group of tree-loving neighbors wondering what to do next.

May 13, 1726: A group of Massachusetts colonists with a royal land grant arrive to settle Penny Cook. They find Judge Sewall, the first white settler, living on his 500-acre tract on the east side of the Merrimack.

 

May 13, 2002: In an effort to entice its sophomores to perform better on the state’s standardized tests, Concord High School offers the incentives of bagels, apple pie and candy bars, as well as entry into a lottery for more than $1,200 in prizes and gift certificates donated by downtown merchants. “They pretty much bribed us to do well,” says Meagan Jameson, 17.

Author: Insider Staff

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