This Week in Concord History

June 4, 1819: A great parade of Concord citizens, soldiers, musicians and legislators escorts new Gov. Samuel Bell, on horseback, from Boscawen to the new State House. The procession is greeted with “bells, the thunder of artillery, and the gratulations of the thousands,” the Patriot reports. “The day was remarkably fine.”

June 4, 1973: Gov. Mel Thomson establishes a box at the Concord post office where residents are asked to report criminal activities. Senate Vice President Harry Spanos is apoplectic. “What this latest effort does is to make us a state of informers, not unlike some of the totalitarian states of the past and present,” he says.

June 4, 1973: The Concord School Board votes to build a 450-pupil, $1.9 million school for grades 4-6 off Portsmouth Street. It will be known as Broken Ground School.

June 4, 2001: The Concord School Board approves a policy prohibiting students on sports teams or in clubs from attending gatherings where other students are using alcohol or drugs. If students are caught – regardless of whether they were drinking or getting high – they, along with a parent or guardian, will have to meet with a school counselor to discuss the risks associated with alcohol and drug abuse.

June 4, 2003: Philip Dick, Kevin Gil and Christopher McNeil cut holes in razor wire fences and escape from the North State Street prison in Concord.

June 5, 1845: John Parker Hale and Franklin Pierce debate slavery before an overflow crowd at the Old North Meeting House in Concord. After one antislavery speech from Hale, a veteran known as Old John Virgin blurts out: “Give it to ‘em, Jack. Drive the poor vipers into their dens, and make ‘em pull their holes in after them.” In response to a pro-Southern argument from Pierce, Hale proclaims: “I refuse to bow down and worship slavery.” The site of the debate is now Walker School.

June 5, 1989: Concord’s CAT buses roll for the first time. Rides are free for the first week. It’s the first public transportation available in Concord in 11 years.

June 5, 2001: The Concord Quarry Dogs win their home opener, 2-0. A crowd of 1,850 attends the New England Collegiate Baseball League game at Memorial Field.

June 5, 2003: Just 29 hours after they cut holes in razor wire fences to escape from the North State Street prison in Concord, Philip Dick, Kevin Gil and Christopher McNeil are caught at a campground in Plymouth, Mass.

June 6, 1861: Harriet Patience Dame, a 46-year-old Concord nurse, enlists as hospital matron of the Second New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry Regiment. She will keep the job for the duration of the war without a day’s illness or absence.

June 6, 1878: The Rev. Nathaniel Bouton dies at age 79. He was Concord’s Congregationalist minister for 40 years and the state historian for 11. In 1856, he published a history of Concord.

June 6, 1944: At 3:55 on this Tuesday morning, Captain Leo F. Blodgett of the Concord Fire Department sets off Concord’s downtown fire alarm, sounding two “eights.” This is the signal that the Allied invasion of Europe has begun. All over Concord, lights blink on as residents rise to turn on their radios. Gov. Robert O. Blood declares that this is a day for prayer and hope, not for celebration. Special church services throughout the state are widely attended.

June 6, 2001: Concord High graduate Matt Tupman hits the first home run in Concord Quarry Dogs history, a blast over the centerfield wall at Keene’s Alumni Field. The team improves its record to 3-0 for the season.

June 6, 2003: Bishop Brady High School in Concord graduates 101 seniors. Laconia High School graduates 163.

June 7, 1765: The provincial government grants Concord a royal charter. Since 1733, the town had been called Rumford, and before that, under a 1725 Massachusetts charter, Penny-Cook.

June 7, 1900: Gov. Theodore Roosevelt of New York speaks to the graduation luncheon at St. Paul’s School. The future president tells the boys: “No fooling, no shirking, and hit the line hard.”

June 7, 1965: To celebrate the city’s bicentennial, Concord leaders bury a time capsule in the State House plaza, to be reopened on June 7, 2015. Among the items inside: marble from the giant railroad station demolished in 1961 and wood from the State House dome.

June 7, 1989: Concord area religious leaders take out newspaper ads condemning three recent anti-Semitic actions: graffiti on the bike path across Turkey Pond, newsletters on cars outside two supermarkets and a swastika painted on the roof of Temple Beth Jacob.


June 7, 2000: The Concord High girls’ lacrosse team overcomes a four-goal deficit to win the state Division I championship. The 12-11 victory over Nashua ends the Purple Panthers’ 53-game in-state winning streak and two-year grip on the state title.

June 7, 2001: Warren Doane, who won two state championships in his 29 seasons of coaching Concord High baseball, dies at the age of 60. Doane, who was one of the most recognized sports figures in the city, also coached Concord’s American Legion team for 15 years and was the first general manager of the newly formed Concord Quarry Dogs.

June 8, 1798: State House chaplain Joshua Heywood is fired after two days on the job. His infraction: failure to pray for President John Adams.

June 8, 1941: Yankee third baseman Red Rolfe of Penacook hits a homer in the first game of New York’s doubleheader sweep at Cleveland. Rolfe’s teammate, Joe DiMaggio, homers twice in the first game and has two hits in the second. His hitting streak now stands at 24 games.

June 8, 2000: With $240,000 in outstanding parking fines on record, Concord is looking for ways to beef up enforcement, the Monitor reports. The most drastic proposal is a boot-and-tow ordinance that would immobilize cars whose drivers owe more than $100 or have more than five outstanding tickets.

June 8, 2001: Concord has won a $405,000 grant from the state Land and Community Heritage Investment Program, the Monitor reports. The money vastly improves the odds that a group trying to buy the orchard at Sunnycrest Farms will reach its $1.3 million fundraising goal.

June 9, 1846: The cannon on Sand Hill in Concord booms the news that John Parker Hale of Dover, an anti-slavery leader, has been elected to the U.S. Senate.

June 9, 1909: The cornerstone is laid for the New Hampshire Historical Society’s building on Park Street. It will be more than two years before the building is finished.

June 10, 1900: A Concord police officer arrests clerk Walter Davis at Fitch’s Drug Store for selling soda water on Sunday. The law allows for Sunday sales of only “bread, milk and the other necessities of life.” A judge will let Davis off, saying that soda is as necessary to life as milk and that citizens should be encouraged to drink anything other than alcoholic beverages.

June 10, 1983: A celebration marks the opening of Eagle Square. Former mayor Martin Gross delivers a poem to mark the occasion. One stanza describes the Eagle Stable, which will soon be open in the Crystal Courtyard, a mini-mall for specialty foods:

Your stable’s stalls, once equine halls,

soon hungry souls will seek.

No hay or mash but gourmet stash –

an appetite boutique.

June 10, 2001: Merrimack Valley wins the Class I softball championship with a 4-1 victory over Monadnock. It’s the school’s first softball title since 1987.

June 10, 2003: In their season opener, Concord’s Quarry Dogs eke out a 3-2 win over the Sanford Mainers at Doane Diamond.

Author: Insider Staff

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