This Week in Concord History

July 2, 1976: Gov. Mel Thomson announces precautions are being taken to guard the State House and Bridges House because of reports of recent dynamite thefts from construction sites in Bow and Manchester.

July 2, 1976: Gov. Mel Thomson orders a full investigation into what happened to 1,500 pounds of chicken that never made it to a state worker picnic at New Hampshire Hospital. The birds, worth $780, were contaminated and disposed of.

July 3, 1990: Stalled for four years in his effort to build a huge housing project and luxury golf course on Concord’s Broken Ground, Vermonter Barry Stem announces plans to build a 200-room hotel and conference center and a 300,000-square-foot office park on part of the site.

July 4, 1820: The fare from Concord to Boston by stagecoach is cut to $1, the result of competition between two lines.

July 4, 1842: Hooligans set a barrel of tar on fire in the State House plaza. “The tossing of fire-balls had begun when the police of this town interfered,” according to a city history.

July 4, 1858: Congressman Mason W. Tappan reads the Declaration of Independence on the State House lawn. Solon Gould, an inflexible Concord Democrat, happens by as Tappan is reading the Declaration’s litany of complaints against King George. Thinking that the object of Tappan’s scorn is President James Buchanan, Gould proclaims the reading a “Black Republican affair” and storms off.

July 4, 1891: A crowd of 6,000 to 7,000 people gathers at the circus grounds just above Bridge Street along the Merrimack River to watch a holiday baseball game. The Concord YMCA team, a perennial power, defeats the Concord Stars, 13-12. “Fielding at times was rather loose,” the Monitor reports.

July 4, 1899: Ten thousand people attend the dedication of the Memorial Arch in front of the State House. Cut from Concord granite, it is 33 feet, 8 inches high and 53 feet wide. Though built on state land, it was paid for by the city and commemorates Concord’s war veterans.

July 5, 1874: Prominent Concord lawyer AnsonSouthard Marshall dies of a gunshot wound. The previous day, Marshall took his wife and young son for a Fourth of July picnic near Lake Penacook. The family heard target shooting by a militia company nearby. Marshall stood to call to the shooters and request that they be careful. He was immediately shot in the abdomen.

July 6, 1849: The Legislature officially gives Concord permission to become a full-fledged city. One big argument in favor of abandoning the town meeting form of government is that there is no place big enough to accommodate all the town’s voters.

July 6, 1941: With a crowd of 60,948 jamming Yankee Stadium for the dedication of a monument to Lou Gehrig, Gehrig’s former teammate and bridge partner, Red Rolfe of Penacook, hits three singles and a homer in the first game of a doubleheader sweep. Yankee center fielder Joe DiMaggio extends his hitting streak to 48 games. Rolfe is in a hot spell of his own. Over eight games, he will have 15 hits in 28 at-bats.

July 6, 2002: The State House is getting a makeover, the Monitor reports. The white portion of the octagonal structure, just below the gilded part of the dome, will be stripped and restored to the tune of $174,000.

July 7, 1853: In arguing for the passage of prohibition in New Hampshire, George G. Fogg, a Concord editor, says legislators should line up against “the manufacturers of drunkards, paupers, and criminals.” The measure fails.

July 8, 1965: Construction of a new King’s Department Store begins on Loudon Road in Concord. Plans also call for a supermarket and five smaller stores.

July 8, 1967: Monitor reporters set out in the streets of Concord to test a Harris poll’s findings that President Lyndon B. Johnson’s popularity is rising and that the Vietnam War will be a decisive factor in the 1968 presidential election. Interviews with 115 people in Concord turn up these results: 28.7 percent like Johnson more than they did in 1964, 58 percent like him less. Most of those who criticize Johnson cite his handling of the war as the main reason for their discontent.

Author: Insider Staff

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