This Week in Concord History

July 9, 1964:Monitor columnist Leon Anderson takes U.S. Rep. Louis Wyman to task for calling the country’s new civil rights law “a bucket of worms.” He writes: “Most of us do not mind Wyman being in disagreement with some of our thinking, at times. But we also have standards of conduct, especially in public life, which have no place for such foul language. If Wyman kicks the bucket in his second-term bid, we dare suggest his ill-phrased ‘bucket of worms’ will have been the final straw.”

July 9, 1992: Bob Tewksbury of Concord is named to the National League All-Star team.

July 9, 2000: The new owner of the May King restaurant on Concord’s Loudon Road plans a total makeover, the Monitor reports. The renovated restaurant, to be called Ginger Garden, will offer Chinese and Japanese cuisine, including the capital city’s first sushi bar.

July 9, 2003: Summer school begins at the State House, as lawmakers try to write a budget that can pass into law. The session comes after Gov. Craig Benson stamped a big red VETO on the Legislature’s $2.6 billion budget and succeeded in blocking an override.

July 10, 1879: John B. Buzzell is hanged at the state prison. Buzzell broke off his engagement with a young woman. She sued him for breach of promise, and he hired a young man to kill her. The young man fired a pistol through her window, blowing her head off. Buzzell was acquitted of murder. Later, when the hired gun turned state’s evidence to save his own hide, Buzzell was convicted as an accessory to murder and sentenced to die. As he awaited the noose, his case was used by legislative proponents of a measure to abolish the death penalty in New Hampshire. The measure failed.

July 10, 1927: A U.S. Army flying school opens at Concord airport with the arrival of the first class of 20 pilots in training. With the opening of the school, the Monitor reports, Concord becomes the air defense site for “all that territory in a triangle running from Concord to the fishing port of Gloucester and its splendid harbor, west to the more important commercial harbor at Portland and back to Concord.”

July 10, 2000: Concord’s city council approves a deal to split the cost of a connector road between Clinton and Pleasant streets with St. Paul’s School and Concord Hospital.

July 10, 2003: Former Vermont governor Howard Dean gives the hard sell to a huge gathering in Concord, holding up his recent fundraising success – and the unexpectedly large crowd – as proof that his insurgent presidential candidacy is no more liberal than mainstream America. “That’s how you beat George W. Bush,” he says, referring to the fact that half of the 60,000 contributors to his campaign had never given money to a political candidate before.

July 11, 1824: Dr. Asa McFarland, Concord’s Congregationalist minister, writes to the town requesting that the contract obliging the town to pay him as a town officer be terminated. At their 1825 town meeting, Concord voters will honor this request. From this time forward, according to an 1850 town report, “no money has ever been raised by the town, in the capacity of a parish, or for the support of preaching.”

July 11, 1973: The Concord City Council agrees to spend $1.6 million on a new police station and district court and extensive city hall renovations on Green Street.

July 11, 2000: Like their counterparts around the country, local booksellers say they’ve sold all their copies of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. In Concord alone, more than 1,000 copies were bought on the day of the book’s release.

July 11, 2003: Concord officials announce the disappearance of Sarah Gehring, 14, and Philip Gehring, 11, in a hastily called press conference. Six days after the brother and sister left the Concord fireworks display following a public argument with their father, the police arrested the father, Manuel A. Gehring, on child custody charges in California.

July 12, 1854: On a tip, the Concord police raid a Pearl Street paint shop and break up a gambling den. Six men and boys are arrested and fined $5.

July 12, 1927: Mayor Fred Marden says he has received a telegram informing him that Col. Charles A. Lindbergh will soon fly to Concord in the Spirit of St. Louis.

July 12, 1965: City officials approve construction of a new firehouse for Concord Heights.

July 12, 1976: Twenty-eight Taiwanese athletes, who have been refused permission to enter Canada for the Olympics because of their refusal not to compete under the name Republic of China, meet in Concord with their biggest local supporter: Gov. Mel Thomson.

July 12, 2002: Rents in Concord continue to rise, the Monitor reports. But compared with points south, the city remains a relative bargain.

July 12, 2003: Concord has a tentative plan to fill the site of the former Sears building with offices, retail stores, a restaurant, luxury condominiums, an independent movie theater, a supper club and a parking garage, the Monitor reports. The city council still has to approve the project, but, if things go as planned, developer Michael Simchik will buy the parcel for $1 and spend $10.9 million to build a six-story, 75,000-square-foot building. Concord will spend about $5.4 million to erect a parking garage with at least 330 spaces.

July 13, 1987: Consultants urge the Concord City Council to widen Fisherville Road to four lanes to ease traffic. “Some of the improvement we are recommending should be done as soon as possible,” the consultants say. Stay tuned.

July 13, 2003: Authorities continue their search for Sarah and Philip Gehring of Concord in the Midwest. The 14- and 11-year-old were last seen with their father, 44-year-old Manuel A. Gehring of Concord, at the Memorial Field fireworks on July 4. FBI agents and local authorities scour highways and open land for the bodies of the two missing children by air and by ground, but do not find them.

July 13, 1860: The grounds of the city’s new cemetery on Blossom Hill are consecrated. The site is a favorite picnic and party spot, but with population having grown from 4,903 in 1840 to 10,896 in 1860, the city is running out of cemetery space. It buys the 30 acres for $4,500.

July 13, 1987: The New York Yankees trade pitcher Bob Tewksbury of Concord and two other players to the Chicago Cubs for pitcher Steve Trout.

July 14, 2002: A fire destroys a Maple Street home in Concord. Nobody is hurt.

July 15, 1822: The hail that falls in Concord today is “of a sufficient size to break glass and cut down the corn,” according to a local history.

July 15, 1832: Six convicts escape from the state prison in Concord by splitting a stone in the roofing of their cell and letting themselves down the wall by their blankets. Four are captured in Hopkinton, one in Grantham. One is never found.

July 15, 1863: Aware that draft riots have occurred in New York and Boston, the city of Concord appropriates $1,460 to buy 100 revolvers and ammunition for self-defense. It also authorizes Mayor Benjamin F. Gale to appoint 100 special police officers. No draft riots will occur in Concord.

July 15, 1965: A 50-foot section of the second story of Concord’s new federal building at Pleasant and South streets collapses under the weight of freshly poured concrete. No one is hurt.

July 15, 2000: Concord’s Bob Mielcarz wins his ninth State Amateur Golf Championship, the most anyone has ever won.

Author: Insider Staff

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