This Week in Concord History

Aug. 13, 1852: The tallest flagpole in New Hampshire history is erected in the State House yard, put up to celebrate Franklin Pierce’s nomination by the Democrats to be president. It is 143 feet tall, higher than the State House dome. First flown is an emblem with pictures of Pierce and Sen. Rufus de Vane King of Alabama, his running mate.

Aug. 13, 1979: At the official opening of his presidential campaign headquarters in Concord, Sen. Robert Dole of Kansas says he expects Sen. Edward Kennedy – not President Carter – to be the Democratic nominee in 1980. “I might not be able to match some of the Kennedy mystique,” he says, but a Kennedy candidacy “would put me in a good position.”

Aug. 13, 2001: City Councilor Mike Donovan, who is also the mayor pro-tem, announces he will run for mayor this fall. Donovan later wins the election in a clean sweep.

Aug. 14, 1852: Concord officials vote to build the Sewalls Falls bridge.

Aug. 14, 1864: One day before the deadline imposed by the Legislature, Concord Mayor Benjamin Gale and other citizens remove a house south of the State House to make way for the building of Capitol Street.

Aug. 14, 1945: The victory bell rings at 7:11 p.m., signaling the defeat of Japan and the end of the war. Thousands of people rush into downtown Concord to celebrate peace. One planned event is an “o so joyful Hara Kiri parade.” Children in kimonos carry parasols down Main Street, vying for $1 prizes for the best costumes. Also in the parade is an overturned canoe labeled “Jap Navy.” A man standing atop a Main Street building gaily fires a 10-gauge shotgun again and again. The police report that the throngs are well-behaved with the exception of a carload of Pittsfield boys who are caught setting off false fire alarms.

Aug. 14, 2003: 550 people attend a memorial service for Sarah and Philip Gehring at South Congregational Church in Concord.

Aug. 15, 1864: Steam whistles and cannon herald the opening of Capitol Street along the south side of the State House grounds. A month earlier, the Legislature voted that if the street was not constructed by this day, they would move the capital.

Aug. 15, 1945: The Monitor’s lead headline reads: “City At A Standstill, Thousands Greet End Of War.”

Aug. 15, 2003: Speaking at a rally at the State House plaza in Concord, local environmentalists and public health advocates condemned President Bush’s Clear Skies Initiative and called upon the state’s congressional delegation to oppose it, the Monitor reports.

Aug. 16, 1843: A severe gale accompanied by torrents of rain destroys a large elm tree in the State House yard. The tree is 20 inches in diameter at its base. The wind breaks it off 20 feet about the ground.

Aug. 16, 1982: The Concord City Council votes to maintain its ban on overnight parking. And it refuses to increase the number of exemptions allowed to individual residents. “I see it as creating a crime problem,” warns Councilor Kenneth Jordan.

Aug. 17, 1809: An immense fire near the present-day Fayette Street in Concord destroys Timothy Chandler’s clock factory, along with barns, outbuildings, a shop and a home.

Aug. 17, 1990: Pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals, Concord’s Bob Tewksbury goes seven perfect innings against the Houston Astros before finishing with a one-hitter. It is his second consecutive shutout.

Aug. 17, 2001: In a ceremony honoring the Derry astronaut, Gov. Jeanne Shaheen signs legislation designating the Alan Shepard Discovery Center, a planned addition to the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium, as the official state memorial to Shepard.

Aug. 18, 1999: The Executive Council denies a pardon hearing request from a convicted murderer who says, after 23 years in prison, he is a changed and repentant man. Gary Farrow, 43, is serving a life sentence for the 1976 murder of 19-year-old Michael Stitt of Laconia, whose body was found lying behind a state liquor store in Concord.

Aug. 18, 2003: Premium Vending wins its second straight Sunset League title, 7-6 over Craigue and Sons at Doane Diamond in Concord.

Aug. 19, 1875: Birth of H. Maitland Barnes, who will grow up to be choirmaster and organist at St. Paul’s Church in Concord. He will also start the custom of singing Christmas carols to prison inmates and hospital patients across Concord with his choir boys.

Aug. 19, 1863: With the Union armies in need of more soldiers, Concord takes part in the draft. Of 924 names placed in a turning wheel, the city’s quota of 277 is drawn. The city will pay each man a bonus of $300.

Author: Insider Staff

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