This week in history

Feb. 11, 2000: A Massachusetts development company is considering building a large shopping center anchored by a supermarket on land in the South End, the Monitor reports. Working through a local real estate agent, the company has approached at least 10 different property owners in a triangular-shaped area between Hall and South Main streets near Exit 13 off Interstate 93.

Feb. 11, 1941: President Franklin D. Roosevelt appoints John G. Winant of Concord to succeed Joseph Kennedy as U.S. ambassador to Great Britain. Winant, a Republican, is a former governor and served earlier in FDR’s presidency as the first administrator of the Social Security Administration.

Feb. 11, 1965: The New Hampshire Senate agrees to reapportion its 24 seats, basing districts on population rather than wealth, as a 1964 U.S. Supreme Court ruling demands. The result: more seats for Democrats.

Feb. 11, 1988: Peppered by UNH students with questions over his opposition to campaign finance reform and to economic sanctions against South Africa, presidential candidate Bob Dole fires back. “Aren’t there any conservative students here?” he says. “There’s got to be one or two. I want to see the future taxpayers.” The students boo.

Feb. 12, 2002: Andover’s Kris Freeman skis into 22nd in the men’s 15-kilometer race at the Olympic games in Salt Lake City.

Feb. 12, 1967: The weather observatory atop Mount Washington simultaneously records a temperature of minus-41 degrees Fahrenheit and a wind of 110 miles per hour. The chill factor is off the charts.

Feb. 13, 1847: Thomas “Old Soldier” Haines dies at 87. A Concord man, Haines volunteered in the Patriot cause at the age of 19. He was slightly wounded at Fort Ticonderoga in 1777 and had worse luck near Saratoga. He was shot and lay two days among the dead before being rescued. The ball had passed through both cheeks, nearly severing his tongue. The Bouton history of Concord reported: “His face bore the mutilation till his death.”

Feb. 13, 1788: New Hampshire delegates convene to consider the proposed U.S. Constitution. About two-thirds oppose it, and only after cajoling by Dr. Josiah Bartlett and other supporters do the delegates agree to reconvene in Concord in four months.

Feb. 13, 1849: Fire destroys all but the blacksmith shop of the Abbot & Downing coach factory in Concord. It will be rebuilt.

Feb. 13, 1932: Wearing a knitted toque (there are no more substantial headgear), Douglas Everett skates for the United States against Canada in the Olympic ice hockey final at Lake Placid. The teams tie 2-2. Canada, undefeated in the tournament, wins the gold medal. Everett will bring a silver medal home to Concord.

Feb. 14, 2003: The Penacook tannery will receive half a million dollars from the state Land and Community Heritage Investment Program for cleanup and restoration, the program’s board of directors announces.

Feb. 14, 1916: The Boston Post publishes Carl Wilmore’s account of his trip to Franconia to interview Robert Frost, who moved there the previous spring. Frost tells Wilmore: “I hear everything I write. All poetry is to me a matter of sound. I hear my things spoken.”

Feb. 14, 1942: Although the manufacture of fireworks is banned for the duration of the war, wholesalers say they have plenty of firecrackers on hand so that New Hampshire people can celebrate the Fourth of July.

Feb. 14, 1983: Students at the Webster elementary school are delighted by a visit from Gov. John Sununu. “He has a great job. He just goes around visiting schools all over the state. I would like to do that,” says fourth-grader Sam Bailey. Jason Rockwell, asked to assess Sununu’s term in office, chooses a diplomatic response: “I liked his suit.”

Feb. 14, 1947: Judd Gregg is born. He will serve as an executive councilor, congressman and two-term governor before barely beating John Rauh in the U.S. Senate race of 1992.

Feb. 15, 2002: The Diocese of Manchester releases the names of 14 priests who have been accused of sexual misconduct with children between 1963 and 1987.

Feb. 15, 2001: The Sewalls Falls bridge is closed for repairs. One of the few crossings of the Merrimack River in Concord, the bridge has been slated for reconstruction in the past. As far back as 1993, the state said a new bridge would be in place by 1998.

Feb. 15, 2000: Conservative Republican Sen. Mary Brown of Chichester is proposing an income tax to pay for public education, the Monitor reports. Frustrated with the positions of the Democratic and Republican candidates, Brown will go on to run for governor as an independent.

Feb. 15, 1965: New Hampshire Sweepstakes Director Edward Powers travels to Maine to brag about New Hampshire’s lottery, the first in the nation. Monitor columnist Leon Anderson worries about competition. “Perhaps our best way to promote the Sweepstakes as the only gambling venture of its kind in the nation would be to tell folks in other states it is no good and let us have it all to ourselves.”

Feb. 15, 1943: As a war measure, Concord’s Mayor Charles McKee recommends that stoplights be eliminated at city intersections. Posting stop signs in their places will conserve gasoline, he says.

Feb. 16, 2003: The Concord High gymnastics team, in its first “real” season, wins the state championship, the Monitor reports. At the State Gymnastic Meet in Londonderry, the Tide puts up 141.625 points to second-place Pinkerton’s 136.675. Fifth-place Bow’s (131.950) Julia Riordan is the all-around winner.

Feb. 16, 2000: Communities with large populations are more apt to switch from traditional town meeting to ballot voting than are smaller ones, the Monitor reports. The first statewide study of Senate Bill 2, which gave towns the option to switch, finds the decision is not correlated to the local tax rate.

Feb. 16, 1943: The temperature falls to 37 below zero at 8:30 a.m., the coldest temperature ever measured in Concord. The record had been 35 below, set Jan. 8, 1878.

Feb. 17, 1874: Franklin B. Evans, killer of Josianna Lovering of Northwood, is hanged at the state prison. On his last night, Evans sold his body for $50 to a Concord doctor who planned to bring it to the Dartmouth College medical department. Evans was curious to learn if his bones would be wired together. The idea amused him. Over three years later, in a prank, students will steal his skeleton from a lecture hall and hang it on the college grounds.

Feb. 17, 1942: St. Paul’s School holds a blackout drill. A steam whistle blast announces the onset of 10 minutes of darkness for the school’s 750 students.

Feb. 17, 1900: Deep in debt, the 96-year-old Abbot & Downing coach and wagon company is taken over by creditors. Employment has dropped from 300 to 200. The families of Lewis Downing and Stephen Abbot will no longer be involved in running the company after 1901, and the new bosses will struggle to keep the enterprise afloat.

Feb. 18, 2000: New Hampshire native Laurence Craigie will be among four air and space pioneers inducted this year into the National Aviation Hall of Fame, the Monitor reports. Born in Concord, Craigie earned his Army Air Service wings in 1924 and went on to hold key positions in aircraft testing and development. He saw combat duty in World War II and retired from a NATO command in 1955 as a lieutenant general. He died in 1994.

Feb. 18, 1827: The Rev. Asa McFarland, Concord’s Congregationalist minister for 30 years, dies at the age of 58. Two portraits of McFarland exist, including one by Samuel F.B. Morse, a resident of Concord in the early 19th century.

Feb. 18, 1774: The New Hampshire Gazette reports on a meeting of the Matrons of Liberty at the house of Susanna Spindle in Portsmouth. The women question the motives of those trying to stop the importation of tea from Great Britain. Their resolution states: “That the Merchants under the pretence of guarding our Liberties, prevented the landing of the East India Company’s Tea; and at the same Time sell their own at such an extravagant Price, make it evident it is not our Interest; but their own private Gain they are pursuing.”

Feb. 18, 1988: At the short-lived Johnny Babe’s Restaurant in Eagle Square, Democrat Gary Hart tries to convince the media he really didn’t mind coming in dead last in this week’s presidential primary. “I think we’ve got to get away from the notion of win-lose all the time,” Hart tells NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw. “There are other ways to serve one’s country than just standing high in the polls or winning primaries.”

Author: Insider Staff

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