This week in Concord history

May 6, 2003: Gov. Craig Benson appoints a 12-person task force to determine whether the Old Man of the Mountain should be reborn as a plaster of Paris, rubber or granite version of its former self. Benson says the Old Man of the Mountain Revitalization Task Force will explore what should be done to best memorialize the New Hampshire icon, which fell from its Franconia Notch perch sometime last weekend.

 

May 6, 2003: An elderly man whom California authorities called the Love Bandit is arrested in Concord after being on the run for four years. Officials says the Richard Garcia, 71, preyed on widows over the age of 65, using his dancing skills to woo his way into their bank accounts. His preferred venues, officials said, were senior dances.

 

May 6, 2000: Concord Skatepark officially opens behind Everett Arena, and about 100 skaters immediately begin sliding, ramping and jumping to their hearts’ content. “A lot of kids go here, so I can learn all the moves,” says Josh Meekins, a middle schooler who plans many returns. “I never could do that before.”

 

May 6, 1967: Speaking in Manchester, Gen. Wallace Greene Jr., the top U.S. Marine, says America is winning the Vietnam War, “and I say that without any doubt whatsoever.”

 

May 6, 1848: Colonel Dudley “Dud” Palmer, a leader of Concord’s temperance movement, puts forth a resolution requiring the town’s selectmen to enforce the laws against the sale of intoxicating drinks. It passes unanimously.

 

May 6, 1799: Blazing Star Lodge No. 11, Free and Accepted Masons, is “consecrated in ample form” at Union Hall in Ben Gale’s inn. It is the first of innumerable fraternal organizations in Concord.

 

May 6, 1933: Concord’s trolley system, begun in 1881, shuts down.

 

May 7, 1973: Maxine Kumin of Warner wins the Pulitzer Prize for poetry for Up Country. “I’m just absolutely knocked out,” she says. “I can’t believe it.” Kumin says the book “took the pulse of the times a little bit. People are turning away from urban things.”

 

May 7, 1861: The First New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry Regiment, gathered in Concord, completes its organization under Col. Mason Tappan of Bradford. Company I is the Concord company, with 34 members from the capital, including its three officers, Capt. Edward E. Sturtevant, 1st Lt. Henry W. Fuller and 2nd Lt. Enoch W. Goss.

 

May 7, 1732: John Pittman is born. He will be an early settler of Barnstead and live to the age of 101. Around his 100th birthday, a town history reports, “he procured a set of teeth, white, strong and fashionable, which was in truth a wonder in the neighborhood, and he began to look young again.”

 

May 8, 2001: More than 150 firefighters from 32 departments are called on to put out an Allenstown fire that destroys one home and its barns while scorching 10 acres of dry ground. “We need rain badly,” says Hooksett Fire Chief Michael Howard. “Until we get some, this state is a tinderbox.”

 

May 8, 2000: In an attempt to clarify comments about Cuban boy Elian Gonzalez, U.S. Sen. Bob Smith calls the compound where the boy and his father are living “a re-education camp.” Smith says if he used the term “concentration camp,” as was reported the day before, he misspoke.

 

May 8, 1996: Pitching for the San Diego Padres, Bob Tewksbury of Concord makes the 200th start of his major league career. He is in the midst of a streak in which he will win five of his first six starts for the Padres.

 

May 8, 1900: Having made several battery-powered cars at his American Manufacturing Co. in Penacook, Adrian Hoyt secures a 10-year local tax exemption for his auto-making concern. He hopes to employ 150-250 men and make three cars a day. A few days later he will drive one of his cars through downtown Concord to show how efficiently a car can deliver the mail. The car business never takes off, but Hoyt Electric does.

 

May 9, 1944: The woman who played the title role in “Cover Girl,” the current feature at the Capitol Theater, is living on Court Street in Concord. She is Susann Foster, a blonde who stands 5-foot-8 in high heels. Foster’s husband, Private Ralph Foster, was a flight instructor at Concord Airport but has been reassigned to the Midwest. Susann Foster stayed behind temporarily to see through her pregnancy. She is due in two weeks. The Monitor reports that Foster “doubts she’ll ever return to modeling, believing motherhood to be a far more important career.”

 

May 9, 1970: Attorney General Warren Rudman defends the state’s decision to allow Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and David Dellinger to speak at the University of New Hampshire and, in a press conference, lashes back at “those bloodthirsty people” who advocated arresting Hoffman, Dellinger and Rubin or imposing some kind of restraint against the three to prevent them from speaking.

 

May 10, 2003: A few hundred of the Old Man of the Mountain’s fans gather in a field in Franconia Notch State Park to celebrate the granite profile’s 10,000-year reign over the Notch, and to shed a few tears over the loss. Several people leave flowers on the shore of Profile Lake, and families and groups of friends pose for pictures below the crumbled face.

 

May 10, 2001: The Boston Globe announces it will soon stop publishing its Sunday “NH Weekly” section and close its Manchester bureau. The section debuted in 1987.

 

May 10, 1994: In the early afternoon, a small crowd gathers at the State House Plaza, where telescopes have been set up to project onto a screen a total eclipse of the sun.

 

May 10, 1847: Residents of Concord gather to honor Franklin Pierce after he is commissioned brigadier general for the war with Mexico. The ladies of the town present Pierce with a sword. The men have purchased a fine horse for him. When the horse suddenly dies, William Walker, proprietor of the Eagle Hotel, sells the men his black horse, which is given to Pierce.

 

May 10, 1944: Pinched by the labor shortage, the Brezner Tannery in Penacook has put up cash prizes for the best slogan aimed at a convincing women to take jobs. The results are in. Contestants had to complete the sentence: “I shall help bring an early victory by taking a job because . . .” Taking home the $10 top prize is Margaret Fanning of Hills Avenue, whose entry read: .” . . now is the time, any job calling for help is the place, any unemployed woman is the girl, an age-old threesome guaranteed to bring speedy, satisfactory results when they are properly combined.”

Author: Insider Staff

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