This week in history

June 11, 1776: Dr. Josiah Bartlett and William Whipple, representing New Hampshire in the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, write to the colony’s president, Meshech Weare, that a committee has been appointed to draft a declaration of independence. “As this is a Subject of the greatest importance,” they write, “we beg we may be furnish’d with the Sentiments of our Constituents as we wish to Act agreeable to them let our own be what they may.”

June 11, 1875: The widow of John A. Winslow, captain of the USS Kearsarge of Civil War fame, climbs Mount Kearsarge to select a granite boulder to adorn her husband’s grave. The people of Warner help her move the stone to the railroad station for the trip to a Boston cemetery.


June 11, 1837: Samuel Coffin Eastman is born in Concord. A great-grandson of Ebenezer Eastman, Concord’s first settler, he will become a prominent lawyer, bank president, railroad man, speaker of the New Hampshire House and school board member. In 1915, when Concord celebrates the 150th anniversary of its royal charter as a parish, he will be recognized as the city’s most prominent citizen and “president of the day.”


June 12, 2001: About 40 educators, health care workers, environmentalists and others march from Allenstown to Concord to mark the 10th anniversary of the Claremont school funding lawsuit.


June 12, 1886: The Daniel Webster statue is dedicated in front of the State House.


June 12, 1905: J.N. Marston of Dublin is the first motorist in New Hampshire to receive a speeding ticket. Shortly after the first statutes governing motor vehicle conduct are enacted, Marston is collared for “driving his machine about the streets of Keene in a somewhat reckless manner.” He is caught after overtaking and overturning a horse-drawn buggy, injuring the two occupants. The police cite him for exceeding 8 mph.


June 12, 1892: Eva Brunel is born in Worcester, Mass. She will have a career as an athletic director, but her claim to fame will be as owner and operator of Chinook Kennels in the village of Wonalancet. The kennels will train northern sledge dogs for Rear Admiral Richard Byrd’s first and second Antarctic expeditions and for cold-weather military service during World War II. At the 1932 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, Eva Seeley will be the only female sledge-dog driver.


June 12, 1800: The federal government buys its first naval yard, an island in the Piscataqua River off Portsmouth. It pays a private citizen, William Dennett Jr., $5,500 for the land. The bill of sale is filed in York County, Maine. The deed is filed in Rockingham County, N.H.


June 13, 2003: The state Supreme Court rules that the Franklin Elks Lodge discriminated against five women when it rejected them as members in 1997. The justices rule that although the lodge is a private organization, its membership is not exclusive enough to exempt it from anti-discrimination laws.


June 13, 1859: A huge fire on the southwest corner of Main and Pleasant streets in Concord consumes a bakery, several stores and the South Congregational Church. When it becomes certain that the fire will destroy the granite-and-wood Greek Revival church, the Rev. Henry Parker gives one final pull to the church bell rope, and the bell is heard above the crackle of flames.


June 13, 1954: This is Freedom Day in New Hampshire, so declared by Gov. Hugh Gregg as a day of remembrance and prayer for those who have died resisting the Communist regime in Eastern Europe.


June 13, 1767: With pomp and circumstance, John Wentworth assumes the office of royal governor in Portsmouth. As such, he will lead an agrarian and mercantile colony of 98 towns totaling 52,000 people. The population of Concord, characterized by one historian as “an outpost of radical republicanism,” is 752.


June 13, 1833: With several of his pupils, Samuel Gridley Howe, a Boston surgeon renowned for his work with the blind, demonstrates his techniques at New Hampshire’s Representatives Hall. “The books used for the blind were exhibited, and the blind read from them with considerable facility,” one observer in the large crowd will write.


June 14, 1776: New Hampshire’s General Court adopts a resolution asserting “that our Delegates at the Continental Congress . . . are hereby Instructed to join with the other Colonies in Declaring the thirteen united colonies, a free & independent state.” Four days later, Meshech Weare, the colony’s president, will forward the resolution to Josiah Bartlett and William Whipple in Philadelphia.


June 14, 1944: Speaking on the causes of juvenile delinquency, Dr. Anna Philbrook, a psychiatrist at the State Hospital, says: “Children are growing up in homes where they have no facilities for play, where parents are so deeply concerned with earning enough money to buy the food needed by the family that they cannot spare the time to guide their children to healthful recreation.”


June 14, 1962: Astronaut Alan Shepard of Derry is in Concord for the unveiling of his portrait at the State House. After a week of speeches and banquets, he says, he is glad the picture shows him in a space suit so people will know that “at least once in a while I do work.”


June 15, 2000: Concord Police Chief Bill Halacy submits his resignation, just two years after taking over the department. “The position is so totally consuming,” he says. “I’m feeling like I’m missing out on a lot of the rest of my life.”


June 15, 1983: The Legislature fails to override Gov. John Sununu’s veto of a bill establishing Earth Care Week in honor of the late governor Hugh Gallen. Sununu objects to the section of the bill stating concern for protecting New Hampshire and the planet from the destruction of nuclear war.


June 15, 1776: Three men, including Concord’s Timothy Walker Jr., write a resolution instructing Dr. Josiah Bartlett and William Whipple, New Hampshire’s delegates in Philadelphia, to join “in declaring the 13 united colonies a free and independent state.” New Hampshire will support such a declaration “with our lives and fortunes,” the resolution says.


June 16, 2000: James Hall, accused of killing his 77-year-old mother, testifies at his trial that the slaying was not planned. He says he strangled her after enduring weeks of insults until finally, “I felt as if I was collapsing inside, feeling this most intense pain. Pain I’d never felt in my life. I lunged out with my arm. I went into her neck and I pressed.”


June 16, 1833: A group of New Hampshire politicians visits the Canterbury Shaker Village. U.S. Sen. Isaac Hill introduces them to Francis Winkley, the 74-year-old Elder who was one of the signers of the covenant for the Canterbury village in 1796. An observer writes that Winkley is “a robust hearty-looking man, and appears as if Time had dealt very kindly with him.”


June 16, 1946: Brooklyn Dodger President Branch Rickey comes to Nashua to check on how the city is treating African American ballplayers Don Newcombe and Roy Campanella. He finds little cause for worry. Newcombe will pitch to a 14-4 record for the Nashua Dodgers, and Campanella will hit .291 and be named the league’s most valuable player.



June 17, 1970: Attorney General Warren Rudman tells the Concord Rotary Club that he was glad the Chicago Three – David Dellinger, Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman – were allowed to speak at UNH. “You cannot repress free speech,” he says. “You cannot repress advocacy of things you don’t agree with.”


June 17, 1840: On Concord’s Rumford Square, a five-acre field of trees between School and Center streets below Rumford Street, a speech by the Whig Sen. Daniel Webster draws a rousing crowd. The speech follows a “Log Cabin Procession” for Gen. William Henry Harrison.


June 17, 1977: The federal Environmental Protection Agency approves construction of the Seabrook nuclear power plant.

Author: Insider Staff

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