This week in history

July 9, 2002: Bishop John McCormack admitted under oath he twice dismissed mounting evidence that two priests had sexually abused children because the alleged molesters told him they’d done nothing wrong, the Monitor reports.


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, 1995: At the dedication of the restored barn of Robert Frost in Franconia, Donald Hall shares his thoughts on Frost’s poetry. He says he once believed Frost wrote 25 great poems, but the number has risen to 75. “Every time I look,” Hall says, “he’s written another good one.”


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


July 10, 2002: A Wolfeboro woman agrees to be returned to Maine, where she is charged with trying to drown her two children in the Piscataqua River.


July 10, 2001: Gunstock Ski Area reports that its revenue for the year ending in April was 30 percent higher than for the previous year. As a result, the Gilford ski area plans to return more than $100,000 to Belknap County coffers.


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, 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, 1885: An avalanche roars for two miles down the northwestern slope of Cherry Mountain. It carries away the home of Oscar Stanley at the base of the mountain and kills one of his farm hands and several head of cattle. Later, a restaurant will be built at the site to provide food for tourists viewing the devastation.


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 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 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, 1778: Sixteen towns, including Hanover and Lebanon, secede from New Hampshire and join the new state of Vermont. The agreement allowing this to occur will be rescinded in 1782.


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


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, 1974: Gov. Mel Thomson has asked several high-level state appointees to submit undated letters of resignation. Attorney General Warren Rudman says the policy would “face serious questions if taken to court.”


July 12, 1941: Roy Jenkins meets the new U.S. ambassador to Britain, John G. Winant of Concord, in the Jenkins family’s London home. Winant, a former New Hampshire governor, will later employ the young Jenkins as a researcher in the American embassy. In 2001, in his biography of Winston Churchill, Lord Jenkins will describe Winant as “Lincolnesque.”


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.


July 13, 1774: Aware that the New Hampshire Assembly, meeting against his will, is considering sending a delegation to a continental congress, royal Gov. John Wentworth writes to Lord Dartmouth: “I am apt to believe the spirit of enthusiasm, which generally prevails through the Colonies, will create an obedience that reason or religion would fail to procure.”


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 14, 2001: Gathering on tennis courts in Pittsfield, 525 people wearing Groucho Marx glasses make history – at least as it’s chronicled by the Guinness Book of World Records. The idea for the record grew out of this year’s Old Home Day theme: “Let’s Make ‘em Laugh.”


July 14, 1748: French and Indians numbering 100 attack Sergeant Thomas Taylor and his party of 16 men in Hinsdale. Four of Taylor’s party are killed, and he and eight others are taken captured.


July 14, 1860: The Portsmouth Herald reports that the schooner Nile, which set sail from the port in April bound for Newfoundland, has been lost in a storm with its crew of nine.


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, 1970: Addressing Gov. Walter Peterson, who is seeking reelection, Manchester publisher William Loeb writes on his front page that the real issue in 1970 is “whether you and other scheming politicians will control the state . . . for the benefit of yourself and your pals.”


July 15, 1605: Samuel de Champlain, a French explorer, sails into Piscataqua Bay.


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.

Author: Insider Staff

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