This week in Concord history

Sept. 3, 1854: New Hampshire artist Benjamin Champney writes from North Conway to his fellow artist John F. Kensett: “We have a very pleasant congregation of artists here and they are all anxious you should be added to our number.” Champney will soon be known in Boston and New York as the leader of an art colony in North Conway and a central figure in the White Mountain School.


Sept. 3, 1914: Richard F. Upton is born in Bow. He will become a prominent Concord lawyer and speaker of the New Hampshire House. In 1949, concerned with light voter turnout in previous New Hampshire presidential primaries, he will initiate legislation to make the process more meaningful. Long before his death in 1996, he will be known as the father of the state’s first-in-the-nation primary.


Sept. 3, 1929: At a house on the DW Highway in South Hooksett, federal and state officials seize what they describe as “one of the largest and most complete liquor distilleries ever operated in this state.” The haul includes a 100-gallon copper still, 600 gallons of barley and sugar mash and almost 20 gallons of newly made moonshine.


Sept. 3, 1991: Democratic presidential candidate Paul Tsongas tells the Concord Rotary: “I basically divide the world up into Washington and the rest of us, so my view is not that difference from yours.”


Sept. 3, 1861: Thirty-one train cars carry the Third New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry Regiment out of the Concord station.


Sept. 3, 1991: Speaking to the Concord Rotary, Democratic presidential candidate Paul Tsongas remembers the real Concord rotary – the one on his way from home in Massachusetts to Dartmouth College when he was a student 30 years before. He used to hitchhike to school and back, he said, and “I spent a lot of time at the Concord rotary freezing my rear end off. Those of you who drove past me – I resent it very much.”


Sept. 4, 2003: In Laconia, Judge Larry Smukler refuses Daniel Littlefield’s plea for community service and sentences him to 2½ to 7 years in state prison for killing John Hartman in a boat crash in August 2002.


Sept. 4, 2002: Struggling for the lead in their close gubernatorial primary, Democrats Bev Hollingworth and Mark Fernald square off in their final televised debate. Each defends their plans for an income tax to pay for education.


Sept. 4, 2001: The state Supreme Court refuses to reconsider its May ruling that found the statewide education property tax flawed but constitutional. The decision snuffs the 27 property-rich “donor” towns’ hope that they would get another chance to prove their case against the tax.


Sept. 4, 1971: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that a two-year study shows New Hampshire winds are so strong that they have shaken the Old Man of the Mountain in Franconia Notch.


Sept. 4, 1775: Dr. Josiah Bartlett leaves his home in Kingston for the Continental Congress. He will arrive 11 days later and, with some breaks, serve for three years.


Sept. 4, 1980: Merrimack County legislators vote to build a new jail. The cost: $2.7 million.


Sept. 4, 1929: Two men are arrested on slot machine charges at the Bradford Fair a day after a visit from Willoughby Slattery, the county solicitor. The fair is in danger of being closed because of excessive gambling on the midway, a move the Monitor would not oppose. “The Bradford fair this year really isn’t a fair in any way, certainly not an agricultural fair,” the paper says. “There are no exhibits with the exception of a single pumpkin of huge proportions.”


Sept. 4, 1987: Kitty Dukakis campaigns in Keene on behalf of her husband Michael’s presidential campaign.


Sept. 4, 1984: Irene Gallen, widow of former Gov. Hugh Gallen, throws her support to Paul McEachern in the Democrat primary for governor. Gallen likes McEachern’s 3 percent income tax to assist schools and ease property taxes. McEachern will eventually lose to Democrat Chirs Spirou – who will lose to Republican incumbent John Sununu.


Sept. 5, 2003: Charter school advocates received another dose of good news when the Department of Education announced that the state will receive a federal grant of more than $7 million to help at least 15 charter schools get off the ground during the next three years, the Monitor reports. The money, the latest achievement in the state’s efforts to make charter schools a reality in New Hampshire, comes close behind new charter school legislation and the approval of two charter schools by the state Board of Education.


Sept. 5, 2002: In a prime-time televised debate, the three Republican candidates for governor, Craig Benson, Gordon Humphrey and Bruce Keough, hit all the themes their expensive, vigorous and often vicious campaign broached throughout the summer.


Sept. 5, 2001: Citing court-ordered education reforms they say lawmakers have neglected for years, the five property-poor communities of the Claremont Coalition open a fresh round of litigation. The group says lawmakers have all but ignored the requirements set out in the state Supreme Court’s landmark Claremont decision in 1997.


Sept. 5, 2000: Regulators endorse a deal with the state’s largest utility that propels New Hampshire closer to deregulation of the electricity market. According to the agreement, Public Service Company of New Hampshire customers will see their electric bills drop by 5 percent next month and an additional 12 percent three months after that.



Sept. 5, 1990: During an editorial board at the Monitor, U.S. Sen. Gordon Humphrey shares this assessment of a proposed state constitutional amendment to switch back from annual to biennial legislative sessions: “Legislators are busybodies. God love ‘em, but God restrain ‘em. And if God won’t restrain ‘em, make the constitution do it.”


Sept. 5, 1929: Amateur radio enthusiast Robert Byron of 15 Fayette St. in Concord talks for an hour with Robert E. Byrd’s South Pole expedition 12,000 miles away. He says the reception is remarkably clear. Two years earlier, Byrd spoke to a packed house at the City Auditorium. Byron’s radio exploits are well known in town. The year before, he was the first to inform the Germans by radio that the Bremen had reached Greenley Island in Canada, meaning that three German pilots had succeeded in making the first east-to-west transatlantic flight.


Sept. 5, 1987: The temperature falls to 34 degrees, a record low.


Sept. 5, 1865: Amy Marcy Cheney Beach is born in Henniker. She will grow up to be a prominent composer and pianist, playing concerts in the United States and Europe.


Sept. 6, 2003: The Rev. Paul Gregoire of Dover, a Catholic priest who overcame a sexual misconduct allegation to return to his parish last month breaks his silence and challenges Bishop John McCormack’s version of events by circulating his private correspondence from the Vatican. While McCormack insisted that he had privately supported Gregoire’s push to get his job back, Gregoire says he saw no evidence of that support. In speaking out, Gregoire, 74, is one of the few priests to publicly criticize McCormack’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations.


Sept. 6, 2001: The state Supreme Court warns police departments that while not required by law, it is “good policy” to advise people that they have a right to refuse to consent to a warrantless search of their person of property. The court also sharply criticizes a Chesterfield police officer who failed to follow this procedure even after he illegally detained a black college student to search him for drugs without good reason.


Sept. 6, 2000: Concord civic and business leaders tour the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel at Horseshoe Pond. The $10 million hotel and conference center “has been a gleam in so many eyes,” Concord Mayor Bill Veroneau says. “There’s no question this is going to be the highlight facility of the city.”


Sept. 6, 1842: The locomotive Amoskeag with a train of three passenger cars arrives in Concord at 6:45 p.m. The train, from Boston, is the first to come to the city’s new depot. “As the cars came in, the multitude raised cheering shout, and the cannon pealed forth its thunder to celebrate,” Bouton’s history will report. Many of the onlookers were taken for a joy-ride, to Bow.


Sept. 6, 1978: Attorney General Tom Rath says he has found no legal problems associated with an essay contest on Taiwan sponsored by Gov. Mel Thomson.


Sept 6. 1929: Pittsfield Police Chief Burt Avery closes nine concessions on the midway at the Pittsfield Agricultural Fair. The presence of “money making machines and percentage wheels” leads the chief to suspect gambling is rampant at the fair.


Sept. 6, 1881: Bristol experiences what becomes known as the “Yellow Day.” A town history reports: “For several days previous, the smell of smoke had filled the air. The sun and sky were red in the early morning. As noon approached, this changed to a yellow and everything to be seen, buildings, foliage and the sky, assumed the same shade. Lamps were necessary in dwellings and stores, cattle came to the barns as for the night and hens went to roost. In some instances, schools were dismissed. Two or three days passed before the atmosphere was a clear as usual.”


Sept. 6, 1935: In Pittsfield, where Gov. John Winant has invited her to speak, Agnes Ryan begins a two-month tour of New Hampshire preaching for the “new, sane patriotism” of pacifism and isolationism.


Sept. 7, 2003: Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry may have four months to go before the New Hampshire primary, but he knows what he would do with Iraq if he was sitting in the Oval Office tomorrow, the Monitor reports. “I’d immediately sit down with Kofi Annan, Kerry says, adding he would win back miffed European allies with a “high degree of diplomacy and lack of pride.”


Sept. 7, 2002: Bishop Brady’s Green Giants win their season-opening game against Newport, 42-7. The game marks the debut of new coach Ed DePriest.


Sept. 7, 2001: After losing the season-opener to Plymouth, the Bishop Brady football team routes Bow, 21-21.


Sept. 7, 2000: Republican vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney campaigns in New Hampshire, blaming the Clinton administration for stripping away the strength of the U.S. military. “We do not want to build a military as big as it was during the Cold War,” Cheney says, “but we do want the best military we can acquire.”


Sept. 7, 1979: William Loeb tells a national television audience the United States needs “a family man” for president. He suggests Ronald Reagan, who he says is so honest he won’t even tint his hair. Reagan’s one drawback: He’s too nice. “He doesn’t always go for the throat the way I think he should,” says Loeb.


Sept. 7, 1986: The wife of a man missing in action in Vietnam says charges that U.S. Rep. Bob Smith has exaggerated the importance of his activities on behalf of POWs and MIAs are “positively vile.” “I want the people of New Hampshire to know that the family members of POWs are 100 percent behind Bob Smith. Anyone who is not is against the return of live prisoners,” Kathryn Fanning tells a congressional committee.


Sept. 7, 1791: A constitutional convention is called to order in Concord. In 36 days in session, it will propose the creation of the Executive Council, the sizes of the bicameral legislature and a change in the name of the state’s top elected official from “president” to “governor.” Voters will approve these changes in 1792.


Sept. 7, 1929: Patrick Griffiths of 10½ Walker St. in Concord pedals to a stop in the State House plaza at 12:03 a.m. with a new endurance record for continuous bicycling. His time of 65 hours, 33 minutes breaks the record by 33 minutes. Motorists surrounding the State House plaza honk their horns in tribute to the new mark.


Sept. 8, 1774: At Portsmouth, an angry mob stones the house of Edward Parry, the tea agent, after learning that, in violation of their boycott, he has allowed the unloading of 30 chests of tea from the mast ship Fox.

Sept. 8, 1679: New Hampshire is declared a separate royal colony.


Sept. 8, 1992: Arnie Arnesen of Orford defeats Ned Helms of Concord in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. She will face former attorney general Steve Merrill in the November election.


Sept. 9, 2003: In Boston, Gary Lee Sampson, a man accused in a 2001 crime spree that left three men dead including Robert “Eli” Whitney of Penacook, pleads guilty to federal carjacking charges, avoiding a trial and moving the case to the punishment phase. Sampson will be sentenced to death.

Author: Insider Staff

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