This week in Concord history

Nov. 5, 1940: Arthur Smart of Tilton wins a seat in the state Senate at 29, despite the requirement that senators be 30 years old. When a Monitor reporter discovers the discrepancy, Smart will be ousted.


Nov. 5, 1967: At the Bedford home of Sylvia Chaplain, a group of New Hampshire Democrats gathers to hear the ideas of activist Allard Lowenstein. Lowenstein’s agenda: to draft Sen. Eugene McCarthy to run for president as a peace candidate and to dump President Lyndon B. Johnson from the Democratic ticket.


Nov. 6, 1947: The Concord Monitor’s editorial writer expresses disbelief at voters’ rejection of a plan to build a man-made lake. “The Concord Lake proposal had been developed out of the soundest methods of government administration now known. Known advantages of the plan far outweighed disadvantages. In spite of all this, Concord said ‘No.’ ”


Nov. 6, 1863: After accepting an offer from presidential aide Ward Hill Lamon to assist in arrangements for President Abraham Lincoln’s address at Gettysburg, Pa., New Hampshireman Benjamin Brown French writes: “This will be a task. … If alive and well, I will be there.”


Nov. 6, 1963: In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision outlawing school prayer, New Hampshire Attorney General William Maynard declares that public officials may promote voluntary school prayer sessions before and after school hours.


Nov. 6, 1984: Gov. John Sununu wins a second term, easily beating Democrat Chris Spirou. His thoughts: “We plan no major changes. We just want to keep this a great state to live in, to raise a family and to do business in.”


Nov.7, 1919: Anti-communist raids are launched in Russian immigrant social clubs in Claremont, Manchester, Nashua, Berlin and Portsmouth.


Nov. 7, 1874: A new wrought-iron bridge is opened over the Contoocook River in Penacook. The cost is a little more than $17,000.


Nov. 7, 1984: Bob Smith is elected to Congress for the first time, beating Democrat Dudley Dudley by a wide margin. His victory – combined with Judd Gregg’s in the Second District – gives the Republican Party control of both New Hampshire congressional seats for the first time in a decade. “I’m going to remember where I came from, I tell you that,” Smith tells supporters.


Nov. 7, 1963: Nelson Rockefeller is the first to announce formally for the Republican presidential nomination in the New Hampshire primary. He makes a speech in Albany, N.Y., then flies to New Hampshire. Day 1 of the campaign sees him over his ankles in mud at a lumberyard in Milford. “If this is your idea of campaigning, I’m not so sure I want any more of it,” he tells Hugh Gregg.


Nov. 7, 1629: The Council for New England, a joint-stock company chartered by King James I, grants John Mason and Fernando Gorges a vast area between the Merrimack and Piscataqua rivers. Mason’s intention, approved by the council, is to name the tract New Hampshire after his home county in England.


Nov. 7, 1978: In election surprises, Hugh Gallen unseats three-term Gov. Meldrim Thomson Jr.


Nov. 8, 1988: U.S. Rep. Judd Gregg is elected governor.


Nov. 8, 1983: On his eighth try, Bob Schweiker is elected to the Concord School Board. Even he is surprised by the vote. “I really expected to lose,” he says.


Nov. 8, 1844: The local Columbian artillery turns out on Sand Hill in Concord to fire off a salute to the election of James K. Polk and George M. Dallas. As the cannon is being loaded, an explosion badly injures John L. Haynes, an officer in the unit. The explosion blows of Haynes’s left arm and shatters the bones in his right arm.


Nov. 8, 1988: New Hampshire voters pick George Bush over Michael Dukakis, 64-36 percent, one of the biggest margins of the 50 states.


Nov. 8, 1991: In an interview with the Monitor, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton says that as president he would support a middle class tax cut. “To correct an imbalance hardly constitutes class warfare,” he says, adding that he would pay for the cut raising taxes on the wealthy or decreasing the defense budget.


Nov. 8, 1995: To the disappointment of New Hampshire Republicans who had been trying to convince him otherwise, Gen. Colin Powell announces that he will not be a candidate for president in 1996. Also, after months of speculation, Gov. Steve Merrill endorses Bob Dole.


Nov. 9, 1973: The U.S. Supreme Court upholds New Hampshire’s 7-year residency requirement for gubernatorial candidates.


Nov. 9, 1978: After losing in his bid for a fourth term, Gov. Mel Thomson hints at a future on the national stage: “The whole country is my nut,” he says, “and I’m going to crack it.”


Nov. 9, 1904: J. Duane Squires is born in Grand Forks, N.D. Beginning in 1933, he will run the social studies department at Colby Junior College in New London for many years, becoming a prominent New Hampshire historian.


Nov. 9, 1869: Josiah L. Pike, slayer of an old couple in Hampton Falls, is hanged – the first person executed in New Hampshire since colonial times. In the days leading up to his death, ministers’ wives and daughters brought him flowers, sang to him and held his hands. An observer describes Pike’s final days as “a surge of sentimental gush that scandalized the state and aroused the stinging sarcasm of Mark Twain.” Afterward, there is a change in prison management, and “murderers have not since been allowed ovations there.”


Nov. 9, 1920: George Freese of Pittsfield is born. He will be a longtime state senator and state representative, president of Globe Manufacturing Co. in Pittsfield and a member of the Pittsfield School Board.


Nov. 10, 1777: Loudon townspeople vote to build a meeting house “the same bigness as the Epsom house.”


Nov. 10, 1854: Concord’s Unitarian Church is destroyed by fire.


Nov. 10, 1887: Robert O. Blood is born in Enfield. He will be a World War I hero, physician, dairy farmer and, throughout World War II, governor of New Hampshire.


Nov. 10, 1995: The refurbished Capitol Center for the Arts reopens on South Main Street. The opening show features folkies John Sebastian, Jonathan Edwards, Janis Ian and New Hampshire’s own Tom Rush.


Nov. 11, 1769: Gov. John Wentworth marries Frances Deering Atkinson. Eventually, New Hampshire towns will be named in her honor: Deering and Francestown.


Nov. 11, 1965: The Douglas N. Everett Arena opens in Concord.


Nov. 11, 1874: Meeting in Concord’s Eagle Hall, a crowd of 100 women form the New Hampshire Women’s Temperance League. The first president is Mrs. Nathaniel White of Concord.


Nov. 11, 1918: The Armistice ends the World War. Most New Hampshire draftees have served in the Yankee Division, trained at Fort Devens, Mass. New Hampshire battle deaths in the war totaled 697. As part of the war effort on the home front, Daylight Saving Time was introduced during 1918 to save coal, and the state promoted meatless and heatless days to conserve food and fuel.


Nov. 11, 1975: Gov. Mel Thomson makes a surprise visit to the state prison to sample the food after the prisoners stage a hunger strike over the quality of prison chow and other issues. His judgment: “We don’t have anything better than this at the Bridges House.” His wife, Gale, insists she’s not insulted.


Nov. 11, 1909: The last major branch of Concord’s trolley system opens. The 1.55-mile route will be known as the Sunset Loop. It runs up Centre Street from Main to Washington, then White, then on to Franklin Street and back to Main. The city’s trolleys are serving 1.2 million passengers a year.

Author: Insider Staff

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