January 28, 1942: John G. Winant of Concord, the U.S. ambassador to England, tells a national defense luncheon in London that the United States will recruit an army of 7 million men. “Idleness has not been part of our national life,” he says. “That is not America.”
January 28, 1986: The space shuttle Challenger explodes 72 seconds after liftoff, killing all aboard, including Concord High teacher Christa McAuliffe.
January 28, 1947: Jeanne Shaheen is born. She will direct Gary Hart’s 1984 presidential campaign in New Hampshire, represent the Seacoast in the state Senate and, in 1996, be elected the state’s first woman governor.
January 28, 1979: Lawyer Carroll Jones of Concord, who heads Sen. Bob Dole’s New Hampshire GOP presidential campaign, says Dole’s last-place finish in Iowa means he will have to pull out all the stops between now and the state’s Feb. 26 primary. “Number one,” says Jones, “it would be necessary to put about $100,000 into advertising. . . . And step two, he would have to be in the state of New Hampshire 50 percent of the time between now and then.”
Jan. 30, 2002: Here’s a good reason to watch more television and eat more candy, the Monitor reports. Concord native Jeremy Ellison-Gladstone is now appearing in a Snickers ad demonstrating the dangers of going too long without chocolate.
Jan. 31, 1952: The Concord City Council debates plans for the construction of Storrs Street to relieve traffic downtown. There is no name yet for the new street, so it is referred to as Concord’s “Baby Bypass.”
Feb. 1, 1971: The New York Times reports rising concern among some New Hampshire officials that booming tourism will despoil the state’s natural beauty. About 140 developers are currently investing millions in seasonal and year-round recreational developments.
Feb. 1, 2000: Capitalizing on a groundswell of support among independent voters, John McCain trounces George W. Bush in the state’s Republican presidential primary. McCain’s victory sets the stage for a month of bitter campaigning between the two men before Bush’s network of party supporters and huge political war chest prove insurmountable. Al Gore wins the Democratic primary, effectively ending his nomination fight with challenger Bill Bradley.
Feb. 1, 1859: The Concord Railroad passenger station, including the offices of the Concord, Montreal and Northern railroads, the telegraph office and Depot hall, is destroyed by fire.
Feb. 1, 1827: Smallpox breaks out in Gilmanton. Many are vaccinated, and a “pest house” is set up to quarantine the victims.
Feb. 1, 1921: The Granite Monthly endorses several proposed constitutional amendments: allowing the Legislature to tax income, reducing the size of the House and giving women full rights to hold state office. “All of these amendments must be adopted; the first must be or an intolerable situation will be created in New Hampshire. If during the next few years, the state is forced to depend upon its present sources of revenue, either we shall have a taxation of real property that will be almost confiscation or the work of almost every state department and institution will be crippled seriously.”
Feb. 1, 1859: A fire burns Concord’s railroad station to the ground.
Feb. 2, 2003: Representatives from several parish Voice of the Faithful groups meet in Penacook to discuss plans for the creation of a statewide organization. While many individual parishes have formed their own groups in response to the church’s sexual abuse crisis, no organization has claimed to speak for Catholics across the state.
Feb. 2, 1942: Concord’s chief air raid warden, Gladstone Jordan, has signed up 304 wardens to watch the skies over the city. Jordan says 200 more are needed.
Feb. 2, 1894: Just before it is to be dry-docked for preservation as a national landmark, the Portsmouth-built USS Kearsarge, of Civil War fame, sinks in the Caribbean.
Feb. 2, 1819: Chief Justice John Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court hands down a decision allowing Dartmouth College to remain private, ending a four-year dispute with the state. Alumnus Daniel Webster argued the case, saying at one point, “It is a small college, gentlemen, but there are those who love it.”
Feb. 3, 1944: On the Senate floor, U.S. Sen. Styles Bridges rises to defend Reader’s Digest against a Democratic senator’s complaint that the magazine should not have published an article critical of the Roosevelt administration. Reader’s Digest is published in Concord and printed at the Rumford Press.
Feb. 3, 1942: The Concord school board expels 8-year-old Sylvia Esty from school for failing to say the Pledge Allegiance. Esty, a Jehovah’s Witness, says her religion prohibits it. The board says she may return to school when she is ready to say the pledge each day.
Feb. 3, 1943: The New Hampshire House considers a bill to allow women to sit on juries. All eyes are on the votes of the first couple ever to serve together in the House, Miles and Margaret Dustin of Rochester. She votes yes and he votes no – to a rousing round of applause. The bill fails 273-93.
Feb. 3, 1943: Authorities warn that the war board’s demands for white pine cannot be met without stripping the northern forest of every marketable tree now standing.
Feb. 3, 1968: Political correspondent Theodore H. White eavesdrops on Richard Nixon as the former vice president receives the public at St. Anselm College. White will write that mothers stop to “fluster” a question at Nixon. The former vice president takes their names and passes them to his wife Pat, telling her: “This lady has a boy in South Vietnam . . . This young fellow’s father is in Korea . . . We’re going to see to it that boys of 14 and 15, when they grow up, don’t have to go off to any more wars like this.”
Feb. 3, 1811: Horace Greeley is born in Amherst. He will become editor of the New York Tribune and gain fame for this phrase: “Go west, young man, go west.” A Republican to the marrow, he will be persuaded to run for president as a Democrat in 1872. Weeks after losing to incumbent Ulysses S. Grant, he will die at 61.
Feb. 3, 1952: Goaded by a telegram from William Loeb, President Truman reconsiders and says he will seek re-election. In the telegram, which appears on the Union Leader’s front page, Loeb contrasts Truman’s “chicken-like behavior” to the “fighting courage” of Estes Kefauver, the Tennessee senator who is already running in New Hampshire. Loeb tells Truman his decision not to run in New Hampshire indicates that in his “autumn years” his courage is turning “distinctly yellow.”
Feb. 4, 2003: Hundreds of layoffs are not out of the question in the budget Gov. Craig Benson will present to lawmakers, says Keith Herman, a policy adviser to the governor. While no decisions have been made, Herman says balancing the budget “could be very tough” to do without laying off people.
Feb. 4, 2002: New Hampshire officials and creditors support a plan where Fraser Papers Inc. of Stamford, Conn., would lend bankrupt Pulp and Paper of America $2 million to maintain its idle mills in northern New Hampshire. Pulp and Paper of America, which owns the mills in Berlin and Gorham, would use the loan to maintain the mills during the next two months while it tries to sell them.
Feb. 4, 2001: A 4.7-pound rainbow trout plucked from Ossipee Lake is the winning catch at the 22nd annual Great Rotary Ice Fishing Derby. The winning fisherman, a 31-year-old from Maine, takes home a new boat, motor and trailer.