March 18, 1949: Concord native Edward H. Brooks wins promotion to lieutenant general in the U.S. Army. From a second lieutenant of cavalry during World War I through his post-World War II service in the Caribbean, Brooks has had a distinguished military career. He won the Distinguished Service Cross for heroism in World War I and the Silver Star, Bronze Star and French Croix de Guerre, among other decorations, during World War II.
March 18, 1852: George G. Fogg, Concord editor, Free Soil leader and temperance man, puts the best face on his party’s election loss to the Democrats. “The men who have carried this state by rum this year must take the responsibility for it next year,” he writes. “The wedge they have so successfully used to divide and conquer their opponents will, ere long, be found severing the joints and marrow of their organization.”
March 19, 1967: The calendar says spring is about to start, but few believe it. The low temperature in Concord falls to 16 below zero, tying the record for the coldest March day in the 20th century. This follows a reading of 13 below the day before and 10 below the day before that.
March 20, 2002: An apartment fire on Maplewood Lane in Penacook leaves dozens of residents homeless. Nobody is hurt.
March 20, 2001: With back-to-back winter storms having drained snow removal budgets around the state, Gov. Jeanne Shaheen asks President Bush to declare a federal snow emergency for New Hampshire. The cost of cleaning up from the most recent storm was estimated at $1.5 million.
March 20, 2000: The state Board of Education warns Notre Dame College it could lose its accreditation if it does not improve its teacher preparation programs. Interim President Sylvio Dupuis tells the board money is the root of many of the college’s problems but that the administration is working to get the school’s financial house in order.
March 20, 1777: Barnstead town meeting voters agree to pay 5 shillings per day for “labor on the highway.” They also vote “not to raise any money for schools.”
March 20, 1972: Mel Bolden of Loudon, chairman of the state Human Rights Commission, calls President Nixon’s proposal for a moratorium on school busing to achieve racial integration “a blatant, immoral effort to turn the hands of the civil rights clock back to pre-Civil War days.” Bolden challenges Gov. Walter Peterson “to admonish Mr. Nixon for his constant hearkening to his party’s southern strategy.”
March 20, 1779: From Exeter, the provincial capital, Dr. Josiah Bartlett writes to his fellow congressman and fellow signer of the Declaration of Independence, William Whipple, in hopes that Whipple will procure from Spain hard currency to pay the army. New Hampshire’s soldiers have been paid in paper that has depreciated, and Gen. John Stark and other state commanders have petitioned the General Court “to have the wages of our soldiers in the Continental Army made good according to contract.”
March 21, 2003: As the war accelerates in Iraq, residents throughout New Hampshire react. “I have really mixed feelings about it,” says Debbie Heckman, as she gets her hair cut at Headlines in Concord. “I support the soldiers and sailors 100 percent, but I just wish it hadn’t come to this.”
March 21, 2002: Faced with a record drought that highlights the increasingly fierce competition for New Hampshire’s water, lawmakers side with conservationists on several key measures to protect groundwater and rivers. The four water-use related bills include promoting low-flow water fixtures, clarifying the governor’s authority to declare water supply emergencies and impose restrictions, and imposing tighter standards on commercial businesses withdrawing more than 57,600 gallons of water a day from the ground.
March 21, 2001: Voters in Hill approve a $1.5 million plan to move the town offices and library into the elementary school and to turn the town office building into a school.
March 21, 2000: About three dozen Moultonboro residents turn out to give three state senators an earful regarding the statewide property tax. “It’s a cruel, unjust, unfair thing,” one man says on behalf of the group. Still, the carping could have been worse. Jeannette Johnson, wife of Sen. Carl Johnson, says, “I thought there’d be a lot more people, with all the complaining they’ve been doing.”
March 21, 1998: Gilmanton residents vote, 123-110, against teaming up with Pittsfield and Barnstead to build a high school. The result dashes the hopes of the other two towns; the votes in favor of the proposal had been 145-5 in Pittsfield and 211-2 in Barnstead.
March 21, 1820: An editorial in Concord’s New Hampshire Patriot says the Missouri compromise, while disappointing on the whole, “succeeded in rescuing from slavery a vast tract of country, which would otherwise have been expos’d to this dreadful curse.”
March 21, 1996: Concord City Manger Julia Griffin says she will resign. She will take a job as Hanover’s town manager.
March 22, 2002: Sawmill operators and forest owners elsewhere in the country are celebrating a new, 29 percent federal tariff on subsidized Canadian lumber, but New Hampshire’s timber industry meets the news with mixed emotions. Timer industry experts say the tariffs may have unintended consequences that hurt long traditions of cross-border relationships between sawmill operators and forest owners.
March 22, 2001: For the second year in a row, Pittsfield residents defeat a proposal for a full-day public kindergarten program.
March 22, 1901: The Massachusetts-New Hampshire boundary is finally settled.
March 22, 1851: Former New Hampshire governor and U.S. senator Isaac Hill dies at the age of 63. Hill was once editor of Concord’s New Hampshire Patriot and served in President Andrew Jackson’s “Kitchen Cabinet.”
March 22, 1965: The Monitor reports growing disapproval of a bill to impose a $5,000 minimum pay law for teachers. Towns would have to foot the bill and leaders say it would infringe on local control. The bill will be defeated.
March 22, 1991: After a long, tawdry, televised trial, a Rockingham County jury finds 23-year-old Pam Smart guilty of arranging the murder of her husband. Smart’s teenage lover shot Gregory Smart to death 1990. The judge sentences Pam Smart to life without parole.
March 23, 2002: Barnstead voters approve building a high school with Alton, 513-145.
March 23, 2001: Concord was New Hampshire’s fastest-growing city in the 1990s, the U.S. Census Bureau announces. The official 2000 population is listed as 40,687.
March 23, 1867: Forty-two years after becoming Concord’s Congregationalist minister, the Rev. Nathaniel Bouton resigns. During his tenure, Bouton became a trustee of Dartmouth College and, in 1856, published a history of Concord. Seven months before leaving the pulpit, he was named state historian.
March 23, 1770: Eighteen days after the Boston Massacre, a black-bordered issue of the New Hampshire Gazette depicts the victims with drawings of skulls and crossbones and coffins. A subsequent issue will feature a letter stating: “O AMERICANS! This BLOOD calls loud for VENGEANCE!”
March 23, 1799: John Prentiss publishes the first issue of the New Hampshire Weekly Sentinel in Keene. The Sentinel claims to be the fifth oldest newspaper in the country.
March 23, 1773: Loudon holds its first town meeting at the home of Abraham Batchelder.
March 23, 1825: The Rev. Nathaniel Bouton is ordained as minister of the First Congregational Society of Concord. From 1730 until now, the town of Concord appropriated money to pay the pastor and support the church. The new society will sustain itself without taxpayer support.