This week in Concord history

March 26, 2003: Roland Allen of Penacook dies at the age of 82. For more than 60 years, Allen involved himself in nearly every aspect of Penacook life. From running the Penacook Fibre Co. to founding the village community center to serving on the local school board, he seemed to have been everywhere in town at once. In his spare time, he was a prolific songwriter, an amateur inventor and (gasp!) a devoted Yankees fan.


March 26, 2002: A new study shows that the combined willpower of town meeting voters across New Hampshire raised more money for conservation this year than any other public or private program, conservation group or fund-raising campaign, the Monitor reports.


March 26, 1969: The Legislature votes to cut five days off the sentences of prisoners who donate a pint of blood to the American Red Cross.


March 26, 1948: Steven Tallarico is born. In Sunapee in the late 1960s he will form his first serious band, The Strangeurs. In 1970 he’ll team up with bassist Tom Hamilton, who went to high school in New London, and guitarist Joe Perry, who once worked at a restaurant in Sunapee. The new band is called Aerosmith, and Tallarico will change his name to Tyler. The rest is rock history.


March 26, 1853: Concord elects its first mayor, Joseph Low, a grand-looking man with a gold-headed cane. Before this date, the city was a town, run by selectmen.


March 26, 1947: State Sen. Arthur Bean asks the Legislature to allow Concord and Bow to create a man-made lake on the Turkey River, to be called Concord Lake. The lake would be used for recreation and as a backup city water supply. It would be the state’s 10th largest, after Winnipesaukee, Squam, Winnisquam, Newfound, Ossipee, Wentworth, First Connecticut and Massabesic. The Legislature will approve the plan, but city voters will ultimately turn it down.


March 27, 2002: The Capitol Center for the Arts lifted the curtain this month on an ambitious $3 million capital campaign to give the city a sleeker, more functional and attractive focal point, the Monitor reports. If successful, supporters say the project will cement the center’s future as the premier cultural arts venue in northern New England.


March 27, 1998: Is it summer already? Concord residents enjoy a high temperature of 76 degrees.


March 27, 1997: The New Hampshire House votes overwhelmingly to support the policy objective of Gov. Jeanne Shaheen’s $50 million plan to expand public kindergarten. The proposal heads now to the Finance Committee, which will debate how to pay for the plan.


March 28, 2002: A four-alarm fire destroys a 100-year-old farmhouse in Northwood. A teenage boy is the only one home at the time, and he escapes with minor injuries. Investigators blame a toaster oven, left on but unattended.


March 28, 1921: Winter is barely over, but ice-out is declared on Lake Winnipesaukee.


March 28, 1975: Responding to Rep. Eugene Daniell’s attack on him from the floor of the House the previous day, Union Leader publisher William Loeb says: “I dare Rep. Daniell to make those remarks in a place where he is not protected by legislative privilege.” Daniell’s answer: “He calls me ‘stinky’ and ‘skunky,’ and I said if he’d like to have a nickname, then I’d address him as ‘yellowbelly.’ ”


March 28, 1919: Gov. John Bartlett signs a law prohibiting the teaching, advocacy or practice of Bolshevik ideas in New Hampshire. Bartlett issues a statement warning “Bolsheviki” that he has ordered law enforcement “to rake the state with a fine-tooth comb to find evidence of their work. . . . No cost will be spared to suppress the social viper.”


March 29, 2003: Parents whose children attend Concord’s Dewey School are disappointed with the proposal to move the school’s first graders to Kimball school, the Monitor reports. “Dewey has an outstanding school culture,” said Mary Carter, whose daughter already went through the school and whose two younger children will head there in the next few years. “From my experience, schools are mysterious places in terms of what makes them exceptional, what makes them places that sit in children’s minds as golden places.”


March 29, 2000: Concluding their investigation into whether state Supreme Court Justice Stephen Thayer committed bank fraud on loan applications, federal prosecutors announce he did nothing wrong. In two days, Thayer will resign from the court.


March 29, 1945: The Monitor reports that Sgt. Walter Carlson, missing in action since Dec. 21, is now known to be a POW in Germany. Carlson, a Concord police sergeant before the war, will remain in a prison camp for 71 days before being liberated. After the war, he will be Concord’s longtime police chief.


March 29, 1945: Local grocers break the bad news even to customers who put in their orders early: Because of wartime shortages, there will be no hams for Easter this year.


March 29, 1909: George Foster, a real estate man and investor, takes over the Abbot and Downing Co., once again saving it from collapse. Foster will bail out just over two years later, and yet another new owner will try his hand.


March 29, 1936: John Durkin is born. He will work for two years as a lawyer in the New Hampshire attorney general’s office, serve as insurance commissioner from 1968 to 1973 and be elected to the U.S. Senate for one term in 1974.


March 30, 2003: Seven hours and a world away from Concord, about two dozen central New Hampshire reservists are training at Fort Drum, N.Y., for war in Iraq, the Monitor reports. “I love doing the work and wearing the uniform,” said Spc. Patrick Powers of Merrimack, 21. “To me, it’s a symbol of everyone who came before us.”


March 30, 1965: The New Hampshire Education Association makes a pitch for a standard minimum teachers salary of $5,000 per year. More than 40 percent of the state’s public school teachers currently make less. Legislative leaders from both parties say they’re wary of interfering with local control.


March 30, 1964: The state agrees to buy the summit of Mount Washington from Dartmouth College. The cost: $150,000. The state gets 50 acres, the Summit House, the old Tip Top House and building housing the Mount Washington Observatory.


March 31, 2003: Angry Catholics intent on forcing the resignations of Bishop John McCormack and Auxiliary Bishop Francis Christian say they will use parish visits and a website of damning evidence to pursue both men more aggressively than anyone here has before. “Someone who fails to protect children as egregiously as they did deserves to lose their job,” says Anne Coughlin of Concord, a founder of New Hampshire Catholics for Moral Leadership. “We will not relent until we’ve reached that goal.”


March 31, 1968: Nineteen days after Sen. Eugene McCarthy captured 42 percent of the Democratic vote in the New Hampshire primary, President Lyndon B Johnson tells a national television audience: “I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president.”


March 31, 1731: Four years after Concord’s settlement begins, townspeople appropriate 10 pounds “for the instruction of the children in reading, etc.” The first teacher is Hannah Abbot, 30. The following year, the town will order the selectmen to “find books for the use of the inhabitants . . . on the town’s cost.”


March 31, 1791: David George, a Concord tailor, advertises his new prices: $3 for a genteel suit of superfine broadcloth; $2 for an ordinary suit of coarse cloth.


March 31, 1800: Concord residents vote “to accept a bell if one can be obtained by subscription, and cause the same to be rung at such times as the town may think proper.”

Author: Insider Staff

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