This week in Concord history

April 8, 1864: Capt. Dana W. King of Nashua and 47 members of the 2nd New Hampshire Cavalry are captured during the disastrous battle of Sabine Cross Roads, La. They are taken to “wretched captivity in the famous ‘stockade,’ or poison pen, at Tyler, Texas,” their adjutant reports.

 

April 8, 1977: Poll results are released showing 62 percent of New Hampshire residents favor construction of the Seabrook nuclear power plant, with 22 percent opposed.

 

April 8, 1939: From the “More Things Change Department:” A Monitor headline announces “Two-Monikered Streets Cause Befuddlement.” The reporter, describing plans to rename dozens of city streets, notes calmly: “There’s no hurry about this proposition, of course. Most of the streets have gone by their names for many years and couple more won’t hurt.”

 

April 9, 1991: After two consecutive days when the temperature reached 85 degrees, Concord settles for a high of 77. It’s apparently a big year for hot streaks: The city enjoyed another historic heat wave at the beginning of February.

 

April 9, 1975: State representatives from Concord say they have mixed feelings about a plan by Gov. Mel Thomson to convert the Pleasant View home into a treatment center for the criminally insane. (It won’t happen.)

 

April 9, 1931: Gov. John Winant appoints a commission to determine what industries might be suitable for the prison. The prisoners have been working as contract laborers for a chair company, but a federal law soon to go into effect will prohibit interstate commerce in prison-made goods.

April 10, 2002: Republican gubernatorial candidate Craig Benson, after campaigning for nearly a year, announces his official candidacy with a promise to balance the next budget without raising taxes.

 

April 10, 2000: Gov. Jeanne Shaheen picks Phil Stanley, a department of corrections administrator in Washington state, to be New Hampshire’s next corrections commissioner. He will succeed Hank Risley, who was killed in a helicopter crash while on a sightseeing tour in Hawaii.

 

April 10, 1865: A huge celebration in Concord marks the end of the Civil War. Mayor Moses Humphrey orders the city’s fire engines decorated and ready to move to the State House by 4:30 p.m. Bands play, cannons boom, church bells peal. After nightfall, there is a “general illumination” of the city and a 400-gun salute is fired.

 

April 10, 1829: While addressing a Merrimack County jury in Concord, the spellbinding lawyer Ezekiel Webster, brother of Daniel, drops dead. “He had spoken nearly a half hour, in full and unaltering voice, when the hand of death arrested his earthly course,” writes Judge Charles Corning.

 

April 11, 2002: The state Supreme Court rules that New Hampshire’s public school testing system and minimum school standards are toothless and therefore fail to guarantee students the adequate education to which they are entitled.

 

April 11, 1997: Michael Dorris, 52, well-known author and teacher who founded the Native American studies department at Dartmouth, kills himself in a Concord motel.

 

April 11, 1793: A tragedy called The Revenge plays at the Town House, on the current site of the Merrimack County Courthouse. It is the first play to be staged in Concord. The city’s Mirrour calling it “a virtuous, sentimental and rational amusement to the respectable inhabitants of the town.”

 

April 11, 1974: Gov. Mel Thomson warns state college students not to streak. “Running naked through public buildings and on the streets is an affront to most of our citizens. It is an exercise in depravity. If tolerated, it can only lead to the eventual loss of whatever sense of morality still exists in America.”

 

April 11, 1713: The Treaty of Utrecht officially ends Queen Anne’s War, which included Indian raids into New Hampshire.

 

April 12, 2003: The police arrest 90 people and twice fire pepper gas to dispense a bottle-throwing crowd of about 4,000 that spills into downtown Durham streets after New Hampshire loses the NCAA hockey championship game.

 

April 12, 2001: The state Senate votes, 23-1, in favor of limiting the term of chief justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court to five years. According to the legislation, the position would be rotated among the court’s five members.

 

April 12, 1917: Six days after the United States declares war on the Axis powers, the Legislature passes a law prohibiting walkouts, strikes and lockouts in New Hampshire industries that produce war materiel. A state Committee of Public Safety is established to report any union or other radical activity to federal agents based in Concord.

 

April 12, 1827: On Fast Day, Rev. Nathaniel Bouton, 27, delivers the first temperance sermon in Concord. Bouton’s words at the Old North Church ignite local participation in a social movement that will last more than a century. Bouton asserts in his sermon that he has investigated and found that “the use of ardent spirits in Concord” is “universal.” He claims that the 1,400 men in Concord consumed nearly 14,000 gallons of liquor in 1825. The Concord Temperance Society will be formed three years later. By 1843, nearly half of the city’s adult residents will have signed a prohibition pledge.

 

April 13, 2003: A fire breaks out in an apartment building off East Side Drive in Concord, attracting the attention of Kyle Bissonnette, 12, Matthew Peters, 12, and Nate Bell, 10. Seeing flames shooting from a downstairs window in the Regency Estates apartment building, the three pull their bikes over and flag down a passer-by, who calls the police. Kyle and Matthew head into the building and start knocking on doors, making sure everyone is out and rousing residents who don’t hear the smoke alarms. Nate waits outside to make sure his friends come out okay. One apartment is destroyed in the blaze. Nobody is injured.

 

April 13, 1945: Responding to the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt the previous night in Warm Springs, Ga., John G. Winant of Concord, the U.S. Ambassador to England, says: “The greatest American of our age is dead.”

 

April 13, 1973: Gov. Mel Thomson intervenes after state social workers attempt to remove five foster children from the home of a Nashua family. The foster father describes the scene: “He gave a copy of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution to my little girl. And he told my little girl, ‘You are free and always will be.’ ”

 

April 14, 1865: Edwin Bedee of Meredith, a captain in the 12th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry Regiment, goes to Ford’s Theater. He can see President Lincoln from his seat. After John Wilkes Booth jumps to the stage and flees, Bedee climbs over several rows and enters Lincoln’s box. He holds the president’s head while a surgeon searches for Lincoln’s wound. Bedee suddenly feels the president’s blood running into his hand. “Here is the wound, doctor,” he says.

 

April 14, 1865: At 5 p.m., Congressman Edward H. Rollins, a Concord Republican, stops by the White House to seek a pass for a constituent to visit his wounded son in an army hospital. President Lincoln comes downstairs to oblige Rollins, writing a note to the secretary or war. It is the last official business Lincoln will conduct before going to dinner and the theater – and possibly the last time he will sign his name. After Lincoln is assassinated at Ford’s Theatre, Rollins keeps the dated, signed note.

 

April 14, 1865: In Washington, D.C., Surgeon William Child of the 5th New Hampshire Infantry Regiment begins a letter to his wife Carrie in Bath, N.H., with this sentence: “Wild dreams and real facts are but brothers.” Child has just returned from Ford’s Theatre, where he sat across from President Lincoln’s box and witnessed the president’s assassination. “Will peace ever come again to our dear land,” Child writes, “or shall we rush on to wild ruin?”

 

April 14, 1945: In response to Gov. Charles Dale’s call for a day of mourning for President Roosevelt, the Monitor does not publish and all businesses close.

Author: Insider Staff

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