This week in Concord history

April 22, 1943: Denis Parker is born in Manchester. He will be named director of the State Employees Association, the union representing New Hampshire’s 10,000 state workers, in 1972.


April 22, 1965: State Senator Bill Johnson of Hanover testifies in favor of a bill making jury duty a service for women as well as men. Before the bill, the law allowed women to serve on juries if they wanted to, but it wasn’t required.


April 22, 1864: The Sanborn block, home to the offices of the New Hampshire Patriot, is destroyed by fire.


April 23, 2003: The state’s first criminal trial of a priest named in the clergy sexual abuse scandal ends in a mistrial after the jury deliberated nearly 14 hours over three days without reaching a verdict. One juror says that all 12 jurors believed that the Rev. George Robichaud was guilty of rape and attempted rape but that two jurors were unwilling to convict him because conflicting testimony questioned whether Robichaud’s accuser was a minor at the time.


April 23, 2002: The Senate passes a bill under which insurance companies would be forced to cover the costs of treating anorexia, bulimia, post-traumatic stress disorder and drug and alcohol abuse. The bill, which passes 21-2, will help create a more stable workforce and acknowledge that mental health is as important as physical health, according to Democratic Sen. Katie Wheeler of Durham.


April 23, 2001: Kimballs Country Store in Pembroke gets a quirky piece of notoriety thanks to some number-crunching from the 2000 census. New Hampshire’s population centroid – or that point around which there is an equal concentration of the state’s population in every direction – is inside the store.


April 23, 1945: So far, it appears that Mrs. John Maken of Manchester will be the state’s entry in a national contest aimed at identifying the mother with the most children in the service. Nine sons and a daughter-in-law of Mrs. Maken have been in uniform.


April 23, 1945: Thirteen-year-old Larry West of Concord is killed with a 12-gauge shotgun. The weapon discharges accidentally while he is climbing a tree to shoot a porcupine.



April 23, 1933: Racetrack gambling becomes legal in New Hampshire and debuts at Rockingham Park in Salem. Gov. John Winant lets the proposal become law without his signature.



April 24, 2002: Gov. Jeanne Shaheen disputes allegations that her political ties with Providian Financial Corp. helped the company duck consumer protection authorities and won her daughter a job running a nonprofit organization bankrolled by the company, the Monitor reports.


April 24, 2001: Having failed to pass four school funding plans, lawmakers toss around a wide range of ideas, including a tax on all electricity use, a tax on credit card purchases, and a “head” tax on every adult state resident.


April 24, 1992: The Concord Monitor publishes its last afternoon edition. Henceforth it will be a morning paper.



April 24, 1853: Miffed that Franklin Pierce, now president, has relegated him to a lowly clerical job, Benjamin Brown French reminisces in his journal about the early days of their friendship. In 1831, on the way to serve in the New Hampshire House, the two met in Hopkinton, Pierce on horseback, French in a chaise. In Concord, “we took rooms at Gass’s Eagle Hotel, nearly opposite each other, & then commenced a friendship that has been, on my part, almost an affection. From that day to this I have not wronged Frank Pierce in thought, word or deed.”



April 24, 1900: Harriet P. Dame dies in Concord at the age of 85. She was renowned for having ventured south with the 2nd New Hampshire Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. She served as a nurse and helpmate to the soldiers and was captured at Bull Run.


April 25, 2003: Despite the presence of a large ice patch on Lake Winnipesaukee, Emerson Aviation flight instructor Steve Sydorwicz declares an ice-out, which means that the M/S Mount Washington is able to navigate all its ports.


April 25, 2002: The Concord Fire Department’s new ladder truck, which caused hullabaloo among city councilors, fire administrators, fire union members and mayoral candidates last summer and fall, has arrived, the Monitor reports. The $688,000 truck is called a “tower ladder” because there’s a platform, or bucket, at the top capable of holding up to three people.



April 25, 2000: The world is watching New Hampshire’s debate over whether to repeal the death penalty, the Monitor reports. Among the pledges arriving at the State House from far-flung locales: Rome has promised to light up the Coliseum for two days if New Hampshire abolishes the punishment.


April 25, 1996: A packed house comes to the City Auditorium to hear five poets read in honor of Jane Kenyon, who was New Hampshire’s poet laureate when she died a year earlier. Among the readers are two Pulitzer Prize winners – Maxine Kumin and Charles Simic – and Kenyon’s widower, Donald Hall.



April 25, 1984: Gov. John Sununu takes his case for the Seabrook nuclear power plant to New Hampshire television viewers. Despite cost overruns in the billions of dollars, Sununu says he still considers the plant a bargain. “I have a lot of faith in the voters of the state of New Hampshire, and I think they are going to see that what we’re trying to accomplish is to get electricity at the lowest possible cost.”


April 25, 1893: Edward H. Brooks is born in Concord. A graduate of Concord High and Norwich University, he will serve in both world wars, rising to the rank of lieutenant general. A highlight of his long, distinguished career will be leading the Second Armored Division onto Omaha Beach. His division will also be the first Allied force to enter Belgium.


April 25, 1902: The statue of Commodore George H. Perkins of Hopkinton is dedicated behind the State House. Perkins was a Civil War naval officer who helped Admiral David Farragut take New Orleans and win the Battle of Mobile Bay. As the tablet on the statue records, Farragut called Perkins “the bravest man that ever trod the deck of a ship.”


April 25, 1783: New Hampshire clergyman Jeremy Belknap writes to a friend how pleased he is to see that unlike Cromwell and others, George Washington will not use his military victory as a means to gain control of the post-Revolutionary government.: “How happy to be born and live in an age which has produced so excellent a man!” he writes.


April 25, 1965: Monitor political columnist Leon Anderson predicts a broad-based tax is coming soon: “We expect the day will dawn sooner than many think when Gov. John King and others will find themselves out in the political cold for refusing to sense New Hampshire needs a fat broad-based tax to let a bit of sunshine into homes and farms now buried in taxes. It has long been so-called good politics to oppose either a general sales tax or a state income levy. But the tide is turning.”



April 26, 2002: Senate President Arthur Klemm files a motion with the state Supreme Court on behalf of the Republican-controlled Senate in support of House leaders requesting to dismiss a court challenge over redrawing 400 House seats.



April 26, 2000: The Executive Council unanimously approves the appointment of Linda Dalianis to the New Hampshire Supreme Court, making her the first woman named to the state’s highest court.


April 26, 1948: On the first day of spring vacation, Concord students take to the streets of downtown brandishing placards. Their cause: a new swimming pool in West Concord. The state Board of Health closed the old one as unsanitary in 1945, and a committee of the city’s alderman has recommended against spending $110,000 to build a new one.


April 26, 1994: Gov. Steve Merrill asks all churches in New Hampshire to ring their bells at noon tomorrow in memory of former president Richard Nixon, whose funeral is scheduled in Yorba Linda, Calif.


April 26, 1991: President Bush says he is likely to seek changes in the travel policy that authorizes White House Chief of Staff John Sununu, the former New Hampshire governor, to use military airplanes for all his trips. Bush is dismayed by the extent of Sununu’s use of Air Force jets, according to associates.


April 26, 1948: Angry at city council delays, Concord school kids devote the first day of their spring vacation to picketing downtown in a plea for a new municipal swimming pool. Some of the signs read “Swimming Will Make Us Strong” and “Oh Give Us Water!”


April 27, 2002: In Wolfeboro, concerned worshippers pack pews at St. Cecilia Catholic Church to pray and find solace with each other a day after their priest, Father George Robichaud, was charged with assaulting a teenage boy in Sanbornton, and as authorities announced that they expect more charges to be filed.


April 27, 2001: Observers of Lake Winnipesaukee are still waiting to declare ice-out – the point at which the Mount Washington cruise ship can make all its ports of call. Last year ice-out was declared April 10.


April 27, 2000: Starting in December, the Monitor reports, the Department of Education will post on its Web site annual profiles of the state’s school districts. The statistical information will include test scores, dropout rates and how many advanced placement courses are offered.


April 27, 1861: The city of Concord appropriates $10,000 to aid the families of local volunteers who go off to war. It expects the state to reimburse it, and for the most part it will. By the end of the year, the city will have doled out $3,000 to soldiers’ families.


April 27, 1977: Gov. Meldrim Thomson says a planned protest at the Seabrook nuclear plant site is “cover for terrorist activity,” adding: “Once the demonstrators occupy the site, they do not plan to leave alive.”


April 27, 1987: Fire breaks out in the south end of the Legislative Office Building in Concord. Hundreds gather to watch as a cool wind whips the flames pouring from the roof. Water streams out the door and down the steps into the street. The building suffers extensive smoke and water damage.


April 28, 2002: The Weirs Beach sign is aglow once again, refurbished to look like it did when it first went up in 1956, the Monitor reports. About 20 people weathered rain and snow to go to a dedication ceremony for the sign.


April 28, 2001: A Concord doctor has been charged with sexually assaulting a patient in her bed at the state’s psychiatric hospital, the Monitor reports. The doctor is also accused of giving the patient addictive drug prescriptions in exchange for sex.


April 28, 2000: The House Judicial Conduct Committee announces it has decided not to investigate state Supreme Court Justice John Broderick or retired justice William Johnson. The committee votes to continue investigating allegations of misconduct by Justice Sherman Horton and Chief Justice David Brock.


April 28, 1974: Gov. Mel Thomson returns to New Hampshire after two days in the Caribbean studying oil refineries. Thomson’s office refuses to say precisely where in the Caribbean area he was.

Author: Insider Staff

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