This week in Concord history

May 20, 1775: Meeting in Exeter a month and a day after the battle of Lexington, New Hampshire’s Provincial Congress resolves to raise 2,000 men in three regiments. It also passes a tax of 3,000 pounds to pay the soldiers.


May 20, 1727: A charter is granted to the town of Chichester.


May 21, 2001: Senior Jake Zielinski pitches a six-inning perfect game as Pembroke defeats Coe-Brown, 10-0.


May 21, 1913: The Legislature passes Gov. Robert P. Bass’s bill to compensate inmates at the state prison for their labor. Part of the small wage will go directly to the prisoners’ dependents or, if they have none, will be set aside until their release.


May 21, 1975: Democrats charge Gov. Mel Thomson with insulting Catholics when he suggests Gallo wine be used in church services. Thomson suggested Catholic priests would get a better benediction if they used Gallo, whose vineyards are the target of a boycott by the United Farm Workers Union. “The governor’s suggestion that the Almighty would take sides in a dispute such as that between Gallo and the UFW shows his disrespect for all religious convictions,” the Democrats write.


May 22, 2002: Laconia’s city licensing board denies Bike Week vendor permits to the Hells Angels. Citing a violation of free speech, the motorcycle club’s attorney, Scott Bratton of Nashua, files a petition in Belknap County Superior Court requesting a temporary restraining order against the city and the licensing board.


May 22, 1879: The Monitor editorializes against a fountain in the State House plaza: “The fountain continues to squirt water all over those who have the temerity to walk in its vicinity, as in the days of yore. Its location ought to be changed.” In 1914, it is discarded to make room for the statue of Franklin Pierce.


May 23, 1834: Benjamin Brown French of Chester, a clerk in the U.S. House, visits Mount Vernon with his wife. Near Washington’s tomb, he writes, “I plucked a sprig of evergreen & a weed.” He decides there is no man “whose memory would be so dearly cherished as was that of George Washington.”


May 24, 2002: The Concord Police Department’s proposed budget includes $4,500 to install video surveillance equipment in Bicentennial Square, the Monitor reports. According to Police Chief Jerry Madden, business owners and residents have complained about vandalism and vulgarity there for years.


May 24, 1844: Samuel F.B. Morse, who began his career as a Concord mechanic, sends the first message over his electro-magnetic telegraph. The previous year, Congress appropriated $30,000 to test the machine on a line laid from Washington to Baltimore. New Hampshireman Benjamin Brown French, who will soon join Morse and others in the Magnetic Telegraph Co., calls it “one of the greatest inventions of the age” and predicts it will “eventually be laid down all over the Union.”


May 25, 2002: Nearly 400 students graduate from New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord, marking the college’s first year as an accredited school in its 35-year history.


May 25, 1990: Chief Judge Stephen Breyer of the federal First Circuit Court or Appeals swears in David H. Souter of New Hampshire. The U.S. Senate has unanimously approved President Bush’s appointment of Souter to the appeals court. Both Breyer and Souter will become U.S. Supreme Court justices.


May 26, 2002: Though hardcore political activists in both parties have been obsessed with the elections for more than a year, most normal people barely realize what the buzz is all about, the Monitor reports. There are hugely competitive races at every level of government, so 2002 is going to be a watershed year in New Hampshire politics. “If you’re even been sickened by politics, get ready to be sickened this year,” said David Corbin, a professor of American politics at the University of New Hampshire and a Republican candidate for senator on the Seacoast.

Author: Insider Staff

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