This week in Concord history

May 27, 1861: After enlisting 71 men in Contoocookville, Joab N. Patterson takes them to Portsmouth, where most will join the Second New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry for three years’ service in the Civil War. Lt. Patterson, who recently graduated from Dartmouth at age 25, will fight in 24 engagements from First Bull Run to Appomattox Court House, rising to the rank of brevet brigadier general.


May 27, 1727: New Hampshire’s legislature grants a charter to a township that includes most of present-day Concord and Bow and part of Pembroke. Because Massachusetts had drawn different boundaries for a similar area, the charter led to much confusion over jurisdiction and – more important – tax collection.


May 28, 1773: The New Hampshire Assembly, forerunner of the Legislature, receives from Virginia a circular letter promoting the idea of establishing committees of correspondence in the colonies. The Assembly will adopt the idea, whose aim is to share information in a timely fashion about acts of Parliament. In response to the committee’s formation, Royal Gov. John Wentworth will adjourn the Assembly for seven months.


May 28, 1996: U.S. Sen. Bob Smith tours Concord’s so-called “crud corridor,” 440 acres of mostly unsightly and underutilized buildings near Interstate 93. Smith supports the city’s bid for a $200,000 federal grant to identify contamination along the corridor, much of which the city will successfully redevelop into an “opportunity corridor.”


May 29, 2003: The New Hampshire House approves legislation requiring girls younger than 18 to tell their parents before they can have an abortion. The vote, 197-176, virtually guarantees that the state’s first abortion restriction will be enacted since Roe v. Wade became law 30 years ago.


May 29, 2002: In Penacook nearly 70 local Catholics air their grievances with the church and demand accountability of both its leaders and abusive priests as Bishop John McCormack sits in the back taking notes. It is the first time McCormack attends a discussion organized by parishioners and not clergy.


May 29, 1944: Fourteen of the 46 conscientious objectors working as attendants at the State Hospital in Concord go on a cafeteria strike, refusing to eat. The men, who are labeled “Conchies,” are protesting a rule forbidding them to mingle with regular attendants at the hospital.


May 29, 1944: One patriotic full-page ad lists all the Concord young people serving in the armed forces. Another, for the Foy Tire Co., gives the number: 2,875.


May 29, 1975: Gov. Mel Thomson signs a bill assuring the New Hampshire Presidential Primary is always first. The law says the vote is to be held March 2 “or on the Tuesday a week before any primary in any other state.”


May 30, 2002: U.S. Rep. John E. Sununu formally announces his candidacy, nearly a year after frustrated members of the Republican establishment drafted him to run against incumbent U.S. Sen. Bob Smith.


May 30, 2001: The state veterans cemetery in Boscawen dedicates a new section for veterans whose bodies are lost, unrecoverable, unidentified or otherwise unavailable for burial.


May 30, 1923: For last time, 88-year-old General Joab Patterson rides at the head of the Memorial Day parade in Concord. In 1861, Patterson, a teacher, recruited 72 soldiers from around his native Contoocook and entered the 2nd New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry Regiment as a second lieutenant. He rose to lead the regiment as a colonel, fought in 24 battles and was breveted a major general near war’s end. He lived most of his postwar years in Concord and led the Memorial Day procession each year.


May 30, 1868: In Concord, school lets out early and businesses close for two hours so that all may observe the first Memorial Day. Col. James E. Larkin of Concord, who fought at Fair Oaks, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, leads the veterans’ procession into Eagle Hall on Main Street. After the singing of “America,” the recitation of the Gettysburg Address and patriotic speeches, the throng marches solemnly to the cemeteries and lays wreaths at the graves of the city’s Civil War dead.


May 30, 1992: Concord’s Bob Tewksbury of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches a four-hitter to beat San Diego. Tewksbury is on his way to his best season ever. He will finish 16-5 with a 2.16 earned run average and be voted National League’s best control pitcher with 20 walks in a career-high 233 innings pitched.


May 31, 2002: U.S. Sen. Bob Smith and EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman plant the first bush for Teardrop Park, a former brownfields site in Concord. Smith hopes that a law that he helped write will make it easier for other abandoned industrial sites to be redeveloped. The law limits the liability of new owners of brownfields sites and provides $200 million a year for cleanup.


May 31, 2001: Starting July 1, the Monitor reports, Chichester will once again have a ZIP code of its own. “It’s a matter of pride,” says John West, a lifelong resident. “We want to be ourselves and use our own name.”


May 31, 1911: Nahum Batchelder, an East Andover farmer and former New Hampshire governor, falls from power as master of the national Grange after it is disclosed that he has allowed the Grange’s good name to be used in underhanded lobbying campaigns in Washington. He will leave the organization, known as the “Patrons of Husbandry” and the chief voice of the nation’s farmers, after 34 years as a member and six as its national leader.


May 31, 2000: U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass announces he will seek a fourth term in Congress, and his campaign airs its first TV commercial. The ad features an endorsement of Bass from Arizona Sen. John McCain, who won the state’s presidential primary this past winter. (In that contest, Bass supported McCain’s opponent, George W. Bush.)


May 31, 1856: Edward H. Rollins, Concord politico, leads a mass meeting at Phenix Hall to condemn terrorism in Kansas and the caning of Sen. Charles Sumner on the floor of the U.S. Senate. It is among the first gatherings in the city of a new party, the Republicans.


May 31, 1987: Vice President George Bush gives the commencement address at UNH. At the height of the Iran-Contra affair, several faculty members boycott the event. A few students turn their back to the podium; others wear orange armbands. Other than that, Hugh Gregg reports in a campaign history, the event was dull: “George’s speech was so heavy-going that no one applauded until the end.”


May 31, 1983: After much debate, legislators decide not to build the governor a special executive washroom at the State House. The vote is a victory for Rep. Eugene Daniell of Franklin, who says the state shouldn’t spend money on bathrooms if it can’t give its workers a pay raise.


June 1, 1880: A report indicates that Merrimack County is home to 449 manufacturing establishments which employ 3,580 males 16 years or older, 1,477 females and 628 children and youth.


June 1, 1913: John Kimball dies in Concord at age 92. He was a largely self-educated millwright and railroad mechanic who rose to become Concord’s mayor in the 1870s. He chaired the committee to build a new state prison and was a principal benefactor of the town library in Boscawen, his home early in life.


June 2, 1819: The State House opens in Concord. The legislative session will be notable for halting the practice of state subsidy for the Congregationalist Church.


June 3, 1993: Sen. Bob Smith criticizes President Clinton’s plan to raise taxes on the rich: “Poor people don’t hire anybody. People who make money do the hiring in this country. That’s where the job growth occurs.”


June 3, 1902: The New Hampshire State Federation of Labor is organized.


June 3, 1944: The state’s hopes that “Nazi workers” will solve the labor shortage by harvest time are dashed. “There are not enough German prisoners to go around,” says Arthur French of the New Hampshire Farm Bureau.

Author: Insider Staff

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