This week in Concord history

July 1, 1883: A report says there are 60 post offices in Merrimack County. In 1882, the postmasters in the county were paid a combined total of $18,515.94.

 

July 1, 1927: At nightfall, 2,000 people gather at the State House plaza to watch Mayor Fred Marden push the button that will illuminate Concord’s new “White Way” for the first time. Concord Electric Co. has installed 126 large bulbs to light the way, which runs more than mile along Main Street, from Kelly’s drug store to Larkin’s store. A Monitor reporter hears someone whisper in the crowd: “I hope they go on.” They do indeed, causing “a spontaneous uproar and the blowing of hundreds of automobile horns.”

 

July 2, 2003: Breathe a sigh of relief, New Hampshire. Companies here are cutting back on toxic emissions at a rate that’s nearly double the national average, according to a report issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Monitor reports.

 

July 2, 1939: John H. Sununu is born. He will serve three terms as governor in the 1980s, then become chief of staff to President George Bush.

 

July 2, 1941: Joe DiMaggio hits a line drive home run over the head of Ted Williams in left field to break Wee Willie Keeler’s record 44-game hitting streak. On base when he hits it is Yankee third baseman Red Rolfe of Penacook.

 

July 3, 2003: Speaking from amid the stacks at the state library in Concord, U.S. Rep. Dick Gephardt, a Democratic presidential candidate, accuses President Bush of egging on the enemy by inviting foreign troops to “bring ‘em on” against U.S. soldiers. “What is this?” Gephardt demands. “He’s president! You don’t taunt the enemy; you try to keep our troops safe, you try to help them! This phony macho business is not getting us to where we need to be!”

 

July 3, 2002: New Hampshire lawyers representing about 100 people charging they were molested by Roman Catholic priests are talking to the church about a settlement, the Monitor reports.

 

July 4, 2003: About 200 homes could be built in Pembroke over the next five years if two developers’ projects are approved by the planning board, the Monitor reports. The proposals are by far the largest Pembroke has seen in more than a decade, and locals worry the town’s services are not prepared to handle the growth they’d bring.

 

July 4, 1899: Ten thousand people attend the dedication of the Memorial Arch in front of the State House. Cut from Concord granite, it is 33 feet 8 inches high and 53 feet wide. Though built on state land, it was paid for by the city and commemorates Concord’s war veterans.

 

July 5, 2003: The first New Hampshire priest to stand trial for child sexual assault will head to court again, as he’s tried a second time on charges of abusing a 15-year-old altar boy in his Lake Winnisquam cottage nearly 20 years ago, the Monitor reports. The Rev. George Robichaud’s first trial ended in a hung jury and a mistrial, after jurors couldn’t agree on the boy’s age at the time of the alleged assault.

 

July 5, 2002: Ted Williams, the legendary Boston Red Sox outfielder, dies at the age of 83. Local fan Tony Heath, owner of Quality Cash Market in East Concord, reflects “We shared the same dream. That was to see the Red Sox win the World Series. It’s too bad he didn’t live to see that happen.”

 

July 6, 2003: After rallying his supporters over the holiday weekend, presidential candidate Sen. Joe Lieberman takes in a Quarry Dogs game with his wife, Hadassah, and former congressman Dick Swett.

 

July 6, 2002: The State House is getting a makeover, the Monitor reports. The white portion of the octagonal structure, just below the gilded part of the dome, will be stripped and restored to the tune of $174,000.

 

July 6, 2001: Joseph Whittey is found guilty of murdering 81-year-old Yvonne Fine in Concord nearly 20 years ago. Although Whittey had been a suspect early on, it wasn’t until last year that investigators discovered DNA evidence allowing them to charge him with the crime. Already in prison for attempted murder, Whittey is sentenced to life.

 

July 7, 2003: In a town hall-style meeting at Conant Elementary School in Concord, presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards claims that from tax cuts to education, President Bush favors the wealthy over the working class. Instead, Edwards offers his own life experience as more in touch with middle class Americans and the American dream. “We are a nation of people who believe there is nothing we can’t do,” he says.

 

July 7, 2002: U.S. Sen. Bob Smith, his critics say, can’t win re-election, the Monitor reports. With his penchant for eccentric causes and his abandonment of the Republican Party, their thinking goes, he will lose his seat to Democratic Gov. Jeanne Shaheen – and with it, control of the U.S. Senate to the Democrats.

Author: Insider Staff

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