This week in Concord history

July 15, 1605: Samuel de Champlain, a French explorer, sails into Piscataqua Bay.

 

July 15, 1822: The hail that falls in Concord today is “of a sufficient size to break glass and cut down the corn,” according to a local history.

 

July 15, 1832: Six convicts escape from the state prison in Concord by splitting a stone in the roofing of their cell and letting themselves down the wall by their blankets. Four are captured in Hopkinton, one in Grantham. One is never found.

 

July 15, 1965: A 50-foot section of the second story of Concord’s new federal building at Pleasant and South streets collapses under the weight of freshly-poured concrete. No one is hurt.

 

July 16, 2000: A Massachusetts doctor suspected of murdering his estranged wife is arrested in a Tuftonboro motel. Richard Sharpe, a highly respected dermatologist at Harvard Medical School, is accused of shooting Karen Sharpe at their Wenham, Mass., home.

 

July 16, 1821: Mary Baker Eddy is born in Bow. In February 1866, she will write of healing herself from what a doctor diagnosed as a fatal fall on the ice. Out of this experience is born Christian Science. Eddy will found the Church of Christ, Scientist, in 1879.

 

July 16, 1864: A year after the Legislature announced that “any city or town” might bid to build a new State House, legislators vote to keep Concord as state capital. The price: The city must build a street on the south side of State House grounds (Capitol Street) and rebuild the cramped 44-year-old State House. It will do so by the following year at a staggering cost of $347,000, including $189,000 interest.

 

July 17, 2003: Speaking at the Page Belting factory in Concord, Florida Sen. Bob Graham fields questions about the White House’s use of unsubstantiated evidence to justify war in Iraq. “I believe he is being deceitful,” Graham says of President Bush. “There has been a pattern of withholding information from the American people.”

 

July 17, 1988: New Hampshire’s former epidemiologist charges he was fired because he uncovered serious public health problems that Gov. John Sununu did not want publicized. In a report, the epidemiologist says 250 New Hampshire workers die from occupation-related diseases each year, 50 infants die for lack of prenatal and outreach services and about 50 people die for lack of basic medical care.

 

July 17, 1941: Playing at Cleveland, Yankee third baseman Red Rolfe of Penacook doubles and singles to help the Yanks beat the Indians 4-3. But the big news is that Cleveland and its good-fielding third baseman, Ken Keltner, stop Joe DiMaggio’s hitting streak at 56 games. During the streak, Rolfe, hitting second in the Yankee lineup, batted .306 and scored 49 runs.

 

July 18, 2002: Republican activists slam Gov. Jeanne Shaheen for supporting tax increases they say have made New Hampshire a less business-friendly state.

 

July 18, 1945: The state liquor commission bans jukeboxes from hotel grills and says women may not work as bartenders.

 

July 18, 1946: The author Vladimir Nabokov, summering in Bristol, writes to friends that the lake is filthy, his room is too close to the highway, the smell of fried clams makes him ill and he is having no luck adding new species to his famous butterfly collection. Then he sees a sign at a local restaurant saying, “We welcome strictly Christian clientele.” Nabokov writes: “And what would happen if little old bearded Jesus Christ drove up, in an old Ford, with his mother (black scarf, Polish accent)? That, and other questions, so intrigued me that I took apart the restaurant manager, leaving him and those present in an indescribable tizzy.”

 

July 19, 2002: A top state health official says he was paid to quit after he raised questions about widespread waste, fraud and abuse within New Hampshire’s mental health system, the Monitor reports. The official, former Division of Behavioral Health director Tom Keane, left the state Department of Health and Human Services having accepted six month’s pay, or nearly $44,000, for not returning to work. He served 10 months in office.

 

July 19, 2000: Members of the Franklin City Council call a 20-minute recess to watch the end of tonight’s Survivor broadcast. Local hero Jenna Lewis survives, but barely; by a vote of 5-4, the competitors decide Greg, not Jenna, must leave the island.

 

July 20, 2003: Jimmie Johnson wins the New England 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon.

 

July 20, 1988: The New York Times reports that New Hampshire is among the top 10 states when it comes to wine consumption. At the top of the list: California. No. 50: Mississippi. New Hampshire comes in 9th, at 3.12 gallons per capita per year.July 20, 1990 – Justice William Brennan announces that he will leave the U.S. Supreme Court. U.S. Sen. Warren Rudman calls President Bush’s chief of staff, John Sununu, to suggest to him that Bush nominate Judge David H. Souter of New Hampshire to succeed Brennan.

 

July 20, 1929: Daniell Rossiter, a photographer from Ludlow, Vt., is killed on the Mount Washington Cog Railway when the locomotive goes out of control.

 

July 21, 2002: NASCAR driver Ward Burton, who had been in a slump since winning the season’s first race, wins the New England 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon.

 

July 21, 1857: The Coos Republican reports that Joseph Roby, 23, of Clarksville is struck and killed by a bolt of lightening while sitting in his house. “His cap and boots were torn in pieces, but no mark was found upon his person. Several individuals were in the house at the time, but none of the rest were injured materially.”

 

July 21, 1987: Al Gore brings his presidential campaign to Keene. At Lindy’s Diner, a woman tells him: “Since you’re so young, if you don’t get it this time, there is always the next election.” Gore replies: “This is the time.”

Author: Insider Staff

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