This week in Concord history

July 29, 1927: Police Chief A.S. Kimball orders the Lapp carnival on the Bridge Street fairgrounds to close “forthwith.” The shutdown follows the arrest of two men who work for the carnival on gambling charges. Both are convicted and fined $50. The chief investigated after receiving reports of gambling and indecent shows at the fair, including one show to which only men were admitted. The sponsoring Elks Club will argue in vain for a reversal of Kimball’s closure order.


July 29, 1988: Developers announce plans for an eight-story office and retail building at the corner of Main and Bridge streets in Concord. (It won’t happen.)


July 29, 1964: Gov. John King establishes a traffic safety committee to “map a blueprint for a permanent continuing attack on the rising death and injury toll on New Hampshire highways.” By mid-August, 88 people will have died in New Hampshire traffic accidents that year.


July 29, 1914: On Star Island, the most prosperous of the Isles of Shoals, a 40-foot granite obelisk is dedicated to Rev. John Tucke, whose 18th century ministry on the island lasted 40 years.


July 30, 2003: According to documents that are unsealed in Concord District Court, Manuel Gehring told investigators that he shot his children Sarah, 14, and Philip, 11, on the side of a road, 30 to 45 minutes from Concord. Hundreds of miles later, he said a prayer over their bodies before leaving them in a shallow grave with crosses made from duct tape on the chests.


July 30, 2002: In a testimony before lawmakers, Health and Human Services Commissioner Don Shumway gives a nearly complete rebuttal to a former employee’s claims of waste and abuse within the state mental health system. One allegation – that two of the 10 private community mental health centers have hired a dozen employees who actually work for the state– turned out to be true, however, Shumway said.


July 30, 1975: After nearly 100 hours of debate over 30 days and 35 inconclusive roll-call votes, the U.S. Senate declares its inability to settle the disputed November 1974 U.S. Senate election in New Hampshire and sends the matter back to the state. The move opens the way for a new election between Republican Louis Wyman and Democrat John Durkin. Durkin had suggested the new election on grounds that at the rate the Senate was going, “the term will have expired long before the Senate makes up its mind.” Durkin will win the new election.


July 30, 2000: John McCain, whose resounding defeat of George W. Bush in the state’s presidential primary sent shock waves through the Republican Party, formally releases his delegates at the GOP national convention in Philadelphia. “I will always be grateful,” McCain says of his time in New Hampshire. “One of the greatest experiences of my life was my time in that state.”


July 30, 1868: A fierce tornado rips through the North Country town of Pittsburg, destroying trees and buildings.


July 30, 1777: After riding all night from Exeter, Lt. Col. Gordon Hutchins, Concord’s legislative representative, bursts into the Sunday service at Concord’s meeting house to say that Gen. John Stark is marching west but needs more men. “Those of you who are willing to go had better go at once,” Rev. Timothy Walker tells his congregation. All men present leave.


July 30, 1991: Four months after Pamela Smart’s conviction for arranging to have her teenage lover and two other boys kill her husband, CBS is filming a TV movie of the murder case. “It’s not done in an exploitative way,” says the producer. “We’re trying to be sensitive.” Portraying Pam Smart is a then-little-known 27-year-old actress named Helen Hunt.


July 31, 2003: The Granite State Little Blue wins a 20-10 victory in the Senior Babe Ruth League New England Regional title game in Stamford, Conn. With the win, the Concord-based team will go on to the Senior Babe Ruth 16-year-old World Series in Jamestown, N.Y.


July 31, 2002: On the first day candidates can file for House seats, House lawmakers say that a new redistricting plan won’t affect whether they’ll run for office again. But it will dramatically change how hard they’ll have to scramble for votes in their new – and in most cases, far larger – districts this fall.


July 31, 2001: Massachusetts authorities arrest Gary L. Sampson in Vermont and accuse him of murdering three men, one of them former Concord city councilor Robert “Eli” Whitney. Sampson will also be charged with killing a 19-year-old college student from Kingston, Mass., and a 69-year-old retiree from Marshfield, Mass.


July 31, 1854: Samuel Wilson, believed to be the original “Uncle Sam,” dies at 87. Brought up in Mason, he became a contractor and supplied meat to the army during the War of 1812. He was known as Uncle Sam and stamped his supply barrels U.S. Asked by passersby on a New York wharf what the U.S. stood for, one of Wilson’s workmen said, “Uncle Sam.” The name quickly spread.


July 31, 1983: Walter Mondale speaks to voters at the Archway Restaurant in Concord and is impressed with the seriousness of their questions. “It was a thoughtful meeting,” he says. “They didn’t want the razzmatazz.”


July 31, 1947: The Monitor is inundated with letters to the editor urging the city to build a swimming pool. One resident, Hazel M. Stiles, writes: “Oh yes, we have Bear Brook if you have a car and someone to take you over. Most parents are working daytimes and cannot take the children. Yes, we have a bus at the cost of 35 cents each way, making 70 cents and an admission fee when you get there. How many times can a child afford to go there?”


July 31, 1860: Sen. Stephen A. Douglas, the Democratic nominee for president, comes to Concord. The crowd at the railroad station is “dense and ungovernable,” and 5,000 people jam onto the State House yard to see the most famous politician of his day. Douglas denounces his fellow Democrat, President James Buchanan, for placating the South.


July 31, 1911: Samuel Eastman buys the assets of the Abbot & Downing Co. for just over $50,000, with more than half the money going to pay down the failing company’s debt. Eastman will reorganize the company.


Aug. 2, 2002: Four women hold a ‘nurse-in’ at Hunt Memorial Pool in Manchester. The protest is in response to an incident that took place in early July, when one of the women was asked to leave the pool for breast-feeding her baby.


Aug. 2, 2001: The last sheets of fiber used for heel cups roll through Penacook Fibre Co. The company is shutting down after more than 60 years in business.


August 2, 1776: New Hampshire delegates Dr. Josiah Bartlett and William Whipple join other members of the Continental Congress in signing the Declaration of Independence.


August 2, 1927: Granite cutters from Concord join others from throughout New England in appealing for a five-day week with a $9-a-day wage. They currently work 5½ days a week at $8 per day.

Author: Insider Staff

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