This week in Concord history

Aug. 5, 2003: The Rev. Canon Gene Robinson, 56, of Weare, makes history when the country’s Episcopal bishops vote 63-42 to make him the country’s first openly gay bishop.

Aug. 5, 1855: On a visit home in Chester, N.H., Benjamin Brown French worries that the nation is headed toward civil war because of the Southern movement to add new slave territory. “To this movement I am sorry to see a Northern President lending his aid!” he writes in his diary. “How terribly Franklin Pierce has disappointed all his friends!”

Aug. 5, 1861: New Hampshire’s First Regiment, its three months’ enlistment up, returns to Concord without having fought a battle. Gov. Nathaniel Berry, the Governor’s Horse Guard and a large crowd of citizens greet the regiment and accompany it to the State House. There, the soldiers stack arms. Many will volunteer for service in the three-year regiments now forming.


Aug. 6, 2003: A day after approving the election of the Rev. Canon Gene Robinson, of Weare, as the country’s first openly gay bishop, Episcopal Church leaders pass a watered-down resolution giving dioceses the option of blessing same-sex unions.


Aug. 6, 2002: Republican gubernatorial candidate Craig Benson says that if elected, he would propose a constitutional amendment to stunt government spending permanently. Benson’s “Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights” would require a two-thirds majority vote of the Legislature, instead of a majority vote, to raise the rate of an existing tax. The amendment would also limit future budget increases to the rate of inflation.

Aug. 6, 2001: After spending 10 years at the head of the city council’s table, Mayor Bill Veroneau decides not to run again. Veroneau, 71, announces his decision to councilors at a neighborhood forum in Penacook.


Aug. 6, 2000: About 20 people gather along the Merrimack River near Concord’s Loudon Road to pray for a world without a nuclear threat. Marking the 55th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, the peace activists toss flowers into the water.



Aug. 7, 2003: Gov. Craig Benson and lawmakers settle on a compromise budget that is nearly identical to the budget vetoed by the governor in June, but which replenishes the state’s rainy day fund.


Aug. 7, 2001: The Concord Baseball Association announces that Pete Dupuis has been named the General Manager of the Concord Quarry Dogs for the 2002 season. Dupuis was the Assistant General Manager under Warren Doane, who passed away earlier this year.


Aug. 7, 2000: The state unveils its contribution to the country’s new set of quarters. George Washington remains on the “heads” side. On the “tails” side reposes the Old Man of the Mountain.


Aug. 7, 1856: Benjamin Chandler, age 75, becomes lost while hiking Mount Washington. Rescuers are unsuccessful, and his body will not be found until the following year. Years later, Chandler Ridge, Chandler Brook and the Chandler Brook Trail will be named in his memory.


Aug. 8, 2003: A fire erupts aboard a boat at Channel Marine in the Weirs, injuring two young men and a young woman with first- and second- degree burns. The fire starts when the three, employees of the marina, try to clean up gasoline that had spilled inside the cabin of a boat.


Aug. 8, 1861: After eight years and several failed efforts, the Mt. Washington Summit Co. completes the road up Mt. Washington. The road covers eight miles while rising 4,700 feet. The mountain’s peak is 6,288 feet above sea level.


Aug. 8, 2001: The police believe an early morning robbery of the Main Street Cumberland Farms may be connected to recent holdups in Manchester, Bedford and Hooksett, investigators say. “We’re thinking that these may be related,” Manchester Police Sgt. Hames Kinney says. “There are similarities.”


Aug. 9, 2003: Concord’s Little Blue takes a 13-6 loss to Bakersfield in the 16-year-old Babe Ruth World Series in Jamestown N.Y.


Aug. 9, 2002: On the last day of the candidate filing period for the House, 207 Democrats and 348 Republicans have filed for office.


Aug. 9, 2001: New Englanders use more electricity than ever before today, as an unrelenting heat wave smothers the region for the fourth day this week. Issuing a rare power warning this morning, the owners of New England’s electricity grid urge people to conserve energy.


Aug. 9, 1746: A band of 50 to 100 Indians invades Rumford (Concord), but the Indians will be scared off the next morning by 30 armed guards who escort church-goers back to their garrisons.


Aug. 9, 1903: Omer T. Lassonde is born in Concord. An artist, he will be federal arts director of the WPA in New Hampshire during the Depression. The subjects of his many portraits will include U.S. Sen. Styles Bridges, Gov. John G. Winant and the King of Samoa.


Aug. 10, 2003: The Rev. Gene Robinson returns to his home church, St. Paul’s Church in Concord to the hugs and handshakes of hundreds of parishioners and leads the blessing there for the first time since becoming the first openly gay Episcopalian confirmed as a bishop.


Aug. 10, 2002: The union representing state workers, having struggled for months to hit its target for recruitment, now is trying to exclude more than 1,000 workers from those it must recruit, according to documents filed with the state by a commissioner questioning the effort, the Monitor reports.


Aug. 10, 2001: The shop where renowned woodworker David Emerson has created Shaker-style furniture, crafts and dovetail boxes for the last 18 years burns to the ground in a fire that destroys the building in minutes. Fortunately, the Emersons say, they still have their home and barn, and nobody is injured.


Aug. 11, 2003: The Concord City Council strikes a deal with Portsmouth developer Michael Simchik to give both the Sears block and the Penacook tannery some much-needed TLC. Simchik will spend about $10 million to design and build a six-story building full of offices, stores and apartments on the site of the former Sears block downtown. The city will spend about $5 million on a parking garage with at least 330 spaces adjacent to the new building.


Aug. 11, 2002: By this time in the campaign season, the Republican primary between U.S. Sen. Bob Smith and U.S. Rep. John E. Sununu was expected to be a bloody intramural battle and one of the most closely watched races on the national political scene, the Monitor reports. Instead, supporters of both candidates acknowledge that while Sununu and Smith are working hard to line up votes, the campaign hasn’t made the splash most political observers anticipated.


Aug. 12, 2003: Rain pours down on Penacook and Boscawen, filling storm drains and waterways beyond capacity. The storm carries away a 15-foot section of River Road, where a culvert leads into the Contoocook River.


Aug. 12, 2002: In Meredith, Marine Patrol is still looking for the boater responsible for hitting and killing a Bedford man late Sunday night near the Meredith Town Docks. According to Karen Hartman, whose husband John Hartman, 65, was killed in the crash, the boater stopped long enough to hear her call for help but left without responding.


Aug. 12, 1970: Attorney General Warren Rudman labels Meldrim Thomson an ‘extremist’ after Thomson, a candidate for governor, tells an interviewer that there’s a point at which freedom of speech or any other right guaranteed under the constitution must be put to one side if we are to preserve the government. Thomson was commenting on the state’s recent decision to allow Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and David Dellinger to appear at the University of New Hampshire.

Author: Insider Staff

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