This week in Concord history

Oct. 14, 1937: Norm D’Amours is born. A Democrat, he will serve in Congress from 1975 to 1985. In 1992 he will run unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for governor.


Oct. 14, 1846: A Northfield girl, Susan Maria Hills, is killed when her clothes catch fire from an open fireplace.


Oct. 15, 2002: Concord High juniors get the news that their statewide test scores rose significantly in all four subjects on the test, with the most notable jumps in language arts and math. In an effort to boost scores during the testing period in May, the school adopted a controversial reward system for students who took the test. Rewards included bagels, yogurt and McDonald’s apple pies.


Oct. 15, 2001: Backed by many of the Republican establishment’s heaviest hitters, U.S. Rep. John E. Sununu declares his plans to run against U.S. Sen. Bob Smith in next year’s high-stakes Senate race.


Oct. 15, 2000: About 1,800 people take part in Concord’s leg of the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. The local event raises $157,000 for research.


Oct. 15, 1851: Philip C. Hunt is caught in a belt and carried around the shafting of a Penacook mill, mangling one leg and one arm badly, from which he never fully recovers. He lives until 1858.


Oct. 15, 1814: Daniel Webster returns to Washington to resume representing New Hampshire in the U.S. House. Congress convenes in the U.S. Patent Office, the only federal building the British Army did not burn in a raid on Aug. 24.

Oct. 16, 1940: All men in the state between the ages of 21 and 36 are counted for the draft. By the end of World War II in 1945, 36,000 men will have been drafted, and 22,500 more will have enlisted.


Oct. 16, 1975: The Reagan for President campaign opens a headquarters at the New Hampshire Highway Hotel in Concord. Hotel owner Matthew Morton agrees to a temporary replacement of the wording on the huge sign atop the building from “Highway Hotel” to “Reagan for President,” creating an ostentatious precedent for future political candidates.


Oct. 16, 1996: A Tri-Town ambulance crew delivers a baby who just couldn’t wait for the ride from Allenstown to the Elliot Hospital in Manchester. Her name: Heather Lynn Welch.


Oct. 17, 2001: Dixville Notch resident Neil Tillotson dies at the age of 102. He invented the latex balloon, chased Pancho Villa with Pershing’s Cavalry, and cast the first vote in U.S. presidential elections for more than four decades.


Oct. 17, 1908: Robert Abial “Red” Rolfe is born in Penacook. He will play baseball with the New York Yankees from 1934 to ‘42 and be hailed by many as the team’s best third baseman ever. His career will bridge those of Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio. He will bat .293 lifetime and play in six World Series. After retiring as an active player, he will coach aseball and basketball at Yale, coach professionally in both sports, manage the Detroit Tigers and serve as athletic director at Dartmouth College.


Oct. 17, 2000: A Laconia McDonald’s franchise agrees to pay $550,000 to three female former employees who accused co-workers and managers of sexual harassment.


Oct. 17, 1939: David Souter is born in Melrose, Mass. He will attend Concord High and Harvard and eventually rise to the U.S. Supreme Court.


Oct. 17, 1973: Concord officials meet to discuss ways to improve conditions on Concord Heights, after a $25,000 consultant points out: “There’s no village center, no coherence, no meeting place. There’s no there when you get there.”


Oct. 18, 2001: Nearly 100 people attend a Concord hearing on a proposed zoning ordinance. Residents discuss proposed development in the Penacook Lake watershed and floodplain concerns about commercial development in Penacook.


Oct. 18, 1963: Trailing Barry Goldwater by a 2-1 margin in a Wall Street Journal poll of New Hampshire voters, New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller comes to Concord with his wife Happy to say he intends to run a vigorous primary campaign.


Oct. 18, 1988: Attorney Ray D’Amante announces the name of Concord’s soon-to-be-built mall: Steeplegate. Concord, he says, is a city of steeples and they will be incorporated into the mall as a prominent design feature.


Oct. 18, 1965: Gov. John King urges state lawmakers to approve tearing down a 70-year-old tower atop the state library at the corner of Park and North State streets. He calls it “an architectural monstrosity.”


Oct. 19, 2003: A Manchester widow is going after big tobacco, the Monitor reports. Julien Longden smoked for 32 years died of lung cancer at the age of 49. Now his widow, Sheila Longden, is asking a Hillsborough County jury to make the Philip Morris tobacco company pay for the pain suffered by her husband and his death. The trial is the first of its kind in New Hampshire.


Oct. 19, 2002: Franklin Pierce Law Center holds the fifth annual Bruce E. Friedman Community Service Day in honor of the late professor. More than 90 students, professors and family members volunteer at the school and throughout the community.


Oct. 19, 2000: The percentage of students performing at or above the “basic” level on the state’s standardized tests has slightly improved from a year ago, the Monitor reports. Once again, third-graders fared the best as a group. Overall scores were lowest on the sixth-grade science and 10th-grade social studies tests.


Oct. 20, 2003: Berlin records the national low temperature at -15 degrees.


Oct. 20, 2002: In high school football the Bow Falcons persist to a 28-20 victory over Bishop Brady’s Green Giants, the Monitor reports. The victory guarantees Bow (5-2) its first winning season, and the loss pretty much ends Brady’s playoff hopes.


Oct. 20, 2001: Salem’s Katie King, a member of the U.S. Women’s Olympic Hockey Team, scores 2 goals for Team USA. The U.S. wins over Canada, 4 to 1.

Oct. 20, 1814: The first boat of the Merrimack Boating Co., later the Boston & Concord Boating Co., arrives in Concord. Northbound commercial cargo will include sugar, molasses, rum and finished goods. The boats will carry lumber, firewood, potash (for soap) and granite south to Quincy Market.


Oct. 20, 1989: The 57-year-old Johnny Cash fills the Capitol Theatre in Concord for two performances. His humble demeanor and his repertory, heavy on gospel, trains, fisticuffs, simple justice and simple pieties, bring down the house.


Oct. 20, 1975: Gov. Mel Thomson travels to Dallas to deliver a speech critical of U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. “If Kissinger, the lying and deceptive secretary, is allowed to continue his egomaniac role of concessions to our enemy and harassment of our allies, it is doubtful that America will survive to complete the celebration of its bicentennial birthday.” His beef: Kissinger’s dealings with China.


Oct. 20, 1957: A thousand people attend the ceremony dedicating Concord’s new Rundlett Junior High School in the South End. After a tour, most express satisfaction with the $1.4 million school.


Oct. 20, 1908: Forest fires all around Concord fill the streets with smoke. Farmers’ wells are running dry. The temperature rises to 85 degrees.

Author: Insider Staff

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