This week in Concord history

In our haste to get back to decorating Christmas cookies, we printed this week’s history last week. So here is last week’s history this week.

 

Dec. 23, 2000: Bradlees department store on Fort Eddy Road is about to go out of business, the Monitor reports. The 105-store chain, which struggled through the 1990s, will close all of its locations.

Dec. 23, 1861: Israel Drew of Pittsfield lies about his age and joins Company G of the Eighth New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry regiment. A 66-year-old veteran of the War of 1812, he claims he is 44. He will die of sickness eight months in Louisiana. After the war, the claim will be made that he was the oldest enlisted man in the Union army.

Dec. 23, 1999: The Monitor reports that Gov. Jeanne Shaheen is joining the fight against a nationwide order by President Clinton that could limit logging in the White Mountain National Forest. “I believe the proposal sets a terrible precedent for the governance of our national forests,” Shaheen says.

Dec. 23, 1987: Charles Gross, a University of New Hampshire marketing professor, predicts that Yuppies will die out in 1988 as more traditional and less selfish personal values come into vogue. He says the October ‘87 stock market crash ended the yuppie era and the next year will find more young people putting family goals and personal relationships ahead of careers and condominiums.

 

Dec. 24, 1979: Mississippi Gov. Cliff Finch arrives in Concord and declares, “I will be the next president of the United States.” If he can’t get enough signatures to get his name on the ballot, he says, he’ll run as a write-in.

Dec. 24, 1979: The U.S. Census Bureau reports New Hampshire’s population is now 887,000, up 20.2 percent from 1970.

Dec. 24, 1979: The state Public Utilities Commission grants a 4.98 percent emergency rate increase to Public Service Co. of New Hampshire, which claims it needs added revenue to keep building its Seabrook nuclear power plant.

Dec. 24, 2001: For years, New Hampshire has lagged behind other states in compiling the crime statistics that can affect federal funds, local police efforts and legislative spending, the Monitor reports. A recent push by the state attorney general’s office has increased the number of local departments recording and reporting crimes, but some say New Hampshire still has a ways to go.

 

 

Dec. 24, 1998: A 26-year-old snowmobiler crashes through the ice of Turkey Pond in Concord and is stuck in the frigid water for an hour – staying afloat by purposely freezing his forearms and hands on top of the ice. Concord Fire Battalion Chief calls it the most dangerous ice rescue in memory. “There was such shallow ice around him,” he says.

Dec. 24, 1989: Don’t tell Concord folks winter has just begun: Only a month after the coldest November day of the century, the city faces another deep freeze. The day’s low temperature is 20 below zero.

 

 

Dec. 25, 1976: The toll on Interstate 93 rises from 25 to 40 cents. The price of tokens increases from 16 to 20 cents. It’s the first increase in 20 years and is intended to pay for expanding the turnpike between Hooksett and Bow.

Dec. 25, 1820: Episcopalians hold Concord’s first Christmas celebration 93 years after the town was settled. Because Concord was settled by Massachusetts Congregationalists, the holiday was previously banned.

 

Dec. 26, 2002: The first snowflakes that lined door wreaths and lights Christmas morning were just a harbinger of what was to come, the Monitor reports. By the early afternoon, snow fell in sheets, with up to 20 inches predicted accumulation across the state.

 

 

Dec. 26, 1856: A fire reduces Concord’s Phenix Hotel to ashes. It will rise again on the same spot.

 

Dec. 27, 1979: Secretary of State William Gardner speculates that the state’s new $500 filing fee to run in the presidential primary has pared down the number of candidates for the 1980 contest: just 12 men are on the ballot. “We didn’t have the ministers dragging crosses, the Indian chiefs, or the men handing out white shoelaces that we’ve had in the past,” Gardner says.

Dec. 27, 1979: The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that New Hampshire has 100 more farms than in 1978: 3,200 compared to 3,100.

 

Dec. 27, 2001: When it opened in 1967, Havenwood-Heritage Heights was one of the first modern retirement communities in the state. But times have continued to change, and now the center is planning a $40 million expansion so it can change along with them, the Monitor reports.

Dec. 27, 2000: Hundreds of firefighters from around the country gather at a Manchester wake to pay their respects to David Anderson, 43, the first city firefighter to die on the job in more than 30 years. He died trying to save two boys in a house fire. Some 2,000 firefighters will attend his funeral the next day.

 

Dec. 28, 2002: A fire guts the Backwater Bar and Grill in Laconia, causing at least $250,000 in damage. No one is injured.

Dec. 28, 2001: The Olympic torch comes to Concord on its way to Salt Lake City and makes a quick stop at the State House for a 15-minute ceremony. Former Olympians, Concord student athletes and what seems like thousands of people come out to see the flame.

Dec. 28, 2000: The Census Bureau announces the state’s official 2000 population: 1,235,786. New Hampshire grew by 11.4 percent in the 1990s, faster than any other northeastern state but considerably slower than the state grew in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s.

 

Dec. 28, 1999: State Republican Party Chairman Steve Duprey issues a call for a Washington-based conservative group to pull a New Hampshire television ad attacking Sen. John McCain’s support of campaign finance reform. Duprey tells the group, Americans for Tax Reform, that the ad “crosses the line from a fair discussion of the issues to a blatant mischaracterization of John McCain’s record and views.” The ad shows a silhouette that at first resembles President Clinton but turns out to be McCain.

 

Dec. 28, 1978: State and Concord police officers arrest 28 people in the largest drug bust in city history. Thirty-one people are eventually charged, but the Merrimack County attorney will eventually drop all charges. The chief reasons: a lack of cooperation between the police and prosecutors and flaws in a diary recording the work of an undercover agent.

 

Dec. 29, 2002: After nearly 103 years of countless weddings, baptisms, confirmations and funerals, the sounds of Mass echo through St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Franklin for the last time. The church closes because of dwindling numbers of parishioners and the financial burden of serving a small community.

Author: Insider Staff

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