This week in Concord history

April 28, 1974: Gov. Mel Thomson returns to New Hampshire after two days in the Caribbean studying oil refineries. Thomson’s office refuses to say precisely where in the Caribbean area he was.

April 28, 1752: On a trapping expedition north of Plymouth, young John Stark leaves camp to check his traps and is captured by Indians. He is beaten, taken north to Canada, forced to run the gauntlet and, after five or six weeks in captivity, released when a ransom of 40 pounds is paid.

April 29, 1967: From Washington, New Hampshire Gov. John King lauds General William Westmoreland’s speech to Congress as “an answer to card burners and demonstrators.” King sees the speech as “a complete endorsement” of President Johnson’s war policy and “a tribute to the soldiers in Vietnam.”

April 29, 1948: The New Hampshire Christian Civic League, formerly known as the New Hampshire Anti-Saloon League, faces the prospect of disbanding after 50 years of fighting for prohibition. Donations have fallen off, and the organization cannot pay its bills. Nowadays, on the issue of reducing the number of people who drink alcoholic beverages, “even some of the church groups are easy-going,” laments league official Herbert Rainie.

April 29, 1964: In an editorial, the Monitor defends its opposition to the recently initiated state lottery against criticism from Manchester publisher William Loeb. The Monitor calls the lottery “a new venture born under a cloud of doubts.” Loeb has accused the Monitor of being “a minority gone mad and demanding what it wants.” The paper, he writes, is guilty of “vindictive dog- in-the-manger tactics and sabotage.”

April 30, 2001: Warren Doane coaches his final baseball game. Concord High’s coach since 1973, Doane has been diagnosed with cancer.

 

April 30, 1789: As president of the U.S. Senate, John Langdon of Portsmouth has the honor of informing George Washington that he has been elected the new nation’s first president.

 

April 30, 1963: New Hampshire establishes the nation’s first modern state-run lottery.

 

April 30, 1974: Gov. Mel Thomson says President Nixon has laid the Watergate issue to rest in his nationwide address. “Nixon for almost two years has carried his cross of abuse. He has come out of the ordeal as one of America’s great statesmen.”

 

April 30, 1965: Gov. John King cuts the ribbon at the grand opening of the New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord. Tuition for state residents will be $300 a year. Out-of-staters will pay $800.

 

May 1, 2000: U.S. Sen. Bob Smith comes to Concord to endorse former senator Gordon Humphrey’s campaign for governor. Smith replaced Humphrey in the Senate in 1991.

 

May 1, 1891: By custom, Concord’s May Horn ushers in a day of celebrating the final escape from winter. The horn is peculiar to Concord. “The ‘oldest inhabitant’ cannot recall a first day of May in his boyhood when the din of the horn did not reverberate in some wee hour,” the Monitor reports.

 

May 1, 1990: U.S. Rep. Bob Smith is criticized by his opponents in the U.S. Senate race for accepting $1,000 from a German company that invented an abortion pill. “If there was PAC money in the middle of the ocean, Bob Smith would become a deep sea diver,” says Tom Christo. Smith, who opposes abortion, says the donation is proof he isn’t influenced by PAC money.

 

May 1, 1903: After 48 years of Prohibition, New Hampshire begins issuing licenses for liquor sales.

 

May 1, 1921: At the International Paper Co.’s plant in Berlin, 600 workers go on strike to protest a 30 percent wage cut. Management calls in strikebreakers from New York, and the solidarity of the unions slowly ebbs away.

 

May 1, 1891: An earthquake hits the town of Bristol. “Doors rattled, dishes moved on shelves and there was a noise like that of a heavy team moving over frozen ground,” a town history reports.

 

May 2, 1939: The news in New York and around the world of baseball is that Lou Gehrig, after playing 2,130 consecutive games for the Yankees, has sat one out. Without Gehrig, the Yankees clobber Detroit 22-2. In a nine-run seventh inning, Yankees third baseman Red Rolfe, the Pride of Penacook, hits two doubles and drives in three runs.

 

May 2, 1944: U.S. Sen. Styles Bridges of New Hampshire asks for an investigation into reports that U.S. servicemen are losing a large part of their pay playing slot machines on military bases.

 

May 2, 1980: Tom Rath steps down as New Hampshire’s attorney general. His deputy, Greg Smith, will succeed him. “It’s very difficult to leave Never Never Land,” Rath says. “I’ll miss fighting the Captain Hooks.”

 

May 2, 1977: Two hundred seventy-seven of the 1,414 anti-nuclear demonstrators arrested at Seabrook on April 30 are moved to the armory on Concord Heights.

 

May 2, 1966: Former vice president Richard Nixon lands at Concord Airport for a speech at the Highway Hotel. Of the situation in Vietnam, he says: “We cannot tolerate the administration’s apparent resignation to a five to 10-year war in South Vietnam because this will eventually mean an American defeat.”

 

May 3, 2003: The Old Man of the Mountain, New Hampshire’s iconic symbol, the stone deity who watched over the state’s residents and countless visitors, lost its 10,000-year battle with gravity sometime over the last two rain-soaked days, crumbling mysteriously to the ground in a stream of small stone pieces. A cavalcade of state officials and workers, Old Man of the Mountain devotees and tourists descend on Franconia Notch to see for themselves.

 

May 3, 2002: The Supreme Court said it would intervene in redrawing House voting districts if the governor and Legislature fail to enact a plan in two weeks, the Monitor reports. “This court will not permit upcoming elections to go forward with unconstitutional districts,” the court said.

 

May 3, 1976: The U.S. Justice Department sues New Hampshire, accusing the state Sweepstakes Commission of violating federal laws by servicing bettors in Maine. The government charges New Hampshire with illegally using the mails to send tickets and renewal applications for subscriptions to out-of-state residents. The lawsuit asks the court to order New Hampshire to stop sending lottery material, including prize money, to out-of-state residents.

 

May 3, 1989: New Hampshire tax experts predict an $18 million spike in revenue from the state’s estate and legacy tax, a prediction that helps balance the budget – at least on paper. “Although we don’t know who’s going to die, the trend is definitely not flat,” says House Ways and Means Chairwoman Donna Sytek.

 

May 3, 1967: Concord High School bars the press from covering Alabama Gov. George Wallace’s appearance at the school. Referring to a recent incident in which he was prohibited from speaking at Yale University, Wallace says: “I am glad they are barred – and not me – this time.” After the CHS speech, Wallace heads for Dartmouth, where screaming, jeering students force him from the speaker’s platform and surround his car after he has left. They pound the car with their fists for 10 minutes amid signs that read “Wallace is a racist.”

 

May 3, 1943: Because of rampant juvenile delinquency, Concord churches ask the city to impose a 9 p.m. curfew on teenagers. Police Chief Arthur McIsaac says he’ll consider the request.

 

May 3, 1861: The overflow of volunteers from the First New Hampshire infantry regiment, a three-month outfit, begins to form as the Second New Hampshire in answer to President Lincoln’s call for 4,234 three-year volunteers. The Second will come together in June under Col. Gilman Marston, a congressman from Exeter.

Author: Insider Staff

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