This week in Concord history

May 5, 1944: An epidemic of German measles in Concord has driven the absentee list at city schools above 100.

May 6, 2003: Gov. Craig Benson appoints a 12-person task force to determine whether the Old Man of the Mountain should be reborn as a plaster of Paris, rubber or granite version of its former self. Benson says the Old Man of the Mountain Revitalization Task Force will explore what should be done to best memorialize the New Hampshire icon, which fell from its Franconia Notch perch sometime last weekend.

May 6, 2000: Concord Skatepark officially opens behind Everett Arena, and about 100 skaters immediately begin sliding, ramping and jumping to their hearts’ content. “A lot of kids go here, so I can learn all the moves,” says Josh Meekins, a middle schooler who plans many returns. “I never could do that before.”

May 6, 1967: Speaking in Manchester, Gen. Wallace Greene Jr., the top U.S. Marine, says America is winning the Vietnam War, “and I say that without any doubt whatsoever.”

May 7, 1973: Maxine Kumin of Warner wins the Pulitzer Prize for poetry for Up Country. “I’m just absolutely knocked out,” she says. “I can’t believe it.” Kumin says the book “took the pulse of the times a little bit. People are turning away from urban things.”

May 7, 1732: John Pittman is born. He will be an early settler of Barnstead and live to the age of 101. Around his 100th birthday, a town history reports, “he procured a set of teeth, white, strong and fashionable, which was in truth a wonder in the neighborhood, and he began to look young again.”

May 8, 1996: Concord’s South Congregational Church votes to officially welcome lesbians and gays. The measure passes, 123-26, at the congregation’s 159th annual meeting. The church will now write acceptance of gays and lesbians into its bylaws.

May 8, 1996: Pitching for the San Diego Padres, Bob Tewksbury of Concord makes the 200th start of his major league career. He is in the midst of a streak in which he will win five of his first six starts for the Padres.

May 9, 2001: The average cost of a gallon of gasoline in New Hampshire stands at $1.66, but most drivers interviewed by the Monitor don’t foresee changing their driving habits. “It’s a numbers thing,” says Linda GiConte. “I think if people see it hit $2, things might start to change.”

May 9, 1944: Norman F. Whippen, New Hampshire’s assistant superintendent of emergency farm labor, puts out a call for 275 “live-ins” – high school students willing to work on farms for $30 a month plus laundry expenses.

May 10, 2001: The Boston Globe announces it will soon stop publishing its Sunday “NH Weekly” section and close its Manchester bureau. The section debuted in 1987.

May 10, 1847: Residents of Concord gather to honor Franklin Pierce after he is commissioned brigadier general for the war with Mexico. The ladies of the town present Pierce with a sword. The men have purchased a fine horse for him. When the horse suddenly dies, William Walker, proprietor of the Eagle Hotel, sells the men his black horse, which is given to Pierce.

May 10, 1943: The state announces that liquor will now be among the commodities subject to war rationing. The limit: two quarts per person per day.

May 11, 2002: Notre Dame College celebrates its final graduation before closing its doors. The small Catholic school was founded by the Sisters of the Holy Cross 52 years earlier. Officials said financial difficulties and a declining student population forced them to close the school.

May 11, 2000: Concord schools Superintendent Curt Sokness announces he will serve the final year of his contract as principal of Walker School. He will fill in for the current principal, Clint Cogswell, who will be on sabbatical. Assistant Superintendent Chris Rath will take over for Sokness.

May 11, 1900: Norris Cotton is born. Cotton will become editor of the Granite Monthly and a lawyer in Concord before his political career. He will serve numerous terms in the New Hampshire House, including one as speaker, then go to Washington as a congressman (1947-54) and senator (1954-75).

Author: Insider Staff

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