This week in Concord history

Aug. 18, 1976: The federal government declares hog cholera under control and lifts a quarantine imposed on swine shipments from Cheshire, Hillsborough and Rockingham counties.


Aug. 19, 2001: Author Philip Roth wins the Edward MacDowell Medal for literature. The award is given by the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, the oldest artists’ colony in the nation.


Aug. 19, 1863: With the Union armies in need of more soldiers, Concord takes part in the draft. Of 924 names placed in a turning wheel, the city’s quota of 277 is drawn. The city will pay each man a bonus of $300.


Aug. 19, 1855: A visitor to the Canterbury Shaker Village counts six water-powered mills “for weaving, coloring, fulling, and for knitting shirts and drawers.” The first knitting machine was installed at the village in 1850. In 1856, a machinist, probably John Pepper of Sanbornton, will build the Shakers a hand-operated “hose machine,” and their production of socks will double.


Aug. 20, 1966: President Lyndon Johnson makes a 90-minute “non-political” visit to Manchester. He speaks to a group of democrats at the Sheraton Carpenter Hotel, urging support for troops in Vietnam, saying, “When adversity comes is no time to back down on our commitment if we expect our friends around the world to have faith in our word.”


Aug. 20, 1948: Lifeguards for Manchester’s municipal swimming pools go on strike, forcing the city to close two pools and leave others unsupervised. The workers are seeking a $5 pay raise from $28 to $33 per week, and have rejected the city’s offer of $2.


Aug. 20, 1844: Samuel Jackman, the oldest man in Concord, dies at the age of 96. He was a veteran of the American Revolution.


Aug. 20, 1945: With government defense contracts suddenly canceled, more than 2,000 New Hampshire workers are laid off, including many at Swenson Granite and Page Belting in Concord.


Aug. 21, 2003: A week after Gov. Craig Benson gets stuck in a four-mile traffic backup at the Interstate 95 toll plaza, he successfully pushes for a change; a one-way toll. He lobbies the Executive Council to approve a six-week experiment to eliminate the southbound toll on the busy highway in Hampton. The plan has drivers paying double when heading north. The council approves it 4-1.


Aug. 21, 1974: Writing in the Union Leader, William Loeb expresses his disgust for Republican presidential candidate Gerald Ford and his running mate Nelson Rockefeller. “Never in the history of the Republican Party have we had two such lemons in the White House,” he writes.


Aug. 21, 1851: Concord’s downtown is ravaged by the worst fire in its history. The fire starts in the old “Mechanics Home” and spreads through old wooden buildings on the east side of Main Street from Park Street south and past the State House. Lost are the Eagle Coffee House, a drug store, the Merchants Exchange, the Prescott Piano Factory and a host of other stores, offices, sheds and houses. More than 1,000 firefighters joined the futile battle. Witnesses say the glow of the fire could be seen in Francestown and Portsmouth – even Portland, Maine.

Aug. 22, 2000: The nation’s reborn scooter fascination has definitely reached central New Hampshire, the Monitor reports. “We just can’t keep them in stock,” says Laurie Sanborn, owner of Banagan’s Cycling Company in Concord.


Aug. 22, 1976: In a protest at the Seabrook nuclear power plant site, the police arrest 179 people.


Aug. 22, 1968: Delegates of the New Hampshire Education Association meet at Bretton Woods to decide whether they will impose professional sanctions on the state. The teachers called a “sanctions alert” after Gov. King refused to call the legislature into a special session to enact a broad-base tax, which the teachers feel could solve the problems of education and their salaries.


Aug. 22, 1950: Gov. Adams’ state reorganization program is slowly but surely being put into force, the Monitor reports. 3600 jobs have been taken out of politics. No longer do the governor, council or other state officials have any say about who is hired, fired or promoted. These decisions rest solely with the newly created State Personnel Commission, which is responsible to nobody else, except on appeal.


Aug. 23, 1775: The British warship Scarborough leaves Portsmouth harbor for Boston. On board after eight stormy years as New Hampshire’s royal governor is John Wentworth. Shortly after his departure, a mob will demolish Fort William and Mary, which guards the harbor. Wentworth’s departure signals the end of colonial rule in New Hampshire.


Aug. 23, 1983: Gov. John Sununu denounces the issues raised in a lawsuit challenging New Hampshire’s reliance on property taxes to fund schools as “garbage.” The suit, he says, is little more than a ploy by those who want a broad-based tax. Fourteen years later, the state Supreme Court will rule against the state in Claremont II, a similar lawsuit.

Author: Insider Staff

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