Feb. 9, 1986: Former U.S. Senate majority leader Howard Baker names Tom Rath of Concord to direct his 1988 presidential campaign. The campaign will founder in March 1987, however, when Baker calls it off upon becoming President Reagan’s chief of staff.
Feb. 9, 1988: Fresh from a first-place finish in Iowa, U.S. Sen. Bob Dole takes a hard anti-Communist line in a Concord campaign appearance. He warns against “glasnost fever,” saying: “Whatever glasnost is, it is not democracy. Whatever else Gorbachev may be, he is still a hard-as-nails Communist.”
Feb. 10, 2003: On the eighth day of deliberations in Manchester, jurors acquit John Bardgett, 26, a self-described nursing home “Angel of Death,” of murder by injecting two terminally ill patients with morphine.
Feb. 10, 2001: Wind gusts of up to 60 mph sweep across the state, ripping branches off trees and leaving more than 11,000 homes and businesses without power.
Feb. 10, 2000: Prince Michael of Kent spends the afternoon dining and skiing at Loon Mountain, interrupting the fun with a 20-second pose for news cameras. His New Hampshire hosts trip over themselves to fulfill his wishes, but his own subjects seem unimpressed. “In Britain he’s minor royalty,” one observer says.
Feb. 10, 1942: Robert Leon Harris, a 15-year-old student, agrees to leave Rundlett Junior High School “so as not to cause any trouble.” He is the second Jehovah’s Witness in the city to refuse on religious grounds to pledge allegiance to flag and country.
Feb. 10, 1927: The Schoonmaker Chair Co. signs a seven-year contract to use New Hampshire state prison inmates to make chairs. The company will pay 15 cents per man-hour.
Feb. 11, 2003: Republican John Coughlin is sworn in as the Hillsborough County Attorney, an hour after the state Supreme Court upholds his November election victory over long-time incumbent Peter McDonough. After McDonough lost the election by 126 votes, he challenged the outcome because 269 ballots were marked incorrectly by voters. In its decision, the court reaffirms a standard it had laid out before: In ballot disputes, voter intent matters more than technicalities.
Feb. 11, 2002: The Concord City Council votes 13-1 to accept 30 fiscal goals for the city, including a 3 perin cent tax rate increase target.
Feb. 11, 2001: The 72nd annual World Champion Sled Dog Derby wraps up in Laconia. For the Marsh family from Mendon, Mass., what began modestly has become serious business. “At first we thought it might be cool to try it out, and just entered a few,” says Lori Marsh. “Now we’re racing practically every weekend from October through March.”
Feb. 11, 1941: President Franklin D. Roosevelt appoints John G. Winant of Concord to succeed Joseph Kennedy as U.S. ambassador to Great Britain. Winant, a Republican, is a former governor and served earlier in FDR’s presidency as the first administrator of the Social Security Administration.
Feb. 11, 1965: The New Hampshire Senate agrees to reapportion its 24 seats, basing districts on population rather than wealth, as a 1964 U.S. Supreme Court ruling demands. The result: more seats for Democrats.
Feb. 11, 1942: Under a federal subsidy program, local schools are about to join a “penny-for-a-half-pint” milk program to help farmers sell their surplus. The usual cost is three to five cents.
Feb. 11, 1988: Peppered by UNH students with questions over his opposition to campaign finance reform and to economic sanctions against South Africa, presidential candidate Bob Dole fires back. “Aren’t there any conservative students here?” he says. “There’s got to be one or two. I want to see the future taxpayers.” The students boo.
Feb. 11, 1992: Hit by allegations of extramarital sex and draft evasion, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton tells a New Hampshire audience he’ll continue to fight for the Democratic presidential nomination. “I’m going to fight it like crazy to the very end,” he says.
Feb. 12, 1987: Supporters of Gary Hart’s 1988 presidential bid hold their first organizational meeting in Cheshire County.
Feb. 12, 1968: Eugene Daniell of Franklin disbands the New Hampshire write-in effort for Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Theodore Sorenson, RFK’s national spokesman, says Kennedy has asked that no votes be cast for him. A month later, after Sen. Eugene McCarthy wounds President Johnson the March New Hampshire primary, Kennedy will rethink his strategy and enter the race.
Feb. 12, 1967: The weather observatory atop Mount Washington simultaneously records a temperature of -41 degrees Fahrenheit and a wind of 110 miles per hour. The chill factor is off the charts.
Feb. 12, 1942: Speaking in Lincoln, England, on Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, U.S. Ambassador John G. Winant of Concord says Lincoln would have approved of the war. “He was, as we are, the foe of any doctrine which seeks to enslave one race to another,” Winant tells his audience.
Feb. 12, 1968: A thin, soft-spoken, curly-haired Harvard divinity student named Sam Brown arrives at 3 Pleasant St. in Concord, headquarters of the “peace” candidacy of Sen. Eugene McCarthy. “The United States is now the great imperialist-aggressor nation of the world,” Brown tells an interviewer. He has come to town to lead scores of young visitors to the state in a one-month insurgency that will bring McCarthy to near-victory in New Hampshire.
Feb. 13, 1847: Thomas “Old Soldier” Haines dies at 87. A Concord man, Haines volunteered in the Patriot cause at the age of 19. He was slightly wounded at Fort Ticonderoga in 1777 and had worse luck near Saratoga. He was shot and lay two days among the dead before being rescued. The ball had passed through both cheeks, nearly severing his tongue. The Bouton history of Concord reported: “His face bore the mutilation till his death.”