March 16, 1680: New Hampshire’s first colonial assembly meets in Portsmouth. Today’s Legislature has 424 members. That year, just 11.
March 16, 1983: The Monitor reports on the results of local straw polls on a statewide bottle-return bill. Loudon, Canterbury, Hopkinton and Deering vote in favor. Pittsfield tables the issue. Northwood says no.
March 16, 1918: In Ossipee, the 80-year-old Austin H.F. Quimby, veteran of the USS Kearsarge of Civil War fame, tells reporters he’d like to join the navy and take a shot at a German submarine.
March 16, 1933: Judson Hale is born. He will grow up to be editor of Yankee magazine and the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
March 17, 2001: Many Bow residents wake up to a surprise, learning that the school bond they defeated the night before isn’t dead just yet. Hundreds of voters went home after a proposal to build a $5.9 million elementary school had failed. Much later in the meeting, however, the issue was reopened when a motion to reconsider was approved by the remaining voters. Ultimately, the initial vote will stand.
March 17, 2000: The attorney general announces a breakthrough in the 1981 murder of Concord resident Yvonne Fine. Joseph Whittey, who’s been in prison on an unrelated attempted murder conviction since 1990, is now charged with first-degree murder in the death of the 81-year-old woman.
March 18, 2001: The college basketball season for Concord’s Matt Bonner and his Florida teammates comes to an abrupt end when the Gators, a No. 3 seed, are routed by No. 11 Temple in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Bonner, a sophomore, scores 13 points and grabs 11 rebounds in the loss.
March 18, 1949: Concord native Edward H. Brooks wins promotion to lieutenant general in the U.S. Army. From a second lieutenant of cavalry during World War I through his post-World War II service in the Caribbean, Brooks has had a distinguished military career. He won the Distinguished Service Cross for heroism in World War I and the Silver Star, Bronze Star and French Croix de Guerre, among other decorations, during World War II.
March 18, 1852: George G. Fogg, Concord editor, Free Soil leader and temperance man, puts the best face on his party’s election loss to the Democrats. “The men who have carried this state by rum this year must take the responsibility for it next year,” he writes. “The wedge they have so successfully used to divide and conquer their opponents will, ere long, be found severing the joints and marrow of their organization.”
March 19, 1967: The calendar says spring is about to start, but few believe it. The low temperature in Concord falls to 16 below zero, tying the record for the coldest March day in the 20th century. This follows a reading of 13 below the day before and 10 below the day before that.
March 20, 2002: An apartment fire on Maplewood Lane in Penacook leaves dozens of residents homeless. Nobody is hurt.
March 20, 2001: With back-to-back winter storms having drained snow removal budgets around the state, Gov. Jeanne Shaheen asks President Bush to declare a federal snow emergency for New Hampshire. The cost of cleaning up from the most recent storm was estimated at $1.5 million.
March 20, 1779: From Exeter, the provincial capital, Dr. Josiah Bartlett writes to his fellow congressman and fellow signer of the Declaration of Independence, William Whipple, in hopes that Whipple will procure from Spain hard currency to pay the army. New Hampshire’s soldiers have been paid in paper that has depreciated, and Gen. John Stark and other state commanders have petitioned the General Court “to have the wages of our soldiers in the Continental Army made good according to contract.”
March 21, 1998: Gilmanton residents vote, 123-110, against teaming up with Pittsfield and Barnstead to build a high school. The result dashes the hopes of the other two towns; the votes in favor of the proposal had been 145-5 in Pittsfield and 211-2 in Barnstead.
March 21, 1820: An editorial in Concord’s New Hampshire Patriot says the Missouri compromise, while disappointing on the whole, “succeeded in rescuing from slavery a vast tract of country, which would otherwise have been expos’d to this dreadful curse.”
March 22, 2002: Sawmill operators and forest owners elsewhere in the country are celebrating a new, 29 percent federal tariff on subsidized Canadian lumber, but New Hampshire’s timber industry meets the news with mixed emotions. Timer industry experts say the tariffs may have unintended consequences that hurt long traditions of cross-border relationships between sawmill operators and forest owners.
March 22, 1901: The Massachusetts-New Hampshire boundary is finally settled.
March 23, 2001: Concord was New Hampshire’s fastest-growing city in the 1990s, the U.S. Census Bureau announces. The official 2000 population is listed as 40,687.
March 23, 1770: Eighteen days after the Boston Massacre, a black-bordered issue of the New Hampshire Gazette depicts the victims with drawings of skulls and crossbones and coffins. A subsequent issue will feature a letter stating: “O AMERICANS! This BLOOD calls loud for VENGEANCE!”