This week in Concord history

April 27, 1861: The city of Concord appropriates $10,000 to aid the families of local volunteers who go off to war. It expects the state to reimburse it, and for the most part it will. By the end of the year, the city will have doled out $3,000 to soldiers’ families.


April 27, 1987: Fire breaks out in the south end of the Legislative Office Building in Concord. Hundreds gather to watch as a cool wind whips the flames pouring from the roof. Water streams out the door and down the steps into the street. The building suffers extensive smoke and water damage.


April 28, 2002: The Weirs Beach sign is aglow once again, refurbished to look like it did when it first went up in 1956, the Monitor reports. About 20 people weathered rain and snow to go to a dedication ceremony for the sign.


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, 1975: Environmentalists come out en masse to testify against a bill created by Gov. Mel Thomson that would suspend environmental protection regulations that delay energy production projects.


April 30, 2003: After six months of haggling, the city reaches a tentative deal to buy the former Penacook tannery. The city plans to pay Dana Willis $143,000 for the condemned, contaminated tannery and 2.5 acres of land. The deal means the end of 15 years of uncertainty for Penacook residents.


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, 1697: In Penacook along the Merrimack River, Hannah Dustin and two other captives turn on the Indians who kidnapped them and killed Dustin’s newborn child in March. They catch their captors asleep, kill 10 of them and return home to Haverhill, Mass. For the 10 scalps they bring with them, they collect a bounty of 50 pounds.


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


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% wage cut. Management calls in strikebreakers from New York, and the solidarity of the unions slowly ebbs away.


May 1, 1977: The police arrest 1,414 people at a protest at the Seabrook nuclear power plant site. State police Lt. Ernie Loomis says: “They weren’t vulgar. They did not resist. They simply didn’t cooperate.” Arrested at Seabrook for the third time, Medora Hamilton of Laconia says: “I would not change what I have done.”


May 1, 1841: New Hampshire artist Benjamin Champney, 23, sails for Europe, where he will go to Paris to paint studies of statues in the Louvre and study the techniques of Dutch landscape artist Jacob Van Ruisdael and others. These techniques will one day be apparent in Champney’s painting of the White Mountains.


May 2, 1980: Tom Rath steps down as New Hampshire’s attorney general. His deputy, Greg Smith, will succeed him.

Author: Insider Staff

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