This week in Concord history

May 4, 2003: On a clear day that is sunny and perfect for hiking, hundreds gather at the foot of Cannon Mountain to remember; to mourn and to see with their own eyes that the Old Man of the Mountain is really gone. “It’s hard to believe people can have such an emotional attachment to a piece of rock,” says Dan Burbank, who came to the Notch from Moultonboro with his son, Chris. “But it almost brings tears to your eyes.”


May 4, 2000: In a 250-100 vote, the New Hampshire House reaffirms its opposition to expanded gambling, which proponents have urged as a revenue source for public education. “We’re convinced this is the end of slots for tots in New Hampshire,” says Republican Rep. Bob Clegg of Hudson.

May 4, 1848: Robert Hall is crushed to death in the water wheel gearing of the match shop of Jeremiah Fowler in Penacook.


May 4, 1791: The New Hampshire Medical Society is formed at a meeting in Lamson’s Tavern in Exeter. Dr. Josiah Bartlett, physician, congressman, governor and signer of the Declaration of Independence, is named the society’s first president.

May 4, 1944: The governor and Executive Council give 35-year-old Horace Jenot of Franklin a full pardon from his six-month sentence in the county house of correction on the condition that he enlist in the Army. Jenot, a father of four, was convicted in February of drunkenness.


May 5, 1945: Maj. Gen. Edward H. Brooks, a Concord native, accepts the battlefield surrender of the German 19th Army. Brooks is commander of the Sixth Corps.

May 5, 1961: Naval Capt. Alan B. Shepard Jr. of Derry becomes the first American in space. Shepard rides a 6-by-9-foot capsule 116.5 miles up, reaching a speed of 5,160 miles per hour. The capsule drops into the Atlantic Ocean 302 miles from Cape Canaveral, Fla., 15 minutes after launch. “Boy, what a ride,” the 37-year-old New Hampshireman says to the helicopter crewmen sent to collect him.

May 5, 1989: In the midst of recession, leaders of the state workers’ union reject two proposed 5 percent pay raises. Their reason: a cap on health care spending.

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


May 5, 1919: New Hampshire House Speaker Charles Tobey informs a federal agent in Concord that he has received a letter from one Sidney Downing of Lincoln protesting the state’ new anti-sedition law. Although the agent’s investigation will disclose that Downing is a contrary man who always takes the opposite side in political debates, a report filed with the federal government designates Downing a “Bolshevist sympathizer.”

May 6, 2002: The cities of Concord, Laconia and Somersworth are chosen to become New Hampshire Main Street Communities, and will have the support of the national program to help organize, promote, design and economically restructure their downtowns. Concords goals include bringing more housing downtown, redeveloping the Sears block and keeping stores open later. The Laconia group wants to provide better access to the Winnipesaukee River, fill vacant factory buildings and reverse the effects of the 1970s “urban renewal,” which closed off parts of downtown to through-traffic.

May 6, 2001: In a ceremony at Plymouth State College, Warner poet Maxine Kumin receives the Robert Frost Contemporary American Award. The honor is presented every two years by the alumni association to recognize northern New Englanders’ individuality, hard work, humanitarianism and devotion to the country north of Boston.

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, 1848: Colonel Dudley “Dud” Palmer, a leader of Concord’s temperance movement, puts forth a resolution requiring the town’s selectmen to enforce the laws against the sale of intoxicating drinks. It passes unanimously.

May 6, 1799: Blazing Star Lodge No. 11, Free and Accepted Masons, is “consecrated in ample form” at Union Hall in Ben Gale’s inn. It is the first of innumerable fraternal organizations in Concord.

May 6, 1933: Concord’s trolley system, begun in 1881, shuts down.

May 7, 2002: In a closely watched case about sexual harassment laws, and about the powers of the agency charged with enforcing them, the New Hampshire Supreme Court rules that prison officials sufficiently protected a corrections officer who was groped by a colleague, even though they did not fire the man who admitted he grabbed her breasts.

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 8, 2001: More than 150 firefighters from 32 departments are called on to put out an Allenstown fire that destroys one home and its barns while scorching 10 acres of dry ground. “We need rain badly,” says Hooksett Fire Chief Michael Howard. “Until we get some, this state is a tinderbox.”

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.

May 9, 1944: The woman who played the title role in “Cover Girl,” is living on Court Street in Concord. She is Susann Foster, a blonde who stands 5-foot-8 in high heels

Author: Insider Staff

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