This week in Concord history

June 8, 1941: Yankee third baseman Red Rolfe of Penacook hits a homer in the first game of New York’s doubleheader sweep at Cleveland. Rolfe’s teammate, Joe DiMaggio, homers twice in the first game and has two hits in the second. His hitting streak now stands at 24 games.

June 8, 1798: State House chaplain Joshua Heywood is fired after two days on the job. His infraction: failure to pray for President John Adams.

June 9, 2002: Three-term Democratic Gov. Jeanne Shaheen formally announces her candidacy for U.S. Senate at Dover Town Hall, the place where she began her political career 12 years ago by declaring her bid for state Senate.

June 9, 1909: The cornerstone is laid for the New Hampshire Historical Society’s building on Park Street. It will be more than two years before the building is finished.

June 10, 2002: Dunbarton’s zoning board sends the developer of a proposed convenience store complex packing, unanimously turning down a requested exemption that would have allowed him to build near a historic crossroad. “I feel it’s a victory for Dunbarton,” says resident Patty Shearin. “It’s a victory for small towns all across the country. With educated evidence, you can defeat the big businesses that wish to change the towns in a way that you don’t wish them to.”


June 10, 2000: A U.S. Postal Service district manager has recommended that Chichester get its old ZIP code back, the Monitor reports. Official approval will come nearly one year later.


June 10, 1983: A celebration marks the opening of Eagle Square. Former mayor Martin Gross delivers a poem to mark the occasion.


June 11, 2002: Dartmouth officials report that the school’s new athletic director resigned abruptly after questions were raised about his resume. Charles Harris stepped down the day before he was officially introduced as the school’s new athletic director. He claimed to have a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Michigan, when in fact he had enrolled in the program but never completed it.


June 11, 1875: The widow of John A. Winslow, captain of the USS Kearsarge of Civil War fame, climbs Mount Kearsarge to select a granite boulder to adorn her husband’s grave. The people of Warner help her move the stone to the railroad station for the trip to a Boston cemetery.


June 11, 1975: The nation’s governors approve a proposal by Gov. Mel Thomson of New Hampshire to provide training in the use of nuclear weapons for members of the National Guard.


June 11, 1837: Samuel Coffin Eastman is born in Concord. A great-grandson of Ebenezer Eastman, Concord’s first settler, he will become a prominent lawyer, bank president, railroad man, speaker of the New Hampshire House and school board member. In 1915, when Concord celebrates the 150th anniversary of its royal charter as a parish, he will be recognized as the city’s most prominent citizen and “president of the day.”


June 12, 2001: About 40 educators, health care workers, environmentalists and others march from Allenstown to Concord to mark the 10th anniversary of the Claremont school funding lawsuit.


June 12, 1886: The Daniel Webster statue is dedicated in front of the State House.


June 12, 1905: J.N. Marston of Dublin is the first motorist in New Hampshire to receive a speeding ticket. Shortly after the first statutes governing motor vehicle conduct are enacted, Marston is collared for “driving his machine about the streets of Keene in a somewhat reckless manner.” He is caught after overtaking and overturning a horse-drawn buggy, injuring the two occupants. The police cite him for exceeding 8 mph.


June 12, 1804: Alarmed by the frequency of escapes from local prisons, Gov. John Gilman makes the first substantive proposal for a state prison in Concord. It will be more than eight years before the prison opens on North State and Tremont streets.


June 12, 1800: The federal government buys its first naval yard, an island in the Piscataqua River off Portsmouth. It pays a private citizen, William Dennett Jr., $5,500 for the land. The bill of sale is filed in York County, Maine. The deed is filed in Rockingham County, N.H.


June 13, 2003: The state Supreme Court rules that the Franklin Elks Lodge discriminated against five women when it rejected them as members in 1997. The justices rule that although the lodge is a private organization, its membership is not exclusive enough to exempt it from anti-discrimination laws.


June 13, 2002: In a preliminary vote, the Concord city council unanimously approves the restoration of Fire Engine 1 to Concord’s Central Fire Station.


June 13, 1859: A huge fire on the southwest corner of Main and Pleasant streets in Concord consumes a bakery, several stores and the South Congregational Church. When it becomes certain that the fire will destroy the granite-and-wood Greek Revival church, the Rev. Henry Parker gives one final pull to the church bell rope, and the bell is heard above the crackle of flames.


June 13, 1954: This is Freedom Day in New Hampshire, so declared by Gov. Hugh Gregg as a day of remembrance and prayer for those who have died resisting the Communist regime in Eastern Europe.


June 13, 1767: John Wentworth assumes the office of royal governor in Portsmouth. As such, he will lead an agrarian and mercantile colony of 98 towns totaling 52,000 people. The population of Concord, characterized by one historian as “an outpost of radical republicanism,” is 752. Exactly eight years after assuming the royal governorship of New Hampshire, John Wentworth moves with his family into Fort William and Mary in Portsmouth Harbor, under the protection of a British warship. He has been relatively benevolent in his reaction to the growing revolt against British rule of the colonies, and he is not bitter about his fate. From the fort he will write a friend: “Truely I can say with the poet in his Lear ‘I am a man much more sinned against than sinning.’”


June 13, 1957: President Dwight D. Eisenhower appoints James M. Langley, editor and publisher of the Concord Daily Monitor, to be U.S. ambassador to Pakistan. Langley will hold the job for just over two years.


June 13, 1833: With several of his pupils, Samuel Gridley Howe, a Boston surgeon renowned for his work with the blind, demonstrates his techniques at New Hampshire’s Representatives Hall. “The books used for the blind were exhibited, and the blind read from them with considerable facility,” one observer in the large crowd will write.


June 14, 2001: The U.S. Senate votes to withhold federal money from school districts that deny use of their facilities to the Boy Scouts because of the organization’s exclusion of homosexuals. “I have never been prouder in my entire political life,” New Hampshire Sen. Bob Smith says in declaring his support.


June 14, 1962: Astronaut Alan Shepard of Derry is in Concord for the unveiling of his portrait at the State House. After a week of speeches and banquets, he says, he is glad the picture shows him in a space suit so people will know that “at least once in a while I do work.”

Author: Insider Staff

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