History for the week of Feb. 1, 2024

Feb. 1, 2003: News spreads through Concord that the space shuttle Columbia has exploded, reminding many of the space shuttle Challenger. “It’s amazing how it brings those feelings right back,” says state Rep. Jim MacKay, who was the city’s mayor when the Challenger exploded 17 years ago with Concord teacher Christa McAuliffe on board.

Feb. 1, 1971: The New York Times reports rising concern among some New Hampshire officials that booming tourism will despoil the state’s natural beauty. About 140 developers are currently investing millions in seasonal and year-round recreational developments.

Feb. 1, 1859: The Concord Railroad passenger station, including the offices of the Concord, Montreal and Northern railroads, the telegraph office and Depot hall, is destroyed by fire.

Feb. 2, 1894: Just before it is to be dry-docked for preservation as a national landmark, the Portsmouth-built USS Kearsarge, of Civil War fame, sinks in the Caribbean.

Feb. 2, 1996: President Clinton visits Concord’s Walker School and speaks to students at the Capitol Center. He praises Concord schools for innovative use of computers in the classroom.

Feb. 3, 2002: With just seconds left to break the tie, Adam Vinatieri kicks a 48-yard field goal to give the Patriots their first Super Bowl victory in their 42-year history. They beat the St. Louis Rams, 20-17. Rundlett Middle School student Derek Graham, 11, will reflect the next day, “(Tom) Brady’s still my favorite player, but that Adam Vinatieri dude’s coming up. I never really cared about the kicker before, but now I guess I better.”

Feb. 3, 1943: The New Hampshire House considers a bill to allow women to sit on juries. All eyes are on the votes of the first couple ever to serve together in the House, Miles and Margaret Dustin of Rochester. She votes yes and he votes no – to a rousing round of applause. The bill fails 273-93.

Feb. 3, 1943: Authorities warn that the war board’s demands for white pine cannot be met without stripping the northern forest of every marketable tree now standing.

Feb. 5, 2000: Concord Coach #425, built at the Abbott-Downing Co. in Concord in 1874, is headed on a new journey, the Monitor reports. The New London Historical Society is sending the coach out for a refurbishing. Unlike its original travels, which were powered by four or five horses, this one is taking place inside a moving van.

Feb. 5, 1853: Thomas Francis Meagher, the famed Irish exile and itinerant lecturer for Irish independence, speaks at Concord’s Depot Hall. Among his listeners is President-elect Franklin Pierce.

Author: Insider Staff

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