This week in Concord history

Feb. 8, 2002: Lindsay and Allyson Lemire, 21-year-old Bow natives, appear on Sally Jessy Raphael’s talk show. The show is a dating game-like episode titled “Love Search. . . For Someone Like Me,” and pairs the women with aspiring actors and Doublemint twins Jermyn and Joseph Daube.

Feb. 8, 2001: More than 30 Concord police and state Drug Task Force officers raid an apartment complex in Concord to arrest three men and a woman who the authorities say are involved in a crack ring. The city’s police deployment is one of the largest in recent memory.

Feb. 8, 1897: Concord’s first movie plays at White’s Opera House. The show includes bathers at Rahway, N.J., a watermelon-eating contest, a mounted policeman stopping a runaway horse and a three-minute boxing match featuring Gentleman Jim Corbett. “There is nothing fake about it,” the Monitor reviewer reports, adding that the pictures are “vivid and truthful.”

Feb. 8, 1847: Franklin Pierce addresses a large meeting called in Concord to advocate “a vigorous and determined prosecution of the war with Mexico. Pierce will win a brigadier general’s commission, and his war exploits will help propel him to the presidency in 1852.

Feb. 9, 2002: In her Olympic debut, moguls mogul Hannah Hardaway, from Moultonboro, places fifth, eight-hundredths of a point out of the medals.

Feb. 10, 2003: On the eighth day of deliberations in Manchester, jurors acquit John Bardgett, 26, a self-described nursing home “Angel of Death,” of murder by injecting two terminally ill patients with morphine.

Feb. 10, 2001: Wind gusts of up to 60 mph sweep across the state, ripping branches off trees and leaving more than 11,000 homes and businesses without power.

Feb. 10, 2000: Prince Michael of Kent spends the afternoon dining and skiing at Loon Mountain, interrupting the fun with a 20-second pose for news cameras. His New Hampshire hosts trip over themselves to fulfill his wishes, but his own subjects seem unimpressed. “In Britain he’s minor royalty,” one observer says.

Feb. 11, 2001: The 72nd annual World Champion Sled Dog Derby wraps up in Laconia. For the Marsh family from Mendon, Mass., what began modestly has become serious business. “At first we thought it might be cool to try it out, and just entered a few,” says Lori Marsh. “Now we’re racing practically every weekend from October through March.”

Feb. 11, 1941: President Franklin D. Roosevelt appoints John G. Winant of Concord to succeed Joseph Kennedy as U.S. ambassador to Great Britain. Winant, a Republican, is a former governor and served earlier in FDR’s presidency as the first administrator of the Social Security Administration.

Feb. 12, 2004: Concord High wins the Division I boys’ Nordic skiing state championship classic race, with a combined score of 766 to Keene’s 748. The title is the first boys’ ski championship since 1992.

Feb. 12, 2002: Andover’s Kris Freeman skis into 22nd in the men’s 15-kilometer race at the Olympic games in Salt Lake City.

Feb. 12, 1968: Eugene Daniell of Franklin disbands the New Hampshire write-in effort for Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Theodore Sorenson, RFK’s national spokesman, says Kennedy has asked that no votes be cast for him. A month later, after Sen. Eugene McCarthy wounds President Johnson in the March New Hampshire primary, Kennedy will rethink his strategy and enter the race.

Feb. 12, 1967: The weather observatory atop Mount Washington simultaneously records a temperature of minus-41 degrees Fahrenheit and a wind of 110 miles per hour. The chill factor is off the charts.

Feb. 12, 1973: The Concord City Council rejects plans for a shopping center on the site of the South End Marsh. At issue: a $3 million air-conditioned shopping mall providing 250 new jobs. Says one resident: “We are not running out of shopping centers like we are running out of marshes.”

Feb. 13, 2002: In the Lakes Region it’s not a typical winter for local business-owners who deal in the fishing supplies, snowmobiles and ski gear that are usually in demand this time of year, the Monitor reports. They say relatively warm temperatures, low snowfall totals and an economy that was sluggish before winter began are combining to make this a slow year.

Feb. 13, 1847: Thomas “Old Soldier” Haines dies at 87. A Concord man, Haines volunteered in the Patriot cause at the age of 19. He was slightly wounded at Fort Ticonderoga in 1777 and had worse luck near Saratoga. He was shot and lay two days among the dead before being rescued. The ball had passed through both cheeks, nearly severing his tongue. The Bouton history of Concord reported: “His face bore the mutilation till his death.”

Feb. 13, 1788: New Hampshire delegates convene to consider the proposed U.S. Constitution. About two-thirds oppose it, and only after cajoling by Dr. Josiah Bartlett and other supporters do the delegates agree to reconvene in Concord in four months.

Feb. 13, 1849: Fire destroys all but the blacksmith shop of the Abbot & Downing coach factory in Concord. It will be rebuilt.

Feb. 13, 1932: Wearing a knitted toque (there are no more substantial headgear), Douglas Everett skates for the United States against Canada in the Olympic ice hockey final at Lake Placid. The teams tie 2-2. Canada, undefeated in the tournament, wins the gold medal. Everett will bring a silver medal home to Concord.

Feb. 14, 2000: Everett Arena officials ask the Concord City Council to chip in half the construction costs for adding two new locker rooms. Among other things, the plans would bring the rink into compliance with federal disability regulations and gender equity laws.

Feb. 14, 1916: The Boston Post publishes Carl Wilmore’s account of his trip to Franconia to interview Robert Frost, who moved there the previous spring. Frost tells Wilmore: “I hear everything I write. All poetry is to me a matter of sound. I hear my things spoken.”

Feb. 14, 1942: Although the manufacture of fireworks is banned for the duration of the war, wholesalers say they have plenty of firecrackers on hand so that New Hampshire people can celebrate the Fourth of July.

Feb. 14, 1983: Students at the Webster elementary school are delighted by a visit from Gov. John Sununu. “He has a great job. He just goes around visiting schools all over the state. I would like to do that,” says fourth-grader Sam Bailey. Jason Rockwell, asked to assess Sununu’s term in office, chooses a diplomatic response: “I liked his suit.”

Feb. 15, 2002: The Diocese of Manchester releases the names of 14 priests who have been accused of sexual misconduct with children between 1963 and 1987.

Feb. 15, 2001: The Sewalls Falls bridge is closed for repairs. One of the few crossings of the Merrimack River in Concord, the bridge has been slated for reconstruction in the past. As far back as 1993, the state said a new bridge would be in place by 1998.

Feb. 15, 1911: A bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. John Weeks of Massachusetts, a New Hampshire native, calls for federal purchase of forest lands. The Weeks Act will lead to the designation of the White Mountain National Forest.

Feb. 15, 1965: New Hampshire Sweepstakes Director Edward Powers travels to Maine to brag about New Hampshire’s lottery, the first in the nation. Monitor columnist Leon Anderson worries about competition. “Perhaps our best way to promote the Sweepstakes as the only gambling venture of its kind in the nation would be to tell folks in other states it is no good and let us have it all to ourselves.”

Feb. 15, 1943: As a war measure, Concord’s Mayor Charles McKee recommends that stoplights be eliminated at city intersections. Posting stop signs in their places will conserve gasoline, he says.

Author: Insider Staff

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