Important Points in New Hampshire History
There’s history to be found everywhere in the Granite State, but here are some of the historic events that went on to shape and change our country and our world.
Legend for this map (click here for our Google map that includes more important historical places).
1719 First Potato planted in America, Derry: Scotch-Irish immigrants plant the first potato ever planted in this country at Londonderry Common Field.
1772 The Pine Tree Riot, Weare: Ebenezer Mudgett, a liquor merchant, led this protest against the British king, inspiring future rebellions within New Hampshire (including the pivotal gunpowder raid at Fort William and Mary), and, it’s speculated, the Boston Tea Party.
1774 Powder Raid at Fort William and Mary, New Castle: Considered one of the (or simply the) first major acts of rebellion leading up to the American Revolution.
1776 Declaration of Independence, Exeter: With three signers of the Declaration of Independence, New Hampshire was also first state to set up an independent government. In 1788, New Hampshire cast the deciding vote for the new Constitution. A copy of the Declaration, which was originally delivered to Exeter (then the state’s Revolutionary War capital) on July 16, 1776, was discovered at the Ladd-Gilman House in 1985. You can see the New Hampshire Dunlap Broadside of the Declaration today at the town’s American Independence Museum.
1811 Manifest Destiny, Amherst: Horace Greeley, the founder and editor of the New-York Tribune, is born in Amherst. Though it’s not proven, he’s generally credited with writing the famous slogan “Go West, young man, and grow up with the country,” one of the main Manifest Destiny catchphrases.
1822 Books for All: The Dublin Juvenile Library, established in 1822, was the first free public library. The Peterborough Town Library, established in 1833, was the first library supported by public taxation.
1872 Concord Coach, Concord: The first of these famous coaches was built in this year. The “coach that won the Old West” transported people and goods across the West and starred in many classic Western movies.
1914 Skiing Becomes a Thing, Hanover: The first intercollegiate ski meet (1914), the first American slalom race (1925) and the first American downhill race (1926) were all staged by Dartmouth College in Hanover.
1944 The International Monetary Conference, Bretton Woods: Financiers from 44 countries gathered at the Mount Washington Hotel for the conference, during which the World Bank and International Monetary Fund were established, and the American dollar was designated the standard of international exchange.
1853 First meeting of the Republican Party, Exeter: On October 12, 1853, Amos Tuck called a meeting in Exeter, allying the political parties opposed to the Democratic Party and proposing the name Republican.
1946 First Integrated Team, Nashua: Brooklyn Dodgers president Branch Rickey assigned Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe to the Nashua Dodgers, a new farm team, making Nashua, New Hampshire, the first modern city to host an integrated professional baseball team.
1961 First American to Travel in Space, Derry: East Derry’s astronaut can actually claim two firsts: In 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American to travel into space, and then in 1971, he accomplished another first (and probably only) when he whacked a golf ball on the moon. Local Henniker Brewing Company’s pale ale “Miles & Miles” commemorates this odd piece of space history as Shepard once said his golf ball went “miles and miles and miles” above and across the lunar surface.
1986 Christa McAuliffe Is the First Private Civilian in the History of Space Flight, Concord: The Concord High School teacher died with the rest of the crew on January 28, 1986, 73 seconds and 48,000 feet after liftoff.