Astronaut and native to Derry, NH Alan Shepard was the first American in space.

May 29, 2015 9:59 AM

NH1 Top 5: Historical moments for NH

History is made up of proud moments to celebrate, and dark moments from which we must learn. The history of New Hampshire is no different. In this article, NH1 looks at the historical moments of New Hampshire which have the most resonance, for better or worse.

5) 1905: Diplomats meet in Portsmouth to end the Russo-Japanese war

President Theodore Roosevelt chose Portsmouth as the meeting place for Russian and Japanese diplomats due to the state’s cool climate. The diplomats stayed in the Hotel Wentworth in New Castle, where they signed an armistice. They were ferried to the naval base in Kittery, Maine for each day of negotiations. The Treaty of Portsmouth formally ended the Russo-Japanese War, established America as a worldwide diplomatic power, and helped Roosevelt win a Nobel Prize.

4) 1961: New Hampshire native becomes the first American in space

Alan Shepard, born in Derry, became the first American in outer space - a milestone for the U.S. during the space race. Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the first human in space earlier that year, but Shepard is still the only man ever to golf on the moon.

3) 1853: New Hampshire native Franklin Pierce becomes president

Born in Hillsborough, Franklin Pierce became 14th president of the United States. However, historians regard the northern Democrat as one of America’s worst presidents due to his anti-abolitionist stances. He was not re-elected in 1856.

2) 1776: NH is winning vote to ratify Constitution, becomes the first state to establish an independent government and constitution

New Hampshire ratified its own constitution and established its own government in January 1776, becoming the first Colony to do so. It was stated that the goal was not to declare independence from Britain, but the Granite State was one of the original Thirteen Colonies in the American Revolution. New Hampshire's signature to ratify the Constitution was also the winning vote to officially make it two-thirds official (meaning the Constitution was ratified in New Hampshire - yeah we said it.). It was signed in Concord (right next to where NH1 headquarters is located now, actually).

1) 1916: The first presidential primary is held in New Hampshire

Though New Hampshire has held a primary since 1916, the event did not acquire its current status until 1952 after the state simplified its ballot access laws in 1949.


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