Sunday 16 September 2012

The America Project - New Hampshire

New Hampshire (NH) size 9,350 sq.m population 1.3 million

Bordering states Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine (3)
State capital Concord
Most populous city Manchester
Other notable places Berlin, Claremont, Franklin, Rochester, Dover
Notable landmarks and natural features Presidential Range mountains, Canterbury Shaker Village, Lake Winnipesaukee, Strawbery Banke
Statehood 21st June 1788 (9th)

Ten famous Granite Staters
Brooke Astor (socialite and philanthropist; born Portsmouth, 1902-2007)
Dan Brown (author; born Exeter, 1964 -)
Eliza Coupe (actress; born Plymouth, 1981 -)
Paul Michael Levesque (aka Triple H) (professional wrestler; born Nashua, 1969 -)
Bode Miller (skiier; born Easton, 1977 -)
Mandy Moore (actress and singer; born Nashua, 1984 -)
Herman Webster Mudgett (aka Dr. H.H. Holmes) (serial killer; born Gilmanton, 1861-1896)
Franklin Pierce (politician, 14th President of the USA; born Hillsborough, 1804-1869)
Sarah Silverman (comedian and actress; born Bedford, 1970 -)
Earl Tupper (chemist and inventor; born Berlin, 1907-1983)

Three important events

1. New England Hurricane, 21st September 1938

The first hurricane to strike New England in almost 70 years, the New England hurricane of 1938 was a category 3 storm by the time it made landfall in Long Island. Virtually every eastern seaboard State was affected by the storm, and whilst New Hampshire got off lightest in terms of total rainfall, the hurricane destroyed ten bridges in Peterborough and sparked several fires which burned out of control downtown as floodwater prevented firefighting efforts. In total, 13 people died in New Hampshire alone.

2. The Shaggs, 1968

In Fremont, NH there's not a lot going on, so when the mother of sisters Dot, Helen, Betty and Rachel Wiggin had a vision that her daughters were set for global stardom, their father Austin Wiggin knew exactly what to do. This represents the last stage in this story when anyone knew what to do, as the four sisters then formed an unforgettable pop group at Austin's insistence. With Austin's investment, the sisters wrote and played their own songs, culminating in the monumental studio album Philosophy of the World, released in March 1969. The band's unique approach to lyrical construction and sonic structure bewildered a world and the album proved to be their only record. The Shaggs continued to be a popular live act in New Hampshire until Austin's death in 1975 freed them, and everyone, to do other things with their time. Frank Zappa called The Shaggs "better than The Beatles", although thus far he is the only person to do so.

3. Old Man of the Mountain, 3rd May 2003

Like on my curtains, if you looked at Cannon Mountain in the New Hampshire White Mountains from a certain angle you could very clearly see a face in profile. This craggy old rock bastard became known as the Old Man of the Mountains and was quite the local and national celebrity. His image eventually appeared on coins and postage stamps. But as it always must to granite OAPs, death came to the Old Man of the Mountain in May 2003, as generations of freezing and thawing, wind, rain, sun and snow finally saw him collapse. Although he was in fact a big pile of rocks, floral tributes were left at the site. Which was a big pile of rocks.

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