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5 Fun Facts About July 14 In New Hampshire History

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1. The Battle of the Bridge

On July 14, 1774, the "Battle of the Bridge" occurred in Canterbury, New Hampshire. This conflict began when a group of men from Canterbury attempted to stop the progress of the Committee of Safety, who were travelling to Portsmouth to attend a meeting with other colonial leaders. The Committee were able to cross the bridge, but not without some physical confrontation. This skirmish is significant because it highlights the growing tension between colonists and British authorities, as well as the awareness and involvement of New Hampshire in the revolutionary movement.

2. New Hampshire Ratifies the Constitution

On July 14, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the United States Constitution, making it official. This move was important because it ensured that the new federal government would have the required support and legitimacy to function properly. New Hampshire's ratification also helped to sway some other states that were hesitant to join the union.

3. The Presidential Primary System Begins

The tradition of New Hampshire holding the first presidential primary in the nation began on July 14, 1911. The state legislature passed a bill authorizing the Secretary of State to set the date of the primary election, which was then held on March 14, 1912. This system has become a significant part of American presidential politics, with candidates from both major parties making frequent campaign appearances in the "Granite State."

4. Mt. Washington's Temperature Record

On July 14, 1933, the summit of Mount Washington recorded a temperature of 71 degrees Fahrenheit, which remains the highest temperature ever measured in New Hampshire. This record is notable because Mount Washington is famous for its extremely harsh and unpredictable weather conditions. The mountain is often used for research and testing of equipment and survival techniques for extreme weather conditions.

5. The New Hampshire State Motto is Chosen

On July 14, 1945, the New Hampshire state motto "Live Free or Die" was officially adopted by the state legislature. The phrase was first written by General John Stark in a letter to his comrades before the Battle of Bennington during the American Revolution. He ended the letter with the words, "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils." The motto has become a powerful symbol of the state's fierce independence and commitment to individual liberty.
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