13 Quirky Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About New Hampshire
The colony that would eventually become the state of New Hampshire was founded in 1629. With nearly 400 years of history under its belt, the Granite State is sure to have accrued plenty of strange historical events and odd facts.
While there are far too many to collect in one post, here are 13 of our favorites.
The first famous alien abduction took place in NH.
On September 19, 1961 Betty and Barney Hill claim to have been abducted by a UFO full of humanoid aliens while driving through a rural area south of Indian Head. Their case was the first to receive major public attention, spawning a book and a television movie. The spot of the alleged abduction is now marked with a state historical marker commemorating the event.
Revolutionary War hero, General John Stark gave NH its famous motto.
The true quote is actually “Live free or die, Death is not the worst of evils.”
The fifth ‘sexiest’ president hailed from NH.
Our 14th president, Franklin Pierce is rarely thought of or spoken of except by the most dedicated of presidential historians. Although his term of service was uneventful, Pierce was declared the fifth sexiest president of all time by Nerve.com.
Killington, Vermont residents voted to secede and become part of New Hampshire. Twice.
The city of Killington, VT was actually established by a New Hampshire charter in 1761. In 2004 and 2005 residents of the town voted to secede from VT and get back to their NH roots – most likely because New Hampshire has better tax rates. For now Killington must remain a part of VT until they can convince both states’ legislatures to approve the change.
NH is home to the United States’ first public library.
The historic building is in Peterborough and dates all the way back to 1831.
The first soldier killed during the Civil War was from NH.
17-year-old Luther C. Ladd hailed from Alexandria. He died during the Baltimore riot of 1861.
UNH received a $500,000 grant to run football practices without helmets.
In 2014 the NFL’s Head Health Challenge gave the school half a million dollars to participate in their program. The idea behind the study is that when players don’t wear helmets they are less likely to lead tackles with their head – a common problem in football that can lead to severe injuries.
NH has nine state songs.
The official New Hampshire state song is “Old New Hampshire”, but there are eight other honorary state songs, including “New Hampshire Naturally” and “Oh, New Hampshire (you’re my home).”
The first American in space is from NH and has the longest golf drive in history.
Alan B. Shepard from Derry, NH hit two golf balls 2.5 miles each while visiting the moon in 1971.
Plans for the Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua had to be changes to keep the mall entirely within NH.
The shape of the mall was actually altered from the blueprint to ensure that the entire building stayed on the New Hampshire side of the NH-MA border. As it stands, the mall is mere inches from extending into Massachusetts.
The New Hampshire Fisher Cats were almost the New Hampshire Primaries.
The Minor League baseball team, the New Haven Ravens wanted to make a political statement when they relocated to Manchester and feature a logo with a donkey and an elephant. However the locals did not like the idea and eventually a fan won the honor of renaming the team the Fisher Cats.
The largest town in all of New England is in NH.
Pittsburg, New Hampshire covers roughly 300 square miles, but has a population under 1,000.
New Hampshire ranks second in the nation for beef consumption per capita, behind only North Dakota.
The most popular meat in the US is chicken, not beef, but New Hampshirites have always marched to the beat of their own drum.
Featured Image via Flickr/Cindy Sims Parr