New Hampshire has a long and important history that’s hard to keep track of. With over three hundred years of facts about New Hampshire, it’s easy to forget a few along the way. Here are ten things that you might not know about New Hampshire, but that will make you find the state even more endearing.
1. New Hampshire was the first state to have its own constitution.
New Hampshire’s first constitution was ratified in 1776, as soon as New Hampshire became a state. This was later replaced by the constitution of 1784, which is still active today. The constitution has a bill of rights and guarantees the right to revolution, which was especially important to residents coming off the Revolutionary War. The spirit on the constitution is embodied in the state’s motto: Live Free or Die.
2. New Hampshire’s Mount Washington is one the windiest places on earth.
The Mount Washington Observatory, at the top of the 6,289 foot peak, recorded a wind speed of 231 miles per hour on April 12, 1934. For 62 years this was the highest wind speed ever recorded, until a speed of 253 miles per hour was recorded in Australia during a typhoon. However, the Mount Washington reading is still the fastest wind ever observed by man.
3. Paul Revere rode here first.
Four months before his more famous ride to Lexington and Concord, Paul Revere made an even longer ride from Boston to Portsmouth, to warn of an attack on Fort William and Mary. Colonists prevented the attack from happening, and saved the fort from the British.
4. The 1995 hit movie “Jumanji” was filmed in Keene.
Robin Williams was right here in New Hampshire.
5. The state motto dates back to the Revolutionary War.
The state’s motto “Live Free or Die” comes from a quote by New Hampshire resident and Revolutionary War hero John Stark, who said “Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils.”
6. New Hampshire is the only state where seatbelts are not mandatory.
But it's still a good idea to wear one!
7. Our coastline is the shortest in the nation.
New Hampshire has the shortest coastline of any sea-touching state, with just 18 miles of coast.
8. Franklin Pierce, the 14th president of the United States, who served between 1853 and 1857, was from New Hampshire.
He was born in Hillsborough and died in Concord.
9. The potato has a long history in New Hampshire.
Scottish settlers in the Londonderry area (then known as Nutfield), planted the first potato crops in America in New Hampshire in 1719. The potato is still New Hampshire’s state vegetable.
10. Newport resident Sarah Josepha Hale wrote “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”
The poem was published in 1830. Hale was also key in campaigning to make Thanksgiving a holiday.