New Hampshire April 02, 2018
8 Things You Didn’t Know About The History Of New Hampshire
We all know that New Hampshire is a special state (in fact, in our biased opinion, it’s the best one) – and we all know that it’s played a historic role in the story of the United States. But sadly, many of the most fascinating facts of Granite State history are skimmed over or forgotten. These 8 facts will make you even more proud to be a New Hampshirite!
1. New Hampshire was the first state to vote in favor of the Declaration of Independence
New Hampshire was the first state to declare its independence from Great Britain, and in recognition of that leadership, the delegates from New Hampshire were given the honor of being the first to vote for the Declaration of Independence (though they were not the first to sign it).
2. The first American in space was a New Hampshirite
Alan Shepard, an East Derry native, was the first American in space on May 5, 1961. That record-breaking mission only lasted 15 minutes, but Alan Shepard was later the fifth man on the moon in 1971.
3. Early European visitors called New Hampshire "the Switzerland of America"
The splendor of the White Mountains led them to make this statement. We'd like to amend it - perhaps Switzerland is the New Hampshire of Europe!
4. The armistice that ended the Russo-Japanese War was signed in New Hampshire
Theodore Roosevelt won a Nobel Prize for his work ending the Russo-Japanese War, which was negotiated at the Portsmouth Peace Conference. Although the negotiations occurred and the final treaty was signed in Kittery, Maine, the delegates stayed at the Wentworth Hotel in New Castle, and the armistice that ended the fighting was signed there.
5. The state's motto comes from a Revolutionary War hero
"Live free or die" was coined by Revolutionary general John Stark, who sent the following text to former comrades in 1809 to use as a toast commemorating the Battle of Bennington: "" The following year, a similar invitation (also declined) said: "Live Free Or Die; Death Is Not The Worst of Evils." The New Hampshire state legislature made this the official state motto in 1945.
6. The first potatoes in the United States were planted in New Hampshire
Scottish settlers planted potatoes in Nutfield (now Londonderry) in 1719. Spuds are still the state vegetable!
7. New Hampshire was the first state to have a legal lottery
The New Hampshire Lottery has been in operation since 1964, and has to this date raised more than $1.9 billion for the state.
8. The first resort town in America is here in New Hampshire
Wolfeboro, beloved for its incredible views of Lake Winnipesaukee, was founded in 1770, and soon after it became a summer destination when the nephew of governor Benning Wentworth built a country estate on the lakeshore.
What other interesting facts do you know about the history of New Hampshire? Feel free to share below!