In case you missed it, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams recently gave a funny mea culpa for the graphics team omitting New Hampshire during a story about the recent train crash in Quebec, Canada.
After giving some unique reasons why New Hampshire is great, another blog surfaced on Buzzfeed giving props to the “Live Free or Die” state. As we’re committed and loyal to our roots, we wanted to add in some of our favorite New Hampshire tidbits to the mix to showcase our pride.
- Richard & Maurice McDonald — the actual founders of McDonald’s — were Manchester’s West high school graduates. The McDonald’s brothers sold their first hamburger stand to Ray Croc, often said to be the founder.
- Charles Revson, the founder of Revlon, was raised in Manchester, NH.
- NBA vet and current San Antonio Spurs player Matt Bonner led Concord High School to back-to-back-to-back state basketball championships in the late 1990s. He is also VP of the NBA Players Association.
- Along with Bonner, a slew of other athletes came from the Granite State. The full list is here, but a few names that come to mind: St. Louis pitcher Chris Carpenter, Winter Olympics women’s hockey gold medalist Tara Mounsey, former top baseball closer Brian Wilson, former pitcher Bob Tewksbury (see a trend?), professional wrestler and WWE COO Paul “Triple H” Levesque, multiple time Olympic gold medal swimmer Jenny Thompson, top skier Bode Miller, baseball Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk and many more.
- Adam Sandler was a graduate of Manchester’s Central High School. In the video above, I was surprised to see Seth Meyers and Sarah Silverman mentioned without the man also known as Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison.
- Global brands Timberland, Lindt, Velcro, Bauer Hockey, Stonyfield Farm, BAE, Sig Sauer and Moxie all either have their headquarters or US headquarters in NH.
- Chip Kelly, the new head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and formerly of the offensive-minded Oregon Ducks and UNH Wildcats grew up in Manchester, NH.
- Canobie Lake Park has been open since 1902 with a wooden roller coaster — the Yankee Cannbonall — that has been open since 1933! Story Land has been a fixture in the White Mountains since 1954 and don’t forget about Santa’s Village either!
- Mount Monadnock is the most hiked mountain in the U.S., second in the world to something called Mount Fuji in Japan.
- The Mount Washington Cog Rail was the world’s first mountain climbing cog railway and features the world’s second steepest rack railway with a 25% average grade and maximum grade of 37%!
- In April 1934, a 231 mile per hour gust of wind was recorded on top of Mount Washington, a world record. Here’s the awesome story.
- Dean Kamen, inventor of the portable dialysis, Segway and more, runs US First and DEKA out of the Manchester Millyard, right down the street from us. He’s also a Geek Summer Camp keynote!
- In the classic movie “What about Bob?”, Bill Murray visits Dr. Leo Marvin’s family lake house in Lake Winnipesaukee.
- NH stakes claim as the state with the first credit union, St. Mary’s.
- Wolfeboro, NH stakes claim as the 1st summer resort location in America, dating back to the late 1700s.
- Tom Bergeron, host of ABC’s Dancing With The Stars and America’s Funniest Home Videos, hails from New Hampshire and was a former host of the infamous Granite State Challenge game show!
- NH has the deepest concentration of preparatory schools in the country including St. Paul’s School in Concord & Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter.
- Remember that move Jumanji? Keene, NH, is where that was filmed.
- Dartmouth College, one of the eight Ivy League schools, calls the Upper Valley home.
- On Golden Pond was filmed at Squam Lake.
- We still have three grand resorts.
- Steven Tyler, lead singer of Aerosmith, is often seen around Lake Sunapee where he and Joe Perry met and formed the band. They are from Boston, but it all started in NH.
- The Pulitzer award winning play Our Town was based in Peterborough, NH.
Literally, all of these great points are simply top of my mind (with some fact checking) as I find myself repeatedly defending our great state’s relevance to those outside the borders. But with all of the above, the facts are there: significance, relevance and a granite foundation on which companies like ourselves and more can build upon.
And one more thing: one of Brian Williams’ favorite bands — Deer Tick — recently played the NH-based Rock On Foundation‘s Sneakers and Speakers benefit concert at the Red Hook Brewery with an amazing rendition of his favorite song Dirty Dishes.