From June 2 through June 8, the NH Legislature celebrated the 200th anniversary of the construction of the NH State House, which began in 1816 and was completed in 1819. The first session of the General Court in this building also occurred in 1819. The NH State House Bicentennial Commission held a series of events and programs to commemorate the building’s anniversary including re-enactments, a Cultural Heritage and Arts Day on the Plaza, tours, and special programs.
But this week also marked several other anniversaries which members of the House commemorated during remarks on the floor. This week marked the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the Normandy landing operations during World War II, which occurred on June 6, 1944. It was the largest seaborne invasion in history. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English channel that day. Allied casualties on the first day were estimated to be at 10,000. The operation laid the foundation for the Allied victory on the Western front.
77 years ago – from June 4 – 7, 1942 – the United States Navy defeated an attacking fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy at Midway, inflicting devastating and irreparable damage on the Japanese fleet. The Battle of Midway, which occurred just six months after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, is widely considered a turning point in the Pacific War.
And 100 years ago – on June 4, 1919 – Congress passed the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, which would grant all American women the right to vote. Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment on August 18, 1920, and eight days later the Secretary of State ratified passage of the 19th Amendment.
NH’s program to recognize the bicentennial of its State House building was a wonderful experience, but I was very pleased that members of the House took to the floor this week to recognize these other, important anniversaries and to honor the people whose sacrifices preserved the country and shaped the times we live in today.