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November 17. 2013 4:15PM

Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: Best act fast to get our book on NH history

Act now, while supplies last.

You and I have no doubt heard or seen that pitch numerous times from folks selling everything from aluminum siding to Ginzu knives and Amish fireplaces. So forgive me, but you are about to see it again. And if you like New Hampshire history, or you can't think of something neat to get your mom or Uncle Henry for their birthday or Christmas, please pay attention.

Our "New Hampshire: 150 Years" book, based on stories and pictures from our newspaper, has finally hit the printers. And it will be gone before you can say "Union Leader."

In fact, I was told the day the first shipment of books arrived here last week that we may already have fewer than 800 copies left. That is because so many people have pre-ordered. (Please be patient if you are among them. The pre-order fulfillment is ongoing.)

For those who haven't yet bought a copy, you can do so online at UnionLeader.com/150book or you can come to 100 William Loeb Drive here in Manchester between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Ask for Community Relations.

I am told part of the book's early success is based on the popularity of its predecessor, "Manchester Memories." I may be prejudiced (wait, I AM prejudiced) but I like the new book even better.

Perhaps it is just because the earlier book covered fewer years and was more of a picture book. This one combines words, pictures, and headlines dating all the way back to the Manchester Union's becoming a daily paper in 1863.

One piece of national history about to be remembered in these United States is the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy. Yesterday's Sunday News reported on three Manchester high school students who drove to Washington on that sorrowful weekend and were eyewitnesses to the funeral for the slain President.

My dad, B.J. McQuaid, later ran student David Fitzpatrick's first-person account in the Sunday News.

In the obligatory where-were-you-when department, I was a freshman at Manchester Memorial High School. I do not remember it like yesterday. I do know that one of the older kids on our bus home to Candia confirmed what we had heard: The President had been killed in Dallas. He then, matter-of-factly, announced the bus schedule for the following week, which was Thanksgiving.

It was a coming-of-age moment for an American generation that was used to Mickey Mouse and only knew of World War II because our fathers had been in it and the President himself had been on PT 109. Watching his widow and little children was sad. Seeing his killer shot down on national TV on a Sunday morning was stunning.

Write to Joe McQuaid at publisher@unionleader.com or via Twitter at @deucecrew.


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