Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: Many ways to make New Hampshire better

Shout-outs today to two organizations that help make New Hampshire a better place.

The American Legion celebrates 100 years of service in 2019. Its first New Hampshire state commander was Col. Frank Knox, also instrumental in the national launch. Admission is open to any veteran who has served in times of war.

Current state commander Dave Meaney and former commander Bill Hooley recently presented the newspaper with a commendation for our weekly Veterans Page.

They were gracious to do so. It is an honor to maintain a feature that began under Publisher William Loeb in the 1950s. I’m not sure that any other daily in the country has such a weekly page.

William Loeb knew Frank Knox, and I was impressed that Dave Meaney knew so much about him. Knox was the publisher of the Union and Leader before and after World War I. He was one of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders in Cuba and served in World War I. Roosevelt’s namesake son, Ted Jr., worked with Knox to found The American Legion.

Just as the Legion does a lot for veterans, so does the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. It also has a drug awareness program and other civic endeavors.

One New Hampshire Elks project is our New Hampshire Spelling Bee program.

The Elks not only provide the manpower for the judging at the championship level, they raise the funds to send the winner and a family member to Washington for the national Scripps Bee in May.

Our finals a week ago tested the endurance of not only the spellers but also the Elks in a competition that stretched for more than two hours. We thank them and congratulate the new champ, 13-year-old Amanda Medina of Lee.

A young Manchester man named Jeff Brodsky is also making his hometown a better place. If you missed our recent story, Jeff has instituted the Brodsky Prize.

Jeff is a Manchester Central grad who turned that school’s newspaper into a must-read. He went on to success with documentary projects, interviewing some of the biggest names in politics and government.

The Brodsky Prize is open to all high school students who either live in Manchester or attend school in the Queen City. Criteria for the honor include a student’s journalistic initiative and enterprise, as well as what Jeff calls “a contrarian nature and out-of-the-box thinking.”

Students should submit examples of their work illustrative of the prize criteria, along with an 800-word essay on how they would use the award to further their journalistic studies or efforts. Entries should be emailed to:

The deadline is April 15. The prize is $5,000.

Finally, a plug for a new e-line newsletter about Manchester. The Queen City Survival Guide debuts today. Produced by some forward-thinking people here at the Union Leader, it is a digital delivery of news and info you might have missed. Sign up at

Write to Joe McQuaid at or on Twitter at @deucecrew.