NATIONAL NEWS

Historical marker dedicated to feminist, Communist Party leader removed in New Hampshire

May 15, 2023, 3:23 PM

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A historical marker dedicated to a feminist and labor activist in New Hampshire who also led the Communist Party was removed Monday just two weeks after it was unveiled.

The green and white sign describing the life of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn was installed May 1 in Concord close to where she was born in 1890. But it quickly drew criticism from two Republican members of the Executive Council, the five-member body that approves state contracts, judicial nominees and other positions. They argued it was inappropriate given Flynn’s communist involvement. Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, meanwhile, called for a review of the historical marker process.

“All polices and guidelines were followed in removing this controversial marker,” said Sununu’s spokesperson, Ben Vihstadt. He said Concord city officials weren’t advocating to keep it, and once state officials realized it was on state property and not city land as previously believed, the state removed it.

But supporters of the sign accused the state of violating its own rules for the markers. They argued markers can only be “retired” if they contain errors of fact, are in a state of disrepair or require refurbishment.

“We still say that under the department’s own guidelines, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn’s birthplace in Concord is a fitting location for a historical marker,” said Mary Lee Sargent, a former U.S. history teacher and longtime labor and feminist activist.

Known as “The Rebel Girl” for her fiery speeches, Flynn was a founder of the American Civil Liberties Union who advocated for women’s voting rights and access to birth control. The marker also says she joined the Communist Party in 1936 and was sent to prison in 1951. She was one of many party members prosecuted “under the notorious Smith Act,” the marker says, which forbade any attempts to advocate, abet or teach the violent destruction of the U.S. government.

Flynn later chaired the Communist Party of the United States and she died in Moscow during a visit in 1964, at age 74. Her marker was one of 278 across the state that describe people and places — from Revolutionary War soldiers to contemporary sports figures.

Under the current process, any person, municipality or agency can suggest a marker as long as they get 20 signatures from New Hampshire residents. Supporters must draft the marker’s text and provide footnotes and copies of supporting documentation, according to the state Division of Historical Resources. The division and a historical resources advisory group evaluate the criteria.

National News

Lear production worker Abigail Fletcher rides her mini bike in support of the picket line as member...

Associated Press

Strike at plant that makes truck seats forces production stoppage for Missouri General Motors

Production has halted at a Missouri General Motors plant that manufactures trucks and vans, the result of a strike at the company that supplies seats for the vehicles. About 480 workers at Lear Corp. in Wentzville walked out at midnight Sunday. The strike brought production to a standstill Monday at the GM plant in Wentzville, […]

8 minutes ago

FILE - Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears speaks at a press conference announcing that Raymond Ron...

Associated Press

Mistrial declared in case of Indiana man accused of fatally shooting five, including pregnant woman

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A judge declared a mistrial in the case of an Indianapolis man accused of fatally shooting five people, including a pregnant woman, after a witness verbally confronted the defendant in front of the jury. Marion County Superior Judge Chris Miller declared the mistrial Tuesday in the trial of Raymond Ronald Lee Childs […]

15 minutes ago

Associated Press

New evidence means freedom for a Michigan man who spent 37 years in prison for a murder conviction

DETROIT (AP) — A man who served nearly 40 years in prison for a Detroit-area murder won’t face another trial after a judge threw out his conviction based on new evidence. The decision by prosecutors means Paul Clark, who has been out on bond since May, is free — for good. “I just can’t believe […]

16 minutes ago

FILE - Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler speaks at a news conference Wednesday, Nov....

Associated Press

A former candidate for governor is disbarred over possessing images of child sexual abuse

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A wealthy attorney who came close to being elected governor has been disbarred following the completion of his sentence for possessing thousands of images of child sexual abuse, officials said. A judge on Monday signed off on the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar recommendation that 77-year-old Eliot Cutler should […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Man who attacked author Salman Rushdie charged with supporting terrorist group

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A man who severely injured author Salman Rushdie in a frenzied knife attack in western New York faces a new charge that he supported a terrorist group. An indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in Buffalo on Wednesday charges Hadi Matar with providing material support to Hezbollah, a militant group based […]

1 hour ago

FILE - The Disneyland Resort entrance is seen, March 9, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. Disney has reached...

Associated Press

Disney reaches tentative agreement with California theme park workers

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Disney has reached a tentative agreement with four unions representing thousands of workers at its California theme parks, including ride operators, candy makers and parking attendants. The coalition of unions said early Wednesday that its 14,000 workers will get to vote on the deal on Monday. No other details were immediately […]

2 hours ago

Historical marker dedicated to feminist, Communist Party leader removed in New Hampshire