NH Primary History

New Hampshire's First in the Nation Presidential Primary turns 100 years old in 2016. Discover some of the people, places and stories behind that history through these audio and digital stories from NHPR.

Logan Shannon / NHPR

When it comes to the players and intrigues of primary politics, Fergus Cullen, has plenty of stories. On today’s show we celebrate election day with the former chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party. He'll dish on some key moments of primaries past, And explain what he thinks makes New Hampshire voters tick.

Plus, we'll remember the campaign of Margaret Chase Smith, the first woman from a major party to run for president, in 1964.

nshepard via flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/rS6ha

When it comes to the players and intrigues of primary politics, Fergus Cullen, has plenty of stories. On today’s show, the former chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party dishes on some key moments of primaries past.

Plus, a look back at the first woman from a major party to run for President - Margaret Chase Smith.

And we'll remember an environmental issue that dominated the headlines decades before climate change was on the radar.

Whatever happened to the hole in the ozone, and other stories from a not-so-bygone-era.

Brady Carlson

It is perhaps the most famous moment in New Hampshire primary history: a packed auditorium, Ronald Reagan, and the moment he said: "I am paying for this microphone, Mr. Green!” [sic]

adwriter via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/Va4C2

For decades, some the first ballots in the first in the nation primary have been cast in the same place: the Ballot Room at the Balsams grand resort hotel in Dixville Notch.

Marc Nozell via Flickr / Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/3MY97U

 When it comes to presidential primaries, New Hampshire is always first. But that used to only be part of the slogan printed on bumper stickers and buttons. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Last week we took a closer look at the most vigorous defender of the New Hampshire Presidential Primary: Secretary of State Bill Gardner.

Over the past four decades, Gardner has met nearly every candidate to run for president. That access has provided him a fair share of stories -- so many stories, in fact, that we couldn't find room for even a fraction of them all.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

The presidential candidates who start parading through Secretary of State Bill Gardner’s office this week might do well to pay special attention to the desk that’ll be on display nearby — its original owner is to thank (or blame) for why they’re spending so much time in New Hampshire these days.

Marc Nozell via Flickr / Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/3MY97U

Every four years, New Hampshire welcomes the national political spotlight in the months leading up to the presidential primary. As the hosts of the first primary in the country, Granite State voters have the opportunity to make their voices heard on the campaign trail, at town hall events, and most importantly, at the ballot box.

But it wasn’t always this way.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Throughout the 2016 presidential season, NHPR is bringing you profiles of the people and places behind the scenes of the New Hampshire Primary. In our latest installment, we catch up with Jim Cole, the Associated Press photographer who has covered every New Hampshire presidential primary since 1980. 

Ken Rudin for NHPR

July 1, 1995 – In the race for the 1996 Republican presidential nomination, Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole holds a 39-point lead over Sen. Phil Gramm in an average of national polls.

Courtesy Craig Michaud via Wikimedia.

Republican hopefuls with their eyes on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave are flooding New Hampshire this month. Decrying the state of the nation and the Democrat in the Oval Office is part of today's rhetoric, but history shows us, is nothing new. 

Today marks thirty years since the 1984 New Hampshire primary. It’s a contest not well remembered today – on the Republican side, President Ronald Reagan was running essentially unopposed, and the man who won the Democratic nomination, Walter Mondale, not only lost the New Hampshire primary, he lost the general election in a landslide.