The phrase comes from a toast written by General John Stark on July 31, 1809. Poor health forced Stark, New Hampshire's most famous soldier of the American Revolutionary War, to decline an invitation to an anniversary reunion of the Battle of Bennington. Instead, he sent his toast by letter:
Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils.
The motto was enacted at the same time as the state emblem, on which it appears.
• In 1776 New Hampshire became the first state to declare its independence from England.
• NH was the destination of Paul Revere’s first ride to warn local colonists that the British were sailing to Portsmouth to take the gun powder from Fort William and Mary.
• Hampshire was the ninth and key state to ratify the Constitution on June 21, 1788, thereby creating the United States of America.
• The first summer resort in America was Wolfeboro.
• The first American in space, Alan Shepard, was born in Derry, New Hampshire. His historic flight was made in 1961.
• The first private citizen passenger in the history of space flight was Christa McAuliffe, a New Hampshire school teacher.
• In 1793, Samuel Morey, of Orford, invented the internal combustion engine and built the first steamship in the U.S.
• The first-in-the-nation Presidential primary election is held in The Granite State every four years. Until the 1992 elections, no candidate had ever won the presidency without first winning in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire is not one of the larger states, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in beauty and depends largely on its year-round tourism. Its lakes and mountains are huge attractions throughout the seasons: swimming and camping, hiking during the summer months; ice fishing and skiing in winter; hunting and fishing - outdoor activities are as bountiful as the very sights and sounds of nature. And one thing I enjoy seeing throughout my state are the flags flying high and proudly on both businesses and family homes. We are proud of our military and proud to be American. This morning our local media announced that President Obama plans to revisit our state:
President Barack Obama is coming back to New Hampshire. A campaign official says Obama will be in the state Saturday. It will be his third trip to New Hampshire this year. Vice President Joe Biden and firstladyMichelleObama also have been frequent visitors, underscoring the state's status as a battleground state.
New Hampshire is known as one of the "battleground" states. It is a "Democratic" state, but I believe if you took a poll today and compared it with 2008, you would find that there is a decline in the numbers supporting the Democratic Party/Obama.
Why? Because New Hampshire citizens do not lack common sense. We are struggling with the same concerns most Americans struggle with and the list is too lengthy to mention here, but almost every American understands that if Obama is allowed FOUR more years, our country will never be able to return to the United States we once knew and loved - period!
If I had an opportunity to say one thing to Obama during his visit on Saturday, I think I would just quote our State's motto and let me be the first to say to Obama: "Americans prefer to "Live free or die". You haven't been able to "get right" so please Go home."