H. P. Lovecraft Comes to the Merrimack Valley to View the Total Eclipse of 1932

Horror writer H. P. Lovecraft was on hand locally to view the total solar eclipse of Aug. 31, 1932. Lovecraft, who spent time in Haverhill during the 1930s because of his contributions to the Haverhill-based amateur journalism publication, “The Tryout,” met amateur pressman W. Paul Cook in Boston. The next day, they headed to Newburyport to view the solar eclipse. Lovecraft had been fascinated by astronomy from an early age.

Haverhill’s Louis Alter Brings Back Christmas Spirit Near End of World War II

(Holiday encore. This story first appeared in 2020.)

The United States entered World War II starting with the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor—82 years ago this month. By the autumn of 1944, there was cause for optimism the war’s end might actually be in sight. D-Day forces had landed in Normandy, Paris had been liberated, and the Allies were making slow progress in the Pacific.

Macy’s Annual Thanksgiving Parade Began on Haverhill’s Merrimack Street in 1854

(A version of this article first appeared on these pages in 2018.)

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade tradition, celebrating its 97th annual event in New York City, actually has its roots in Haverhill. The iconic 1947 holiday film, “Miracle on 34th Street,” opens with the famous parade and Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle. The story takes place between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day in midtown New York City. The film focuses on Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn), a last-minute replacement hired to replace Santa. He becomes the department store’s Santa Claus.

Haverhill’s Forgotten Movie Star, Actress in 1933’s ‘Son of Kong,’ Born on This Day

In 1933, nine months after the success of a little film called “King Kong,” RKO Pictures released “Son of Kong.” In the sequel, filmmaker Carl Denham is broke. Blamed for the destruction caused by Kong in New York, he hides in his boarding house. His landlady can barely keep the process servers outside and away from him. He leaves New York by freighter and ends up back on Skull Island. The landlady was played by actress Kathrin Clare Ward, born in Bradford as Katie Clare O’Connor on Nov.

Henry Ford Buys a Piece of Whittierland During 1928 City Visit

On Oct. 18, 1927, Whittier Birthplace received a visitor. This, by itself, was not a particularly momentous event—the Birthplace had been open to the public since 1893 after former Haverhill Mayor James H. Carleton purchased the house and land and presented it to the Haverhill Whittier Club. This visitor was different, for he was as much a household name as Whittier himself—automobile magnate Henry Ford. In 1927, Henry Ford had been active in historic preservation for over a decade, and was amassing a large collection of Americana.