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Fundraising begins for John Gilbert Winant statue, plaza in Concord

Fundraising has begun for a statue and plaza to memorialize John Gilbert Winant, whose many roles included governor of New Hampshire and ambassador to England during World War II.

The memorial, a bronze statue of Winant with his coat over his arm and hat in hand, inviting passersby to sit on a park bench and spend some time with him, will be located in front of the New Hampshire State Library at 20 Park St. in Concord.

Prior to serving as N.H. Governor in the 1920s and 1930s, Winant was elected to both the N.H. House of Representatives and the N.H. Senate. A graduate of St. Paul’s School, he was a decorated pilot in World War I, served as the first head of the Social Security Administration, and led the International Labor Organization in the years leading up to World War II.

Known for his kindness to people from all walks of life, as governor, Winant quietly gave 50-cent pieces to homeless people in Concord during the Depression, allowing them to buy a hot meal and a place to stay for the night. During his time as ambassador, he would walk throughout London after bombings, personally assisting citizens on the streets of the capital.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill called him “a friend of justice, freedom and truth” and an “inspiration.”

“John Gilbert Winant was a devoted public servant – to New Hampshire, to the country and internationally,” said Rep. Steve Shurtleff, chair of the Winant Memorial Committee. “It is fitting that a memorial to him will portray one of his greatest strengths: treating people of all kinds with the respect they deserve.

For more information about the Winant statue, including how to contribute, visit




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