Although first settled by the Pennacook natives, the land that would become Concord was granted to immigrants from Massachusetts in 1725 and incorporated as the town of Rumford in 1733. Following a particularly nasty border dispute with the neighboring town of Bow, a large portion of Rumford was portioned off by Governor Benning Wentworth and renamed as the parish of Concord. Those displaced by the settlement were given land elsewhere, and Rumford was reincorporated in Maine, at the site of Pennacook Falls. New Hampshire entered the Union in 1788, but the location of the capital was a topic of much dispute and debate for the next 20 years. It wasn't until 1808 that Concord was awarded the honor, thanks in great part to its central location and its proximity to the Merrimack River. The State House, New Hampshire's capitol building, was completed in 1819.
Today, Concord is the financial center of New Hampshire and enjoys a diversified industry including health care and insurance. The city maintains a classical look, with many restored historic buildings downtown and a number of its original houses still standing on Main Street. Concord boasts a vibrant arts and entertainment district and an exciting nightlife . The Capitol Center for the Arts, a renovated historic theater from the 1920s, presents a variety of shows all year long, from touring Broadway to local family entertainment. Other popular attractions include the Museum of New Hampshire History, founded in 1823, and the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium, a living memorial to the New Hampshire teacher who died aboard the U.S. space shuttle Challenger in 1986.