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10 years later, New Hampshire honors Old Man of the Mountain

FRANCONIA, N.H. — About 200 people gathered Friday on the 10th anniversary of the Old Man of the Mountain’s fall, their faces turned upward toward the rock out of which his granite visage once jutted.

They were there for a ceremony in White Mountain National Forest: a moment of silence, messages from New Hampshire’s federal legislators and a short speech by state Senator Jeff Woodburn.

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But more importantly, they were there for the Old Man, in whose honor Governor Maggie Hassan and the Executive Council declared May 3 ‘‘Old Man of the Mountain Remembrance Day.’’

The first reported sighting of the Old Man was in 1805. The New Hampshire Legislature adopted the image as the state emblem in 1945, and it adorns the state quarter, license plates, and road signs.

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