The 4th grade students helping to plant the Portsmouth Peace Treaty Living Memorial cherry tree at Heron Pond Elementary School in Milford NH are from left to right: Jonathan Sherman, Haylee Wells, Abbigayle Kemp, and Abigail Krulis.
Milford Historical Society Hosts “Teddy Roosevelt’s Nobel Peace Prize -- Citizen Diplomacy, Milford and the Portsmouth Peace Treaty”
Milford, NH (October 3, 2016) – The Milford Historical Society presented a special program on November 16, 2016 to take a closer look at the Portsmouth Peace Treaty and its historical connections with Milford’s John McLane, Governor of New Hampshire in 1905.
The organization welcomed NH Humanities Council speaker Charles B. Doleac, founder/moderator of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum, to present a program describing President Theodore Roosevelt’s multi-track diplomacy that included the Russian and Japanese delegations, the US Navy and the New Hampshire citizens who hosted the thirty days of negotiations that resulted in the Portsmouth Peace Treaty. Theodore Roosevelt received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906 – 110 years ago – for orchestrating the negotiations that ended what historians now call “World War Zero,” the Russo-Japanese War.
As a followup to the program, the Milford Historical Society arranged to have a Portsmouth Peace Treaty Living Memorial cherry tree planted at Milford's Heron Pond Elementary School. Approximately 180 4th grader, taught by
took part in the tree-planting ceremony on June 2, 2017.
During the Milford Historical Society's NH Humanities Council “Humanities To Go” program Mr. Doleac explained the significance of the role local citizens, including Governor John McLane who with the NH Executive Council were the official hosts of the peace conference held in August of 1905. Though the formal negotiations were held at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, the Governor, then-Secretary of State Edward Nathan Pearson and many other prominent New Hampshire business and political leaders played in welcoming the Japanese and Russian diplomatic delegations to the state.
The schoolchildren plan to celebrate Portsmouth Peace Treaty Day on September 5th at their school.
Temple Israel Plants Living Memorial Cherry Tree
Members of what became the Temple Israel congregation played significant parts in the Portsmouth Peace Treaty summer of 1905.
Able to speak Russian to the diplomats, the Ukrainian Jewish emigres who formed the congregation spoke candidly when asked how they enjoyed their new circumstances in America, according to a newspaper account at the time.
Descendants of those emigres are today members of the Temple Israel congregation and have shared their stories with the Portsmouth Peace Treaty Fourm.
In June, the Forum helped Rabbi David Senter plant a Portsmouth Peace Treaty Living Memorial Cherry Tree in the Temple's memorial garden on State Street.