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Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum
2008 Commemorations

2nd Annual Portsmouth Peace Treaty

Commemorative Concert:
"Peace & The Presidency: Music for George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt"

Seacoast Wind Ensemble, The Music Hall, Portsmouth

May 17, 2008
The Seacoast Wind Ensemble presented the Second Annual Portsmouth Peace Treaty Commemorative Concert, “Peace & The Presidency: Music for George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt,” a wide-ranging program of music for the Election Year featuring Aaron Copland's "A Lincoln Portrait" with guest narrator, Rev. Robert H. Thompson, Chaplain of Phillips Exeter Academy. The annual program by the Seacoast Wind Ensemble is organized and conducted by Music Director Richard C. Spicer. The Portsmouth Peace Treaty is an important piece of history as the foundation for Theodore Roosevelt’s Nobel Peace Prize and as an early demonstration that the ordinary American citizen can make a difference. This annual commemorative concert helps trace that story from a musical perspective. Click here for the full program and more pictures.

The Sturgis family rings the bell of South Church.

Commemorative Salute and Bell-ringing, September 5th at 3:47 pm

On September 5, 1905 at 3:47 pm, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard announced the signing of the Treaty of Portsmouth ending the Russo-Japanese War with a gun salute that was echoed by the church bells of the Seacoast. On Friday, September 5, 2008 that commemoration will be re-enacted with an official US Navy salute on the Shipyard mall, followed by a 3:47 pm blast on the Shipyard whistle that will serve as the signal for the bells of Portsmouth and Eliot to ring.

Participating in the bell-ringing were:

  • First Congregational Church of Eliot (1361 State Road, Rev. David Avery)
  • First Methodist Church of Portsmouth (129 Miller Avenue, Rev. Deborah Shipp)
  • Unitarian Universalist Church (South Church, 292 State St., Rev. Roberta Finkelstein)
  • Middle Street Baptist Church, (18 Court Street, Rev. Vivan Martindale
  • North Congregational Church (Market Square, Rev. Dawn Shippee)
  • St. John’s Episcopal Church (101 Chapel Street, Rev. Robert Stevens)
  • Portsmouth Public Schools (Dr. Robert Lister, Superintendent)
  • Green Acre Baha’i School will raise the Peace Flag, first raised by the school’s founder Sarah Farmer in 1894. Green Acre’s role in the Treaty summer is commemorated with a special program on Sunday, August 31 at 2 pm.



Exhibit of Photographs from 1981 NHK Docudrama,
"Flags Over Portsmouth"

 “Flags Over Portsmouth: Local People in the Spotlight, Portsmouth Peace Treaty 1905 & 1981,” an exhibit of  photographs captured from the mini-series produced by NHK Japan television, was displayed in the Portsmouth Public Library.

The docudrama about the Treaty of Portsmouth was filmed in Portsmouth and other locations in New Hampshire in June of 1981.

More than 300 local residents responded to the call for “extras” and among the prominent participants were NH Governor Hugh Gallen portraying 1905 New Hampshire Governor John McLane, Nevers Second Regiment Band re-enacting their role in the Welcoming Parade, Rev. Gordon Allen and members of the congregation of St. John’s Episcopal Church, and Sam Jarvis whose Metro restaurant acted as a London pub. Many schoolchildren turned out for the parade scenes, as did residents who donned period costumes for the recreated welcoming reception filmed at Wentworth By the Sea.


“The Peace of Portsmouth”
A Pontine Community Theatre Workshop

Pontine focused their six-week series of workshops on acting and stagecraft around their original play, created from actual newspaper accounts of the Treaty summer of 1905. The workshops took place on Tuesdays, September 16 through October 28 at West End Studio Theatre, 959 Islington Street, Portsmouth.

Open to all, with no experience necessary, the workshop proved especially good for teachers of world history looking for creative ways to incorporate "World War Zero" and turn of the century international relations in their classrooms. The workshop concluded with three public performances (reading from the script) of “The Peace of Portsmouth” on October 31, November 1 and 2 using the original props created for the play in 2005.

Portsmouth Peace Treaty Beat Night with Larry Simon and the Groove Bacteria

On Thursday, September 18, the monthly “Beat Night” fusion of jazz and poetry, upstairs at The Press Room on 77 Daniel Street explored the theme of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum: that people can make a difference. Larry Simon welcomed a dozen readers.

"Theodore Roosevelt’s Nobel Peace Prize"
Lecture by Charles B. Doleac

Dublin Historical Society, Dublin, NH
August 22, 2008

Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum with Samantha Power, commemorating the diplomacy of President Theodore Roosevelt's Nobel Peace Prize.

Wentworth By the Sea Hotel, New Castle NH.
December 6, 2008


For a month's view Calendar, click here.

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