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New Hampshire Humanities Council, Chautauqua 2005

"America Reinvents Itself 1905"

Strawbery Banke Museum, Portsmouth (July 25-28, 2005)

What is Chautauqua? There was a time, between 1904 and the 1920's when communities across America -- including Portsmouth -- would put time aside for three to seven days each summer, for Chautauqua. Beneath the traveling Chautauqua Circuit tents they found programs fostering intellectual stimulation and enlightened discussion on the important political, social and cultural issues of the day At its height, Circuit Chautauqua reached 10,000 communities in 45 states and audiences totaling 45 million. Lecturers, like the 1905 notables appearing in this program, were the core of Chautauqua. But, thanks to the traveling Chautauqua performers, audiences also got the opportunity to see classic plays and Broadway hits, and hear a variety of music from Metropolitan Opera stars to glee clubs to bellringers. Many people saw their first movies in Chautauqua tents.

This is the 10th year the New Hampshire Humanities Council has presented Chautauqua at Strawbery Banke. This year the focus is on 1905 and the issues of the day that still resonate 100 years later. In 1905, America exploded onto the world stage.A progressive spirit was sweeping the land. The nation wrestled with such internal challenges as racism, women's suffrage, workers rights, immigration, new technology and religious liberty while we carved out a new role as a world power. Chautauqua 2005 is a gathering of some of the great minds of that day:

Theodore Roosevelt, the force behind the Portsmouth Peace Treaty negotiations, who called Chautauqua the most American thing in America

Thomas Edison, credited with 1,093 inventions including the incandescent lightbulb, and leader in technological innovation

Sarah Farmer, the Seacoast's own founder of Green Acre and its annual peace conferences; the only woman present at the signing of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty

Ida Wells-Barrett, a committed suffragette, founding member of the NAACP and advocate of political empowerment

William Jennings Bryan, newspaper editor, political advocate and renowned orator, especially for his Cross of Gold speech and the 1925 Scopes trial

Fred Harvey, entrepreneur whose Harvey Girls greeted travelers in virtually every dusty train station in the West, offering home cooked meals and hometown hospitality

All programs are free and open to the public. Families are invited to picnic on the grass or buy refreshments at the tent.

Monday July 25

12 noon Young Chautauqua

Students aged 12-18 from the Seacoast, Monadnock Region and Nashua portray historical figures just like their adult counterparts. The students spend weeks in advance researching their characters, preparing scripts and creating costumes in order to present a living history performance followed by a question and answer session in, and out of character.

6pm Preshow Musical performance, Charlie Jennison Jazz Trio

7pm Thomas Edison & Fred Harvey

Tuesday, July 26

8am Breakfast at the Friendly Toast (Congress Street, Portsmouth) with Thomas Edison & Fred Harvey

12 pm Young Chautauqua

6pm Preshow Musical performance by Salt River Trio

7pm William Jennings Bryan & Ida Wells-Barrett

Wednesday, July 27

8am Breakfast with William Jennings Bryan & Ida Wells-Barrett at Me & Ollie's (Market Square, Portsmouth)

12pm Young Chautauqua

6pm Preshow Musical performance by Two Old Friends

7pm Theodore Roosevelt & Sarah Farmer

Thursday, July 28

8am Breakfast with Theodore Roosevelt & Sarah Farmer at Starbucks (Congress Street, Portsmouth)

Chautauqua 1905 America Reinvents Itself was also presented in Keene at Keene State College, July 21-23, and in Nashua at Greeley Park on July 24th. Contact: www.nhhc.org

* Portsmouth Herald (July 16, 2005) -- Playing the roles of peacemakers

For a month's view Calendar, click here.



© Richard Haynes
Haynes Images

For information about ordering fine art prints of this Treaty Centennial symbol, and other commemorative items, click here.



Twitter.com: @PortsmthTreaty

To learn more about the Japan-America Society of New Hampshire

Mailing address:
82 Court Street
Portsmouth NH 03801

To join the Japan-America Society of New Hampshire online, click here.

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For information about the Russia Society of New Hampshire, write to
PO Box 177
Concord NH 03302-0177

For a Russian-language description of the Treaty exhibit click here.

For the Russian-language Library of Congress description of the Treaty of Portsmouth, click here.


 News and Links

To learn nore, the following books are available:

Heroes & Friends: Behind the Scenes of the Treaty of Portsmouth by Michiko Nakanishi

There Are No Victors Here: A Local Perspective on the Treaty of Portsmouth by Peter E. Randall

Also available:

An Uncommon Commitment to Peace Exhibit Catalogue published by the Japan-America Society of NH

Blessed Are the Peacemakers: The Service of Thanksgiving for the Portsmouth Treaty, September 5, 1905 by Marina Grot Turkevich Naumann

Original 1905 newsreel footage on DVD

Treaty of Portsmouth 1905-2005 book of reproduction historical postcards.

The Portsmouth Peace Process: Guide for Teachers by Northeast Cultural Coop

Portsmouth Peace Treaty Trail

For hours, directions, details on the Portsmouth Historical Society museum where the Portsmouth Peace Treaty exhibit is displayed, click here.

For hours, directions, details on Strawbery Banke Museum and the Shapiro House, owned by one of the founders of Temple Israel who figured in the Treaty citizen diplomacy, click here.

For information about Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and Building 86 where the formal negotiations were held. click here.

For more information about Wentworth By the Sea Hotel, where both delegations stayed, click here.

For more information about Green Acre Bahai School and Sarah Farmer's commitment to the peace process, click here.

The Portsmouth Public Library maintains an micorfilm archive of local newspapers and an index of the relevant Treaty reporting and other related materials. The archive of original newspapers, photographs and other documents is maintained by the Portsmouth Athenaeum.



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