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2016 Commemorations

Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum Celebrates 110th Anniversary of Theodore Roosevelt’s Nobel Peace Prize with Display of Medal and Russian Peace Conference Documents

History was made at the September 5, 2015 celebration of the 110th anniversary of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty when Russian diplomats joined Japanese diplomats at a reception at Wentworth By the Sea Hotel in the room where Russian and Japanese delegates to the peace conference had last met in 1905.

In 2016 the Portsmouth Peace Treaty exhibit, “An Uncommon Commitment to Peace” expanded to include several new displays celebrating the 110th anniversary of the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Theodore Roosevelt. New artifacts include an authentic replica of the Nobel Peace Prize from the mint authorized by the Nobel Peace Prize Institute in Norway, furniture from the 1905 Treaty conference rooms at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and documents from the Foreign Ministry archives of the Russian Federation, including June 1905 telegrams discussing the invitation to participate in a peace conference. 

Alexander Kuznetsov, Head of History and Documentation Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, who attended the Treaty commemorations on September 5th presented copies of the documents from those archives, “selected in honor of the people of Portsmouth who have collected the history of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty conference, to enrich those archives.”

When presenting the gift at Wentworth By the Sea in September, Mr. Kuznetsov observed, “Being a diplomat myself, I haven’t seen many places in the world where the peace-making efforts of diplomats are so honored and remembered as in this city. These annual ceremonies have become an important part of the common historic heritage of Russian, American and Japanese peoples.”

Portsmouth celebrated the first Peace Treaty Day on September 5, 1906 and the dedication of a plaque on Building 86 at the Shipyard (above), with church bells ringing for a half hour at morning, noon and night. This year, the Seacoast (and beyond) celebrates Portsmouth Peace Treaty Day on September 5th with the ringing (for three minutes) of church bells, school bells.

The celebration of Portsmouth Peace Treaty Day 2016 was underscored by the 2016 Governor’s Proclamation of Portsmouth Peace Treaty Day, established by unanimous vote by the NH Legislature in 2010: that in 1905 “an uncommon commitment to peace became a common virtue” as "citizen diplomacy" -- the involvement of local people -- significantly contributed to the favorable outcome of the negotiations that earned President Roosevelt the 1906 Nobel Peace Prize; that New Hampshire is the sole example of a state honoring its citizens for the active role they played in fostering successful international negotiations, and that the residents of New Hampshire [should] observe the day with appropriate ceremonies and activities commemorating this important part of New Hampshire history.

Portsmouth Peace Treaty Living Memorial cherry tree sites in Dublin, Hanover, Lancaster, Meredith and Manchester also participate in the bell-ringing.

In Concord, a Portsmouth Peace Treaty Day program in the Red River Theatre included a short peace concert by Alex Cook, singer, songwriter and muralist; a screening of “The Peace Treaty of Portsmouth: A Spiritual Perspective and a reading of the Governor’s Proclamation and bell ringing at 3:47 pm.

In Portsmouth, bells rang for three minutes at 3:47 pm immediately following a memorial salute from the Shipyard – at the exact moment the Treaty was signed 111 years ago. The new Consul General of Japan in Boston, Rokuichiro Michii joined the festivities at the Treaty historic marker outside the Piscataqua Savings Bank and Judge Calvin Page memorial (15 Pleasant Street) for the reading of the Governor’s Proclamation of Portsmouth Peace Treaty Day. The Market Square event included representatives from the Portsmouth Public Schools, including some of the homestay exchange students who visited Nichinan, Japan (Portsmouth’s Sister City).

In Nichinan, representatives from the Mayor’s Office and schoolchildren from Nichinan Gakuen Jr-Sr High School also rang bells on September 5th to commemorate Portsmouth Peace Treaty Day.

Portsmouth Delegation Visited Sister City of Nichinan, Japan

2016 Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum Welcomes Graham Allison and Fiona Hill, "Reconsidering the Trilateral Cooperation Study: Relationships Between Japan, Russia and he US"

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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