Portsmouth Celebrates Centennial of Teddy Roosevelt's Nobel Peace Prize
Portsmouth, New Hampshire is celebrating the centennial of President Teddy Roosevelt's 1906 Nobel Peace Prize this year. Though known for his 'big stick' TR was actually a consummate diplomat.
In 1905 he worked for three months to convince the Russians and Japanese to come to the negotiating table to end the Russo-Japanese War which had been raging since January 1904. Now called "World War Zero," it was the first modern and brutally mechanized war and threatened to bring the nations of Europe in on either side. Roosevelt finally convinced both sides to negotiate by July 1905 and for 30 days that summer the two sides met in Portsmouth.
Thanks in part to TR's back-channel diplomacy with emissaries in Tokyo and St. Petersburg (plus good informants on the ground in Portsmouth -- TR was intentionally not at the table), the Portsmouth Peace Treaty was signed on September 5, 1905. TR earned the Nobel Peace Prize the next year for his efforts, becoming the first American to win a Nobel of any kind, as well as the first American President of just three to date to win the Peace Prize.
To celebrate the Portsmouth Peace Treaty Anniversary Committee has organized:
· "An Uncommon Commitment to Peace: Portsmouth Peace Treaty" exhibit at the Portsmouth Historical Society museum, corner of State & Middle St. Portsmouth. Adults $8 children under 12 free. www.portsmouthhistory.org, Open daily 11 am - 5pm May 27-Oct 31
· "The Peace of Portsmouth" an original play based on local newspaper accounts of the negotiations. Pontine Theatre, 959 Islington St., Portsmouth. 8pm on Aug 11, 17, 20, 26 Tickets $20. www.pontine.org
· Portsmouth Peace Treaty Trail guided (fee) and self-guided (free map provided) tours of key sites important to the 1905 Peace Treaty summer. Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce. Mondays and Fridays at 1 pm. Adults $8, seniors, $7 Through Columbus Day. www.portsmouthchamber.org
· Wentworth By the Sea Hotel "History Package" includes accommodations, dinner, illustrated coffee table book on the history of the hotel (which is where the Russian and Japanese delegates, and TR's informant, stayed) and tickets to "An Uncommon Commitment" exhibit. $149 per person, double occupancy, per night. www.wentworth.com
· Aug 25-28. “Global Governance and the Lesser Peace” seminar and annual Peace Flag raising ceremony. Green Acre Baha'i School, Eliot Maine. www.greenacre.org,
· Portsmouth Peace Treaty Commemoration. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard salute and downtown bellringing. Free. Sep 5
· Teddy Roosevelt Nobel Peace Prize Centennial commemoration. www.portsmouthpeacetreaty.com Dec 10 (the anniversary of the Prize presentation).
Additional lectures and events information constantly updated at www.portsmouthpeacetreaty.com