Welcome!

All the events listed in this calendar are funded in whole or part by New Hampshire Humanities, and all are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. Many of these events are Humanities to Go programs your organization can book, made possible in part by generous support from

View a PDF of our most recent Calendar here (this newsletter will now be published quarterly and the next edition will be in September). To view a printable calendar of Summer 2018 events, click here. (For previous editions of the Calendar, click here.)

Our Humanities to Go Catalog is available online!
Click here to view it as a flip book, or click here for PDF.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Lake Winnipesaukee Museum | Laconia, NH

Abenaki history has been reduced to near-invisibility as a result of conquest, a conquering culture that placed little value on the Indian experience, and a strategy of self-preservation that required many Abenaki to go "underground," concealing their true identities for generations to avoid discrimination and persecution. Robert Goodby reveals archaeological evidence that shows their deep presence here, inches below the earth's surface.  

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Nesmith Library | Windham, NH

Why are we so fascinated with stone walls? Kevin Gardner, author of The Granite Kiss, explains how and why New England came to acquire its thousands of miles of stone walls, the ways in which they and other dry stone structures were built, how their styles emerged and changed over time and their significance to the famous New England landscape. Along the way, Kevin occupies himself building a miniature wall or walls on a tabletop, using tiny stones from a five-gallon bucket.  

Photo by Barry Williams
Fuller Public Library | Hillsborough, NH

Flight of Remembrance is the true story of the speaker's family before, during, and after World War II in Latvia, occupied Poland, and Germany. None were members of the Nazi Party or Hitler supporters, but Marina Kirsch's father and grandfather, both technically skilled, were forced to serve in the German military after fleeing from Latvia to Germany before the first Soviet takeover of the Baltic States.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Kingston Town Hall | Kingston, NH

Why are we so fascinated with stone walls? Kevin Gardner, author of The Granite Kiss, explains how and why New England came to acquire its thousands of miles of stone walls, the ways in which they and other dry stone structures were built, how their styles emerged and changed over time and their significance to the famous New England landscape. Along the way, Kevin occupies himself building a miniature wall or walls on a tabletop, using tiny stones from a five-gallon bucket.  THIS EVENT IS PART OF THE KINGSTON 324TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION. 

The Fells Main House | Newbury, NH

In the early 20th century, the New Hampshire Board of Agriculture launched a program to boost the rural economy and promote tourism through the sale of abandoned farms to summer residents. After introducing the country house movement, Cristina Ashjian focuses attention on some of the great country estates featured in the New Hampshire program between 1902 and 1913. Which private estates were recognized as exemplary, and who were their owners?

Monday, August 6, 2018

Moultonborough Public Library | Moultonborough, NH

There is treasure here but not the pirate kind. Scientific "digs" on Smuttynose Island are changing New England history. Archaeologist Nathan Hamilton has unearthed 300,000 artifacts to date on this largely uninhabited rock at the Isles of Shoals. Evidence proves prehistoric Native Americans hunted New Hampshire's only offshore islands 6,000 years ago. Hundreds of European fishermen split, salted, and dried valuable Atlantic cod here from the 1620s.

Medallion Opera House | Gorham, NH

Murder and mayhem, robbery and rapine, love that cuts to the bone:  American ballads re-tell the wrenching themes of their English and Scottish cousins. Transplanted in the new world by old world immigrants, the traditional story-song of the Anglos and Scots wound up reinvigorated in the mountains of Appalachia and along the Canadian border.  John Perrault talks, sings, and picks the strings that bind the old ballads to the new.

 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Exeter Public Library | Exeter, NH

Drawing heavily on the repertoire of traditional singer Lena Bourne Fish (1873-1945) of Jaffrey and Temple, New Hampshire, Jeff Warner offers the songs and stories that, in the words of Carl Sandburg, tell us "where we came from and what brought us along." These ballads, love songs and comic pieces, reveal the experiences and emotions of daily life in the days before movies, sound recordings and, for some, books.

Lake Sunapee Protective Association Learning Center | Sunapee, NH

Anyone who ever posted a Gone Fishin' sign on the door during business hours will appreciate this native fisherman's glimpse into the habits, rituals, and lore of some of the more colorful members of the not-so-exclusive "Liars' Club." Hal Lyon shares tales, secrets, folklore, and history of fishing in New Hampshire's big lakes especially Lake Winnipesaukee which translates into "Smile of the Great Spirit." 

 

Haverhill Alumni Hall CSA | Haverhill, NH

On February 18, 1952, an astonishing maritime event began when a ferocious nor'easter split in half a 500-foot long oil tanker, the Pendleton, approximately one mile off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Incredibly, just twenty miles away, a second oil tanker, the Fort Mercer, also split in half. On both tankers men were trapped on the severed bows and sterns, and all four sections were sinking in 60-foot seas. Thus began a life and death drama of survival, heroism, and a series of tragic mistakes. Of the 84 seamen aboard the tankers, 70 would be rescued and 14 would lose their lives.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Odd Fellows Hall | Hopkinton, NH

One hundred years ago, a full generation before Rosie the Riveter, American women rolled up their sleeves and entered war industries where they had never been welcome before. They ran powerful machinery, learned new skills, and faced the sullen hostility of the men in the shops. In this illustrated lecture, historian Carrie Brown reveals their courage and their hard work, asks what impact "the Great War" had on their lives, and explores how these women helped shape the work that their more famous daughters would do in the next World War.

Nesmith Library | Windham, NH

Why are we so fascinated with stone walls? Kevin Gardner, author of The Granite Kiss, explains how and why New England came to acquire its thousands of miles of stone walls, the ways in which they and other dry stone structures were built, how their styles emerged and changed over time and their significance to the famous New England landscape. Along the way, Kevin occupies himself building a miniature wall or walls on a tabletop, using tiny stones from a five-gallon bucket.  

Chesterfield Town Hall | Chesterfield, NH

Rudyard Kipling was the most internationally-celebrated author of his day. The first four years of his marriage and fatherhood were spent in New England where he built his dream house - Naulakha in Dummerston, Vermont - now preserved as a Landmark Trust property. It was there that he penned The Jungle Book and other classics. These were productive and happy years for the young literary giant, but eventually deeply troubled.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Seabrook Library | Seabrook, NH

Following World War II, New Hampshire embarked on an extensive program of constructing new highways and improving existing roads to accommodate explosive growth in passenger vehicles and the need for better infrastructure to accommodate commercial traffic. Hundreds of millions in federal, state, and local tax dollars would be expended on this initiative over the second half of the 20th century and road construction would become an enduring part of the state's economy.

Woodstock Town Office Building | North Woodstock, NH

During the height of the Blizzard of 1978 the pilot boat Can Do, with five men onboard, set out from Gloucester to assist a lost Coast Guard boat and an oil tanker that was in a Mayday situation. Ten Hours Until Dawn tells the story of what happened on that awful night when the seas were producing monstrous waves of 40 feet and the wind was screaming at 100 miles per hour. Using slides of the boats, the men involved, and photos of the storm, Michael Tougias will take the viewer through this incredible night where many lives hung in the balance.

Hopkinton Town Hall | Hopkinton, NH

THE VIETNAM WAR:  Diverse Perspectives. This 28-minute video includes war stories told by an American journalist; an anti-war activist; an American author and combat soldier; a Vietnamese author and soldier of the North Vietnamese Army; Hero Mothers; a South Vietnamese refugee; an ARVN officer; and several U.S. Marines. Facilitator will be Dan Vallone. PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE IN LOCATION FROM HOPKINTON TOWN LIBRARY TO HOPKINTON TOWN HALL. 

Wolfeboro Public Library | Wolfeboro, NH

Rudyard Kipling was the most internationally-celebrated author of his day. The first four years of his marriage and fatherhood were spent in New England where he built his dream house - Naulakha in Dummerston, Vermont - now preserved as a Landmark Trust property. It was there that he penned The Jungle Book and other classics. These were productive and happy years for the young literary giant, but eventually deeply troubled.

Old Meeting House of Francestown | Francestown, NH

Woody Pringle and Marek Bennett present an overview of the American Civil War through the lens of period music. Audience members participate and sing along as the presenters explore lyrics, documents, and visual images from sources such as the Library of Congress. Through camp songs, parlor music, hymns, battlefield rallying cries, and fiddle tunes, Pringle and Bennett examine the folksong as a means to enact living history, share perspectives, influence public perceptions of events, and simultaneously fuse and conserve cultures in times of change.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Golden View Health Care Center, The Terrace | Meredith, NH

Through traditional music Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki relays some of the adventures, misadventures, and emotions experienced by Irish emigrants. The focus is on songs about leaving Ireland, sometimes focusing on the reasons for leaving (a man who is driven from his land by English persecution); sometimes revealing what happened upon arrival (an immigrant drafted into the Union army during the Civil War); and sometimes exploring the universal feeling of homesickness of a stranger in a strange land (a factory worker in London missing his home in County Clare).

Saturday, August 11, 2018

New Hampton Town House | New Hampton, NH

Traditional songs, rich in local history and a sense of place, present the latest news from the distant past. They help us to interpret present-day life with an understanding of the working people who built our country. Tavern songs, banjo tunes, 18th century New England hymns, sailor songs, and humorous stories about traditional singers and their songs highlight this informative program by Jeff Warner. THIS EVENT IS PART OF NEW HAMPTON'S OLD HOME DAY.

East Alton Meeting House | Alton, NH

Why are we so fascinated with stone walls? Kevin Gardner, author of The Granite Kiss, explains how and why New England came to acquire its thousands of miles of stone walls, the ways in which they and other dry stone structures were built, how their styles emerged and changed over time and their significance to the famous New England landscape. Along the way, Kevin occupies himself building a miniature wall or walls on a tabletop, using tiny stones from a five-gallon bucket.  THE ANNUAL POTLUCK DINNER BEGINS AT 6:00PM FOLLOWED BY A BRIEF MEETING WITH PROGRAM TO FOLLOW AT 7:30PM.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Camp Morgan Lodge | Washington, NH

Following World War II, New Hampshire embarked on an extensive program of constructing new highways and improving existing roads to accommodate explosive growth in passenger vehicles and the need for better infrastructure to accommodate commercial traffic. Hundreds of millions in federal, state, and local tax dollars would be expended on this initiative over the second half of the 20th century and road construction would become an enduring part of the state's economy.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Richards Free Library | Newport, NH

Stories speak to us of community. They hold our history and reflect our identity.  Rebecca Rule has made it her mission over the last 20 years to collect stories of New Hampshire, especially those that reflect what's special about this rocky old place.  She'll tell some of those stories - her favorites are the funny ones - and invite audience members to contribute a few stories of their own. 

Nashua Public Library | Nashua, NH

Why are we so fascinated with stone walls? Kevin Gardner, author of The Granite Kiss, explains how and why New England came to acquire its thousands of miles of stone walls, the ways in which they and other dry stone structures were built, how their styles emerged and changed over time and their significance to the famous New England landscape. Along the way, Kevin occupies himself building a miniature wall or walls on a tabletop, using tiny stones from a five-gallon bucket.  

 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Meredith Public Library | Meredith, NH

Abenaki history has been reduced to near-invisibility as a result of conquest, a conquering culture that placed little value on the Indian experience, and a strategy of self-preservation that required many Abenaki to go "underground," concealing their true identities for generations to avoid discrimination and persecution. Robert Goodby reveals archaeological evidence that shows their deep presence here, inches below the earth's surface.  

Friday, August 17, 2018

Curious George Cottage | Waterville Valley, NH

Why are we so fascinated with stone walls? Kevin Gardner, author of The Granite Kiss, explains how and why New England came to acquire its thousands of miles of stone walls, the ways in which they and other dry stone structures were built, how their styles emerged and changed over time and their significance to the famous New England landscape. Along the way, Kevin occupies himself building a miniature wall or walls on a tabletop, using tiny stones from a five-gallon bucket.  

 

Divine Mercy Catholic Church | Peterborough, NH

Daily life for the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company's textile worker was not easy. Robert Perreault sheds light on how people from a variety of European countries as well as from French Canada made the transition from an agrarian to an industrial society and how that change affected families, cultures, the nature of work, and relationships among workers themselves.

 

Lakefalls Lodge | Stoddard, NH

New England's colonial meetinghouses embody an important yet little-known chapter in American history. Built mostly with tax money, they served as both places of worship and places for town meetings, and were the centers of life in colonial New England communities.  Using photographs of the few surviving "mint condition" meetinghouses as illustrations, Paul Wainwright tells the story of the society that built and used them, and the lasting impact they have had on American culture.  

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Ossipee Historic Courthouse | Ossipee, NH

The music we listen to every day says a lot about us and about our society-and so it was with our Victorian forebears. Their favorite songs reveal much about their inner lives while also reflecting developments in the culture at large. Marya Danihel discusses and performs songs middle-class Victorians sang for pleasure at home in New England, further illustrating her social and music history with 19th-century artwork and memoirs. Melodious, witty, and touching, this music includes parlor songs, Civil War songs, and selections by Stephen Foster and his contemporaries.

United Congregational Church Community Hall | Hebron, NH

On August 19, 1997, in little Colebrook, New Hampshire, a 62-year-old carpenter named Carl Drega, a man with long-simmering property rights grievances, murdered state troopers Scott Phillips and Les Lord at a traffic stop in a supermarket parking lot. Then Drega stole Phillips's cruiser and drove downtown to settle some old scores. By the end of the day three more were dead, Drega among them, and four wounded. Occurring on the eve of America's current plague of gun violence, this tragic event made headlines all over the world and shocked New Hampshire out of a previous innocence.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Deering Community Church | Deering, NH

This program opens with the elderly Whitman on the evening of his seventieth birthday. The audience is a visitor in his room as he prepares for his birthday celebration. Whitman begins to reminisce during the telling. He transforms into his young vibrant self and we begin to trace back with him the experiences that led to the creation of Leaves Of Grass, his lifetime work.

Prescott Park Arts Festival | Portsmouth, NH

Congratulations to Susan Sinnott for winning the 2018 30 Pages In 30 Days competition with her one-act play, Dreamers. As part of a New Hampshire Humanities grant-funded project created by Prescott Park Arts Festival, playwrights were given the month of January to write an original one-act play focusing on the complex social issues that are facing our communities today. Three finalists were chosen and a stage reading of each play was performed at Book & Bar in March.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Able Ebenezer Brewing Company | Merrimack, NH

Glenn Knoblock explores the fascinating history of New Hampshire's beer and ale brewing industry from Colonial days, when it was home- and tavern-based, to today's modern breweries and brew pubs. Unusual and rare photos and advertisements document this changing industry and the state's earliest brewers, including the renowned Frank Jones. A number of lesser-known brewers and breweries that operated in the state are also discussed, including the only brewery owned and operated by a woman before the modern era.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Hopkinton Historical Society | Hopkinton, NH

In the early 20th century, the New Hampshire Board of Agriculture launched a program to boost the rural economy and promote tourism through the sale of abandoned farms to summer residents. After introducing the country house movement, Cristina Ashjian focuses attention on some of the great country estates featured in the New Hampshire program between 1902 and 1913. Which private estates were recognized as exemplary, and who were their owners?

Madison Library | Madison, NH

Jo Radner shares a selection of historical tales-humorous and thought-provoking-about New Englanders who have used their wits in extraordinary ways to solve problems and create inventions. The stories are engaging and entertaining, but also may raise some profound questions about our admiration of ingenuity and about the ethics of pursuing discoveries without taking their potential outcomes into account. The performance will include discussion with the audience, and may introduce a brief folktale or a poem about inventiveness and problem-solving.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Tuftonboro Central School | Center Tuftonboro, NH

Woody Pringle and Marek Bennett present an overview of the American Civil War through the lens of period music. Audience members participate and sing along as the presenters explore lyrics, documents, and visual images from sources such as the Library of Congress. Through camp songs, parlor music, hymns, battlefield rallying cries, and fiddle tunes, Pringle and Bennett examine the folksong as a means to enact living history, share perspectives, influence public perceptions of events, and simultaneously fuse and conserve cultures in times of change.

Chichester Grange/Town Hall | Chichester, NH

Since the late 1600s, the lively tradition of contra dancing has kept people of all ages swinging and sashaying in barns, town halls, and schools around the state.  Contra dancing came to New Hampshire by way of the English colonists and remains popular in many communities, particularly in the Monadnock Region. Presenter Dudley Laufman brings this tradition to life with stories, poems and recordings of callers, musicians, and dancers, past and present. Live music, always integral to this dance form, will be played on the fiddle and melodeon.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Canterbury Shaker Village | Canterbury, NH

(THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT)

Kevin Gardner will narrate a walk on the grounds of the Village, exploring restoration sites of historical interest that will feature the considerable work he undertook in the early 90s. This talk should find interest among historians, gardeners, and homeowners. Refreshments will be served after the walk. Please wear sensible shoes. The walk will take place rain or shine. Free. This walk is limited to 25 participants.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Chesterfield Town Hall | Chesterfield, NH

Drawing on research from her book, Moved and Seconded: Town Meeting in New Hampshire, the Present, the Past, and the Future, Rebecca Rule regales audiences with stories of the rituals, traditions, and history of town meeting, including the perennial characters, the literature, the humor, and the wisdom of this uniquely New England institution.

 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Ashland Community Church Hall | Ashland, NH

Quilts tell stories, and quilt history is full of myths and misinformation as well as heart-warming tales of service and tradition. Nearly every world culture that has cold weather uses quilted textiles-quilting is NOT just an American art. Pam Weeks weaves world history, women's history, industrial history and just plain wonderful stories into her presentation. Participants are invited to bring one quilt for identification and/or story sharing.