History

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The historical museum in Lyme is wrapping up a summer exhibit on wedding gowns. The exhibit offers insight into the evolution of women’s styles and it also shares some intimate stories of town residents.

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This week, we're going deep into our country's founding through radio drama, the classic musical "1776," and the inside story of a New Hampshire-based fake news site. 

Andover Beacon

Two hundred years ago, Richard Potter was one of the nation’s most famous entertainers, but he’s all but vanished from public memory. So has his extravagant house. 

Portsmouth turns 400 years old in 2023 and planning for that birthday is already under way.

Portsmouth residents will have a chance tonight to share their ideas at a public forum on how they want to celebrate the city's four centuries.

Susan Labrie is the director of Portsmouth400, which is the group planning the celebration. She says the anniversary is more than just a day for a parade.

"It's going to be creating the programs and events that go beyond 2023,” she said.  

In 1859, a Mrs. H.E. Wilson published a novel at her own expense. The book told the story of a biracial girl named Frado abandoned by her mother to be raised by a prominent family where she suffered verbal and physical abuse at the hand of her employers in a New Hampshire town famous for its abolitionist activities.

The novel didn’t sell well - likely less than 100 copies - and the book as well as its author fell into obscurity.

U.S. House of Representatives

It doesn't pack the same wallop or stoke the local pride as much as, say, John Stark Dayhonoring the general who coined the Live Free or Die motto. Still, "Lafayette Day" is a long-time official observance in the state of New Hampshire.

Will the French Tricolours be flying in the Granite State today in celebration of the Marquis de Lafayette?

New Hampshire Preservation Alliance

A gas station-turned-coffee shop in Lebanon, a stone-arched bridge in New Ipswich, and a church turned into condominiums in Concord are among projects winning recognition from the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance

Jason Moon for NHPR

The New Hampshire Commission on Native American Affairs says it is not satisfied with interpretive text meant to address a controversial mural at the Durham Post Office.

In a statement released Thursday, the group says the interpretive text is not an acceptable solution and that they don’t consider the matter closed.

Robert Garrova for NHPR

Archaeologists with the New Hampshire Department of Historical Resources say recent discoveries at Livermore Falls may reveal the site has human history stretching back to before its industrial days.

 

"The Hollow" at Livermore Falls is known for its link to a 19th Century mill. But during fieldwork last summer, New Hampshire archeologist David Trubey says researchers found evidence of toolmaking and a possible fish-drying operation.  

 

NH.gov

 

A 19th-century mill community with possible Native American ties will be this year's site for the archaeology field school's summer program, run by New Hampshire's Division of Historical Resources.

The Livermore Falls or "the Hollow" was once the site of pulp mills, a tannery and a fish hatchery. It also included homes, a boarding house, stores and a schoolhouse. Recently, there is evidence to suggest that Native Americans may have once occupied the location.

David Trubey, a New Hampshire archaeologist, will direct fieldwork and instruction.

Lauren Chooljian for NHPR

  It wasn't gold, money or skeletons.

But the newly-found items, including old ledgers, now-vintage fans and Civil War bonds, locked for decades in an old safe in a first floor committee room, were still exciting to a few curious minds at the New Hampshire State House. 

Via waterfrontagent.com

In our continuing series Only in New Hampshire, we tackle listener questions about the Granite State communities and occasionally get the chance to uncover a bit of hidden history.

So here’s a perfectly timed question from Katelin in Northwood. She wrote:

“I heard Northwood had some kind of important link on the way we celebrate Thanksgiving. I looked but never found it. Any ideas?”

1761 Gravestone of 9-Year-Old Girl Rededicated in Keene

Nov 14, 2017
Historical Society of Cheshire County

  The Historical Society of Cheshire County is rededicating a gravestone today of a 9-year-old girl who died in 1761 after it was found years later at a home near a cemetery in Keene.

Betty Clark was buried at the Ash Swamp Cemetery. Her stone was removed more than 130 years ago and found supporting the steps of a home while the owner was doing repairs.

Her burial stone is now adjacent to the slate stone of her father, Simeon Clark, according to the Historical Society.

Jason Moon for NHPR

This weekend at the Pine Hill Cemetery in Dover, the dead will come back to life...sort of.

As part of the Woodman Museum’s "Voices from the Cemetery" event, local volunteer-actors will portray some of the famous -and infamous- Dover residents buried in the centuries-old cemetery.

NHPR’s Jason Moon caught up with the actors as they were rehearsing earlier this week and sends this postcard.

Economist and Harvard professor Mihir Desai uses philosophy, film, literature, and history to analyze finance as an institution built on morality and humanity. His book , The Wisdom of Finance, explores how the financial industry can be understood through culture, and how deeply finance impacts our personal lives. 

This show originally aired on July 25, 2017. 

Todd Bookman/NHPR

If you find yourself in downtown Berlin, New Hampshire, take a glance at the Androscoggin River. There, in the middle of the water, you’ll notice a long, straight line of small rocky islands poking through the surface.

Kris Williams via flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/hdFDUU

On today's show: 

Ghostowns, Civics 101, & Andrew Greer

Jul 21, 2017
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Aerosmith has been going strong for decades, but the legendary rock band actually traces its roots back to New Hampshire.

Lead singer Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry met in Sunapee, where they spent their childhood summers, and the rest is rock history.

On Saturday, the Sunapee Historical Society will be transformed into a shrine of sorts for the band when it hosts Aerosmith History Day.

Memorabilia spanning the band’s nearly 50-year career will be on display.

Several organizations are coming together to address what they say has been an abrupt and sharp decline in basic historical knowledge among New Hampshire students.

New Hampshire Historical Society president Bill Dunlap sounded the alarm in an op-ed earlier this month, saying this knowledge deficit could have dramatic consequences for the state.

evmaiden via Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire students may soon be brushing up on their state history. A new law will require New Hampshire high school students to take one credit of history and a half credit of civics as a prerequisite for graduation.

Democratic Senator Lou D’Allesandro, a former civics teacher, sponsored the bill. He says chronic low voter turnout in the U.S. is a symptom of poor civics education.

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Enduring Vietnam: An American Generation and Its War

May 26, 2017

The Vietnam War is largely recalled as a mistake, either in the decision to engage there or in the nature of the engagement.  Veterans of the war remain largely anonymous figures.  Enduring Vietnam recounts the experiences of the young Americans who fought in Vietnam and of families who grieved those who did not return. We talk with author James Wright about the “baby boomers” who grew up in the 1950s, why they went into the military,  how they describe serving in “Nam” and their experiences coming home.

GUEST:  James Wright is author and editor of several history books and a former history professor at Dartmouth College as well as former Dartmouth College President.

This program was originally broadcast on 4/27/17.


Courtesy of RR Auction

Update: The diary sold at auction Wednesday, April 26, for $718,750. R.R. Auction, based in Amherst, New Hampshire, coordinated the sale. The buyer is a Massachusetts-based collector.

In the summer of 1945, between his military service and first campaign for Congress, John F. Kennedy traveled across Europe working as a journalist.

JFK kept a diary during those months on the road. The historical document reveals a future President trying to make sense of a rapidly changing post-war world--and it’s now being put up for bid by a New Hampshire auction house.

4.18.17: Vetoes & Kinan Azmeh

Apr 18, 2017
Tim Evanson via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/cVHCid

On today's show:

  • Civics 101: Veto
  • "Crazy Bet" from producer Nate DiMeo and The Memory Palace. Listen again at PRX.org. 
  • Clarinetist and composer Kinan Azmeh was born in Damascus, but now lives in New York, where he wakes up to bad news each day. He’s going to be performing with the Kinan Azmeh CityBand at Phillips Academy Exeter tonight at 7:00pm and at the West Claremont Center for Music and the Arts tomorrow, April 19th at 6:30pm to celebrate the band's 10th season together. This is our previous conversation with Kinan and composer Kareem Roustom, recorded in 2013.
  • "The Gift of Music" from Masumi Hayashi-Smith and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Listen again at PRX.org. 

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