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New Hampshire Celebrates 50 Years Of 'I Have A Dream'

Here is a list of events happening Wednesday, courtesy of the New Hampshire Humanities Council


The Congregational Church - UCC of Amherst will host a viewing of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech at 2:15 p.m. at the church at 11 Church St. At 3 p.m. participants will move to the narthex to ring the church bell, followed by a litany for justice and peace. 

For more information, contact Rev. Richard G. Leavitt at 673-3231 or or visit


A "Let Freedom Ring" event will be held at 3 pm by the Liberty Bell on the State House Lawn. Participants will include Governor Maggie Hassan. It will feature a community reading of the "I Have a Dream" speech, and is sponsored by New American Africans, the Love Your Neighbor Coalition, and the American Friends Service Committee. 

For more information, contact Maggie Fogarty at 988-7115 or


The First Parish Church will host a Let Freedom Ring Celebration at 2:30 p.m. at 218 Central Ave. They will show Dr. King's speech and host a bell-ringing with members of the First Parish Ringers handbell choir at 3 p.m. on the front steps of the church. The Celebration will be led by Rev. Michael Bennett, Pastor, and by Rick Gremlitz, Church Administrator. 

For more information, contact Rick Gremlitz at 742-5664 or


The University of New Hampshire will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech with a reading of the text by UNH students, staff and faculty. The event is free and open to the public. People are encouraged to gather at the Memorial Union Building's information desk at 2 p.m. to march as a group to the Great Hall Lawn (in front of Thompson Hall). 

Brief remarks from professor Bruce Mallory and community members will commence at 2:30 p.m. followed by the reading of the "I Have a Dream" speech by students, staff and faculty.


The Goffstown Public Library, 2 High Street, will host a showing of Dr. King's speech immediately following a 3 p.m. community-wide bell-ringing. Local schools and churches will participate in the bell-ringing. The video of Dr. King's speech will be introduced by James McKim, son of Civil Rights activists who will share his own memories of hearing Dr. King speak and participating in Civil Rights marches with his parents.

For more information, contact Sandy Whipple at 497-2102 or


Dartmouth College will host a series of events to honor Dr. King's legacy. At 1:30 p.m. the documentary "No Easy Walk (1961-1963) will be shown. At 2:45 p.m. participants are invited to gather on the north end of the Dartmouth Green for a moment of silence and personal reflection followed by a community-wide bell ringing. At 3 p.m. there will be a public showing of Dr. King's speech.

For more information call 646-9196. 


The Community Church of Harrisville and Chesham at the corner of Canal and Chesham Roads will ring the bells in its two church buildings

For more information contact Russ French at 827-3647 or

Isles of Shoals

As part of Star Island Experience week, all guests and staff on island will break at 3 p.m. for a ringing of the chapel bell. After the bell ringing, various guests will read King's "I Have a Dream" speech from the front porch. After the reading, everyone on island is welcome to partake in a reception on the front porch.

For more information, contact Kris LoFrumento at 601-0832 or or visit


Keene State College will host a discussion of the March on Washington and its impact at noon in the Young Student Center at 229 Main St. Participants will include people to took part in the March. At 2 p.m. on Appian Way, fifteen readers, from young children to students, faculty, staff, and alumni from the community, including NH Senator Molly Kelly and author Ernest Hebert, will take turns reading the full text of Dr. King's speech.

Music of the era will be played and songs shared. At 3 pm the bells on campus will ring. At 7:30 p.m. a panel discussion on Civil Rights will take place in the Young Student Center. The panel will include KSC students, faculty and former NH legislator Harvey Keye who was in the NH legislature when the state voted to recognize Martin Luther King Day. Displays on the March will also be available for viewing in the Mason Library and the Young Student Center.

For more information, contact Dr. Dottie Morris at 358-2206 or or visit

The Keene Unitarian and Universalist Church will ring its bell in downtown Keene 50 times at 3 p.m.

For more information, contact Nancy Brigham at 852-5154 or


Temple B'nai Israel will host a ceremony at 3 p.m. at 210 Court St. Many Jews attended the March on Washington and heard Dr. Martin Luther King's speech 50 years ago and walked with him to support the civil rights movement. Mark Small will blow his shofar and we invite anyone else who has a shofar and wishes to take part to join in.

For more information, contact Joyce Selig at 524-5792 or


The Union Church of Madbury, 18 Town Hall Road, will host a bell ringing at 2:50 p.m. The ceremony will feature many ringers, each ringing with a personal commitment to justice or in memory of a person engaged in justice. The Moharimet Elementary School will encourage students and parents to take part when school ends at 3:10. Participants will be invited to ring bells and share fruit, lemonade and conversation about the meaning of Dr. King's words in our times.

For more information, contact Maren Tirabassi at 742-9380 or 436-9352 or by e-mail at

Mount Washington

The Appalachian Mountain Club will host a simple bell-ringing ceremony on the Northeast's highest peak at 3 p.m. (If the weather is hazardous the bell-ringing will take place at the Lake of the Clouds Hut). Staff from the AMC's Lake of the Clouds Hut will lead the bell ringing, with staff from the Mount Washington Observatory and the Mount Washington State Park also participating. The public is welcome to attend.

For more information, contact Rob Burbank at 466-8155 or


The Nashua Public Library will host a showing of the film "Selma, Lord, Selma" at 3:10 p.m. at the library at 2 Court St. In 1965 Alabama, an 11-year-old girl (Jurnee Smollett) is touched by a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. (Clifton Powell) and becomes a devout follower. But her resolution is tested when she joins others in the famed march from Selma to Montgomery. Sponsored by Friends of the Nashua Public Library.

For more information, contact Carol Eyman at 589-4610 or or visit

Christ the King Lutheran Church will host a showing of King's "I Have a Dream" speech at 2:30 p.m. The church is located at 3 Lutheran Drive. At 3 p.m. participants will ring bells provided from the church's four-octave handbell set. The event will be followed by light refreshments in the church's Gathering Space.

For more information, contact Judy Birch at 882-6142 or or visit .

North Conway

The Gibson Center for Senior Services will host a showing of King's "I Have a Dream" speech at 12:30 p.m. at 14 Grove Street in North Conway. The showing of the speech will be followed by a discussion of whether or not King's dream has been realized and how participants can help further his vision. The discussion will be facilitated by local historian Brian Wiggin.

For more information, contact Jill Reynolds at 356-3231 or or visit


The Pelham Public Library will host a reading of King's "I Have a Dream" speech at 2:30 p.m. at the library at 24 Village Green. Local churches have been asked to ring their bells at 3 p.m.

For more information, contact Corinne Chronopoulos at 635-7581 x3060 or or visit


The Peterborough Unitarian Universalist Church will lead a community bell-ringing at 3 p.m. at 25 Main St.

For more information, contact Rev. David Robins at 924-6245 or


Plymouth Congregational UCC will host a bell ringing at 3 p.m. Participants are invited to take part in a reading of Dr. King's speech immediately after.

For more information, contact Eileen Torrey at


The Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail will host a celebration at 2:45 p.m. at the Discover Portsmouth Center at 10 Middle Street. Bring your bells, musical instruments, and your voices to a New Orleans style celebration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's historic March on Washington.

The Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail will lead a musical street procession from the Discover Portsmouth Center to the African Burial Ground on Chestnut Street, where the public is invited to join in a traditional African acknowledgment of all who have gone before us in the struggle for justice. 

Confirmed participants include Rev. Robert Thompson (Exeter), the Leftist Marching Band (Portsmouth), Ben Baldwin (Maine), Matt Langley and the PMAC student band. The celebration will conclude back at the Discover Portsmouth Center with light refreshments provided by the Black Heritage Trail and Seacoast African American Cultural Center.

For more information, contact JerriAnne Boggis, Director of the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail, at 603-318-5120.


At 2:15 p.m. the Sanbornton Public Library will host a showing of Dr. King's speech followed by an opportunity for participants to share memories of that day and what the speech means to them. Just before 3 p.m. participants will move outside and the Sanbornton Congregational Church, the First Baptist Church and the Second Baptist Church will ring their bells at 3.

For more information, contact the Sanbornton Public Library at 286-8288 or e-mail Marilyn


The Second Congregational Church will host a bell ringing at 3 p.m. followed by a discussion of the March on Washington and its impact on the nation. The program will include a reading of Dr. King's speech. The church is located at the corner of Dale and Gregg Streets.

For more information, contact Pastor Mark Brockmeier at 654-9045 or

Michael serves as NHPR's Program Director. Michael came to NHPR in 2012, working as the station's newscast producer/reporter. In 2015, he took on the role of Morning Edition producer. Michael worked for eight years at The Telegraph of Nashua, covering education and working as the metro editor.

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