New Hampshire celebrates Portsmouth Peace Treaty Day on September 5th -- theanniversary of the signing of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty -- thanks to legislation passed unanimously in 2010.
In his Proclamation of Portsmouth Peace Treaty Day, Governor John Lynch said, “The intent of Portsmouth Peace Treaty Day is to commemorate President Theodore Roosevelt’s designation of New Hampshire as the host for the peace conference that ended the Russo-Japanese War, the largest modern land and sea war the world had seen. President Roosevelt never came to Portsmouth, instead relying upon the US Assistant Secretary of State, the US Navy and the Governor and citizens of New Hampshire to facilitate the 30 days of formal and informal negotiations between the Japanese and Russian diplomats in and around Portsmouth. In Portsmouth 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. The bill marking Portsmouth Peace Treaty Day throughout New Hampshire is the sole example of a state honoring its citizens for the active role they played in fostering successful international negotiations.”
The Governor’s Proclamation calls on the citizens of New Hampshire to “observe the day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.” On the Seacoast, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, religious centers, schools, businesses and other organizations will join in the annual tradition of commemorations timed to coincide with the exact moment of the Treaty signing – 3:47 pm on September 5.