It’s town meeting time! A storied tradition in northern New England, and in New Hampshire especially. This week I found an old interview with Dartmouth College professor of history, Jere Daniell. He spoke with an unidentified NHPR reporter in July, 1994. Daniell has made close study of our town meeting and the history of the institution.
The roots of town meeting go back three centuries and have evolved over time. Once viewed as an extension of the old boys network which governed many towns, it enjoyed a bit of a renaissance in the early 20th century.
Ten years ago this week, Rev. Gene Robinson officially became the first openly gay bishop in history. He was elected in June, 2003 and on 7 March, 2004 he was "invested" at a ceremony where the previous bishop (Rev. Douglas Theuner) formally handed the shepherd's crook to him.
Just days before the investiture, Robinson spoke with John Walters on NHPR's The Front Porch about his election, and the controversy that followed in and around the Episcopal Church. They discuss the transition and what his plans are taking the church forward.
Today marks thirty years since the 1984 New Hampshire primary. It’s a contest not well remembered today – on the Republican side, President Ronald Reagan was running essentially unopposed, and the man who won the Democratic nomination, Walter Mondale, not only lost the New Hampshire primary, he lost the general election in a landslide.
Earlier this month, Dick Ray, founding member of The Spectras, one of New Hampshire's first rock bands to make good, passed away. We were fortunate enough to have spoken with Ray and band co-founder Chris Quackenbush in 2001. They joined John Walters on NHPR's The Front Porch to talk about the band and their journey in the music business.
Have you hugged a President this week? Steve Wood has. As a card-carrying member of the Association of Lincoln Presenters, Wood assumes the garb, voice and character of the country’s 16th President to educate people about Lincoln’s life and legacy.
Nashua resident Rawn Spearman (1920-2009) was a long-standing student of Harlem renaissance poet Langston Hughes. The actor and baritone singer, spent time at MacDowell Colony working on a documentary about Hughes. And in 2001 was awarded the Lotte Jacobi Living Treasure Award by Gov. Shaheen.
In 1997, he organized a performance of Ask Your Mama, 12 Moods for Jazz, Hughes epic poem, designed to be performed with music. Spearman's performance at the Capital Center for the Arts sold out.