Portsmouth Welcomes USS New Hampshire -- Come Back Soon!
As the officers and crew of the USS New Hampshire -- and their families and friends -- discovered during Commissionng Week, the elegant seaport of Portsmouth, the nation's third oldest city, is one of the most culturally rich destinations in the country. As National Geographic Traveler magazine noted in the November/December 2008 issue, Portsmouth is one of "the globe's best historic destinations,"(#26 of 109 worldwide) with a commitment to "retaining its sense of place" with a stimulating mix of historic buildings, sidewalk cafes, great restaurants, art galleries, jazz clubs and distinctive artisans' boutiques.
Radiating out from Portsmouth's iconic North Church, streets bustle with activity. The town brims with preserved historic sites including, seven National Historic Landmarks. From the striking selection of grand mansions, including the gabled former lodgings of renowned naval captain John Paul Jones to The Black Heritage Trail, a walking tour that traces the roots of African Americans in New Hampshire, Portsmouth is packed with history.
In February, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Portsmouth, New Hampshire one of its 2008 Dozen Distinctive Destinations. Since 2000, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has annually selected communities across the United States that offer cultural and recreational experiences different from the typical vacation destination. From dynamic downtowns and stunning architecture to cultural diversity and commitments to historic preservation, the selected destinations boast a richness of character and exude an authentic sense of place.
The commissioning of the submarine New Hampshire fits in the long, historical relationship between Portsmouth, the Shipyard and the Navy. Portsmouth and John Paul Jones helped build the original US Navy. The battleship New Hampshire was christened by Gov John McLane who hosted the Portsmouth Peace Treaty negotiations at the Shipyard for President Teddy Roosevelt. TR then gave the "New Hampshire" the honor of leading his Naval Salute welcoming home the Great White Fleet. And the Shipyard has played and continues to play a critical role in the history of the American Submarine - as the gold standard for work done on-time and under-budget.
On October 24, Mayor Thomas Ferrini read the official proclamation announcing that the City of Portsmouth has "adopted" the USS New Hampshire and extends all courtesies and hospitality to her crew in perpetuity. For the latest happenings in the Seacoast area city, check the events calendars at SeacoastNH.com and at Seacoast Media Group.
10/19 USS New Hampshire arrived in Portsmouth 11:15 am
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Thru 11/2 Scarecrows of the Port Festival
Downtown merchants present first annual "Scarecrows in the Port" harvest festival, commissioning celebration and welcome to the crew and their families.
10/25/2008 US Navy Commissioning Ceremony, 10 am
10/27/2008 USS New Hampshire departs, 12:20 pm