2020 Events

Check our Facebook page for program additions and weather cancellations. 

  • Oyster River Community Read
  • Oyster River Community Read

Trivia Nights


We have partnered with NHPR's Civics 101 Podcast to host TWO community trivia nights. Gather a team or come by yourself and enjoy some community fun.



See how much you know about our Founding Documents.

Tuesday, January 28, 6pm, at the 17th century Ffrost Sawyer Tavern in the Three Chimneys Inn, Durham

CLOSING PARTY! See how much you've learned and know about our Founding Documents!

Thursday, May 14, 6pm, at the historic Powder Major Barn, Madbury


We have adapted our programs to meet the COVID-19 state policies.

Below in orange we have provided updated information on how you can participate in our conversations from the comfort of your home.



1776 (1972)

An historical musical comedy about the Declaration of Independence Nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture

Sunday, February 9, 4pm, Freedom Cafe, Durham


Thomas Jefferson

A film by Ken Burns

Part 1: Thursday, February 13, 6 pm, Community Church of Durham

Part 2: Tuesday, February 18, 6 pm, Community Church of Durham

Part 2: (Rescheduled Date) Tuesday, February 25, 6pm, Community Church of Durham

Not for Ourselves Alone:

The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony

A film by Ken Burns and Paul Barnes

Part 1: Tuesday, March 10, 6:30pm, Community Church of Durham

Part 2: Thursday, March 12, 6:30pm, Community Church of Durham

The Chinese Exclusion Act (2018)

A PBS documentary about the 1882 law that made it illegal for Chinese workers to come to America and denied citizenship to Chinese residents in the U.S. 

(1) Watch the movie for free here:


(2) Click this link on Thursday, April 2, 7m to join us for a facilitated, online discussion:


13th (2016)

A film by Ava DuVernay that explores race and the Thirteenth Amendment

(1) This movie is available on Netflix:


(2) Click this link on Tuesday, April 7, 7pm to join us for a facilitated, online discussion:


The Last Hurrah (1958) starring John Ford and Spencer Tracy

Based on the novel by Edwin O'Connor this film may get you thinking about how much politics and campaigns have changed over the years-- AND how some things really haven't changed at all. It's also an opportunity for some of us to be reminded why we're Spencer Tracy fans and for others to be introduced to this legend of the screen! 

(1) This movie is available to rent on Amazon (Prime members pay .99):


(2) Click this link on Sunday, April 19, 6pm to join us for a facilitated, online discussion:


Good Night, and Good Luck (2005) A historical drama based on radio and television journalist Edward R. Murrow and U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy

(1) This movie is available to rent on Amazon (Prime members watch for free):


(2) Click this link on Tuesday, April 21, 7pm to join us for a facilitated, online discussion:


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Stay tuned for updates!



The History of the New Hampshire Primary

A NH Humanities Program presented by documentary producer, John Gfroerer

Wednesday, January 29, 7pm, Madbury Public Library

An Introduction to the Declaration of Independence

A talk by Eliga Gould, UNH Professor of History

Monday, February 3, 6pm, Durham Public Library

An introduction to the US Constitution and Bill of Rights

A talk by Eliga Gould, UNH Professor of History

Monday, March 2, 6pm, Madbury Public Library

Votes for Women: A History of the Suffrage Movement

A NH Humanities Program presented by Liz Tintarelli, president of the

League of Women Voters of NH

Thursday, March 26, 7pm, Madbury Public Library

The Three National Supremacy Amendments: 13th, 14th, 15th

A talk by Kabria Baumgartner, UNH Asst Professor of English, Women's and Gender Studies

Thursday, April 16, 7pm, Durham Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

The Second Amendment

A talk by Eliga Gould, UNH Professor of History

Monday, April 20, 7pm


The Indian World of George Washington: The First President, The First Americans,

and the Birth of the Nation

A talk by Colin Calloway, Dartmouth Professor of History and Native American Studies,

2019 George Washington Book Prize winner and National Book Award finalist

John Gfroerer

Stay tuned for online information.

Stay tuned for online information.

Community Trip

A day trip to the NH Historical Society and a tour of the NH State Capitol

To signup go to durhamrec.recdesk.com

Wednesday, February 19, organized by Durham Parks and Recreation


"What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" 

A community reading of Frederick Douglass' famous speech.

On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass gave a keynote address at an Independence Day celebration and asked, "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" Douglass was a powerful orator, often traveling six months out of the year to give lectures on abolition. His speech was delivered at an event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, held at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, New York. It was a scathing speech in which Douglass stated, "This Fourth of July is yours, not mine, You may rejoice, I must mourn." (https://nmaahc.si.edu/blog-post/nations-story-what-slave-fourth-july)

Sunday, February 16, 4pm, Waysmeet Center, Durham

Civics Writing Party - SPECIAL COLLABORATIVE happening for ORMS students!

The Community Literacy Center, Oyster River Middle School, University of New Hampshire Education students, and the Civics 101 Podcast team are teaming up for a Civics Writing Party! Having previously explored the founding documents in their social studies classes, 8th grade students will use episodes from the Civics 101 Founding Documents series as fodder for creative multimodal writing that considers the roles of civics and democracy in their lives. At the end of the writing party, students will gather together to reflect on the experience with the hosts of the Civics 101 Podcast, Hannah McCarthy and Nick Capodice. This event is not open to the public. 

Special Programs




Join a conversation about the Declaration of Independence

with a UNH graduate student of American History - bring your thoughts & questions

Thursday, February 6, 6pm, Durham Public Library 

Join a conversation about the US Constitution

with a UNH graduate student of American History - bring your thoughts & questions

Thursday, March 5, 6pm, Madbury Public Library

Book discussion on How Democracies Die: What History Reveals about Our Future

by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt

Facilitated by Jennifer Lee, books available at Durham Public Library

Drawing on decades of research and a wide range of historical and global examples, Harvard's Levitsky and Ziblatt show how democracies die—and how ours can be saved. Join us in discussing this important and timely topic.   Jennifer Lee retired from the UNH English faculty and as editor of Inquiry, the UNH online undergraduate research journal. She currently leads book discussions at the Durham Public Library and other libraries around the state and works with seniors on family histories and memoirs.  

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Thursday, May 14 at 7 pm

To join the discussion on zoom, click here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84152448948Meeting ID: 841 5244 8948