First Wednesdays

A Humanities Lecture Series, October through May

Manchester First Wednesdays

Host: Manchester Community Library

Library phone: (802) 362-2607
Library website

Venue: First Congregational Church of Manchester

3624 Main Street, Manchester
Venue website
Directions to the venue

Printed Manchester First Wednesdays brochure

Download the 2017-2018 Manchester Schedule (PDF)

All First Wednesdays events are free and open to the public!

Wed 04

Hamilton: The Man and the Musical

October 4
7:00 pm
From his birth in the Caribbean to death in a duel, Alexander Hamilton's life was part romance, part tragedy—and the inspiration for the blockbuster Broadway musical. Hamilton biographer Willard Sterne Randall discusses the man and the musical, with excerpts from its score. Read More »
Wed 01

The Voyage of the St. Louis and American Refugee Policy

November 1
7:00 pm
Keene State professor Paul Vincent shares the story of the May 1939 voyage of the St. Louis—carrying mostly Jewish refugees fleeing Germany but denied entry into the US—and argues that many historians have failed to account for the event’s complex political context or the history of US immigration in their criticism of the Roosevelt’s Administration’s actions. Read More »
Wed 06

Luther 101: The Man, The Legacy

December 6
7:00 pm
On the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting his Ninety-five Theses, Dartmouth Professor of German Studies Irene Kacandes discusses Luther’s life, the unfolding of historical events in light of his teachings, and some lasting legacies of the revolution he started. Read More »
Wed 03

Empire and Aftermath in Classical Greece

January 3, 2018
7:00 pm
The ancient Greek world produced two great imperial powers: Sparta and Athens. Middlebury Professor of Classics Jane Chaplin considers the different political systems of the two states, what kind of imperialism they practiced, what happened when their empires ended, and whether their experience has any relevance for us. Read More »
Wed 07

Race at Ground Zero: Integration in Leland, Mississippi

February 7, 2018
7:00 pm
Pulitzer-winning historian and filmmaker Douglas Blackmon speaks about and offers a sneak peek of his documentary film The Harvest. It looks at the failure of public school integration and its relation to our nation's current racial turmoil, as seen through the eyes of people born in 1964 in his hometown of Leland, Mississippi—the state’s first students to attend integrated classrooms from K to 12. Read More »
Wed 07

Celebrating E. B. White

March 7, 2018
7:00 pm
From Charlotte’s Web to his exquisite essays in The New Yorker, E.B. White remains the master’s master of elegant prose, sophisticated wit, and graceful irreverence. Read More »
Wed 11

An Evening with Billy Collins

April 11, 2018
7:00 pm
The former US Poet Laureate will speak and read from his work. Read More »
Wed 02

Roots of Our Geographic and Political Divide

May 2, 2018
7:00 pm
Pulitzer-winning historian David Hackett Fischer explains the astonishing tenacity, even in our multicultural nation, of the social and political cultures that different early British immigrant groups brought to different regions—cultures that underlie our fractured political landscape today. Read More »