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Virus Puts Damper On Maine's 200th Birthday Celebration

AUGUSTA, Maine - The state of Maine is celebrating the bicentennial of its liberation from Massachusetts, with or without a party. Sunday's birthday event was supposed to mark the kickoff of activities that'll continue through the year, but the party was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Maine voters rejected statehood three times before the war of 1812. That war, in which Massachusetts declined to defend the Maine territory against British troops, was a turning point. Incensed, residents voted for statehood on the fourth try.

But statehood wasn't ratified by Congress until the Missouri compromise, which aimed to maintain the balance of power between free and slave states.