Bicentennial news

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This year marks the bicentennial of Maine as a state. We preview some of the upcoming events during the state’s yearlong celebration of this 200th birthday and learn how Maine became a state.


Rebecca Conley / Maine Public

Society views those who have reached the age of 100 with awe. But becoming a centenarian is more than just a landmark. We'll discuss what it means to live to an advanced age, both the positives and negatives, as well as what research tells us about aging.

Michael D. Wilson / For Down East Magazine

At the age of 85, Dan Donnell of York decided to try something new. His wife had recently died and he needed to get out of the house, so he started volunteering.

Sixteen years later, he has learned that not only does he like helping others, he also gets by with a little help from his friends.

This interview is part of our series of conversations with Maine centenarians.

Michael D. Wilson / For Down East Magazine

Alfreda Dumond of Fort Kent is 102 years old. She remembers the Acadian culture and rural lifestyle that defined her childhood in Aroostook County. But as the world around her has changed, Dumond chooses to look ahead instead of focusing on the past.

This interview is part of our series of conversations with Maine centenarians.

Michael D. Wilson / For Down East Magazine

For a woman born more than a century ago, Ruth Endicott lived an unconventional life: she got her pilot’s license in her 20s, became a medical doctor in her 30s, married at age 40, had two kids and didn’t retire until she was nearly 90 years old.

Endicott passed away earlier this month at the age of 103, but just weeks before spoke with Maine Public reporter Patty Wight as part of our series of conversations with Maine centenarians.


Michael D. Wilson / For Down East magazine

On the eve of Maine’s bicentennial, Maine Public has teamed up with Down East magazine to share the life stories of centenarians — people who have celebrated a hundred birthdays.

In Fort Kent, one woman’s life was shaped by an early experience deep in Maine’s North Woods.

This interview is part of our series of conversations with Maine centenarians.

Michael D. Wilson / For Down East Magazine

We’re often reminded to enjoy the small things in life: the beauty of our natural surroundings, the taste of good food or the company of those we love. Maurice Bouchard, 102, of Lewiston, spends his days enjoying moments like these after a life of hard work.

This interview is part of our series of conversations with Maine centenarians.

Rebecca Conley / Maine Public

And now for a story about three Dots.  Not an ellipsis or a new discovery in the solar system or a location on a map.  No, this is a story about three women named Dorothy, all born in 1919,  who grew up together in the same hometown, celebrated their 100th birthdays this year and who still remain friends.

This interview is part of our series of conversations with Maine centenarians.

Michael D. Wilson / For Down East Magazine

Eva Deschaine had to grow up fast.

From her black rocking chair inside a Fort Kent nursing home, she describes a childhood with far fewer amenities than today. Deschaine and her three brothers grew up in nearby Black Lake, a small town with a one-room schoolhouse. Like many families in the region, they spoke French.

This interview is part of our series of conversations with Maine centenarians.

Credit Office of the Senate Curator, United States Senate

Two-hundred years ago tomorrow, a hurdle arose on Maine's path to statehood. It had a name: Alabama.

Maine Historical Society

There were some key moments that led to Maine becoming a state nearly 200 years ago.  It was on this date in 1819 that President Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to William King, the chairman of the Maine Constitutional Convention. Maine Public's Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz talks with Maine historian Herb Adams about what led to that moment.

Maine State Archives

Two hundred years ago today, Maine took an important step down the road to statehood. The 274 delegates who had gathered at the Constitutional Convention in Portland finished drafting a document. Its very first article is a "Declaration of Rights."

Flickr Creative Commons

International travel publication Lonely Planet has named Maine one of the world's top regions to travel to in 2020.

Maine Department of the Secretary of State

Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap is debuting a series of 30-second recorded announcements, prepared by the Maine State Archives, retelling the story of the state in the months leading up to its bicentennial. The series and similar projects are being unveiled Thursday morning in Winthrop.

Flickr Creative Commons

Originally published 5:07 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, 2019.

Two hundred years ago, delegates from 236 Maine cities and towns were in Portland, beginning to craft what would become the state constitution. Historian Herb Adams, speaking with Irwin Gratz, says the delegates came from all walks of life, and grappled with fundamental issues of governance, among other matters.

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