Bicentennial news

Oakfield HIstorical Society

This show is part of our coverage of topics relating to Maine's bicentennial.

In this last installment of our series on Maine history, we examine Maine's evolution in the latter half of the 20th century through September 11, 2001. How did Maine influence national politics, with leaders such as Margaret Chase Smith, Ed Muskie and George Mitchell? How did Maine’s economy and demographics change?

State House Portrait Collection / Maine State Museum

When Maine became a state in 1820, it inherited a vast land from Massachusetts. Two hundred years ago today, three men assigned by Maine's first governor, William King, were on a special expedition.

Maine State Museum

Maine's fraught relations with its Indian tribes dates all the way back to the beginning of statehood 200 years ago this year. In our latest Bicentennial conversation, historian Herb Adams describes the talks that led to the signing of the first treaty between the young Maine and the Penobscot Nation, on Aug. 17, 1820. Adams says the talks began in Portland in July of that year.

Rebecca Conley / Maine Public

Maine's bicentennial celebration has been muted by the coronavirus pandemic. But, 100 years ago this weekend, despite the Spanish flu, the state celebrated its centennial.

Courtesy Maine Department of Secretary of State /

The year 2020 is likely to be remembered for the pandemic and the protests against police brutality. But it is still Maine's bicentennial year. And historian Herb Adams is joining us again to talk about some of the origins of our state.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The state of Maine is celebrating the bicentennial of its liberation from Massachusetts, with or without a party.

Wikimedia Commons

We continue our ongoing series of reports that tell the story of Maine's bicentennial by going back 200 years to this day, March 3. It was a critical date in Maine's decades-long effort to separate from Massachusetts.

Over the past couple of months we’ve been reviewing the events, and getting to know the people, who contributed to Maine achieving statehood 200 years ago next month.

Today, historian Herb Adams on two key individuals. First, Henry Clay, the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives at the time Maine pressed for admission to the Union:

historic lithograph exhibited at Bowdoin College Museum of Art

We continue our bicentennial coverage of Maine history, spanning the road to statehood to the current day.

In this segment, our panel of historians explains how Maine evolved in the pivotal years between becoming a state in 1820 through Maine's involvement in the Civil War. We'll learn about the pivotal figures of the day, and how Maine's cultural, economic and political landscape evolved during the 19th century. 

Maine Historical Society

This is a rebroadcast of an earlier show (original air date January 21, 2020); no calls will be taken.

In 1820, the U.S. passed an act that made participation on the slave trade an act of piracy. Yet, dozens of Maine vessels engaged in the slave trade illegally during this period. Thousands of enslaved people were transported and traded, leading to huge profits for slave traders--some of whom were Maine sea captains who are remembered as leading citizens of the day. Much of the millions of dollars from the slave trade funded the growth of New England's economy. We will learn about this troubling period in Maine's history, which has not often been mentioned or understood.

This show is part of Maine Calling's coverage of topics relating to Maine's Bicentennial.

via Wikimedia Commons

If there is one figure who stands out in Maine's striving for statehood, it might be William King.  As we continue our bicentennial look back, the focus today is on the life of King, who would become Maine's first governor.

Maine Historical Society

One of Maine’s best-known figures, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was not only a poet, writer and linguist, he was an international celebrity in the 1800s. Born in Portland, he became a dominant cultural force in the 19th century. His home remains a popular attraction in Portland. We will talk about his life, his work, and his impact on Maine—and beyond.

This show is part of Maine Calling's ongoing coverage of topics relating to Maine's Bicentennial.

Photography by David Bohl / via Bowdoin College Museum of Art

This show will be live-streamed at, while the impeachment proceedings air over the radio. Maine Calling is still taking calls and comments during the 1 pm show.

A new exhibit at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art celebrates the life and work of Rufus Porter, artist, inventor, polymath, musician and founder of Scientific American magazine. Porter (1792-1884) gained fame as a mural painter; his art often featured scenes of Maine, where he grew up and studied. He later patented inventions, including a revolving rifle cylinder and airships. He founded Scientific American in 1845 to encourage American innovation. We will discuss the life and breadth of work of this multi-talented Mainer. 

This show is part of Maine Calling's ongoing coverage of topics relating to Maine's Bicentennial.

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.