In marking Maine's bicentennial, Maine Calling will look more closely at different aspects of our state's history in the coming year. One such aspect is the history of black people living here in Maine, even from before the state's founding.

We'll learn how African Americans in Maine helped create settlements and lay the foundations for the future of the state in various ways, from social to economic to cultural.

We'll also hear about the struggles that black residents have faced along the way, as well as the roles that particular individuals played in shaping their communities.


Thomas Jefferson Foundation Chair in American History at the University of Virginia and two-time Pulitzer prize winning historian Alan Taylor will be back home in Maine (he attended Bonney Eagle High School and Colby College and was born in Portland) to give two lectures in connection with the state’s bicentennial. 

We’ll discuss the Maine Bicentennial, pre-revolutionary Maine, the US/Canada frontier, and more, including his research in early North American history.  Taylor is the author of nine books, including Liberty Men and Great Proprietors: the Revolutionary Settlement on the Maine Frontier 1760-1820.


New York Times best-selling author Sam Kean joins us to discuss his latest book, which explains how, with every breath you take, you literally inhale the history of the world.

Kean will discuss the wilds of our atmosphere, as well as the most astounding patients in neuroscience history, the hidden stories buried in our genes and DNA, the wonders of the periodic table, and life as a writer who attempts to popularize science.

Kean is taking part in the University of New England’s “Connections Lecture Series.”  Click here for more information.

River drivers in Maine pushing logs down river circa 1960s on a river in Maine.

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., June 20 at 10:00 pm
Sat., June 22 at 11:00 am

This film serves as a vivid illustration of the skills, life and character of the turn of the century Maine Lumbermen and River Drivers.


Historian, author and Maine Calling favorite Ken Davis joins us to talk about his latest book.

Kenneth C. Davis is an American historian and author, best known for his “Don’t Know Much About” series of history books.

Maine Memory Network / Maine Historical Society

Nov. 11, 2018, marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. That date was declared Armistice Day and, under President Eisenhower, the name of the holiday was later changed to Veterans Day.

On this Veterans Day, we remember “the war to end all wars” and its impact in Maine.


On an Election Day some call the most consequential in decades, our panel discusses the history of elections in Maine and the United States.

Fort Knox Historical Society

This is a rebroadcast of an earlier show (August 9, 2018); no calls will be taken.

There are interesting spots all across the state to visit and learn about history. We’ll learn about these historic sites and destinations, what you can learn — and why they matter.


Jon Meacham on "The Soul of America"

Aug 27, 2018
Gage Skidmore / Wikipedia/Creative Commons

This is a rebroadcast of an earlier show (July 17, 2018); no calls will be taken.

Best-selling author Jon Meacham joins us to explain that, despite our current tumultuous times, the country has been through periods of turmoil before, and how, by looking to examples in the nation’s past, we can better understand our current political climate.

The Soul of America: The Latest Book by Author Jon Meacham

Jul 17, 2018
Gage Skidmore / Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Best-selling author Jon Meacham joins us to explain that, despite our current tumultuous times, the country has been through periods of turmoil before, and how, by looking to examples in the nation’s past, we can better understand our current political climate.


We know a great deal about famous people, great historical architecture and important past events, but we are also surrounded by common, everyday places that represent history. But these ordinary things are in danger of becoming forgotten. Learn about common clues to the past that are all around us, how to read them and what we find in our own backyards.  


We speak with acclaimed biographer Patricia O’Toole about her new book and why the life and times of Wilson are particularly relevant in today’s world. (O’Toole is a Maine author – she lives in Camden.)

Guest: Patricia O’Toole is the author of five books, including When Trumpets Call: Theodore Roosevelt after the White House, and The Five of Hearts: An Intimate Portrait of Henry Adams and His Friends, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. 

Mark Vogelzang / Maine Public

We speak with Joshua Freeman, the author of "Behemoth — A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World." Freeman describes how significant the role of factories have been in shaping our society. We’ll also hear about the role of factories in Maine’s history.


A new book, “Rise, Decline and Renewal: The Democratic Party in Maine” by Douglas Rooks, explores the story of the Democratic Party in Maine — how it suddenly rose from irrelevance in 1954 with the election of Gov. Ed Muskie and successfully challenged the ruling Republican Party over the next two decades.


Our favorite ‘don’t know much about history’ guest, Kenneth Davis, joins us to talk about some Presidential history we may not have been taught in school.

Guest: Kenneth C. Davis is the bestselling author of Don’t Know Much About History and other books in the Don’t Know Much About® series.