Maine has a long history (see below timeline) and it is an important one. Its name is mysterious, though some say the name is a referral to Maine as the main land, separating it from its 4000 islands. It received its Statehood in 1820, some say at the present day Jameson Tavern in Freeport. Since then Maine has made its name for itself.
17,000 BP (before the present) The last glacier, known as the Wisconsin glaciation, begins to recede. 11,000 BP Maine is free of the glacier, except for a few ice caps in the north. 10,500 BP Maine's first human population arrives: the Paleo-Indians. 10,000 BP - 7500 BP The Paleo-Indian population dies out or diminishes. 7500 BP - 6000 BP Prehistoric Maine's population increases. Sea levels rise; the Atlantic Ocean reaches present day Millinocket. 6000 BP - 3000 BP Prehistoric Maine's population continues to increase. "Red Paint" burial sites date from this time. 4700 BP (2700 BC) The first pyramids are built in Egypt. 3000 BP to 500 BP Maine Indians discover how to make ceramic pottery. The first wigwam evidence in Maine dates from this period. 2550 BP (551 BC) Confucius is born in China. 1000-1100 AD Leif Eriksson and the Norsemen explore North America, possibly the coast of Maine. 1337 - 1453 AD France and England battle over territory in the Hundred Years War. 1492 (ca. 500 BP) Christopher Columbus arrives in the West Indies. 1497 John Cabot plies the Grand Banks off of Newfoundland and records the abundance of codfish he found there. 1524 Giovanni da Verrazzano names Maine "the Land of the Bad People." 1534 Henry VIII dissents with Catholic Church, and declares himself Head of the Church of England. 1559 David Ingram tells lies to the English public about the wealthy land of Norumbega. 1564 William Shakespeare is born. 1604 -5 Samuel de Champlain charts the Maine coast and tries to establish a permanent settlement on St. Croix Island. 1605 George Weymouth explores the mouth of the Kennebec River, and captures five Indians (probably Etchemins.) 1607 George Popham and Raleigh Gilbert try to establish an English settlement, known as the Popham Colony, at the mouth of the Kennebec River. French colonists at St. Croix Island relocate to Port Royal, Nova Scotia. Jamestown, Virginia is founded. Souriquois Indians attack Almouchaquois Indians on the Saco River. 1608 George Popham dies, Raleigh Gilbert returns to England, and the fledging Popham Colony is abandoned. 1610 Jamestown begins sending fishing vessels to the Gulf of Maine. 1613 Father Biard, a French Jesuit priest, attempts to establish a settlement at Somes Sound, on Mount Desert Island. English captain Samuel Argall destroys the French settlements at Somes Sound, Port Royal, and St. Croix Island. 1614 John Smith visits Maine, writes his Description of New England, which encourages Englishmen to settle in Maine. 1615 Bashaba, a great western Etchemin chief, is killed by Micmacs and other eastern Etchemin tribes. 1616-1619 The "Great Dying": over 75% of western Maine's Native Americans (probably) die of European diseases. 1620 The Pilgrims establish Plymouth colony. 1621 King James I signs a charter that grants most of the land that is Maine today to the Council for New England, a group of English noblemen who plan to settle the area. 1625 A trading post at Pejepscot is operating. 1628 Trading posts at Cushnoc (Augusta) and Richmond Island are operating. 1630 The Massachusetts Bay Colony is established. Settlements at York, Cape Porpus, and Saco are established. 1631 A settlement at Kittery is established. 1634 One of earliest known sawmills in America is built on the Piscataqua River. 1636 Maine's first court convenes at Saco. 1640 An Abenaki chief, is baptized by French Jesuits and named Jean Baptiste. 1642 Parliament rebels against King Charles I in the English Civil War. A group of Mohawk Indians raid western Maine Indian territory. 1652 The Massachusetts Bay Colony annexes southwestern Maine. 1661 Abenaki Indians kill 30 Mohawks who attempt to coerce their submission to the Iroquois Nation. 1662 The Mohawks retaliate, attacking Etchemin on the Penobscot River killing or capturing nearly 100. 1671 Abenaki and Mohawk tribes make a tentative peace. French regain control of Eastern Maine; St.-Castine arrives. 1677 Massachusetts buys the deed to Maine. 1675-1678 Western Maine Indians make their first raids on English settlements in Maine during King Philip's War, later joined by more easterly tribes. 1688 - 1699 King William's War. 1703 - 1713 Queen Anne's War. 1722 - 1727 Dummer's War or Lovewell's War. 1740 Maine's European population reaches 12,000. 1744 - 1749 King George's War. 1745 Sir William Pepperell, of Kittery, captures Louisbourg for the British. 1752 Benjamin Franklin invents the lightning rod. 1754 - 1763 The French and Indian or Seven Years' War; most Maine Indians are forced north to Canada or into eastern Maine. 1755 Acadians disperse after the British force them off their land. Some travel north to the St. John Valley. 1759 Sally Sayward Barrell is born in York; later she becomes known as Madam Wood, Maine's first female novelist. Quebec falls to the British. 1764 The spinning jenny is invented. 1765 Maine's European population swells to 23,000. 1766 A mob in Falmouth seizes and burns tax stamps newly arrived from England. 1769 The steam engine is patented. 1770 Ludwig Van Beethoven is born. 1773 The Boston Tea Party: Boston patriots protest British tax laws by dumping British East India Co. tea into Boston Harbor. 1774 The "York Tea Party." 1775 Maine's population reaches 47,000 settlers. Patriots fight the British in the Battle of Lexington and Concord. The British ship Margaretta is captured by Machias residents. British Captain Mowatt burns Falmouth, Maine (present-day Portland). Benedict Arnold marches 1000 men up the Kennebec River to Quebec; his army is defeated. 1776 The Declaration of Independence is written and approved. 1779 British forces occupy Castine and take control of eastern Maine. The Penobscot Expedition against the British at Castine is a military disaster. 1780 The Massachusetts Constitution is written. 1783 Slavery is abolished in Massachusetts (and Maine). 1784 Maine's population rises to 56,000. 1785 Maine's first newspaper, The Falmouth Gazette and Weekly Advertiser, is first printed. 1786 Portland (previously Falmouth) is incorporated. 1787 The U.S. Constitution is written. 1789 The French Revolution begins. 1791 Academies in Berwick and Hallowell are established. The First Bank of the United States opens in Philadelphia. 1793 Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin, reviving slave plantations in the South. 1794 Passamaquoddy Indians give up their claim to all but 23,000 acres of Maine land in a treaty with Massachusetts. 1796 Penobscot Indians give up 190,000 acres of their land in a treaty with Massachusetts. 1799 The first Maine bank opens in Portland. 1800 Maine's population rises to 150,000. 1801 Dorothea Dix is born in Hampden, Maine. 1802 Bowdoin College is established in Brunswick. 1804 Napoleon declares himself emperor of France. 1807 President Thomas Jefferson sets an embargo on foreign trade. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is born in Portland. 1809 Settlers in Malta (present-day Winsor) rise up against agents of land proprietors in the "Malta War." Hannibal Hamlin is born in Paris, Maine. 1810 Maine's population rises to 230,000. Eben Bamford of Livermore patents the window sash. 1812 The War of 1812 begins. 1813 The British ship Enterprise is defeated by the U.S. ship Boxer off the Maine coast. 1814 The British occupy Castine again for a year. 1818 The Maine Literary and Theological Institute in Waterville (now Colby College) opens its doors to its first students. 1819 The Maine Constitutional Convention drafts the Maine Constitution. John Harrison Hall of Portland patents the breach-loading rifle. 1820 Congress passes the Missouri Compromise. Maine enters the Union as the 23rd state. Maine's population is 300,000. William King is elected first state governor. Portland is chosen as the state capital. Hallowell quarries sell the granite that will build Boston's Quincy Market. 1821 Maine's first free high school, and the second free high school in the nation, is established in Portland. 1822 The Kennebec steamship begins its run between Portland and Portsmouth, N.H. 1824 The Maine State Prison is built in Thomaston. 1826 Maine's first large-scale icehouse is built on the Kennebec. 1827 The Fourdrinier paper-making machine comes to New England. 1828 Portland's Abyssinian Church is founded, the first African-American church in Maine. 1830 The Cumberland and Oxford Canal opens. 1832 A new State House is built in Augusta. Maine's state capital moves there from Portland. 1834 The Maine Anti-Slavery Society forms. The Maine Insane Hospital is built. 1836 The Bangor-Veazie Railroad is constructed - it is used mainly for transporting lumber. 1838 An earthquake shakes New England, causing damage in Maine. Samuel Morse sends the world's first telegraphic message. 1839 The "bloodless" Aroostook War pits Canadians against Mainers over the northeastern boundary of the United States. Thomas B. Reed is born in Portland. China and Britain begin to fight the Opium War. 1842 The Webster-Ashburton Treaty establishes the northeastern border of Maine and the U.S. Maine's first seafood cannery opens in Eastport. 1846 Failure of the potato crop in Ireland spurs many people to immigrate to the U.S. The sewing machine is invented. 1847 Henry David Thoreau climbs Mt. Katahdin and later writes of his travels in The Maine Woods. 1848 Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish The Communist Manifesto. U.S. territory expands in the Southwest as a result of the Mexican War. 1851 The Maine Law passes, prohibiting alcohol manufacture and sale in Maine. 1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe publishes Uncle Tom's Cabin. 1853 Maine buys all the land within its boundaries that is still owned by Massachusetts. Maine's Grand Trunk Railway is constructed, running from Portland to the St. Lawrence River. 1854 Bath's Old South Meeting House is burned by Know Nothing rioters. 1855 Portlanders rise up against Mayor Neal Dow in the June Riot. The Maine State Seminary (Bates College) is incorporated. 1856 Hannibal Hamlin switches from the Democratic to the new Republican Party and is elected governor. 1858 Joseph Peavey, of Stillwater, invents an improved logging tool called the "peavey." 1859 Charles Darwin's Origin of Species is published. 1860 Hannibal Hamlin becomes Vice President under President Abraham Lincoln. The first wave of French-Canadian immigration into Maine begins. 1861 The Civil War begins. 1862 The Maine Central Railroad is established. 1863 Joshua Chamberlain leads the 20th Maine regiment in a bayonet charge at the Battle of Little Round Top, Gettysburg. President Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, proclaiming all the slaves free. 1864 President Lincoln appoints William Pitt Fessenden to Secretary of the Treasury. 1865 The Confederate Army surrenders to the Union; the Civil War ends. 1866 A Great Fire razes much of Portland. 1867 The Canadian states are united as the Dominion of Canada. 1868 The Maine State College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts (now the University of Maine at Orono) opens its doors. 1869 The first transcontinental railroad begins operating. Edwin Arlington Robinson is born. Mainer Oliver Otis Howard founds Howard University, one of the nation's first colleges for African Americans. 1872 The Saint Peter and Saint Paul Church is built in Lewiston; it is the first French National church in Maine. 1873 The Maine Woman Suffrage Association is organized. Louis Francis Sockalexis is born. 1875 The first lobster pound is established in Vinalhaven. A new Maine law requires children between the ages of 9 and 15 to go to school for at least 12 weeks a year. 1876 The Poland Spring House is built. 1877 Marsden Hartley is born. 1878 The first commercial telephone exchange takes place. 1880 Le Messager newspaper is founded in Lewiston. Two political parties claim control of the Maine legislature after a disputed election. 1882 The Knights of Labor become active in Maine. 1884 James G. Blaine runs for president, but is defeated by Grover Cleveland. Bath Iron Works is founded. 1887 A new Maine law makes the maximum legal length of a workday ten hours. Capital punishment is abolished in Maine. 1891 The American Federation of Labor becomes active in Maine. 1892 Edna St. Vincent Millay is born in Rockland. 1894 The Bangor and Aroostook Railroad begins its run, making Aroostook County and the northern woods more accessible to tourists. 1896 Sarah Orne Jewett writes The Country of the Pointed Firs. 1897 The International Paper Company is founded. Cornelia "Fly Rod" Crosby becomes Maine's first registered guide. F.E. and F.O. Stanley develop the steam-driven car. 1898 Charles Herbert Woodbury starts an art school and colony in Ogunquit. The USS Maine sinks in Havana harbor, touching off the Spanish-American War. 1900 The Great Northern Paper mill is built in Millinocket. Maine's population reaches 694,500. 1902 Great Britain wins dominion over South Africa in the Boer War. 1903 The Ford Motor Company engineers the assembly line. 1904 Construction on the Panama Canal begins. 1909 The Maine legislature passes the Fernald Law, making it illegal to export hydroelectric power outside of the state. 1910 The Central Maine Power Company is founded. Japan annexes Korea. 1914 Prince Ferdinand is assassinated; WWI begins in Europe. 1915 The Turkish government kills one million Armenians. 1917 The Russian Revolution abolishes the monarchy. The U.S. enters WWI. The first Navy-built submarine is launched at the Kittery-Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. 1918 World War I ends. 1919 The Eighteenth Amendment prohibits the manufacture and sale of alcohol throughout the nation. Lafayette National Park (later renamed Acadia National Park) is established on Mount Desert Island. 1920 The Nineteenth Amendment passes, giving women the vote. Maine's population reaches 768,000. 1922 The Irish Free State is established. James Joyce's Ulysses is published. 1924 Membership in Maine's Ku Klux Klan reaches 50,000. 1928 Joseph Stalin comes to power in Russia. 1929 Black Friday: the U.S. stock market crashes, initiating the Great Depression. 1931 Former Governor Percival Baxter donates 5,760 acres of land, including Mt. Katahdin, to form a new state park named after him. 1933 Hitler is named Chancellor of Germany; he begins to persecute millions of Jews. Franklin Delano Roosevelt is sworn in as President. National Prohibition is repealed. 1934 Maine State Prohibition is repealed. 1935 The Quoddy Tidal Project is launched under the New Deal. The Wagner Act passes, giving workers the legal right to form labor unions without the interference of their employers. 1937 A shoe workers' strike in Lewiston-Auburn known as "The Battle of the Bridge" becomes violent. 1939 Gone with the Wind is released. War breaks out in Europe. 1941 The Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor. 1944 The raft from a German U-boat is found in Hancock Point. German Prisoners of War held in a Houlton. POW camp help Aroostook County farmers harvest potatoes. 1945 World War II ends 1947 Forest fires sweep Mount Desert Island and southwestern Maine. The Maine Turnpike from Kittery to Portland opens to traffic. 1948 Margaret Chase Smith is elected as the first Maine woman to the U.S. Senate. Palestine is partitioned into Jewish and Arab states; the state of Israel is created. 1949 The People's Republic of China is formed. 1950 Senator Margaret Chase Smith delivers her Declaration of Conscience. The Korean War begins. 1952 The U.S. develops the H-bomb. 1954 Maine Indians are given the vote. Edmund Muskie is elected Governor of Maine. The U.S. Senate censures Senator Joseph McCarthy. 1955 The Maine Turnpike extends to Augusta. 1957 The Sinclair Act creates public School Administrative Districts (SADs). Sputnik is launched. Maine's Election Day moves from September to November. 1958 Edmund Muskie is elected to the U.S. Senate. 1959 Fidel Castro comes to power in Cuba. 1960 Twenty-four percent of Mainers are earning an income below the poverty line. 1962 Rachel Carson's Silent Spring is published. 1963 President John F. Kennedy is assassinated. 1964 The Civil Rights Act passes. 1965 The Maine state legislature passes the Fair Housing Bill, making racial discrimination in housing illegal. The National Organization for Women is founded. 1968 Martin Luther King is assassinated. Edmund Muskie runs for Vice President on Hubert Humphrey's ticket. 1969 U.S. troops in Vietnam reach a peak of 543,400. Maine citizens pay a state income tax for the first time. 1970 Maine's population reaches 993,700. 1972 Margaret Chase Smith loses her first - and last - election. Maine Yankee nuclear power plant opens. A proposal to build the Dickey-Lincoln hydroelectric power project is abandoned. The oil tanker Tomano spills into Casco Bay. 1974 Maine elects Jim Longley, Maine's first independent governor. President Richard Nixon resigns. 1975 Maine's final river drive happens. The U.S. pulls out of Vietnam. 1976 The Maine legislature passes the returnable bottle bill. 1977 Franco-Americans get official recognition as an ethnic group. The U.S. government supports Maine Indians in their land claims case against the state of Maine. 1978 The Blizzard of '78 causes severe damage along the Maine coast. 1980 The Maine Indian Land Claims Case is settled out of court. 1983 Eleven-year old Samantha Smith, from Manchester, Maine, writes a peace-making letter to Soviet Leader Yuri Andropov. On his invitation, she visits the Soviet Union. 150 million Africans face near-famine. 1987 International Paper Company employees strike. The Iran-Contra scandal emerges. 1988 George Mitchell, of Waterville, is elected U.S. Senate Majority Leader. 1989 The Berlin Wall falls; the Cold War ends. 1990 The Americans with Disabilities Act passes. 1991 The Maine State government shuts down during a budget crisis. The U.S. fights Iraq in the Gulf War. 1992 The white policemen that beat black motorist Rodney King are acquitted of charges of police brutality. 1993 New York's World Trade Center is bombed by terrorists. 1997 Maine Yankee nuclear power plant closes. William Cohen, of Bangor, is appointed Secretary of Defense under President William Clinton. The Compact for Maine's Forests is rejected in a popular referendum. 1998 A severe January ice storm causes damage and power outages throughout the state. 2000 - State Legislature outlawed all racist or derogatory town names that included "squaw" or "Negro" 2002 - John E. Baldacci was elected Governor of Maine and reelected in 2006. 2007 - French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, visited President Bush at family home in Maine 2009 - New record low temperature for state was set at -50°F in January 2010 - Prospect Harbor's sardine cannery shut down - the last sardine cannery in the U.S. Paul LePage was elected Governor of Maine and reelected in 2014 2012 - Senator Olympia Snowe made surprise announcement that she would retire and not seek reelection 2013 Apr 9, In Maine Christopher Knight (47), who lived like a hermit for decades in a makeshift camp in the woods and may be responsible for more than 1,000 burglaries for food and other staples, was caught in a surveillance trap at a camp for people with special needs, which he treated as a "Walmart." (AP, 4/11/13) 2013 May 12, Kyle Dube (20) of Orono, Maine, used a phony Facebook account created in the name of a student from another school to lure Nichole Cable (15) outside her Glenburn home. He abducted and killed her. Her body was found more than a week later in a wooded area of Old Town, north of Bangor. (AP, 5/30/13) 2013 Nov 5, Portland, Maine, legalized marijuana for people over 21, joining other cities which have done so. (AFP, 11/5/13) 2013 Dec 23, Over 390,000 homes and businesses were without power in Michigan, New York and northern New England. In Maine over 78,000 people were without power. The weekend storm left at least 11 people dead. (SFC, 12/24/13, p.A5) 2014 Oct 31, A Maine court restricted movements of nurse Kaci Hickox who defied voluntary Ebola quarantine by taking a bike ride. The temporary order allowed her to engage in what the judge called "non-congregate public activities" like walking or jogging in the park but instructs her to maintain a 3-foot (1 meter) distance from other people. (Reuters, 10/31/14) 2014 Nov 1, In Maine a fire swept through an apartment at 20 Noyes St. in Portland killing 5 people following a Halloween party the night before. (www.centralmaine.com/2014/11/01/four-dead-in-portland-house-fire/) 2014 Nov 5, US federal regulators shut down the commercial fishing season for northern shrimp in the Gulf of Maine for a 2nd straight year citing concerns about declining population and warmer ocean temperatures. (SFC, 11/6/14, p.A5) 2015 Jul 5, Burt Shavitz (80), co-founder of Burt’s Bees, died in Bangor, Maine. He and Roxanne Quimby had launched Burt’s Bees Lip Balm in 1991. In 2004 Quimby sold the company to AEA Investors for a reported $173 million. Clorox acquired the company in 2007 for a sum put at more than $900 million.
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