What are you doing Sunday Afternoon? Head to Augusta, Maine for some birthday cake!
Long before Maine became a state, it was inhabited by many Indigenous people including the Maine tribes of the Maliseet (Malecite), Passamaquoddy, Abenaki, Micmac, Pennacook and the Penobscot.
The coastal area between the Merrimack and Kennebec rivers, became the province of Maine in a 1622 land grant. In 1629, the land was split, creating an area between the Piscataqua and Merrimack rivers which became the province of New Hampshire.
When Massachusetts became a state in 1780, it created the District of Maine to manage its northernmost counties. By 1820, the district had been further subdivided with the creation of Hancock, Kennebec, Oxford, Penobscot, Somerset, and Washington counties. A movement for Maine statehood began as early as 1785, with several conventions being held. Starting in 1792 five popular votes were taken but all failed to reach the necessary majorities. During the War of 1812, British and Canadian forces occupied a large portion of Maine including everything from the Penobscot River east to the New Brunswick border. A weak response by Massachusetts contributed to increased calls in the district for statehood.
In 1819 The Massachusetts General Court passed legislation on June 19, 1819 enabling separation of the District of Maine from the rest of the Commonwealth. Voters in the district approved statehood by 17,091 to 7,132 in July 1819 and presented to the Massachusetts Governor’s Council on August 24, 1819. The Maine Constitution was unanimously approved. With an equal number of free and slave states at the time of Maine’s request for statehood, Maine was seen as a threat to pro-slavery Congress members and they would only agree to Maine’s statehood if the Missouri territory, in which slavery was legal, was admitted as a state to keep the balance of slave states to free states. Maine became the nation’s 23rd state on March 15, 1820 after the Missouri Compromise allowing Missouri to also join the union.
The Maine Statehood Ceremony is being held at the Augusta Armory, 179 Western Ave., Augusta at 1:00 p.m. on
Sunday, March 15th, 2020.
“Statehood Day” Celebration Postponed due to Coronavirus COVID-19
Join GovernorJanet T. Mills, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap as MC, and the Maine Bicentennial Commission for the Statehood Day Ceremony, a historic celebration of Maine becoming a state.
The program will feature:
- The Maine Army National Guard colorguard
- Maulian Dana of the Penobscot Nation
- State Historian Earle Shettleworth
- Poet Laureate Stuart Kestenbaum
- Congressional delegation speakers
- Performances by the combined Bicentennial Choir and Bangor Symphony Orchestra, debuting the specially commissioned piece by Colin Britt “So Also We Sing: A Maine Trilogy.”
There will also be an unveiling of the United States Postal Service Bicentennial Postage Stamp and birthday cake provided by Hannaford Supermarkets.
This event is free and open to the public. It will also be shown live on air by Maine Public Broadcasting.
Check https://www.maine200.org/ for all the Bicentennial Events!