July 2 – 8, 2021Vol. 23, No. 4

This Day in Maine

by Martha F. Barkley

July is summer in Maine. This May 2021 we had a day in the 90s and people were joking about "our one day of summer" already! I love the old joke about July Fourth being hot and all the rest is cool spring and cool fall. We who live here know that Mother Nature rules and every summer is full of surprises. Our one day of summer can last for weeks…

Joseph Owen proves this with carefully selected news articles and many photos from the Pine Tree State's history. Your eyes will be glued, I guarantee. Purchased last summer during the pandemic shutdown at Oliver & Friends Bookshop and Reading Room on Main Street, This Day in Maine has been reread this summer and I simply have to quote for you to judge, dear reader.

July 1, 1960
Scarborough Downs Opens for First Horse Races
July 1, 1990
Edwards Dam Breached; Kennebec Flows Freely Again
July 2, 1863
Chamberlain's Troops Stand Firm During Battle of Gettysburg
July 3, 1847
President Polk Visits Maine…ride to Augusta after arriving around 1 a.m. in Hallowell aboard the steamer Huntress.
July 3, 1933
Edna St. Vincent Millay Visits Ragged Island, Plans Purchase
Oh, to be there, under the silent spruces,
Where the wide, quiet evening, darkens, without haste
Over a sea with death acquainted, yet forever chaste.
July 4, 1786
Portland Separates from Falmouth
July 4, 1826
Cornerstone Laid for Maine State House on Weston's Hill in Augusta
July 4, 1866
Great Portland Fire Destroys 1,800 Buildings; 12,000 Homeless
July 5, 1906
Colby's Jack Coombs Makes Major League Debut for Philadelphia Athletics
July 7, 1876
Augusta Man Named Treasury Secretary for President Grant
July 8, 1524
Verrazano Becomes First Known European to Visit Maine
July 8, 1908
Nelson Rockefeller Born in Bar Harbor
July 8, 1916
President Wilson Designates Sieur de Monts National Monument. "The site becomes Lafayette National Park in 1919…it is the embryonic form of what later will become Acadia National Park."
July 10, 1962
First Transatlantic TV Signal Beamed from Andover Via Telstar 1

Are you curious? Anything grab your interest? Over 600 news articles to peruse and enjoy learning Maine history. Only $18.95 for hours of compiled local happenings and excellent photos to spur you on.

Joseph Owen, an accomplished journalist for forty years here and abroad, has masterfully collated volumes of news reports with his wife Mary as a constant support. He serves on the board for our Kennebec Historic Society.

Look for his reports on the Berlin Wall and the Persian Gulf War and twenty countries beyond the U.S. I especially enjoy his background knowledge about Lafayette, L.L. Bean, Poland Springs, [Joshua] Chamberlain, and Samantha Smith.

Go see Samantha's bronze statue outside our Maine State Museum in Augusta. We were in Manchester the day Samantha was welcomed home in a big town parade from her trip to Russia. She was quite the young, diplomatic letter writer.