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Maine History Timeline

1400s - 1500s
  • (1497) Explorer John Cabot claimed land near Cape Breton for King Henry VII
  • (1524) Explorer, Giovanni de Verranzano, first European to explore coast of Maine
  • (1597) Portuguese navigator, Simon Ferdinando, sought treasure on coast of Maine
  • (1604) First European colony in Maine established at mouth of St. Croix River by French
  • (1604 - 1605) Maine coastline and Penobscot River explored and mapped by French cartographer, Samuel del Champlain
  • (1622) Sir Ferdinando Gorges, John Mason granted rights to lands of present day Maine, New Hampshire; Gorges named territory "Maine"
  • (1623) First sawmill in America established near York
  • (1652) Maine annexed as frontier territory by Massachusetts
  • (1675) King Philip's War began between English, French and Indians
  • (1675 - 1763) Continuous conflict between North American forces
  • (1761) First pile bridge built at York
  • (1765) Mob seized quantity of tax stamps at Falmouth; attacked customs agents
  • (1774) Group of men burned tea shipment at York
  • (1775) First naval battle of Revolutionary War fought off coast of Machias; British warships shelled, bombed Falmouth; Benedict Arnold, band of revolutionaries marched through Maine, failed in attempt to capture British strongholds in Canada
  • (1785) Falmouth Gazette established - Maine's first newspaper
  • (1812) Bangor, other parts of Maine seized by British
  • (1820) Maine became 23rd state; first state to give suffrage, school privileges to all
  • (1832) State capital established in Augusta
  • (1839) Governor Fairfield declared war on England due to boundary dispute between New Brunswick, northern Maine
  • (1842) Webster-Ashburton Treaty settled Maine/New Brunswick border dispute
  • (1851) Maine first state to outlaw sale of alcoholic beverages
  • (1852) Harriet Beecher Stowe of Brunswick, wrote "Uncle Tom's Cabin"
  • (1860) Maine native, Hannibal Hamlin, named Abraham Lincoln's vice president
  • (1863) Joshua Chamberlain, Maine native, defended Little Round Top against confederates at Battle of Gettysburg during Civil War
  • (1866) Fire destroyed most of downtown Portland
  • (1876) July 4 freak snowstorm struck Portland
  • (1888) Maine native, Melville W. Fuller, became U. S. Supreme Court Chief Justice
  • (1898) U. S. Battleship "Maine" sunk in Havana Harbor
  • (1905) America's first forest fire lookout station established at Squaw Mountain
  • (1917) Maine Legislature appropriated $ 1 million for World War I purposes
  • (1920) Women received right to vote
  • (1931) Governor Percival Baxter purchased land in northern Maine; land donated for establishment of Baxter State Park
  • (1934) State prohibition laws repealed
  • (1936) Flooding caused $25 million in losses
  • (1947) Forest fire destroyed over 1,000 homes, leveled seven communities, destroyed 17,000 acres of Acadia National Park
  • (1948) Maine native, Margaret Chase Smith, elected to U. S. Senate, first woman to be voted into this office, first woman to serve both houses of Congress
  • (1955) Musical "Carousel" filmed at Boothbay Harbor
  • (1956) First U. S. atomic submarine, USS Swordfish, launched at Kittery-Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
  • (1957) Election Day moved from September to November
  • (1958) Edmund Muskie, first Maine Democrat, elected to Congress
  • (1961) Polaris submarine, USS Abraham Lincoln, launched at Kittery-Portsmouth Naval Shipyard; Telstar communications satellite constructed at Andover
  • (1974) James Longley elected Governor, first independent governor in U. S.
  • (1979) Edmund Muskie appointed as President Carter's Secretary of State
  • (1980) President Carter signed Indian Land Claim agreement, U. S. paid $80 million to Passamaquoddy, Penobscot Indians
  • (1984) Joan Benoit Samuelson of Maine, first gold medal winner in inaugural women's Olympic marathon
  • (1988) Maine native, Senator George Mitchell, named U. S. Senate Majority Leader
  • (1997) Senator William Cohen appointed President Clinton's Secretary of Defense
  • (2000) State Legislature outlawed all racist or derogatory town names that included "squaw" or "Negro"
  • (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.
  • (2012) Senator Olympia Snowe made surprise announcement that she would retire and not seek reelection

Maine Photographs

samuel de champlain henry vii benedict arnold harriett beecher stowe hannibal hamlin james blaine poster melville fuller john fairfield joshua chamberlain percival proctor baxter longfellow stamp bangor 1875 uss maine edmund muskie nelson rockefeller margaret chase smith william cohen

Maine Cities, Counties & Area Codes

City County Area Code
Lewiston Androscoggin 207
Houlton Aroostook 207
Portland Cumberland 207
Farmington Franklin 207
Ellsworth Hancock 207
Waterville Kennebec 207
Rockland Knox 207
Waldoboro Lincoln 207
Oxford Oxford 207
Bangor Penobscot 207
Dover Foxcroft Piscataquis 207
Bath Sagadahoc 207
Skowhegan Somerset 207
Belfast Waldo 207
Machias Washington 207
Biddeford York 207

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.