Mainers did lots of things before anyone else thought of them...
|1524|| FIRST MOON|
When Giovanni da Verrazzano explored the coast of Maine in 1524, he encountered Maine's Native Americans (probably Wabanaki) and found them less than welcoming. They greeted Verrazzano's men from the height of a cliff, refusing to approach the shore. In fact, while they were more than willing to barter, they would only trade by lowering items on a rope. (Thus establishing the first line of credit in the New World as well....) When they were finished trading, Verrazzano writes that they "showed their buttocks and laughed immoderately..." in other words, they mooned the Europeans. For this, Maine earned the title terra onde la mala gente, or "the land of the bad people."
|1634||FIRST SAW MILL|
The first saw mill in America is built on the Piscataqua River.
|1766||FIRST TEA PARTY|
Seven years before the Boston Tea Party, a mob in Falmouth (Portland) seizes and burns the newly arrived tax stamps from England, to protest against taxation without representation (or tea!).
|1785||FIRST ACADIAN CROSS|
Joseph Daigle, Jean Martin, and other Acadians settle in the St. John River valley at Madawaska (now Maine/New Brunswick border). Joseph erects the ACADIAN CROSS along the banks of the St. John.
|1838/9|| FIRST STATE TO DECLARE WAR|
When Canadian officials take American land agents prisoner while the Americans are attempting to prevent illegal lumbering in northern Maine, Governor Fairfield unilaterally declares war and sends troops to Aroostook County. Federal intervention prevents actual hostilities during the Aroostook War, however, Romaine Michaud does serves as a militia "captain". As a result, the large island in the St. John River (established as the new US/Canadian boundary) is named Michaud Island.
|1917||FIRST NAVY SUB|
The first Navy-built submarine is launched at the Kittery-Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
|1948||FIRST WOMAN IN THE US SENATE|
Margaret Chase Smith is elected as the first woman to the U.S. Senate.
|1950||FIRST REPUBLICAN TO REBUKE McCARTHY|
From the well of the Senate, Smith spoke out against the anti-Communist witchhunts of Senator Joseph McCarthy, and urged a return to basic American values such as freedom of speech, the freedom to criticize government, and to hold unpopular beliefs. Criticized by many fellow Republicans at the time for denouncing a fellow party member, Smith was vindicated four years later, when McCarthy was censured by the U.S. Senate.
|The Hayloft, The Stalls, and Other Places in the Barn|
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