Notable presenters dialog in Bicentennial series

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 8:15am

Maine Historical Society (MHS) is relaunching its Bicentennial public programming with a new virtual series, MAINE AT 200, beginning September 2020 through March 2021. The series will feature live conversations and panels on topical issues with prominent speakers, historians and authors, including Earle Shettleworth Jr., Colin Woodard, Dr. Kate McMahon, Pulitzer-prize winner Alan Taylor, James E. Francis, Sr., and Lise Pelletier.

“2020 has been a remarkable and challenging year, heightening the need for information, connection, and dialog. The combined impact of COVID-19 and the killing of George Floyd have created a sense of crisis, a defining moment, and an opportunity to address underlying issues,” says Steve Bromage, MHS Executive Director. “Maine people are apprehensive about their health, jobs, family, and what life will look like going forward. These complex issues magnify existing concerns, like building a stronger Maine economy, the effects of climate change and demographics.”

MAINE AT 200 (broadcast via Zoom) will explore how Maine became a State in 1820, what that has meant to Maine people, and how 13,000 years of history shape the issues that matter to Mainers today. The series reflects MHS’s work to preserve and share Maine’s story, and to recognize experiences, perspectives, and contributions of all Maine people.

Bromage adds, “The Bicentennial can help us use history to better understand Maine today and work together to build a stronger Maine going forward. That includes celebrating our strengths and acknowledging and addressing where we have failed.”

Selections from MAINE AT 200 Speaker Series include:

For the complete schedule of programs with details and how to register, viewers are urged to visit or call (207) 774-1822. Early registration is recommended as it is expected these events will fill up quickly. Unless otherwise noted on the MHS website, programs are free and open to the public. Programs run 6 to 7 p.m. on the dates listed.

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Sept. 14: Freedom’s Woods: The African American Community of Peterborough in Warren, Maine. Dr. Kate McMahon, Smithsonian Institution.

Oct. 8: Liberty Men, Great Proprietors, and Maine Today. Alan Taylor, Pulitzer-prize winning author and professor of history, University of Virginia.

Oct. 22: Becoming Maine. Liam Riordan, professor of history, University of Maine.

Nov. 11: Pandemics in Wabanaki Communities. James E. Francis Sr., director, Cultural and Historic Preservation, Penobscot Nation.

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Jan. 7: Medicine in Early Maine. Dr. Richard Kahn, medical historian and author.

Jan. 21: Acadiens in Maine. Lise Pelletier, director, Acadian Archives University of Maine–Fort Kent.

Feb. 25: Maine Art Collection at MHS. Earle Shettleworth Jr., Maine State Historian.

March 11: Maine’s Bicentennial: Looking Backward and Forward. Colin Woodard, Award-winning author and journalist.