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Maine Historical Society adapts Bicentennial presentations for remote audience

Sep 09, 2020
Dr. Kate McMahon will lead a virtual presentation on the African American Community of Peterborough in Warren Sept. 14.

The Maine Historical Society, also known as 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, 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 MHS Executive Director Steve Bromage.

“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.”

For a complete schedule of programs with details and how to register, viewers are urged to visit mainehistory.org/programs or call 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 from 6 to 7 p.m. on the dates listed.

Sept. 14: "Freedom’s Woods: The African American Community of Peterborough in Warren." led by Dr. Kate McMahon of the Smithsonian Institution.

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

Oct. 22: "Becoming Maine." led by Liam Riordan, a professor of history at the University of Maine.

Nov. 11: "Pandemics in Wabanaki Communities." led by James E. Francis Sr., Director of the Cultural and Historic Preservation in the Penobscot Nation.

Into the 2021 year, below are the following presentations:

Jan. 7: "Medicine in Early Maine." led by medical historian and author Dr. Richard Kahn.

Jan. 21: "Acadiens in Maine." led by Lise Pelletier, the director of the Acadian Archives at University of Maine–Fort Kent.

Feb. 25: "Maine Art Collection at MHS." led by Maine State Historian Earle Shettleworth Jr.

March 11: "Maine’s Bicentennial: Looking Backward and Forward." led by Colin Woodard, an award-winning author and journalist.

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